MacGyver and Chuck Norris Crash Land on an Isolated Desert Island…

From the wreckage, they salvage 10 o-rings, 1 roll of safety wire, 6 reducers, and 12 nuts. How do they get off the island?

We asked fearless pilots on possible plans to evacuate Mac and Chuck off the island. SkyGeek fan Jeff Bauer (possible relation to Jack), devised an ingenious plan to save our heroes.

MacGyver dusted the sand out of his disheveled hair and stood on the beach, his legs wobbly and head still swimming from the crash. Before him turquoise waters splashed gently around the lush green uninhabited desert island while behind him the remains of the crash carved an ugly scar into the jungle flora. He turned and surveyed the damage. Few parts of the craft remained and what wasn’t turned to slag from the heat was unrecognizable and unusable.

“Here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into,” said a sarcastic voice behind him, “How are we going to get off this island, genius?”

MacGyver turned back towards the beach and saw Chuck Norris strutting up the beach, his hands holding a small cardboard box.

“Maybe if we were Laurel and Hardy we’d consider this a mess. I consider this a challenge. What do you have there?”

“Well, luckily the package of supplies from SkyGeek ejected before we crashed. I was able to run across the water and retrieve it before it sank. They sure packed the hell out of it, luckily.”

MacGyver raised his eyebrows and stuck out his hand. Chuck removed the super adhesive packing tape with a one-finger tae kwon do move and handed over the box, packing peanuts spilling onto the white sand.

“Hmm, let’s see; some O-rings, safety wire, reducers and nuts. Not much to work with,” said MacGyver, pulling out the parts from the box. He paused and looked around the island, looking for inspiration.

“I have confidence in you, Mac. The secret of my success is an overabundance of confidence. It’s gotten me far,” offered Chuck helpfully.

“I’m going to need tree trunks from those palm trees and lots of palms,” said MacGyver, hands waving towards the overabundance of palm trees swaying gently in the cool ocean breeze. Chuck dusted off his hands, nodded and walked purposefully over to the tree line. Soon the air was filled with the sounds of flying side kicks, knife hand chops, karate yells and splintering trees. MacGyver passed the time doodling out his plans in the flat clean sand nearest the water’s edge. A crab sauntered across his sandy workspace, leaving a trail of claw marks on his drawing.

Two hours later they both stood back, admiring their work. Nestled snugly between the boles of two large and supple palm trees stood their flying contraption, a device that even Rube Goldberg would find complex. Each of the long elegant wings was covered in palm leaves, secured to the wooden wing spars with safety wire. Evenly spaced along the length of the wings shiny nuts glistened among the fronds, wire threading them snugly to the bamboo ribs. In the center of the odd-looking craft a clump of bamboo poles lashed together with o-rings formed the lightweight fuselage. In the front, where the wing spar met the fuselage, a tiny joy stick fashioned from green bamboo sat in the middle of a complex array of wire fed through reducers led to primitive ailerons, elevators and a rudder all made from woven coconut shells. The plane sat pointed to the sky at a 30 degree angle, the large palm trees bent over and secured with lashed vines.

MacGyver looked up into the sky. To the east a line of growing cumulonimbus clouds signaled the approach of a storm. The sail plane jostled in its cradle as the winds began to pick up.

“I’ve calculated that if we can get to 2,000 feet right in front of that storm we should be able to pick up thermals and ride them back all the way to the continent and civilization,” said MacGyver, a thin line of sand dribbling from his fingers as he judged the wind direction.

“The only problem is how to we get that high up to start?”

Chuck patted MacGyver on the shoulder. “I got that. Load up.”

MacGyver shrugged and clambered up the palm trees and onto the top of the fuselage, his legs intertwined into the bamboo for support and tested the flight controls one last time with the bamboo joy stick.

Chuck slapped his hands together smartly, the loud clap rivaling the rumbles from the approach storm and rubbed his hands together rapidly. He took a large breath, yelled loudly and simultaneously hand chopped the vines holding the plane on the ground while performing a 360 flying side kick into the trees. His forward momentum, coupled with the released energy from the bent-over trees, propelled the craft and the two extraordinary inhabitants high into the sky. Directly behind them the fringes of the storm caught the plane and buffeted it up into the sky. Below them the lush green island disappeared from view.

“Guess we really are Sky Geeks today,” yelled MacGyver as he expertly flew the sail plane ahead of the storm, buffeting wildly.

“The word ‘geek’ and ‘Chuck Norris’ never go together,” growled Chuck Norris as they sailed into the sunset and towards home.

Story Time – SkyGeek Style!

A tidal wave of jewelry commercials is usually a good sign that Valentines Day is approaching. Well, that wave was spotted, and it reminded me of a Valentines Day story I hadn’t thought of in a while. I asked the Chief Geek if I could share, so here goes.

I’ve never been a fan of Valentines Day, for all the classic Hallmark Holiday reasons. Accordingly, a few years ago I began to complain about it to my friend over some lunch. I stated my argument for why I loathed participation in the Day, and my friend agreed to some degree. However, his ultimate response was along the llines of “Either way, you have to get her some flowers or jewelry or something, or else you’re in biiiiig trouble with the girlfriend.”

To this, I responded with “Even if I agreed to partake, it wouldn’t be about buying red roses and candy, it would be about showing her I care. What you rely on roses for, I could accomplish with…I don’t know…batteries. I could give batteries and make it work”.

Well, the gauntlet was thrown down, and the bet was on. $50 that I wouldn’t give her batteries for Valentines Day. Luckily, I had a girlfriend with a sense of humor, so this would be my approach.

On Valentines Day, I arrived at my girlfriends house. She opened the door, and at first didn’t recognize me. I was dressed in plad pants jacked up to my stomach, a tucked in pink shirt, knee high socks, thick black glasses (with tape) and had my hair matted down on my forehead. The kicker – was the closepin on my nose.

I was a full blown nerd with a box in my hand. She immediately laughed and asked “what the heck are you doing?” I responded in a nasally voice – “I’m here to win your heart lass, and I have a gift for you”. I handed her a heart shaped candy box and she opened it while laughing. In the box, in place of all the candy I removed (and ate), was an array of different batteries. Accompanying those batteries, was a “battery identification” card telling her what each battery was for – like in a box of candy. For example,  one set of batteries was identified as “Batteries for your discman, so you can listen to Tiny Dancer (favorite song) whenever you want” – and so on. Along with these personalize battery notes, was a message “I took out the marshmellow battery, cuz I know you don’t like those” (doesn’t like the marshmellow candies).

Well, not only did I accomplish the laughing aspect, she actually loved all the messages and couldn’t have been happier. When she asked why I did it, I told her about my conversation with Jay – and the bet. I was careful to reinforce the fact that it wasn’t about the $50, it was to prove we don’t need flowers and candy to enjoj Valentines Day…because what we have is special.

So it all worked out on that day. My friend Jay was shocked, she was happy – I had pulled it off and made a special day of it. About a year later, turns out the specialness didn’t last…but such is life.

Still leaves me wondering, dressing up like a Geek that day and having so much fun, did that have anything to do with me becoming a SkyGeek?  Never know.

So that’s my Valentines Day Geek story – SkyGeek story now. If any of you out there in SkyGeek land think you have what it takes to pull off giving batteries on Valentines Day, here’ some links to pick up the batteries on the cheap. That, or if you just need batteries (cuz honestly, the stars have to allign just right to pull this type of thing off).

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Down to the Wire – SkyGeek Style

What duct tape is to the HVAC community, safety wire is to the aviation community. If you need something done, chances are…it all comes down to the wire.

Because safety wire is utilized so often, we thought we’d run through some quick points and tips regarding what it’s used for, how to use it, and what the different variations are.

Safety wire has many uses, but the most common application is using it to secure the nuts and bolts of your aircraft. It can also help prevent other parts of the aircraft from vibrating loose – or even off. Needless to say (but we’ll say it anyway) safety wire is incredibly important to have.

Safety Wire can be used for:

  1. Securing nuts and bolts (ie. Carb nuts and Prop bolts)
  2. As hose clamps around the fuel lines, fuel pump, carb, or primer bulb.
  3. Probe clamp replacements
  4. Exhaust springs
  5. The rotary valve tank clamps
  6. Securing your air filters to your carbs
  7. Spark plug caps
  8. Much More

Stainless steel is by far the highest quality material used for safety wire, and it comes in a variety of different thickness. Let’s go over a few of the most common thicknesses and the attributes and uses of each.

.020 is very thin and can bend around almost anything. It’s not as strong as other thicknesses, but it is ideal for safety wiring things where you need to bend the wire around a lot of corners such as light bolts or fittings.

.032 is probably the most common size. It’s easy to work with; it’s strong and should work on anything you might need to use safety wire on.

.041 is extremely strong due to its thickness but can be stiff and difficult to work with for intricate wiring. It won’t tighten around a tight radius; you use it on wide radius turns where high strength requires the extra strength.

When working with safety wire, you’ll come to realize that having safety wire pliers or an entire safety wiring kit is pretty much essential. The pliers / winders make doing the job a heck of a lot easier, a heck of a lot faster and heck of a lot safer. Using safety wire pliers helps to ensure that the safety wire is applied with the right tightness and strength.

Here are a few guidelines to follow when applying safety wire.

  1. The first thing you’ll want to do is torque the nut or bolt to its proper torque. Then align the holes that are going to be used to safety wire the units in place. Be careful not to over torque or under torque, that can be dangerous.
  2. Always install safety wire so that the nut or bolt tightens itself. In other words, the safety wire should come around the top of the bolt or nut and back onto the securing unit so that the safety wire pull is in a tightening manner (direction).
  3. Be sure never to over stress the safety wire. This can weaken the wire and cause it to break under vibration or stress. To avoid this, do not over wind the safety wire. Also, always make sure the safety wire is not cut or kinked, this can also cause it to weaken and break.

Always leave 4 to 6 turns after the loop when cutting safety wire.

 

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Tom Bodett – SkyGeek Style

Tom Bodett has been faithfully leaving the light on for you at Motel 6 for over twenty years.  Sure, at the beginning, leaving the light on in those rooms may not have been the best idea…some creatures are better left unseen when trying to sleep.

But let’s give them some credit, they’ve cleaned up there act and more power to them.

Well, SkyGeek wants to build on Tom’s model. We want to be your Tom Bodett when it comes to making sure your aviation lighting is all squared away.

So maybe we don’t have great voices like Tom. So maybe a few of us Geeks are more in line with the vocal capabilities of Spongebob Squarepants. That’s not going to stop us from being your go to source for staying in the light – it just means we won’t be tone-pleasant when we do it.

So Tom, you can continue to leave the light on…that job’s still yours.  We’ll just be waiting in the wings to replace it once it’s been left on too long and it burns out.

Got lights that need replacing? Never had em’ in the first place? “We’ll leave the internet on for you…so you can get your lights.” (We’re still working on the tagline).

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Monster Idea from SkyGeek!

Let’s kick things off in 2010 with an idea that will make a “must do” pilot chore a lot easier for you.

As of 10 seconds ago, we like to call this idea “the three headed monster of joy, stress relief and other a-typical monster characteristics”.

This monster idea is to offer you the ability to have all of your aviation charts and maps automatically delivered to your door whenever an update is required.

No more stress about flying with expired charts

No more hassle figuring out / remembering when you need an update

No more time wasted buying and waiting to fly

If you plan on flying in 2010, you’re going to need up to date aviation charts throughout. Why not make things a whole lot easier on yourself and take care of it with 100% automation.

For all those who are going to be interested, there’s a couple ways to sign up.

Option 1: Call 1-888-SkyGeek

Option 2: Shop online using the instructions below.

  1. Head on over to the SkyGeek Chart Section and load up your shopping cart with the items you wish to place on subscription.
  2. Choose the edition you would like by using the drop-down menu and choosing either "Buy Subscription Starting Current" or "Buy Subscription Starting Next"
  3. If you also would like to purchase other items from our site, go ahead and do so on the same order otherwise head straight to the checkout procedure
  4. There is no charge for this service and no advanced payment is required. (However, you must use Visa, MasterCard, AMEX or Discover. Sorry NO PAYPAL)
  5. You pay only the price of the charts plus the flat rate shipping charges ( USPS 1st Class=FREE up to .78 Oz. weight, FedEx 3 Day=$4.95, FedEx 2 Day=$12.00, FedEx Overnight=$18.00) that correspond to the method you select at checkout. If you have other items in your cart during the initial checkout you will pay regular calculated freight rates. The flat rate freight charges apply to all ongoing subscription shipments
  6. Your credit card will be billed only when we send new charts. To Add, Delete or Cancel a FAA Chart Subscription send an e-mail to our “Chart Geek Wizard” at Service@SkyGeek.com. Your subscription will continue until you advise us otherwise.

It’s that easy!

If you need more information, you can visit our Chart Subscription page. Or, you can get started by calling us at the number above or by taking care of step 1 (above) at the SkyGeek Chart Section.

We hope you all like the monster idea; we’re confident everyone will really enjoy the stress free automation.

We also hope everyone had a great new years, and here’s to a great 2010! That’s it for this week, take care!

Happy New Year from SkyGeek!

From all of us at SkyGeek, we’d like to wish everyone a happy, safe and prosperous new year!

 

We’d also like to thank everyone for all of their great feedback and support this year, all of which helps us bring you the best SkyGeek experience possible. We thank you again, and keep it coming in TWENTY TEN!

 

Yeah, 2009 was a blast, but on Friday, “that was soooo last year”. We’re all pumped up for 2010, and there’s a ton of new and exciting things to look forward to from SkyGeek….so keep an eye out (or two).

 

Well, that’s it for this year folks, take care and have a Happy New Year!

A Christmas Poem from SkyGeek

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the hangar

Not a creature was stirring, not even that eugenicist Margaret Sanger

The airplanes were grounded, none in the air

St. Nick needs free airspace, he’s no time to spare.

 

The pilots were nestled, all snug in their beds

They slept with their headsets, glued to their heads

Mom went down early, 14 hour nap

Dad stayed up late, drinking from the tap.

 

When out on the lawn, arose such a clatter

Dad sprung from his bed, to first empty his bladder

When he was done, he checked on his cash

Santa the thief, made of with a dash

 

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

There ran Santa, but he’s fat and he’s slow

“Hey Santa you bum, get back over here!”

But off St. Nick went, riding his reindeer

 

“Why every year, do I lose cash to St. Nick”

Mom chimed in quickly, “it’s cuz you’re a prick”

Another weird Christmas, boy what a shame

The only solution, beat him at his own game

 

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

 

Ironically Dad had named all his knives

He laughed on the inside, as they flew through the sky

One had struck Santa, right through the shoe

He lost hold of the toy bag, and downward it flew

 

“I did it I did it, I got him in the foot”

Falling through the chimney, the bag hit the soot

A bundle of toys he had lost from his back

Thanks to the precision, of Dad’s knife attack

 

His face filled with anger, he wasn’t so merry

He sprung from his slay, like that Olympian named Kerry

“What’s up now Santa, you just ate crow!”

Santa looked pained, shoeless in the snow

 

He snarled and he grunted, he grinded his teeth

He pulled out a knife, and looked at a wreathe

He gave it a toss, it flew through the sky

It went through the wreathe, what a bulls-eye!

 

Santa explained that he through knives in Nam

He reached out his hand, and I grasped his palm

He said he respected the skills Dad had shown

The pitch in his voice took a friendlier tone

 

“Let bygone’s be bygone” said Santa to Dad

With those merry words, Dad stopped being mad

I heard him exclaim, as he flew out of sight

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night”

Last Chance!

The clock is doing what it does best …ticking away. It’s also most likely remaining stationary, unless of course you’ve managed to bait and capture that little guy from the Beauty and the Beast movie. Well, remaining stationary is a luxury you don’t have if you’re looking to pick up a holiday gift for your aviation enthusiast.

So, if you’re still stumped on what to get your geeky friends and family members…here’s some helpful suggestions.

 SkyGeek Gift Certificates – You know when you were in college and all you really wanted was cash so you could decide how to spend it (in other words, give me beer money). Well, SkyGeek gift cards are like beer money for aviation enthusiasts…simple….yet so appreciated.

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SkyGeek Has a New Look!

In case you haven’t seen it, we thought we’d let you know that SkyGeek.com has a new look!

You can check out the new look here.

The site now allows you to easily find what you’re looking for by choosing what type of SkyGeek you are, and navigating accordingly.

There are now dedicated sections of the site for the following:

Aviation Enthusiasts – Shop using the Enthusiast Section

Aircraft Mechanics – Shop using the Mechanic Section

Aircraft Owners – Shop using the Owner Section

Pilots – Shop using the Pilot Section

Fake Trendy Vampire Wannabe’s – Shop using the Weirdo Section somewhere else

Of course, many of you SkyGeeks out there fall in line with multiple categories. Accordingly, we’ve made sure to keep all the familiar product categories readily available from the homepage, but dive into each new category page to see what’s there.

There’s a bunch of cool new sections and features, so take a look around the site and enjoy! Overall, we hope the new look makes it even faster and easier to find what you’re looking for.

That’s it for this week everyone, we hope you all enjoy the new look. Until next week, take care!