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bigedmustafa
Omaha, NE
June 2005
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Omahawks R/C Club
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Most recent blog posts are displayed first.
Big Ed Mustafa's 12 Steps for Enya Engine Addiction
1) I admit that I powerless to resist the allure of Enya engines.

2) I understand that a higher power (Ken Enya) can help me with regard to my lust for Enya engines.

3) I have made a choice to turn my life over to Ken Enya

4) I have made a fearless moral inventory of my RC air fleet

5) I have admitted to Ken Enya and another human being the mistakes and the shortcomings of my engine collection

6) I was entirely ready to have Ken Enya remove/replace these defects in my engine collection

7) I humbly asked Ken Enya to charge my Platinum Visa card to replace my engine collection's shortcomings (particularly any Evolution glow engines).

8) I made a list of all of the people I have harmed by suggesting they try Evolution or Aviastar glow engines, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9) I made direct amends to such people whenever possible, unless the flying of non-Enya glow engines had already converted them to all electric aircraft.

10) I continued to take a personal inventory my glow engines, and when I found an Evolution or Aviastar glow engine I promptly admitted it.

11) I sought through e-mail to improve my concious contact with Ken Enya, searching only for knowledge of Ken Enya's will for my RC fleet and the power to carry it out.

12) Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, I tried to carry this message to other Enya engine addicts, and to practice these principles in all of my affairs.

 
  Posted by:  bigedmustafa on April 05 2011
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Pouring Salt on the Wound
I have a flying buddy, Bob, who was one of my instructors when I first starting flying in 2005. We were at a club meeting a couple of weeks ago and Bob was telling me about all of the problems he's had with his new Spektrum DX8.

Bob was telling me about how he just sent his radio in for the third time to get checked out again. It had been losing about 10 times the frames of the other pilots' DX8 transmitters while flying indoors, and he'd been getting more lockouts and lost binds even after the second service check. Bob got his radio back after its third trip in to customer service, and it came back with a note that said, "No problem found." It wouldn't turn on, however, because the technician who looked at Bob's radio had let his new 2500Mah LiPo transmitter battery discharge to zero.

Bob got the customer service manager on the phone and was quickly promised a new replacement DX8 along with a free replacement LiPo transmitter battery. Horizon Hobby really does have a (deservedly) great reputation for taking care of customers. Bob had just been through the ringer with his new Spektrum DX8, and a communication problem at the service depot had led to Bob's bad transmitter being returned and his battery being run dead.

Bob told me that he was happy that Spektrum had stepped up and taken care of everything quickly and apologetically. I told him I was glad to hear it.

A few days later, Bob and I were both out for one of the last indoor flying opportunities of the winter before the local indoor volleyball complex started up spring leagues were we fly. I walked up to the table where Bob was sitting, cracked open my helicopter case, and pulled out my Airtronics SD-10g.

Bob was sitting facing the flight line and hadn't noticed me walking up behind him as he watched some of our buddies fly. I stuck the SD-10g out in front of Bob and he looked down at it.

"Hey Bob," I inquired, "have I told you about what happened with my Airtronics SD-10g yet?"

"No, man, what happened?" Bob replied.

"Not a thing," I said grinning, "I pulled it new out of the box last July, and it's been just perfect ever since then!"
 
  Posted by:  bigedmustafa on April 05 2011
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So Many Different Ways to Fly

I just finished adding yet another new model to my virtual hangar here at RC Universe, and it was fun looking back at the recently added models and seeing a bunch of new "firsts" in the collection:

-Great Planes Electrifly L-39 Albatross: first EDF jet

-Thunder Tiger eHawk 1500:  first electric sail plane

-Thunder Tiger Pitts Special 40 ARF:  first glow-powered biplane

-Phoenix Models Super Decathlon:  first scale model

-Thunder Tiger Mini Titan e325:  first eCCPM helicopter

After six full seasons of flying, I'm still having a lot of fun every year trying new kinds of planes, new kinds of flying, and participating in (for me anyway) new kinds of events.

Everybody eventually finds their niche in the hobby.  Some guys really like to fly warbirds, some guys really like to fly giant scale gas aerobats, and I just really seem to gravitate toward flying anything and everything that I can fit in my car.

The most boring kind of model flight that I've tried was infinitely more fun than hanging out on my sofa and watching T.V.  I want to try it all, but there are a couple of kinds of flying that are tough to do here in Nebraska.  Dynamic soaring, for example, is tough to get involved in without a mountain from which to fly. 

I enjoy float flying, but it's difficult to do when you have to compete against boaters and fishermen on weekends.  The retired guys really have an advantage when it comes to flying from water.  Hopefully I'll be able to join them, but I've still got another 25 or 30 years left to go before I can join the Gray Panthers out at the flying field on Wednesday mornings.

Looking back on last season was really a joy this winter.  Trying new things and jumping into events I hadn't participated in previously really kept things fresh and fun.  I don't know what I'll be trying next, but I know I'll be continuing to search for new kinds of flying fun and fresh opportunities to fly with my flying buddies in different and enjoyable ways.

If there is a certain kind of rc aircraft or a certain style of model flying that you haven't tried yet, my advice is to give it a shot!  There are so many different ways to enjoy the sport of RC flying, and it seems like most pilots have barely tried a portion of them.  If you add free flight and control line flying, then the list of flying choices grows even larger.

The challenge?  Figure out something you've never tried before, and see if you can talk three or four of your flying buddies into joining you while you check it out.  The results can be an absolute blast!

 
  Posted by:  bigedmustafa on February 24 2011
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The joy of flight

I always bristle a little bit when people talk about "getting bored" with trainers. I have been actively flying for six seasons now and I've at least dabbled in pattern flying, 3D flying, pylon racing, combat, gliders, helicopters, indoor flying, EDF jets, old timers, and instructing (jack of all trades, master of none).

I always keep a trainer or two around in my hangar, currently my Protege .60 and my Apache III, and I don't always fly them just when I'm training students.

A good aileron trainer is always fun for me to take to the field. I don't always want to fly 100mph or spend the afternoon perfecting my Half Reverse Cuban Eights. I might want to simply shoot some touch-and-go passes, or just cruise around and enjoy some relaxing flying while I chat with the guys. Maybe if I didn't have the luxury of getting out to the field three or four times per week, I'd be a little more focused on only flying one specific plane. I usually fly 3 or 4 times per week, however, and I enjoy mixing things up. My trainer airplanes are a big part of the mix.

I have planes at different ends of the performance spectrum. I have a GWS Slow Stick that I fly with a stock brushed GWS motor and ESC and I have an Ace Staudacher S-300 with digital servos and a Thunder Tiger F-91s four stroke. Which one do I like better? Whichever one I happen to be flying at the time.

Pilots who constantly push themselves to bigger, faster, and more exciting aircraft seem to often burn themselves out of this hobby. They get frustrated when they hit the wall with regard to either their personal level of talent or their maximum hobby budget. Save yourself some time and just go bungie jumping or travel to Spain and run with the bulls. Plowing your way through trainers and sport planes or different sizes of TREX helicopters just so you can find out how much it sucks to watch your turbine-powered F15 burn up or smash your Raptor .90 helicopter into a parked car won't make for a rewarding hobby.

If the idea of standing in a field with the sun on your face as you work your way through a pile of charged flight batteries for your Slow Stick or Easy Star sounds like a great way to spend an afternoon, then you will definitely be involved in this sport for a long time. The joy is in simply flying, and not always "pushing the envelope" or pressing on to bigger and better things. You are the kind of pilot who will likely never get "bored" with a high wing trainer.

 
  Posted by:  bigedmustafa on May 19 2010
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Just Eight More Months Until Winter

Until yesterday, the last time I flew a glow plane was November 26, 2009.  112 days later, it was finally nice enough to head outside and fire up a glow engine on March 17, 2010.

I know I'm just being a bit of a wussie.  My club hosts a "First Fly of the Year" event every January 1st, and a "Winter Festival" on the Saturday before Valentine's Day every February.  I chose to keep my planes home for both events, although I did shoot a little bit of video for the Winter Festival:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JzVrcelk2U

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnK0y6Ai37c

I just don't enjoy going outside and flying when the mercury dips below 50F or so.

It's not like I didn't fly at all.  I took my Slow Stick to the indoor soccer center a few times and enjoyed some electric indoor flying.  I bought a Thunder Tiger Mini Titan E325 electric helicopter last fall, and I've got a chance to fly that a bit indoors this winter as well.  I even made the jump from Real Flight G3.5 to Real Flight G5 upgrade this winter.  I've been flying planes and helicopters all through the harsh Nebraska winter.

I have fun flying electric aircraft, but to me they'll always be a consolation for when flying my glow planes just isn't practical.  I love the noise and the mess of a good glow engine.  I can understand all the folks who prefer electric aircraft, it seems perfectly logical to me as well.  My love of glow engines isn't rational.  Somehow the extra noise and the fuss all just adds to fun.

I didn't make a big fuss out of getting out last night, even though it was an almost perfect evening for March flying.  It was about 55F and sunny late yesterday afternoon, and the wind was limited to the occassional 5 mph gust.  I packed my Great Planes Rapture 40 in the car along with my field equipment.  I figured if I just got my field box and equipment charged up that I'd be happy; any actual flights would be a bonus.

I got my field box battery and glow ignitor charged up.  I got my transmitter and receiver batteries topped up.  I got a chance to hang out and chat with a few of the guys and talk their ears off about all of the fun club flying events we have planned for the coming months.

After plenty of hanging out and charging up my batteries, I decided to take the Rapture up.  The Enya 45CX fired up after just a bit of persuasion from my electric starter.  The low end was just a tad rich for the evening's weather conditions, but otherwise the engine seemed like it was ready to go.

I was surprised at how nervous I was before taking off.  I've been flying for five years now, and I'd been keeping my fingers working all winter on the simulator and my electric aircraft.  The Rapture was an easy choice for my first flight of spring because it's such a stable and predictable flyer with no bad habits.  None the less, my heart was pounding as I fired up the plane and readied it for take off.

The Rapture 40 didn't share any of my apprehensions regarding this first flight of spring.  I was surprised at how quickly the tail lifted up and the whole plane started to lift off the runway even before I expected it to take to the air.  I must have left a little too much "up elevator" in the trim tab last fall.  Once it was in the air, however, the positive elevator trim seemed to smooth out.  The plane would tend to climb at wide open throttle, but seemed to fly level as expected at 1/2 throttle.

I buzzed around the airfield for about seven or ten minutes in a typical circuit pattern.  I mixed in my usual assortment of loops and rolls pretty regularly, while tossing in the occassional knife edge pass or half reverse Cuban eight just to keep things interesting.  I did a couple of inverted circuits, and I was pleasantly reminded of how comfortable and stable the Rapture 40 is when it's upside down.

I decided it was about time to wrap up my flight, when a new wave of nervous tension washed over me.  I was going to have to actually LAND this thing, too!

The Rapture has always been a pleasure to land, but I hadn't put a plane down on asphalt in almost four months.  Since the engine had seemed a tad rich on the low end, I'd bumped the idle speed up ever so slightly before taking off.  Now, while making my final approach, the airplane seemed to be coming in blazingly fast. 

"There's no way I can set it down and stop it at this..." I thought to myself.  The wheels touched down on the asphalt right in the center of the runway and the plane slowed itself down as expected.  "...rate of speed."  I was still sure the landing was going to end in disaster even as I watched myself put the airplane down smoothly and hit the throttle cut to end my taxi run.  "Wow!" I couldn't help but chuckle to myself, "Maybe I haven't forgetten everything over the last few months."

A couple of the guys congratulated me on greasing in such a nice, smooth landing.  I hung out and watched a couple of the other guys enjoy some flying time.  One of the new club members, Chris, had brought his young son, Ryan, out with him while he flew.  Ryan was bouncing all over the flying field and talking to all of the pilots about their planes and asked about a thousand questions.  Ryans enthusiasm was infectious, and we all smiled as we took turns being grilled by our pint-sized inquisitor.

As the evening started to grow long, I went up for another flight.  I was more relaxed this time, and I enjoyed wringing out the plane a bit more than during my first flight of the evening.  After I flew for a second time, Ryan's dad and I finally talked Ryan into trying to take his Hobbyzone Mini Super Cub up for a flight.  We had a good time helping Ryan taxi his airplane around, and Chris finally took Ryan's controller and got the little Super Cub airborne for a short but successful flight.  It was a fun way to end an evening's worth of flying.

I drove home from the field after shutting and locking the gate behind me.  I was grinning from ear to ear as I realized that that evening was the most fun I'd had in about 112 days or so.  My hands smelled like glow exhaust for the first time in a long time, and I almost hated to wash them once I got home.

Nothing beats a great evening of flying glow planes out in the sunshine.  I don't know if our next snow storm here in Nebraska is eight hours away or eight months away.  All I know is I want to have a lot more evenings like last evening before I have shovel my car out of its parking space again!

 
  Posted by:  bigedmustafa on March 18 2010 | Edited  March 18 2010
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