Is it really too much to ask?

Is it really too much to ask that when somebody uses the contact email address on a web site to expect that they’ve actually read at least the first page of that web site? I just got an email to the address that is published on the Rochester Flying Club web site that asked a bunch of questions that prove categorically that the sender had not read the first page of the site, specifically the part that says “It is not a flying school, although we welcome student pilots”.

His second question was “Is Rochester Flying Club just a Pilot School, or it is a college too?”. Which part of “It is not a flying school” are you having trouble understanding there, sport? His other questions are just as oriented towards a full time flying school.

One thing that’s unusual, though. Normally I get these sorts of clueless emails from people in India or Pakistan – and indeed I found our club web site linked from an Indian site that claimed to be a list of flying schools in the US, but this time the guy claims to live in Rochester, although from his wording I’m not so sure. “I live in Rochester, NY which is 14 miles away from 1313 Scottsville Rd, Rochester, NY.” Doesn’t that sound like somebody who plugged two addresses into Google in order to provide some fake verisimilitude? Although I have trouble thinking of a part of Rochester that’s 14 miles away from the airport.

What a difference an index makes!

I made some changes to my FAA data loader script and ran it. Four days later it had finished running, I discovered a few bugs, and was getting ready to run it again, but I decided to see if I could improve the speed any. I’d already run the perl profiler and discovered that 95% of the time was spent in mysql. So I tried doing an “EXPLAIN” on all the queries. That’s when I discovered that one very common query was doing the dreaded “ALL” query on a 12,000 row table as step 1. Hmmm. That table isn’t even an important one, it was just table joined to the main “waypoint” table to get one field that was semi-useful. The query has a “waypoint.datasource_key = ?” in it, why isn’t it doing that first? “DESCRIBE TABLE waypoint;” showed me the error of my ways – I’d forgotten to put an index on “datasource_key”.

So I created the index and started the script before going to bed. I was astonished to discover that the script was done this morning. According to my Munin graphs, it had only taken about 6 hours to run. 96 hours down to 6 hours. Yeah, that’s a worthwhile optimization.

Fun fact #143.4

Discovered while trying to debug my nav data loading scripts: The Hendersonville Airport (0A7) and the “W.N.C. Museum Airport” (8NC9) are only 0.03 nautical miles apart, but they’re separate airports. I’m not sure if they’re the closest two ever, but they’re certainly pretty damn close. As a matter of fact, I think this picture Hendersonville Airport from the web site listing for Hendersonville shows both runways, the paved one for Hendersonville and the turf one for the museum. I bet there is a story why they didn’t just build a taxiway between them and call it one airport.

I must have left my mind reading device in my other pants

The founder of the flying club is not the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to using technology. He just sent an email to the entire club with the subject line “Advertising” and the text “$82,000” followed by his name and a AOL banner. Now, unlike most of the club, I know he’s involved in trying to sell the club’s Lance, so I have a bare inkling of what he might possibly mean, but even I’m scratching my head wondering what the fuck he’s talking about. I wonder if that’s his asking price or an offer we’ve received or the reserve he’s going to eBay it under or what.

Personally, I think that there’s no way in hell we’ll get $82K for a 1977 Lance with a clapped out engine (2480 hours+) and prop and ancient avionics. But I suppose one can live in hope. Looking at Trade-a-Plane I can see a 1976 Lance with less TTAF (Total Time on Airframe) with only 875 hours on the engine and prop, and they’re asking $80K.

“Anticipated Separation”? I don’t like it.

The mission was to get two planes back from Batavia, one of which was the Lance. We tried on Friday and Saturday and Sunday, but the weather didn’t cooperate. The weather was fine today, but only two of us could make it, so we only managed to bring back the Lance.
Continue reading ““Anticipated Separation”? I don’t like it.”