Sad News – Bruce Obit

I’m very sad to report that we’ve just learned of local aviation legend Bruce Van Dyke’s passing. An obit for him appeared in the paper, and I’ve found it online here (pasted in below). We will miss his bright spirit, while our hearts go out to local aviatrix Dorchen Forman. Blue skies, Bruce!

Bruce & Dorchen in the Garden

Bruce & Dorchen in the Garden

Bruce Wingfield Van Dyke

b. March 18, 1922 — d. November 9, 2016

Bruce Van Dyke grew up in Fallbrook California and attended UCLA before joining the Army Air Corps to take part in World War II. He was a bomber pilot who trained cadet pilots and bombadiers, and stayed on after the war in the Air Force reserves, retiring as a major. During the war, he married his college sweetheart, Miki Harkness, and when the war ended he resumed his studies at UCLA. He changed his major, however, from physics to subtropical horticulture and his life revolved around plants from then on.

After graduating from UCLA with a degree subtropical horticulture in 1948, he moved with his young family to Carpenteria to take a job as instructor at Santa Barbara Junior College, and in 1950 moved into a house he built near Sheffield Reservoir. He left the Junior College after a few years and started his own horticultural services grafting, pruning, and spraying, and consulting homeowners and ranchers on plants. In the years that followed he was involved in almost every aspect of gardening and horticulture in the community. He was a horticulturist on staff at Lotusland for over twenty years, and worked on many other fabulous estate gardens in the community. He worked in all sorts and sizes of gardens and there are trees in backyards all over Santa Barbara that he grafted, gardeners throughout the county who learned how to prune their fruit trees from him, and countless friends who remember him for his good humor, kindness, and love of plants.

He was generous with his time and knowledge. From 1953 to 1996, he taught popular adult education classes in home gardening. He wrote a garden column for the Santa Barbara News Press for 33 years, and managed the Santa Barbara Orchid Show for 21 years and Santa Barbara Flower and Garden Show for 5 years. He was a board member and president of Santa Barbara Beautiful, served as a City Parks Commissioner for Santa Barbara for 18 years, a member of the City Street Tree Advisory Committee for 25 years, and was a trustee of the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens. When the city of Santa Barbara stopped pruning the rose garden on Mission lawn, he drafted his good friend Duke McPherson, and the two of them started a volunteer pruning effort that has turned into a Santa Barbara institution in which hundreds of people take part. For all this he received many awards and acknowledgements including the Heritage Oak Award from Santa Barbara Beautiful for lifetime achievement.

He was also an avid hiker and made many summer trips to the Sierra Nevada. He swam regularly at the YMCA and made many friends there. He and Miki traveled extensively in Latin America, South East Asia, and Africa. He loved snorkeling on coral reefs, photography, and of course his own home gardens. Miki Van Dyke died in 1996 and in 2003, Bruce married Dorchen Forman, and lived the remainder of his life with Dorchen in her beautiful Goleta home surrounded by fruit trees and flowers. Dorchen rekindled Bruce’s interest in aviation and the two of them crossed the country many times in her Cessna 172.

Bruce is survived by his wife Dorchen, daughter Christopher, son Peter, grandchildren Papaya and Nicholas, six great-grandchildren, and many dear friends. The family wishes to acknowledge with gratitude the loving care provided to him at the end of his life by Elza Hernandez and her caregiver team, and in his last days by Santa Barbara Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care.

A memorial will be planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Santa Barbara Botanical Garden or Santa Barbara Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care.

Published in The Santa Barbara News-Press Online Edition from Nov. 20 to Nov. 24, 2016

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EAA 527 Newsletter for February, 2016

Click the link below to download a PDF file of
EAA 527 Newsletter for February, 2016

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More ADS-B (coverage)

I was inspired by Carl’s excellent Thursday presentation to look up a few online ADS-B resources regarding the FAA Ground Station transmitters. Here’s where the FAA says (interactive link at the bottom of this page) you’ll get ADS-B in reception (non-coverage shown in salmon color) at 500’AGL in the SouthWest region:

ADS-B Coverage at 500' SW

ADS-B Coverage at 500′ SW

In the hope they may be of interest or value to other members, below are some links.


Transmitter Locations

SB Region: (FAA transmitter number) located in the Broadcast Peak area (serving IZA, SBA, etc.)

SLO Region: – CA017 San Luis Obispo – CA018 Paso Robles (central valley)

LA Region: – CA013 Santa Monica Mtns – CA014 Mt. Wilson, LA – CA016 Victorville – MHV00 Mojave

Source: Pilots Of America (POA) – John Collins, “Feedback on ADS-B tower locations”

Approximate CA015 Coverage at 10’AGL

Map of coverage similar to our CA015, from a low power TV station near the SBA/IZA ADS-B tower:

Approximate Locations of ADS-B Transmitters:

Interactive FAA ADS-B Coverage Map (By Altitude):

More samples from this 3/11/2015 map (salmon color=no coverage):

ADS-B Coverage at 500'

ADS-B Coverage at 500′

ADS-B Coverage at 1500'

ADS-B Coverage at 1500′

ADS-B Coverage at 3000'

ADS-B Coverage at 3000′

ADS-B Coverage at 5000'

ADS-B Coverage at 5000′

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ADSB Handout & Slides

Here are the handout and slides from Carl’s great 1/14/2015 presentation on ADS-B, and Still’s demo on how to build a “Stratux” ADS-B In receiver. To download the complete 31MB 10 page PDF of the handout & slides, click this thumbnail image link: ADS-thumb
For just the printed handout (first page of the slides, 0.05MB) click this thumbnail image link: Click for 31MB PDF

Following are selected pages in web format with links and some notes I took from the presentation. Slides from the presentation containing links to original online sources [Stratux hardware, etc] in the first page below are omitted – click the links here or in the complete PDF to see those clearer and fully functional originals online. Only the slides from ADS-B introduction by Carl are included below. I didn’t take notes on the Stratux building demo, but maybe someone else will post some if you request it. I’ve inserted a few comments from my notes, in green italic font, for the benefit of anyone who wasn’t at the meeting. –JW

Handout (page 1 of Slides)

ADS-B Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast

Once per second. Radar rotates once every 6-12 seconds. Beam width. Multiple hits. Accuracy. Position, Speed, Altitude (plus N number and maybe some more)

978-UAT Mostly GA Below 18,000

1090-ES Extended Squitter. Modified transponder. Required at/above 18,000 and outside US

FIS-B Weather. UAT only Every 2.5, 5, 10, or 15 minutes depending on product

TIS-B Traffic. UAT and 1090 3-13 seconds; radar coverage needed. Only transponder traffic. “Hockey puck” 15nm radius; +/- 3500 feet

ADS-R (Rebroadcast) (AKA ADS-B Traffic) Every second “Hockey puck” 15nm radius; +/- 5000 feet

Antenna diversity
Own ship shadow
ADS-B OUT Class A, B, C. Class E above 10,000 (but not below 2500 AGL)

Information on how to build your own ADS-B IN receiver:

Parts to Order: $69.99 $25.95 $13.99 $3.97

JW Notes: Total parts $113.90 plus iPad and ForeFlight with subscriptions, for a single-band (dual band in development) “Stratux” similar to the Stratus demonstrated by Carl. John Rodkey uses a Stratux with the less capable but free Avare app on an inexpensive Android Nexus 7, thus saving on the iPad and subscription expenses. I also briefly mentioned the simpler $13 solution I’ve found for my own Nexus 7 using the same type of “SDR” receiver as Stratux but eliminating the $70 “rPi” computer and $14 battery by using the $2.50 Android ADSB Pro app to display 1090-ES & 978-UAT with free Avare (this works somewhat better than a Stratux for Avare, but has 2-6 hours of battery life unless ADS-B power is swapped to my Nexus 7 in flight).

Software that runs the Stratux:
Pick the first Green, “Latest Release” Image writer software


Mac OS X

Some ADS-B links

(page 2 of slides)

ADS page2

JW Notes: The top image shows dots approximating the locations of ADS-B transmitters and an impression of their coverage areas in the blue circles as of 2014. Carl pointed out the differences between UAT weather update interval & transmission interval (e.g. transmissions are not always the most recently updated weather image). Also note that CONUS (national) images are transmitted less often than regional, so BOS weather can take longer to get flying near SBA than SoCA weather will.

(page 3 of slides)

ADS page 3

JW Notes: By using a Stratus or home-built “Stratux” receiver with ForeFlight you can get free UAT weather aloft that is equal in most respects to subscription satellite service. Carl pointed out that both services provide delayed radar images (due to the required processing time) so they should never be used for finding a route through weather.

(page 4 of slides)

ADS page 4

JW Notes: At the top-left of the ForeFlight map screen is info about how many ADS-B transmitting towers are being received, and currency of the info.

(page 5 of slides is a blank transition to this page 6)

ADS page 6

JW Notes: The top image demonstrates how ADS-B traffic is incomplete, especially when no aircraft are equipped with ADS-B Out. At the bottom-right corner of each image is an inset showing how ForeFlight would depict the situation in your non-ADS-B Out aircraft. The bottom image shows how an ADS-B Out aircraft is provided a “hockey puck” shaped area near that aircraft that only shows those aircraft, and not the one close behind you.

(page 7 of slides)

ADS page 7

JW Notes: When you’re flying an ADS-B Out equipped aircraft, all the aircraft nearby (inside your “hockey puck” area) are transmitted to you and anyone nearby with only ADS-B In (Stratux, etc).

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Holiday Party & Election

Once again we all enjoyed a wonderful holiday party. As usual the food was good, and the camaraderie of aviators was fantastic. Because he is humble and quiet, some of us were startled to learn that Roger is an engaging and skilled public speaker when he presented the election of SBAero/EAA27 2016 officers.

202310 Election - right

202310 Election – right

Yes, they’re applauding him and no the caption isn’t indicative of political leaning. I couldn’t fit everyone into a photo (maybe next year I’ll remember to bring a good camera!) so here’s the rest of the room in slices.

202324 Election - center

202324 Election – center

There’s an extra note of interest from holding our party in this room, added by the old photos around the walls. Every year I intend to look at them, and every year I’m far too distracted by all the friends old and new and the latest fascination aviation stories and developments.

202401 Election - left

202401 Election – left

As usual, Carl quietly contributed to preparations and thankless tasks so we all appreciated the chance to applaud all he contributes to our group and the aviation community. Speaking of which Carl was enthusiastically elected as 2016 President, Still as Secretary, and Roger kindly stayed on as Treasurer.

203843 Officers 2016

203843 Officers 2016

With only my phone camera it was impossible to get any good pix, so if you have some feel free to post or send them. That said, here’s a bad pic of a Great group – our amazing 99s.

204524 Fourteen 99s

204524 Fourteen 99s

One of the three tasty cakes carries a wish for all aviators as we approach 2016.

203652 Happy Holidays!

203652 Happy Holidays!

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Annual Potluck

Once again our generous Erwin and Michelle host a fun and delicious SB Aero Club / EAA527 potluck.

2015 Potluck 1We had a good turnout and enjoyed meeting the new folks who showed up. Milt once again provided his exceptional Tri-Tip despite not feeling well.

2015 Potluck 2We also got to sample the full spectrum of delicious side dishes and desserts everyone brought.

2015 Potluck 3In his usual quiet way, Still Chase worked behind the scenes to get us moving on this popular event and helped to organize it.

Thank you everyone!

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New Cuyama News

First off, the Cuyama airport (L88) is very much open. Approaching from the South, the new topcoat and runway markings look great.

L88 Aerial to NE

L88 Aerial to NE

There’s a very faded windsock on the North side of the runway mid-field, but unless the wind strongly favors 28 (I’d say over 15kt) you might do best using the uphill slope on 10 for landing and downhill 28 for departure. The surface is in good condition from the fresh slurry coat, but a little rough underneath. We didn’t see any big holes that would indicate soft-field procedures for our 172, and the Piper & Bonanza pilots didn’t seem troubled either.

gMaps Sat View

gMaps Sat View

As you can see from this older gMaps sat view, the runway used to look quite different. I’ve added notes where Buckhorn and the market are, South of the highway a couple blocks from the ramp. Next to the highway by the Burger Barn is a gas station.

L88 Ramp

L88 Ramp

The first thing we notice across from the ramp is that enigmatic little white building on the left in this pic, that would make a perfect art deco soft ice cream stand. It’s the “Khalili,” and I found the story on this old website.  At the left edge of this pic you can also see the white box with round window for the airport guest book.

Blue Sky Signboard

Blue Sky Signboard

Our next discovery was this signboard with info about the Blue Sky project. It apparently has some connections with Goleta, so maybe we’ll get more info from someone here or on Edhat. Here’s a summary of what I’ve found out:

From Signboard text: “The Blue Sky Sustainable Living Center is a newly established 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable corporation that will function as a host entity, providing space and resources to existing programs and organizations working to advance sustainable living practices through demonstration, education, research, and community collaboration.”

From Website: “Our mission is to provide a place, at low or no cost, for applied education, technical research, demonstration, and community collaboration of sustainable living best practices and technologies.”

Goleta Connection: There appears to be a connection between Cuyama and Goleta in articles posted on this earlier and apparently now inactive website.

From SB County Filings: “…facility of approximately 22,000 square feet located on the Cuyama Airport property. The facility, which would include a residential component for students and faculty, would focus on developing and teaching sustainable building practices and applied alternative energy techniques through research, education and demonstration.” [link]

“…(1) a new bathhouse of approximately 908 square feet; and (2) approximately 39,615 (0.91 acre) of drought-tolerant landscaping. The following structures currently exist on the parcel: 1 story office building of approximately 5,600 square feet, a storage building of approximately 960 square feet, Khalili Building of approximately 400 square feet, a split level warehouse of approximately 7,150 square feet, a shop of approximately 2,520 square feet, a workshop/garage of approximately 5,400 square feet, and a shed of approximately 744 square feet, for a total of approximately 22,774 square feet of structural development. The property is a 24.82 acre parcel zoned M-RP” [link]

We saw a poster at the Burger Barn while walking back to L88 for a May 15 free BBQ with live music hosted by the Cuyama Valley Recreation District. But neither the CYRD website nor anybody we’ve asked has info about it, so I guess maybe it was last year. As we left I snapped this view of the town, with the rwy10 marking top-left & Buckhorn at the bottom-right edge. I’m going to submit more words & pix for my next Edhat item about this fascinating little town so near by air.

L88 Aerial to SW

L88 Aerial to SW

Shall we think about a flyout sometime soon before weather heats up out there? Maybe offer a small Young Eagles event for the local kids or something else to generate interest and support for the airport?

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