Napa Earthquake 6.0

I was awake in Sunnyvale around 3 am during the 6.0 “Napa Earthquake” (officially the “American Canyon Earthquake”.)

I knew immediately it was over 5.0 because the walls were moving and groaning, for about 30 seconds.

Napa suffered almost 200 injuries and several historic brick buildings were heavily damaged due to the shallow quake only a few miles away. 911 was briefly overwhelmed, 64,000 were left without power and fire broke out.

Thousands of bottles and barrels of wine fell down.

USA Today: 120 injured, 3 critical after Napa, California quake

Bay Area Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) Rentals

Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) have two advantages:

  1. lower rental cost and lower fuel burn, typically around 4 gallons/hour
  2. can fly with “drivers licence medical” instead of FAA airman medical.
Airport FBO Airplane Tail Price (Block)/hr Verified Notes
RHV AeroDynamic (formerly Amelia’s) Evektor SportStar N712MF $104 ($94.55) 2014-08-01 544 useful load, 17.2 fuel
RHV Tradewinds Remos GX N113GX $108 2014-08-01 650 useful load, 22 fuel
RHV Tradewinds Remos G-3 N188WA $108 2014-08-01 620 useful load, 21 fuel
PAO WVFC Cessna 162/G N5207R $109 2014-08-01 456 useful load, 24 fuel, G300
PAO WVFC Cessna 162/G N5207Z $99 2014-08-01 461 useful load, 24 fuel, G300
SQL San Carlos Flight Center Cessna 162 N5210H $125 2014-08-01 449 useful load, 24 fuel, G300
KWVI AeroDynamic (formerly Amelia’s) Aeronca Champ 7AC N2791E $81 ($73.64) 2014-08-01 459 useful load, 18 fuel

wikipedia: Light-sport aircraft

Other Resources

San Carlos Aviation & Supply Inc. (San Carlos Pilot Shoppe) – Open weekends
Crosswind Training Simulator at SQL

If you have any comments or corrections, please leave a comment.

Garmin GPSMap 96C GPS Updates

Garmin 96C
Originally, the Garmin 96C shipped with a 2006 GPS database.

The Feb. 2011 obstacle database size increased enough to require a new version of the software, 3.0.0.

The 96C software update steps are:

  1. connect USB cable (regular to mini) from 96C to Windows computer. The 96C USB port is located underneath the rubber circular cover, while the narrow oval cover is for the external antenna connector. Both covers can be easily pried up without removing the screws. Almost all Garmin GPSes use the same USB cable. Turn GPS on.
  2. you will be alerted if you need to install a Windows USB driver, if not download USB driver (free download) from Garmin and install first
  3. Backup custom waypoints, flightlog, etc.
  4. Install 96C Version 3.0.0 software (free download from Garmin)
  5. verify successful software installation (choose Menu … System … Software Version). It should say 3.0.0.
  6. Purchase new map database from Garmin ($50) or buy a coupon from ebay ($40.)

Garmin Aviation databases are updated every 28 days.

FAA Certificate and Rating Price Chart for 2014

I just passed my FAA ATP Part 121 written exam, and the escalating price of training came up in conversation when I was at the airport.

FAA Cert./Rating Min. (Part 141/61) 2000 2014 How to Save Money
Sport 20 hours NA $5,000 choose experienced CFI
Recreational 30 hours $3,000 $7,000 choose experienced CFI
Private 35/40 hours $5,000 $10,000 choose experienced CFI
IFR 40 hours $5,000 $10,000 practise with PC simulator
Multiengine add-on 10* hours $1,000 $3,000 choose experienced CFI
Commercial 190/250 hours $25,000 $50,000 instruct or consider buying a plane if you want ATP
ATP CTP (groundschool)***   NA $5,000 write exam before Aug. 2014
ATP Sim (motion)***   NA $15,000 write exam before Aug. 2014 or combine with type rating
ATP-R (Part 141 only) 1,000/1,200 hours NA $150,000-$200,000 instruct or buy a plane
ATP (Part 61) 1,500 hours Free** $100,000-$200,000 instruct (hard to get 500 hours x-country though) or buy a plane

* = approximate average flight hours needed
** = airline pilot applicants could get hired with only a Commercial and build hours toward ATP B.C. (Before Colgan accident)
*** = only required for ATP with class multi and/or getting ATP during type rating (ie. potential airline pilot)

A member on PPRuNE wrote: “There can not be a SIC on a single pilot a/c, but there can be numerous PIC’s. PIC time for the person who signed for the a/c; PIC time for the person who is the sole manipulator; PIC for the safety pilot(if the sole manipulator is “under the hood”); PIC for the IP and the student(if the student already has a ASEL rating. Any of the above combinations are acceptable. Get this… Sole manip under the hood, safety pilot beside him in front seat, pilot who signed for a/c in the back seat( if s/he is a certificated IP or check airman)— all can log PIC under FAA rules. I didn’t make the rules and do not necessarily agree with this practice, but that is how the FAR’s are written. While the latter example is theoretically correct and legal, I think it would be a stretch to log time in that manner. ”

Please leave a comment with any suggestions or corrections.

AC 61-138 – Airline Transport Pilot Certification Training Program
CTPs: All ATPs,
wikipedia: Pilot Certification
How Regional Airlines might deal with new ATP written requirements

Jeppesen Tech Star Flight Computer Manual

I haven’t seen any Jeppesen Tech Star Flight Computer manuals online, so here’s a feature summary.


  • uses 4xAAA batteries, thus prone to corrosion
  • comes with plastic film to protect keyboard (leave it on)
  • math calculations are instant, but menu takes 2 seconds
  • arrow keys not used
  • no constant memory
  • no Mach calculations


Menus are simple … what you see is what you get. That’s all.
right function button – input value from current display
CMP right function button – calculate output


RCL RCL- view all 6 memory locations
STO 1-6 – save current display value to a memory location
RCL 1-6 – restore memory location to current display value

Missing Features

Use the following formula to calculate TAS from Mach number:

TAS = approximate square root to one decimal place(Celsius + 273.15) * 38.94 * Mach number