Showing posts from August, 2018

Visiting the Mendocino Complex fire - a trip to an old research site.

Bob Timm holds a piece of melted metal from a shed burned in the River Fire. The Mendocino Complex fire is now the largest fire ever to have occurred in California, consisting of two fires, the River Fire and the Ranch Fire. As I write this, the River Fire covers 48,920 acres, and is 100% contained. The larger Ranch Fire covers 366,086 acres, and containment is listed as 67%. It is already listed as the largest recorded fire complex in California history. I spent the years 1986-1991 working at the Hopland Field Station, a University of California research station (and now called the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center).  We lived and worked on the station for 4 years, then moved about 8 miles north.  The River Fire actually started across the Russian River near Russian River Estates, a stone's throw from where we used to live.   Bob Timm points to where the River Fire started.   Apparently, the cause was errant sparks from a dangling trailer

When you think a wheel has fallen off your aircraft...

View of the Spiral Jetty in the Great Salt Lake from a Cessna 172.  Can you see the people standing in the center? Eons ago, I took enough private pilot lessons to solo.  Today, there was a note in our local newspaper regarding a student pilot (flying one of USU's fleet of Diamond Star 40 aircraft) reporting an "Alert 2" issue (indicating that an aircr aft is having major difficulties, and a difficult or crash landing may be expected). Wesley went through his private pilot training with this program  and this aircraft. I'm glad students are trained to react accordingly when there is a potential emergency. Wesley as pilot... do we look worried? The Alert 2 article reminded me of my own experience with an "indicates that an aircraft is having major difficulties" event.  And I have no memory of thinking or even knowing about this alert system.  I was just going to broadcast a "Has my wheel fallen off?" message