I drove out to Long Island to go flying with some local plots:
Flying from Jones Beach Island to Fire Island:
Flying back across:
Coming in for a landing:
I would have flown for much longer but there was a good bit of turbulence, probably due to wind shear. Local pilots tell me it dies down towards sunset. If I ever decide to drive all the way out there again, I’ll come later in the day.
This afternoon I went for my first flight in 7 months. I was a little rusty, so it took me several attempts but I finally launched flight #115 at Randall Airport:
I was joined by fellow local pilot Eric:
Crossing the Interstate:
We flew south to the Black Dirt Region:
Returning to the airport:
There may be some trips for which a massive 5th wheel like our 2014 Avalanche 360RB is too large. I found a truck camper on Craigslist and bought it for $500. It’s a 1990 Sunline C951. The floorplan can be found on page 11 of the manual:
The truck camper needs a good bit of work, hopefully I can get everything working.
In order to bring the truck camper home, the truck needed tie-downs to attach the truck camper to the truck. I could have purchased a set for $450, but it rankled to pay almost as much for the tie-downs as the truck camper, so I decided to build tie-downs instead. I welded up a pair of rear tie-downs using a bar attached to the tow receiver:
For the front tie-downs, I based my design on commercially available tie-downs:
During construction, I installed the tie-downs to make sure the fit was correct. To tie-down the truck camper, extension bars are installed to bring a mount point out beyond the undercarriage of the truck:
Stay tuned for the rebuild of the truck camper!
My parents are visiting for Passover, so we decided to take a Chol Hamoed trip today. Our ultimate goal was the mining tour at Sterling Hill Mining Museum. On the way, we visited Jungle Habitat, an abandoned drive-through safari attraction in West Milford, New Jersey. It closed in 1976, but remnants of the old roads persist:
Adjacent to Jungle Habitat is the Greenwood Lake airport, which uses the remodeled interior of a Lockheed Constellation as the flight school office:
At last we arrived at the Sterling Hill Mining Museum. This site was an active copper and zinc mine from the 1630s to 1986. Our first stop was the miner’s locker room, which has been remodeled into a museum space:
This area is famous for its fluorescent minerals. Of the 3,500 minerals known, 357 can be found in this area, 91 of which are fluorescent, the highest concentration anywhere on Earth. 35 minerals are only found in this area:
Preparing to enter the mine:
The mine has 35 miles of tunnels on many levels, the lowest being 2,600 feet below the surface. The water table here is about 70 feet below the surface, so once the mine closed and the pumps were turned off, the lower levels flooded. The tour traverses a portion of this upper level:
Fluorescent minerals in the mine:
After the mine tour, we entered another exhibit space with fluorescent minerals: