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Dave Downs

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About Dave Downs

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  • Birthday 08/25/1942

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    SE Penna

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  1. Thought I’d update this topic..... Drained the hydro, re-filled with recommended 20w-50 - no improvement. Drained hydro again, re-filled with straight 30 weight, no improvement. Finally got tired of it not going up small slopes, pulled the spare hydro off the shelf today and swapped out the old one. .........Works fine now......😀 Just proves there are no magic fixes........
  2. I can’t give you any crash numbers but the dedication page of his book lists 397 airline pilots that lost their lives to crashes during the time period of his book. That doesn’t include passengers....and there was a lot less air travel back then. Crashes he describes are mostly engine failure or weather, with the occasional mid-air collision. There is no comparison at all with the safety of today’s airline travel.
  3. Just finished re-reading ‘FATE IS THE HUNTER’ by Ernest K. Gann. It is his experiences in early airline flying, late ‘20s through early ‘50s, plus WWII transport flying, all piston engines. Accident rate was horrible. Somehow I think Randy Sohn knew him.
  4. The mower is a 30 year old Snapper, I have re-built darn near everything in it, including replacing the engine. Great mower. The hydro motor sometimes slips under load - it is not a slipping drive belt and is not the splined shaft from the motor to the transmission side; that has failed twice and I know that problem. Motor is a Hydro Gear (HG BDU-105-120). I have a spare sitting on the shelf, bought it years ago because it was cheap and I thought 'what if'. I'm looking for a temporary fix to get me through this season, I only use it to mow some slopes I can't get with the zero-turn - I'm thinking maybe drain and refill oil with something like 30w non-detergent. Yes I know the proper thing to do is replace the gear motor especially since I have one......but I've got enough projects right now!
  5. I'm re-reading an aviation book that I first read almost 40 years ago - 'THE SAGA OF IRON ANNIE' by Martin Caidin, it describes the the history of the Junkers Ju52, a German tri-motor transport developed in the 1930's and widely used in WWII and Caidin's re-building of the only flying example in the United States. This morning I turned to page 174 and at the bottom of the page is a picture of the Ju52 arriving at the Confederate (as it was known prior to political correctness) Air Force airshow in Harlingen Texas on Oct 9, 1975. A crowd of people is surrounding the airplane to congratulate the airplane and crew's arrival. The caption below the photo reads in part - "Facing the camera at far left is Randy Sohn, a master at flying any kind of war-bird".
  6. Sorry, I was thinking about that pesky one that guarantees the right to assembly, and there might be another one about unlawful taking. Never mind....
  7. In my opinion that’s already pretty much been done with these lockdowns
  8. My last REAL JOB prior to retiring and getting involved in all kinds of crazy things was as a Project Manager to repave and up-grade the lights on a aiirport runway. Runway was 4200' long by 100' wide, our contract was to mill 2" off the existing surface, repave with 2" and new lighting. We milled off the 2" and it started to rain - a lot of rain. When we started to re-pave the trucks feeding the paver (26' wide) started to break through the paving, then the original paving just disintegrated. We had to excavate certain areas 30" deep, replace the TOPSOIL that had been left in place under the paving with compacted stone. 50 some years ago when the airport had been a grass they just paved over the grass!! Original contract was 2.2 million, change order for rebuilding was $800,000.00..... This is the finished product in the area where the tri-axle was stuck
  9. Local farmers here grew tomatoes for Campbell’s in Camden NJ. Planted with an H with a super low first gear, engine at idle, a bell would ring to signal when to plant, plants were set up for cross-cultivation.
  10. The lockdown is not about the virus, it is about the election.
  11. If it comes back to life even momentarily with choke it almost has to be fuel related. Had a gas 450 with similar symptoms, someone, probably a kid, had put a handful of small stones in the tank. One stone ended up on the top of the fuel strainer inlet, wedged just tight enough to restrict the fuel flow at wide open throttle, was a bi&ch to find that one!!!
  12. Damnit! Horrible news. There is not much we can say or do to erase the physical pain and mental stresses he will face but please pass the following on to him - I have a friend named Bill, he lost his left hand (and he was left-handed) when he was eight years old. His first job out of high school was in a machine shop rebuilding engines. We both started flying about the same time, the FAA wanted to limit his license to certain airplanes - he persisted, flew 7 different planes for the examiner and got an un-restricted license. Ended up with Commercial, Instrument and Multi-Engine endorsements....and an aircraft mechanics license. Over 20,000 flight hours, the majority flying pipeline patrol. My cousin Jeff, in Viet Nam about 8 weeks, was dragging his wounded platoon Sargent into a bunker when a mortar round took off his right hand (he was left-handed). Came back home, went to Wharton Business School, retired very comfortably, now vacations in exotic spots like Easter Island an Antarctica. My niece Rita, presently living with me, just finished her first year of College on line due to the CV-19 shut-down (a History major with Secondary Education) has a deformed right hand - a ‘sort-of’ index finger and in place of her thumb is a non-working thing that looks like it should be her little finger. She is an incredible artist, bright, outgoing and refuses to be limited by her ‘little hand’. Tell Hayden to hang in there. I have tears typing this.
  13. Pretty sure WWII PT boats had V-12 Packard gasoline engines
  14. I posted this in the Pennsylvania governor’s thread in case you missed it - If you want some help in understanding what is going on in Pennsylvania you have to look at the people involved in determining policy. Dr. Rachel Levine is the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the governor’s major advisor on CV19 quarantine matters. ‘She’ is a biological male and ‘her’ medical specialty is adolescent eating disorders. The future of Pennsylvania is dark.
  15. If you want some help in understanding what is going on in Pennsylvania you have to look at the people involved in determining policy. Dr. Rachel Levine is the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the governor’s major advisor on CV19 quarantine matters. ‘She’ is a biological male and ‘her’ medical specialty is adolescent eating disorders. The future of Pennsylvania is dark.
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