Greetings from Baghdad

Discussion in 'Hangar Flying' started by Jman, Oct 21, 2007.

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  1. Oct 21, 2007 #1

    Jman

    Jman

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    Greetings,

    I just wanted to post a message here to say hello and let you all know that things are going ok over here for me on my deployment to Baghdad. Although I have not posted since arriving here, I have been popping on now and then to make sure everything is running smoothly. I'm flying around 85-100 hours a month now which works out to about 4 days on 3 days off a week. For quite awhile I was flying 8 to 10 days straight, just with shorter flight times. Made for a severe lack of motivation to work on things here at HBA. However, now that I've settled into somewhat of a routine I hope to be on here much more.

    For those of you who don't know, my name is Jake Crause and I'm the Site Owner. I'm also an OH-58D Scout pilot serving in an Air Cavalry unit in Baghdad. I'm also an avid homebuilt aircraft fan, Cheerleader, and soon to be builder. I created this site in the hopes that one day it would become useful to someone. I'll let the members decide if it is succeeding.

    Before I left for Iraq I built my 15 foot worktable, insulated my shop, and purchased the Corvair engine that would power my Pietenpol Aircamper project, for which I already had the plans. I was all set to start the build but with the Deployment on the horizon I decided to hold off. While here, I've done some soul searching about what it will take to complete a plans-built aircraft like the Pietenpol. I came to the realization that a Plans-built project, during this phase of my life, is just not realistic. With the prospect of deployments, training missions, schools, etc I believe that a Kit-Built is going to fit me better. I want to be able to come home from a month long training mission, walk out to the shop with my son and, with minimal hoopla and head scratching, pick up where we left off. Having a detailed construction manual and all of the necessary materials at hand is going to go a long way to make that happen. Don’t get me wrong, a Kit-built will have plenty of ups and downs, but I’m hoping that building something that has a tried and true step-by-step process will keep me on track a little better.

    So, now I'm on the hunt for a new project and I think I've got it narrowed down to 4 kits....The RV-7, RV-7A, RV-8, or RV-8A....<GRIN>. Ok, those are not the only kits that catch my fancy but if I'm going to build a kit with the minimal amount of fuss the RV is a sure thing. The performance is wonderful, it's easy on the eyes, it's dependable, and, from what I understand, the builder support and construction manual cannot be beat. So...for a military pilot who has a family and a war to worry about, it's about perfect. Of course it does cost three times what the Piet was going to cost but I will gladly....ok, maybe not gladly, but I WILL be willing to part with more money to ensure a more relaxed and less head-scratching build. Why do I feel guilty though??? <GRIN>

    So….I'll probably be on here getting my moneys worth asking all sorts of questions about aluminum and bucking bars now. Please bear with me :gig: .

    Well, that is about it for now. I'll go into some more details about my adventures over here at a later date...like my total hydraulics failure in a 30 degree descending right bank over a very hostile area. That was fun :shock: .

    Talk to you later.

    Jake
     
  2. Oct 21, 2007 #2

    Jman

    Jman

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    Oh yeah...I almost forgot to thank all of you that have stuck with the site while I have been gone and kept it going. You are the best!
     
  3. Oct 21, 2007 #3

    Topaz

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    Jake, thanks for the update! My attendence here of late has been spotty (started my own business, and that keeps my more than a little busy!), so I didn't know you'd deployed.

    I wish you all the best of luck and a safe return. You're doing a very difficult job in very difficult circumstances. I'm sure you know that we're all pulling for you and hopefully your deployment goes smoothly.

    As to whether this site is 'useful', puuuleeeeezze! It's the best on the net for this sort of thing. I've been on other homebuilt aircraft discussion forums, and more often than not they decend into petty arguments and name-calling, with useful information almost a minority. This place is the opposite - everyone works together and keeps the discussion civil and productive, and the level of overall knowledge on the site is nothing short of amazing. I've learned so much for my own quest here!

    Take care, and yes, I think we'd all like to hear how you're doing whenever you can. Sounds like you've got some stories already!

    Marc
     
  4. Oct 21, 2007 #4

    wally

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    Hey!

    Yes this the best forum for sharing information about homebuilt airplanes that I know of. Thanks for setting it up and keeping it going!

    And Thanks for what you are doing on your day (night?) job too. Just keep doing your job, be very carefull and get your self safely back to the U.S. of A. I hope you are enjoying the flying too.

    Wally
     
  5. Oct 21, 2007 #5

    Captain_John

    Captain_John

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    Jake,

    Good to hear from you and take care over there!

    BTW, welcome to the RV world!

    :ban:

    I think you are gonna like it!

    I can hook you up with all kinds of 411!

    Keep in touch!

    :) CJ
     
  6. Oct 22, 2007 #6

    herbrose

    herbrose

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    Jake:

    First and foremost, our prayers are with you; our son spent two tours there with the 173rd. If you see Dave "Claw" Closen, please send him our best wishes.

    Wanted to also say, I have the wings on the Mustang II, and hope to have it in the air this spring. While I fully agree with the assessment the RV line is a dream come true for a first time/second time, builder... the Mustang II was something I fell in love with as a kid, so for me it's been a love/hate relationship.....but truth be told it has been a blast to build. Picked up the prop last Friday from Sensenich; 72 inch 86 pitch hooked to an IO360 Superior. By God, I think it will be a "go-fast"!

    While I've not post much here, I sure have enjoyed reading the post.

    Take care, Jake.

    Thanks again, Herb Rose N657HR
     
  7. Oct 22, 2007 #7

    gahan

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    J man keep yourself safe, msgt. t.m. gahan ret. USMC
     
  8. Oct 22, 2007 #8

    Rhino

    Rhino

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    I bet!
     
  9. Oct 23, 2007 #9

    orion

    orion

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    Nice to hear from ya - keep the shiny side up!
     
  10. Oct 23, 2007 #10

    PTAirco

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    At the risk of getting flamed for breaking my personal rule of "NO POLITICS": I think Iraq in the 1920's was a hell of a lot nicer and safer place when the Royal Air Force was more or less in charge of the country! (Runs and ducks under the table...)
     
  11. Oct 23, 2007 #11

    Jman

    Jman

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    Thanks for the replies guys. I appreciate the comments. I'll post a no $&*^, there I was story in a few days. Things have come a long way in just the 5 months I've been here. Bad things still happen, but it seems like the locals are standing up for themselves now. Everyday I fly over locals with AK-47s that do not shoot at me because they are guarding their neighborhoods from the hard core militants. They probably hate me but we wave and smile at each other because we both want the same thing...a stable Iraq. As for the 20's....Man those flapper girls were hot. ;)

    I emailed Vans yesterday to ask them if they would be willing to ship the Tail Kit for an RV-7 to me via the Postal Service. It's not their normal method of shipping but according to the specs on the Vans website, the tail kit crate is just small enough to meet the USPS maximum package size. The Postal Service is the only way for me to get mail direct to me. I've seen the FedEx and DHL planes coming into Baghdad International so if the Postal service is a no-go maybe I can work something out there. I'll just have to wait and see what Vans says.

    I'll be looking for a list of tools required to build the Tail Kit when I finish this post. That way I can go down to the airfield tomorrow and make sure the sheet metal shop has everything I would need. I found out yesterday that a Guy I work with has helped restore several warbirds...Lucky me...LOL.

    Well..It's almost 4pm which is my bedtime. You guys take care and I'll keep you posted.

    -Jake
     
  12. Oct 23, 2007 #12

    PTAirco

    PTAirco

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    Regarding Iraq in the 20's: Just as a historical/aviation point of interest for those who may not have come across this:
    Iraq was a British mandate back then, meaning they were charged with keeping law and order in that part of the world. The usual way was to have garrisons in a few strategic places and then whenever trouble brewed somewhere you marched your troops out there and tried to restore order. The usual trouble was warring factions attacking each other for reasons of revenge, or raiding each other's cattle or sheer boredom I suspect. Marching bodies of troops around the desert was a slow and inefficient method and also ineffective, since the troublemakers had plenty of time to disappear. An enterprising fellow had the idea of using the RAF to do the policing and after submitting a proposal that showed a 90% saving in expenditure they were given the go-ahead to try that method. It worked very effectively. If word got out that there was a fight brewing somewhere, the RAF would send over reconnaissance aircraft to asess the situation. If warranted, they would then drop leaflets with a cease and desist order and if that was ignored they were followed by more leaflets giving a time and date when their village would be bombed to encourage people to stop fighting. Usually there was 24 hours notice and the villages were empty by the time of the strikes and the combatants spent the next few days repairing their wells and houses and had little time left for fighting with each other. As such it was very efffective, but predictably the policy came under criticism in later years by the people of Iraq as another typical example of heavy-handed imperialism and many accounts of innocent people being bombed and machine-gunned appeared. However on balance it did put an end to the constant in-fighting that was a way of life in that region and seems to be to this day.
    But it was an interesting use of air power as an effective tool for creating stability where all other methods had failed.
     
  13. Oct 23, 2007 #13

    Bjorn Halfstead

    Bjorn Halfstead

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    Still waiting for activation

    Hi Jake,

    We are proud to have you as the administrator serving us in Baghad!

    Jake, My friend, prporter, has registered, but his account has not been activated yet. He registered three days before me, but I was activated almost immediately after registering. Is there something he needs to do? He can't post to this site yet to ask you yhe question.


    Bjorn
     
  14. Oct 23, 2007 #14

    etterre

    etterre

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    Add my voice to the "Good to hear from you!" chorus. Definitely looking forward to "hearing" your stories from Iraq. I don't know about keeping the "shiny side up", though - isn't it all olive drab? :) I'd also be curious to hear some of your reasoning on the jump from a Pietenpol to the RV-7 since they seem like such vastly different birds. Hope you get your tail kit soon!
     
  15. Oct 24, 2007 #15

    Jman

    Jman

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    Bjorn,

    I finally looked at his email. By the time I looked at his account he was showing as a registered user and was posting today so I figured it was resolved. My email has over 5000 messages in the inbox...I really need to get it under control...LOL.

    As far as shiny side up...It all just depends on which side of the aircraft is leaking that day. Sometimes I land and fluid has run all the way from the top cowling down the side and off the belly. These birds are getting worked hard, but our maintenance guys are really doing a good job of keeping them flying.

    As far as my reason for Jumping to the RV. I've come to the stark realization that a Plans-Built aircraft is not for me right now. Even when I'm not deployed I'm frequently gone for weeks at a time. If before I left for a trip I had just finished step 12a, then when I return I want to be able to walk out to the garage and start step 12b with as little fuss as possible. If I'm ever going to finish an airplane while I'm doing this job it's going to have to be laid out with clear steps of progression. The Piet is not that way. You get about 5 pages of instructions and 20 or so drawings. This is a completely acceptable way to build an airplane. However, for me at this stage in my life, it just is not practical.

    The Piet and RV are completely different airplanes. At first it may seem strange that I went from the Piet to an airplane with a completely different mission like the RV. There are kits out there for airplanes with similar missions. But the fact of the matter is I want many types of airplanes. I can see myself buzzing river valleys in an open cockpit with the smoke on just as easily as I can see myself screaming from fly-in to fly-in at 180 kts. In fact, eventually I will need about 5 different airplanes to be happy. The RV will fill one slot now and the Piet, or something like it, will come later down the road when I have more to devote. I'm just shuffling which comes first is all.

    Ok..I think I just confused myself but hopefully you get the idea.

    Jake
     
  16. Oct 24, 2007 #16

    etterre

    etterre

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    Ahhh... it is all perfectly clear now. Last month, a fellow EAA chapter member took me up in his Decathlon... and I think the acro bug has bit:roll:
    So, lets see... That makes my dream machine a:
    4 place (plus bags) cross-country cruiser that has excellent visibility, STOL capabilities, "excess" power for backcountry flying, and it needs to be capable of acrobatics. :roll:
    Yep, I think I'll need at least 3 planes.:grin:
     
  17. Oct 24, 2007 #17

    Waiter

    Waiter

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    Too Bad, All that money your spending on the RV , you could have built a LongEZ :)

    Joking aside, study the plans, and keep your head down.

    Thanks for protecting us Civies back here in the States.

    Waiter
     
  18. Nov 18, 2007 #18

    badger

    badger

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    Jake..

    Just seen this post. It all makes sense now! Good site you got here.

    Hey buddy......you be watching your six over there, and come back safe and sound bud. Stay frosty man!

    J Brewer Cpl E4 USMC 1969-70.

    John
     
  19. Nov 18, 2007 #19

    Jman

    Jman

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    Will do...Thanks!!
     
  20. Nov 25, 2007 #20

    Falco Rob

    Falco Rob

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    Hey Jake,

    I haven't been on the site for quite some time and didn't know you were in harms way.

    Take care sport, and all the best from Aussie.

    Cheers,

    Rob
     

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