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Bill Zukauckas

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About Bill Zukauckas

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    Austin, Texas
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  1. Bill Zukauckas

    When to pull the 'chute

    Yep, a fire in a plastic plane is a bad deal. The chute for planes is like airbags in cars 20 years ago. I remember folks arguing in driver's ed. class that airbags might be harmful in some car crash situations. We'll, yeah, but that's not the way to bet. For our little planes, the chute is the biggest safety improvement ever! Those that argue otherwise are simply making an incorrect risk analysis. The best instructor I've ever had did not buy a chute for his Remos thinking students might use it improperly. I think that's a huge mistake and miscalculation. In 20 years there will be no argument about the cost or effectiveness of chutes. Until then, use it prudently and liberally for your own circumstances.
  2. I just watched a King Checkride Course video for Sport Pilot Instrutor. John King actually does a preflight on a CTSW. I have owned mine for 1 1/2 years and I wished I had seen this video that long ago. Simply outstanding preflight,(compatrf to what I have been doing),with closeup picture of brakes, nuts and bolts, trim springs inside the baggage compartment and how they move the alleron, and the window under the gas tank. Maybe everyone but me knows this stuff already, or has seen it done by an expert, but I've learned lots today just watching the video. For instance, he uses a wooden dowel stick to check the gas level (rather than trying to read the gas off the metal gage when it's 100 degrees). I will use that from now on. He was also tapping the leading edge of the wing to listen for structural integrity on composites (outstanding)! Some of us should do a preflight video for use on the internet.
  3. Bill Zukauckas

    For those that want more baggage space

    This would be great if I lost 100 lbs.
  4. Bill Zukauckas

    Another backup AHRS solution

    The little black box from Levil is $795.00. I am glad they are making one at all, but someone will make a cheaper little black box. Everyone who wants glass will have it soon. Looks to me like the Ipad will have the best resolution EFIS apps. Finding a good place to put it in the CT may be the next invention. The synthetic vision apps. with the Levil AHRS unit already on the Ipad make the new Dynon pocket EFIS look a little crude and wanting. It would sure be an upgrade to a Cub. It's just hard for me to believe the Ipad (or a smaller Ipad) will not capture the business Dynon and Garmin mainly supply now. The picture and flexibility are too good and synthetic vision on apps. is coming on strong and fast.
  5. Bill Zukauckas

    CTSW crash with deployment of BRS

    Ed, You may be right that I am being too conservative (underestimating) on survival likihood on BRS pulls to date. It might be fun to work up 100 senarios or so with the different variables (including piloting skills and possible preemptive pull by the wife), and have a discussion about decision making and the red handle on each hypothetical. For instance: 1. The wing falls off: - PULL - at any elevation, airspeed, regardless of piloting skill! 2. Spin: At 1000 ft. AGL -- Spin recovery efforts first. At 400 ft. AGL ??? At 100 ft. AGL - PULL!!
  6. Bill Zukauckas

    CTSW crash with deployment of BRS

    80-90% is just a rough calculation from the Cirrus BRS results. I am just conservatively guessing it's a little less than we would intuitively think it should be. But I also am guessing (and hoping) our plane is a little more BRS survivable than the Cirrus because it is slower and lighter.
  7. Bill Zukauckas

    CTSW crash with deployment of BRS

    I've given some thought to the red handle. In general, it's a very good thing even if it only saves you 80-90% of the time. Still, our little plane, with full controls intact (maybe minus an engine) can be landed pretty darn slowly. Any time the landing force is mostly parallel to the grown, as opposed to at a right angle to the ground, I thing you're mostly ahead of the game if you can catch a road, or a field, or a flat tree. When you pull the chute you ought to be thinking will a 4 in 5 chance of survivability be better than what you could do flying low and slow near the ground. Unfortuntely, that question has lots of variables, but can be part of your situational awareness thought process at any time on any given flight. You can be pretty close to a runway (like the Remos GX crash), and have disasterous results if the control surfaces are not working. That was an obvious red handle pull had the red handle been available. Plane cost should never be a factor.