Wednesday, April 14, 2010

David's update -- Onward to Florida

David Paqua posts an update on his flight from Danbury Municipal Airport to Sun 'n Fun in Florida in his homebuilt Acro Sport...including clarifying that Blackberry trouble!

OK, so my phone didn't charge. More specifically my plug-in charger stopped working and the phone ran down. Apparently not turning the phone off in flight does not affect the flight instruments it causes the phone to continually search, sending out "here I am" messages to the nearest cell tower the entire flight. This really eats up battery life. Anyway, morning fog in Charleston on Tuesday kept me cozy with the line crew until 9 a.m. They were a likable lot.

I lifted off into the bright sun while the low lying areas were still covered in ground fog and it was very pretty. Two hours to Gainesville with 155 mph indicated on the GPS. Wow! Better to have a slow plane with a tailwind than a fast plane with a headwind. The trouble with that, though is that landing into 24 knot winds not aligned with the runway. I didn't want to leave a bad impression with Gainesville tower so I "carried" the landing a little and touched down the first one third of runway 11 but with the headwind I still turned off the first taxiway. The tower was was impressed and cleared me direct to the GA ramp with a "nice job" comment!

The final leg to Plant City, Florida I flew at 1,500 feet due to cloud cover that came in from nowhere and what a bumpy ride, at one point a particularly nasty bump knocked my headset off! I had to follow a Light Sport in the pattern at Plant City and it was a good 20 m.p.h. slower than me. But this guy was all over the place. He ended up overflying the airport and at that point I broke it off, called the tower and set up for another approach.

So the trip ends, 4 fuel stops 1 nice evening in Charleston and an airplane-infested week begins. I'm ready to relax!
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®


Frank Van Haste said...


Regarding David's comment that, "Apparently not turning the phone off in flight does not affect the flight instruments...":

Dr. Jay Apt, who is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University (and, yes, a former astronaut) has done a bunch of serious technical work on this issue and his results have me convinced that we need to turn off our cell phones in flight. The potential for interference with GPS signals is real.

See, for example, this item.

I hope you'll mention to David that evidence exists indicating the risks, while small, are non-trivial.



Frank Van Haste said...


More, better stuff on interference by passenger electronic devices HERE.