Category Archives: AircraftTroubleshooting

How fast is the fastest airplane in the world?

  1. FROM AN SR-71 PILOT…….

    SR-71 Blackbird

    In April 1986, following an attack on American soldiers in a  Berlin disco, President Reagan ordered the bombing of Muammar Qaddafi’s terrorist camps in   Libya.

    My duty was to fly over  Libya , and take photographs recording the damage our F-111’s had inflicted.

    Qaddafi had established a ‘line of death,’ a territorial marking across the  Gulf of Sidra, swearing to shoot down any intruder, that crossed the boundary.

    On the morning of April 15, I rocketed past the line at 2,125 mph.

    I was piloting the SR-71 spy plane, the world’s fastest jet, accompanied by a Marine Major (Walt), the aircraft’s reconnaissance systems officer (RSO).

    We had crossed into  Libya , and were approaching our final turn over the bleak desert landscape, when Walt informed me, that he was receiving missile launch signals.

    I quickly increased our speed, calculating the time it would take for the weapons, most likely SA-2 and SA-4 surface-to-air missiles, capable of Mach 5 – to reach our altitude.


    I estimated, that we could beat the rocket-powered missiles to the turn, and stayed our course, betting our lives on the plane’s performance.

    After several agonizingly long seconds, we made the turn and blasted toward the Mediterranean.

    ‘You might want to pull it back,’ Walt suggested. It was then that I noticed I still had the throttles full forward.

    The plane was flying a mile every 1.6 seconds, well above our Mach 3.2 limit.

    It was the fastest we would ever fly. 

    I pulled the throttles to idle, just south of  Sicily, but we still overran the refueling tanker, awaiting us over   Gibraltar.

    Scores of significant aircraft have been produced, in the 100 years of flight, following the achievements of the Wright brothers, which we celebrate in December.

    Aircraft such as the Boeing 707, the F-86 Sabre Jet, and the P-51 Mustang, are among the important machines, that have flown our skies. 

    But the SR-71, also known as the Blackbird, stands alone as a significant contributor to Cold War victory, and as the fastest plane ever, and only 93 Air Force pilots, ever steered the ‘sled,’ as we called our aircraft.

    The SR-71, was the brainchild of Kelly Johnson, the famed Lockheed designer, who created the P-38, the F-104 Starfighter, and the U-2.

    After the Soviets shot down Gary Powers U-2 in 1960, Johnson began to develop an aircraft, that would fly three miles higher, and five times faster, than the spy plane, and still be capable of photographing your license plate.

    However, flying at 2,000 mph would create intense heat on the aircraft’s skin. Lockheed engineers used a titanium alloy, to construct more than 90 percent of the SR-71, creating special tools, and manufacturing procedures to hand-build each of the 40 planes.


    Special heat-resistant fuel, oil, and hydraulic fluids, that would function at 85,000 feet, and higher, also had to be developed.

    In 1962, the first Blackbird successfully flew, and in 1966, the same year I graduated from high school, the Air Force began flying operational SR-71 missions.

    I came to the program in 1983, with a sterling record and a recommendation from my commander, completing the weeklong interview, and meeting Walt, my partner for the next four years. 

    He would ride four feet behind me, working all the cameras, radios, and electronic jamming equipment.

    I joked, that if we were ever captured, he was the spy, and I was just the driver.

    He told me to keep the pointy end forward.

    We trained for a year, flying out of Beale AFB in California , Kadena Airbase in Okinawa , and RAF Mildenhall in  England. 

    On a typical training mission, we would take off near Sacramento, refuel over Nevada, accelerate into Montana, obtain a high Mach speed over Colorado , turn right over New Mexico, speed across the Los Angeles Basin, run up the West Coast, turn right at Seattle , then return to Beale. 

    Total flight time:- Two Hours and Forty Minutes.

    One day, high above Arizona , we were monitoring the radio traffic, of all the mortal airplanes below us. First, a Cessna pilot asked the air traffic controllers
    to check his ground speed. ‘Ninety knots,’ ATC replied. A Bonanza soon made the same request. ‘One-twenty on the ground,’ was the reply. 

    To our surprise, a navy F-18 came over the radio, with a ground speed check. 

    I knew exactly what he was doing.  

    Of course, he had a ground speed indicator in his cockpit, but he wanted to let all the bug-smashers in the valley, know what real speed was, ‘Dusty 52, we show you at 620 on the ground,’ ATC responded.

    The situation was too ripe.

    I heard the click of Walt’s mike button in the rear seat. In his most innocent voice, Walt startled the controller by asking for a ground speed check from 81,000 feet,

    clearly above controlled airspace.


    In a cool, professional voice, the controller replied, ‘Aspen 20, I show you at 1,982 knots on the ground.’


    We did not hear another transmission on that frequency, all the way to the coast.

    The Blackbird always showed us something new, each aircraft possessing its own unique personality.

    In time, we realized we were flying a national treasure.

    When we taxied out of our revetments for take-off, people took notice.

    Traffic congregated near the airfield fences, because everyone wanted to see, and hear the mighty SR-71.

    You could not be a part of this program, and not come to love the airplane.

    Slowly, she revealed her secrets to us, as we earned her trust.

    One moonless night, while flying a routine training mission over the Pacific, I wondered what the sky would look like from 84,000 feet, if the cockpit lighting
    were dark.


    While heading home on a straight course, I slowly turned down all of the lighting, reducing the glare and revealing the night sky.

    Within seconds, I turned the lights back up, fearful that the jet would know, and somehow punish me.

    But my desire to see the sky, overruled my caution, I dimmed the lighting again.

    To my amazement, I saw a bright light outside my window.

    As my eyes adjusted to the view, I realized that the brilliance was the broad expanse of the Milky Way, now a gleaming stripe across the sky.

    Where dark spaces in the sky, had usually existed, there were now dense clusters, of sparkling stars.

    Shooting Stars, flashed across the canvas every few seconds. 

    It was like a fireworks display with no sound.

    I knew I had to get my eyes back on the instruments, and reluctantly, I brought my attention back inside.

    To my surprise, with the cockpit lighting still off, I could see every gauge, lit by starlight.

    In the plane’s mirrors, I could see the eerie shine of my gold spacesuit, incandescently illuminated, in a celestial glow.

    I stole one last glance out the window. Despite our speed, we seemed still before the heavens, humbled in the radiance of a much greater power.

    For those few moments, I felt a part of something far more significant, than anything we were doing in the plane. 

    The sharp sound of Walt’s voice on the radio, brought me back to the tasks at hand, as I prepared for our descent.

    San Diego  Aerospace Museum


    The SR-71 was an expensive aircraft to operate. The most significant cost was tanker support, and in 1990, confronted with budget cutbacks, the Air Force retired the SR-71.


    The SR-71 served six presidents, protecting America for a quarter of a century.

    Unbeknownst to most of the country, the plane flew over North Vietnam, Red China, North Korea, the Middle East, South Africa , Cuba, Nicaragua, Iran, Libya and the  Falkland Islands.


    On a weekly basis, the SR-71, kept watch over every Soviet Nuclear Submarine, and  Mobile Missile Site, and all of their troop movements. It was a key factor in winning the Cold War.

    I am proud to say, I flew about 500 hours in this aircraft. I knew her well. She gave way to no plane, proudly dragging her Sonic Boom through enemy backyards, with great impunity.


    She defeated every missile, outran every MiG, and always brought us home. 

    In the first 100 years of manned flight, no aircraft was more remarkable.

    The Blackbird had outrun nearly 4,000 missiles, not once taking a scratch from enemy fire.

    On her final flight, the Blackbird, destined for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, sped from Los Angeles to Washington in 64 Minutes, averaging 2,145 mph, and setting four speed records.

How do you retrieve the BIT Fault codes from a LaserRef1?

How do you retrieve the BIT Fault codes from a LaserRef1?

“BIT” button leads to 3 pages :
Bit 2- Current Status
Bit 3 – Last Flight
Bit 4 – All History

Now: lets look at the 270 word

One example is 0082 2800

Note the first two digits are 00 and the last two are 00.  they are unused digits in this scheme.

This Work sheet might help with the decode.

And the 270 Word definition, or the 350 word definition might help.

My notes from N850BA EGPWS squawk.

Falcon related stuff, General Tooling List

Laptop XP SP2, NOT SP3, “slipstream” an xpsp3 disk if you have to.


Unitelligble Notes from the past

1. XP find no HDD present, therefore refuses to load XP install disk:
I can tell you EXACTLY what you need
I just went through this very same mess a few weeks ago when I bought my father a Gateway Laptop that had Vista Home on it. He definitely did NOT want Vista, so I went to reasearch and also to accomplish the mission. It should seem simple, as when I have ever loaded XP SP2 onto a SATA drive, I have never had an issue. Till now. XP defeated every attempt to load it, by hook or crook. I found a hint at a web site forum and found the secret.
For some insane reason, the gods at Redmond have managed to work some magic that has disabled the autoload of SP2 for the SATA drivers. We are back in the stone age of having to load at the intial start of the XP process the SATA drivers the old way. To do this you will need a USB floppy drive (thank goodness they did not remove USB support or we all would be toast). Almost any drive should work, but there is an off chance you may have a compatability issue (why, I don’t know but that was a caution I found in several other posts) with a specific drive. I can say a Memorex USB floppy (39.00 at Staples), worked ok with the Intel 845 chipset on this board. You will then need the correct (and I do mean correct) XP SATA driver for you chipset. You will load this driver onto a computer with a floppy drive (or use the USB one you now have), and it should automatically have an .exe file that will make the floppy for you. Once you have that, then you can fire up the laptop, and when it says “Press F8 to load third party SATA(or Raid) driver”, do so with you floppy plugged in and the disk inside it. Make sure you have floppy enabled in your bios if it is an option (was not in Gateway’s skeletal bios). It should then start loading the SATA driver, finish, and continue the rest of the XP load.
Thank you, Bill, for making our lives backward compatable! What greedy maroons….
Here is one work around:
You must enter the bios and flip one setting
By default most machine are being set to AHCI by default. You must change it to either one of the two choices. IBM and Dell list them differently. You must change it to “SEPERATE IDE DRIVES” or to “Compatibility”Restart the computer after saving changes and you are back in business.I believe if you tab to the second row of the menus selections on the top of the Bios it will be in that row. Our BIOS does not have the BIOS SWITCH for Older HDD Compatibility.
2. I used the Linux DualBoot feature to work around this

remember the SLIPSTREAM disk Brew-ha-ha

End uniteligble notes

KI-45-001 Maintenance Kit:

AE876 3165.00 list
AE876-800 185.60
AE876-801 533.40
Quote # 340904


AEGIS SW, 422 converter for downloading



E-Engine, 422 converter Engine Download Cable,


Qty 1  Falcon 900EX TFE 731 DEEC download patch cable.  $300.00
shipping would be 7 dollars…
Also the 50EX with the agis software , I believe you download from the cockpit correct? just send me what you got “wire schematic” or what not.  and smae with the BASC patch cable info as well.








? Flap Breakout Box
? NWS Breakout Box
? TIC TR-220 (XPDR/TCAS/DME) Test Set
? ARINC 429 Databus analyzer
? Time Domain Reflectometer
? VHF Com VSWR interface harness
? Collins Proline II CTS-10 breakout box
? Universal D-Min connector breakout box
? Honeywell/Allied Signal AFIS DMU interface harness and
? Honeywell MCS Satcom Interface harness and software
? Rockwell Collins Airshow DIU Bench test harness
? Honeywell EGPWS (mark V/VII) Terrain Database PC
? Honeywell EGPWS interface harness and software
? Honeywell RE100 Field Service Monitor
? Honeywell Satcom CMTI, ORT Tool, and Satmats software
? Honeywell Primus Download and Clear software
? Honeywell EGPWS Winviews software
? Allied Signal TCAS Diagnostic software
? Magnastar ARTU MMTI software
? Rosenview software
? Mid Continent Controls Flight Info and Stereo Amp
Config software
? Rockwell Collins Airshow TV software
? Bendix King Autopilot software
? ProComm software
? Universal TT-5000 Satcom software
? Universal TAWS Terminal Monitor and Config software
? Falcon 50, 900, 2000
? TFE 731 DEEC Download Kit
? Axle Adapters and single point jacks
? Axle Sockets
? Strut Service Tool
? Flap Roller Grease Adapter
? Jack Pads
? Falcon PC Card breakout box
? Pitot static heads (all models)
? Flight Control Throw Boards (All Models)
? Spring Loaded Fairing Tool
? Falcon Strut Fill Adapters
? Falcon Flap Jackscrew Backlash Tool
? Spanner Sockets
? Boost Pump Puller


protect f900ex pedistall

5.625X10.1 at the back of the pedistall


aft end 7 n wide

taper starts at 16 goes to 20

throttles 3 in wide start at 2 go to 9

Flap start at 18, go to 20, r edge is 5 in from r side

speed brake


Falcon grease tool notesSCN_0002 SCN_0001





Where can I find Pitot covers for the F900? – Woven Kevlar fabric, These are my favorite.

I think the flags will magically fall off of  the covers the first trip after installation.

If some mythical pilot were motivated to cut the flags off, what would his reasons be?  Makes noise? Takes up too much room in the front drawer?  Scratches fuselage?

Is there any type of flag that would magically stay on?  Like a shorter one, maybe stiff enough that it would not wave and hit the fuselage? Smaller width? Sewn directly to the cover, so that it was not as free to flap?


Here are some other contenders. – automatically falls off…….directly into the lateral engines……. Video, a little goofy….. – plastic – old school , Baby.

we can also buy poor quality, overpriced ones from Falcon if we wish to.





Where do I find a list of the F900 Spare Bulbs

GE 327 –

GE 328,  or GE 387 –

GE 1495 –

304 – BMB Isle lights, 2 pins on base

311 – MSC work light

WL-1315 – bmb spot lights in the headliner


GE 1308


gGE 313



da-27 DevoreLogo Light


6838 Small annunciator


701-2180 – bulb plus socket for overhead switch panel.




GE 1683 largebayonet


628 nav light










83 – small , shaped like a t1 only smaller


ge 1683


GE 305


GE 307

J12B  Oversize bulb for vanity.



7049 – very small single center pin, pin is spring loaded.

is that the same WI28t1pb15F for the Config Panel?




What are the EASA requirements for DFDR and CVR installations?

Here is my analysis of the specific requirements for DFDR Channel count requirements for

F900B S/N 051, Type certA46EU, originally issued March 7, 1979:

ICAO Annex 5 Part I, chapter 6

After reviewing every exciting paragraph carefully, we are NOT required to have a Type I, Type IA, Type II, OR a TYPE IIA recorder. These types of recorders have concisely defined lists of required parameters.

The paragraph that we are forced to comply is, and, including a), and b).

These requirements are VERY VAGUE and obviously meant to be looser requirements than the Type 1and type 2 recorder installations.



How do we comply?


DFDR P/N 980-4700-25 in BMB and BZZ:


We can now use the HHDLU owned by Duncan BTL.  Contact Scott Davis at FTW to rent it.


Send the results of the download to


Also send this list:


FalconAMM_Ch31_Appendix A


then fight through the results to see if anything is REALLY missing?  File the results.



some old notes


OTAR 91.140 (a) (1) (ii) 




Now then…. here is the history that was set in motion by the insistence of Dan Staina.

The items that we have been complying with up to this point are:
ICAO Annex 6 , Appendix 8, Section 7.
7.1 is complied by the Pilot’s Taxi Checklist.
         we got that sorted out 2 years ago with a Notice To Staff.
7.2 a), and b)  is complied by pulling the DFDR and sending it to Honeywell…..GIGANTIC pain in the behind.  Honeywell provides a letter that states the DFDR is correctly recording the parameters that the Falcon work card calls for. (32 parameter list)
c) is complied by having the pilots pull the C/B on the Taxi In prior to the removal.. That way we capture a full flight for Honeywell Analysis.
d) Honeywell.
e) The Falcon work cards fully test the CVR operation in the airplane.
f) “where practical” The CVR’s are removed  and read out every year. The CVR from BZZ goes to Duncan for readout. Honeywell for the other CVR’s.  We retain a voice CD of the recordings.  I was been verifying the “Intelligibility” myself by listening to the .WAV file.
I say that is SUPREMELY  UNPRACTICAL. I would like to suggest that you quit doing this and change the CAMP code to AS REQUIRED
g) N/A , none of the aircraft are fit with AIR (Video Recording)
7.4 we comply with this by filing the Honeywell and Duncan results right in the work order binder.
7.5 a) this is due on BMB.  It is not due on BZZ because it has been installed less than 5 years.  Best I can tell, this is ONLY the calibration of the 3 resistors that report the control column position.
This is the best summary of where we stood 6 months or so ago.
Portion of the ICAO ANNEX attached.









What are the Standard Data Interfaces for a DFDR?

ARINC Report 657 Airborne Recorder File Format

This document defines the characteristics necessary to standardize the airborne recorder download file format in order to facilitate data import, transcription, and exchange. A standardized data format will reduce the variety of readout equipment required for airborne recorder data transcription. This document defines the detailed architecture of the Recorder Standard Output (RSO) file. The architecture is a tagged file structure within which many different files and their formats can be supported. The structure is necessary to support newer recording requirements for flight data, data link, audio, and image recording. This structure is intended for use with all civil recorders and should support use with military recorders.

Last Print: 02/2009
Price (PAPER): $196.00
Price (PDF): $98.00

Godd reegulatory discussion


This AIRINC overview includes a detail of Airinc 573, for flight data recorders


Tool Box clean up

Diagonal cutters




Wrench Rail

tool box foam


Try FAST-CAP foam, or ROCKLER woodworking



foam blanks


better qualty



19.75 X 37.375Deep drawer is 14

5.5 tall.

Lower left large drawer is 7.5 tall 19.75 X 37.375

 wood is 15 x 19.5 for foam



Pelican 1650, very bottom shelf is flat 19×14



iwiss crimper tool