UCAP #250 “Potato Cannon”

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UCAP #250 “Potato Cannon”

Postby ruckin » Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:12 am

It brought back memories when Dave mentioned calcium carbide... In my scouting days I would use a carbide lamp rather than a flashlight or candles. One of the coolest uses for the carbide that I found was if I poured a small amount of water on a carbide chunk and put them on the snow they made really nice porch lights for my igloo. They would slowly sink into the snow but they lasted for a looong time.

Now to add some aviation content to this post: If your "friends" steal some carbide from your pack and drop it the outhouse they should also put a sign on the front warning against open flames. The flash and the noise gave me quite a start and to this day I am not sure where the roof of the outhouse ended up. :shock: But if flying anvils don't count I suspect that outhouse roofs don't either? In retrospect using a flashlight rather than my lamp in this case might have been safer!


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Re: UCAP #250 “Potato Cannon”

Postby charliefoxtrot » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:47 pm

Jeb was scratching his head over the Oakland County (Michigan) International Airport use of 'living walls'.

A living wall (or green wall) is a fancy term for a vertical landscaping installation.
Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_wall

We commonly use these in tight sites that don't have large areas available to landscape conventionally.
Here's a fun example of how to disguise an HVAC system's cooling tower.

The press release credits the facility as "the nation's first LEED-certified general aviation airport terminal." Kudos to the airport authority and the project team for making that happen. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a rating system developed by the private sector, non-profit US Green Building Council to quantify the efficiency and sustainability of the design. In the past 10 years, many typical 'green' or high-performance buildings have been offices and school structures but owners of all building types are finding the value in LEED. Just like Oakland, many airports are discovering ways to use the assets they have to reduce utility costs, help mitigate their environmental impact and simultaneously save operating cost. The Indianapolis terminal (KIND) is a fine example. Shameless plug alert: Another example of atypical green buildings is the recently completed 300,000 sf manufacturing facility in Bloomington, Indiana, that has gained LEED Certification. Designed by my firm, this was first LEED-certified project of of its size and type in the Midwest.

For more information on green building: http://www.usgbc.org
"Memory believes before knowing remembers." Faulkner

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Re: UCAP #250 “Potato Cannon”

Postby Jeb » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:51 am


Many thanks for the clarification. In my mind, I had the climactic scene from "Devil's Advocate"...


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Re: UCAP #250 “Potato Cannon”

Postby jackhodgson » Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:31 am


I have a UCAP correspondent headed over to Pontiac today with instructions to scope out their "living wall" and report back. I'll relay what I hear.

// Jack

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Re: UCAP #250 “Potato Cannon”

Postby randyc » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:44 pm

Congrats on 250 episodes...they keep getting better!

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Re: UCAP #250 “Potato Cannon”

Postby champguy » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:19 pm

I'm not sure whether Potato Cannons or rocks on paint cans are really aviation, although I'm sure there are few pilots without some experience in these areas. But refueling stories, that is part flying for sure.
Stories we grow by.
A long time ago, my Dad was at a remote strip in Alaska waiting with a bunch of guys for his ride out to be refuled from five gallon tins. As the pile of empty tins built up someone remarked, "I wouldn't touch those with a ten foot pole".
Someone else had such a pole, then there was a candle, and some tape.
The first can went bam and every one was pleased. The second can went bam and straight up. Everyone went wow.
The third can went bam, right between two guys, and stuck into a tree, No one said anything, and they all went back to waiting for the refueling to be completed.
Fun is an important part of our youth, growing up is optional.
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.

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Re: UCAP #250 “Potato Cannon”

Postby pevend » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:41 pm

Wonder if it would have made a difference if any of the flight crew of AF447 had had a Garrmin 696 or similar handheld?

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Re: UCAP #250 “Potato Cannon”

Postby jarheadpilot82 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:20 pm

Gentlemen (and other forum members),

I have been listening to the podcast and the discussion about AF447. Many years ago as a young FE on the Boeing 727, I remember being introduced to the chart titled something like, "Operations Without Airspeed Indication". Those wonderful engineers at Boeing had given us a nice chart where you would compare AC weight and altitude and the chart gave you a target pitch attitude and power setting (as well as target Fuel Flow also, if memory serves). It gave you the information for various phases of flight - cruise, descent, approach, as well as different aircraft configurations. Does the Airbus not have this? I was taught in training on that and other airplanes that in the absence of everything else, FLY PITCH AND POWER! It may not be the prettiest approach you have ever flown, but it keeps the airplane flyable. Also, I just wonder how much partial panel training is in their syllabus. I am not sure how much partial panel or failed instrument training is part of the syllabus with ab initio training.

Jeb, you discussed the ISIS backup system. I have never flown an Airbus so I have zero frame of reference, but couldn't the GPS be used as a back up for airspeed and altitude with the loss of pitot-static instruments? Also, I discussed at length in a previous post about the need for an AOA indicator as well as training in how to use it. I am wondering if you gentlemen think that AOA indications and training would have helped? I do.

Just my $.02

P.S. Happy 250th Episode. Keep 'em comin'!
Semper Fi,

Terry Hand
Athens, GA

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Re: UCAP #250 “Potato Cannon”

Postby N2HM » Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:59 am

Regarding the living wall at PTK; I toured the new terminal building last weekend during the annual open house. The living "wall" is more like a living "small part of wall", about 8' x 8'. This is somehow supposed to scrub the air according to some of the marketing info. I'm just wondering if someone can help me understand how this building cost $7,250,000. It has 7 offices and 2 restrooms, and a meeting room. It had 4 wind turbines, but now only 3 because one already blew over due to high wind.

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Re: UCAP #250 “Potato Cannon”

Postby champguy » Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:08 pm

Stimulus, "shovel ready" projects.
In the past we built roads, bridges, and parks. Now we seem to be building maintenance headaches.
Maybe we are not ready for recovery yet. Still feeding the "Fat Cats".
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.

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