Today is Thanksgiving and I am emailing folks in Antarctica to wish them the best. My friend Dave is stuck about 5 hours (LC-130 Aircraft) away from McMurdo at a god forsaken place known as "WAIS Divide". WAIS is an acronym for "West Antarctica Ice Sheet". There has been a seasonal science camp out there for years taking ice core samples. Dave has been out there 3 years in a row. We use a an old C-band satellite dish to get Internet through an old NOAA satellite through the University of Miami. I think he gets 5 hours of visibility at 56 kbps. Good for email for the scientists. At least they have a regular camp cook out there.
I am looking for a new controller for my electric car. I have been doing a lot of research and planning. It won't be cheap. I want to do it right. I know if I don't it will be a mess and give electrics a bad name. I am diligently looking for what the the EV folks call a "Donor Car". I have reduced my goal to a 40 mile range and 50 MPH. Safety is a big deal. All that power in those batteries can really melt some stuff. I will have a "4-level" disconnect system which is pretty typical. The 4 levels do not include the cable cutters carried in the car.
I have had the TV DISH for a few weeks now. It is all infomercials. Even when they say they are not selling something.They are selling something. It is weird having all this TV.
Day before yesterday, an associate at work (consultant) and fellow airman lost his life. My flying mentor was discussing flying conditions just before he left work. I saw him leave, but we did not talk as we often did. It is a tragedy for everybody. He was just buying a twin engine plane and was selling the Mooney he crashed. He flew everywhere. We will be in shock for a while. The good news is that my training plane is finally put back together. I have a lesson this week.
VESTAL -- Martin Grab got married in July and was eager to see his pregnant wife in the Albany area Tuesday night.
In his job as a computer consultant, Mr. Grab had been in the Binghamton area doing business with the Raymond Corp., family members said. Tuesday night, shortly before 5 p.m., the experienced pilot climbed into his single-engine plane at Greater Binghamton Airport and took off down the runway, despite dense fog. He was headed to Albany, and eventually, a family Thanksgiving dinner at the home of his brother Tony, who lives in Troy.
But minutes after takeoff, Mr. Grab's Mooney M20K four-seater plane went down about 2 miles from the airport, crash-landing in the woods about 200 yards off Knapp Road in the Town of Maine. The 49-year-old Vestal High School and University at Albany grad was killed.
"Flying was one of his passions. He was a very experienced pilot," said his brother Andy, who lives in Underhill, Vt. "He had been flying for 15-plus years."
Andy Grab said the engine in his brother's plane had undergone a major overhaul in the past year and the engine had less than 100 miles on it.
On Wednesday, some members of the family had come together at the Vestal home of Martin Grab Sr. Among them was the pilot's wife, Tina, who is expecting the couple's first child -- a boy -- in March.
Martin Grab Jr. had just moved his consulting business to Warren, Mich., his wife's home area.
Andy Grab described his brother as "very outgoing, and very active."He did everything to its fullest. He kind of did it all," Andy Grab said.
Martin Grab Jr. had been a lifeguard, scuba diver, ski instructor and snowboarder, and was involved with road biking. He graduated from Vestal High School in 1976 and later the University at Albany. He earned his master's degree from Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, where he taught part-time.
In addition to his wife, father and brothers Tony and Andy, Mr. Grab leaves behind brother Michael, of Endicott, and sister Becci, of Vestal. Helen Grab, the pilot's mother, died about three years ago.
Funeral arrangements for Mr. Grab are pending.