captpackrat: (Riding a plane)

It looks like our neighborhood cropduster has upgraded from an Air Tractor AT-401 to a newer AT-602.  The 602 holds 50% more chemicals (630 gallons instead of 400), and has a much more powerful (and louder) 1050 hp Pratt & Whitney PT6A turboprop engine compared to the 401's 600 hp P&W Wasp radial engine.

According to the FAA, his old plane was sold to someone in Mexico and has been struck from the registry.  The new aircraft is N602AP.

The plane was spraying a soybean field on the other side of the trees and occasionally buzzing our house as he turned around to make another pass.

You can also hear the goats having a bit of a scuffle in the background.
captpackrat: (Camera)

Licorice is the same thing as bubble gum?

Should I get the fat free fig cookies, or the fig cookies that are fat free?

An EC-135S Cobra Ball measurement and signals intelligence (MASINT) collector plane flying low overhead on the way to Offutt Air Force Base.

I was taking the dogs for walkies when I came across this tiny little snake in the driveway.  The dogs somehow managed to not see the snake; one of them actually stepped on it, though it didn't appear to do any harm.

The first flowers of Spring.  (It's Common Field Speedwell)
captpackrat: (Grinning plane)

It's just what I've always wanted!
captpackrat: (Gadget Curious)
Yesterday I heard the roar of a crop duster in the distance.  I couldn't figure out what it was, because there aren't any crops around here this time of year, and most of the fields have a foot or so of snow in them.

I found out later they were using crop dusters to spray coal ash over the frozen Platte river.  There's been so much snow and the weather has been so cold that when it starts to warm up, the ice in the river is going to jam up and cause massive flooding.  They're hoping the black coal ash will absorb the heat from the sun and cause the ice to break into smaller pieces, preventing an ice jam.
captpackrat: (Camera)
Just some miscellaneous photos I took today.

It's a cow. The farmers often let their cows out in the corn fields after the harvest. The cows nom on the corn the combines missed.

Raccoon face. I tossed the raccoon some animal crackers and took pictures, but none of them came out.

This is (I think) an RC-135S "Cobra Ball" Measurement And Signal Intelligence (MASINT) aircraft. They are designed to monitor ballistic missiles at long range. There are only 3 of these aircraft in service, all stationed at Offutt AFB. This particular one passed very close overhead this afternoon.

An old sign on a one-lane bridge near here. It was knocked over who knows how long ago. I think it's supposed to say "CAP [something] TONS". Guess we'll never know how much that old bridge can carry. It appears one of the farmers around here has some equipment that is slightly too big for the bridge, because the railings and all the metal signs near it have been knocked down or removed. Only the flexible plastic markers are still there.
captpackrat: (Riding a plane)

I only got one shot of this plane.  I didn't realize it when I took the shot that this wasn't the usual Air Tractor that works the area.  This plane is a 1974 Cessna A188B AGtruck.
captpackrat: (Riding a plane)
I got woken up this morning by a plane buzzing the house. I'm pretty sure it's the same Air Tractor that I've taken pictures of in the past.  He was spraying the corn fields just to the south of us.  I managed to get outside in time to take some video footage.

I'm still hoping to catch him spraying the small field out front.  It requires him to dodge trees and power lines then pull up at the last second to avoid the barn.  I missed it last year, but my roommate assures me it was quite spectacular.

If the embedded player doesn't work, try this direct link to YouTube.


Jul. 19th, 2009 12:25 am
captpackrat: (Camera)
As always, clicky for full size.

Creative sign outside the Louisville Art Gallery.

I don't think this coal chute is going to do much good.  The date stamped on it reads 1927.  The sidewalk is obviously much higher now than it was in the past.

Any ideas what this might have once been for?  It's clearly been there a long time.  It appears that you are supposed to fit a crank to it and it would turn the ratcheting mechanism above.  Beyond that, I have no idea.   It was manufactured by Wolf Bros & Co of Omaha.

EDIT:  After a bit of Googling, I found an entry in the 1890 U.P.R.R. Gazetteer for Wolf Bros, indicating they manufactured "awnings, tents, drop curtains, wagon and seat covers, tarpaulins, umbrella, etc", so this was probably for raising and lowering an awning.

Birds on a wire

I left the garage door open for a while.  When I closed it this afternoon, I found this frog hanging on the side of the wall underneath where the door had been.  I guess it was nice and cool under there.

Sheep & Goats!  The goats have gotten big enough they can't easily fit through the fence anymore, but more importantly, they've learned that the barn is their home and a place of safety.  They're extremely curious and have to explore everywhere, but they also startle easily and the slightest thing will set them running for the barn door.

Crop duster, heading this way.

Look out!  Incoming!

There are several of these around here.  The individual flowers are quite small, but they make a cluster about 6-9 inches across.

captpackrat: (Gadget Spacesuit)

This is a photo of one of the Shuttle mount points on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.  Click to zoom in.

captpackrat: (Riding a plane)
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which brought you hour-long lines, top secret no-fly lists, taking your shoes off, and banning screwdrivers and jelly doughnuts, is making another grab for power.  They are proposing to regulate all "large" aircraft in the same fashion as the airlines:  passengers will have to be screened through the no-fly list, the same forbidden item list will apply, all crew members will have to undergo fingerprinting and background checks, and the aircraft would have to be stored in a TSA-approved secured facility both at home and away.  Each operator of a "large" aircraft would have to appoint a security administrator and undergo security audits by an outside inspector.

At first this sounds OK, until you realize that the term "large aircraft" was defined in the 1940's as any aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 12,500 pounds.  This includes bizjets like the Cessna Citation II or the Learjet 35 as well as larger prop planes like the Beech King Air 350 and the DC-3

Some of these aircraft are owned by private individuals, many of whom fly their own planes.  Doesn't matter.  The owner would still have to be fingerprinted and undergo a background check just to fly his own airplane!  And he couldn't bring a bottle of water, gel insoles, more than 3 ounces of shampoo, a letter opener or a screwdriver on his own airplane!  

This proposal will decimate the aircraft industry.  Compliance with these new regulations will be very expensive (not to mention invasive of privacy), and with the rising cost of jet fuel and avgas, many companies and individuals who would have purchased a business aircraft will look elsewhere for their transportation needs.

If this passes, it will only be a matter of time until the TSA tries to apply it to all aircraft regardless of size.

captpackrat: (Riding a plane)
I got woken up this morning by an airplane buzzing by the house.  I figured it was our friend in the Air Tractor, and he sounded even closer, so I started getting dressed.  It took him a while to do the field Saturday, so I didn't hurry or anything.  Had I known what was actually going on, I'd have just thrown on my bathrobe and raced outside.

By the time I finished dressing and changing filters on my camera, it was too late, the pilot had left the area.  Then my roommate told me the plane had been spraying the soybean field right in front of the house.  I'm really annoyed that I missed that, because it must have been an aerobatic extravaganza to rival the Blue Angels.  This particular field is rather small, only about 6 acres, and is bordered on the north and south by tall trees and there is a 3 story barn less than 10 yards from the eastern edge.  And to make things even more difficult, there are telephone wires running east-west across the middle of the field, and then north-south across the road on the western edge.  He would have had to do some awfully skillful maneuvering to cover the whole field.

I'm rather annoyed that I missed the whole thing.
captpackrat: (Riding a plane)
Buzzing around just about a mile west of here this morning was an Air Tractor AT-401, N-number N1012D, spraying a field of soybeans.

Click images to enlarge.
captpackrat: (Fighter Drawing)
Way out in big town airport, in hanger #4
Lived a lonely little biplane, his name was Evermore.
His working days were over, and no more did he sail,
Upon his wings, above the clouds, flying the U.S. Mail.

All the mighty jet planes looked down their nose at him.
They'd laugh and say, "I'm glad that we're not one of them."
And Evermore would shake away the teardrops from his wings,
And dream of days when he again could do heroic things.

Bye bye, biplane, once upon a sky plane,
If they'd let you try, plane, biplane Evermore.

Then one day the fog and rain had closed the airport down,
And all the mighty jet planes were helpless on the ground,
When a call came to the airport, for a mercy flight.
Would be too late, they could not wait, someone must fly tonight.

Bye bye, biplane, once upon a sky plane,
If they'd let you try, plane, biplane Evermore.

They rolled the little biplane out to runway #5.
And though he looked so small and weak, they knew he could survive.
And as he rose into the storm, the big jets hung their wings,
And hoped someday, like Evermore, to do heroic things.

Bye bye, biplane, once again a sky plane,
Now they let you try, plane, biplane Evermore.
captpackrat: (Gadget Spacesuit)

Photos from the Strategic Air and Space Museum (previously called the Strategic Air Command Museum) in Ashland, NE.
captpackrat: (Mathnet)
I've been reading about the various absurdities committed in the name of airline safety in the past 5 years, but I think this one takes the cake donut.

The War on Terror claims doughnuts
By John Oates - The Register
Published Monday 4th December 2006 12:13 GMT

Airport security is a serious business, but why was a Reg reader refused a Krispy Kreme doughnut at Heathrow airport?

Admittedly, the sugared snacks contain enough cooking oil and sugar to power a trailer park, but who knew they could be fashioned into bombs?

On Saturday afternoon a Reg reader was dropping some friends at Heathrow and stopped off at Krispy Kreme doughnuts outside Terminal 3.

But the reader was directed to the unstuffed ring doughnuts rather than a full-fat, fully stuffed Krispy Kreme special because the fillings fall foul of security restrictions.

"Imagine our confusion when the guy serving us advised that we could only buy ring doughnuts, not filled, circular doughnuts. A moment or two's wrangling in broken English and we discovered that he thought we were outbound passengers.

On further questioning, apparently the liquid contents of a filled doughnut fall foul of the new restrictions on liquids in carry on luggage. Quite how the authorities imagine that a terrorist could blow up a 747 by rubbing two Krispy Kremes together was a bit beyond us.

But a spokesman for BAA denied they were stamping on Homer's favourite food. He said: "Passengers can take liquids in 100ml bottles carrried in a clear plastic bag. But passengers use common sense on foodstuffs. Sandwich fillings and the like are not restricted."

In fact, the only foods still on the restricted list are: "Liquid-based foods, sauces, stews, soups over 100ml in size."

Drinks suffer the same restrictions, but there is no mention of doughnuts.

The real restrictions are available here on BAA's site.


Jun. 14th, 2005 10:04 pm
captpackrat: (Salute)
[Poll #513282]


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