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Just Call Me El Stupido

By Ian Brown, Editor, Bits and Pieces, EAA 657159

October 2016 - It’s been a train wreck of a couple of weeks. As a career software engineer, I knew and understood deeply the value of backups. We backed up the important stuff to an offsite location which, in the early days, meant physically running 2,400-foot magnetic tapes to another site in a vehicle. Of course commercial data is distinctly more valuable than personal contacts and e-mail conversations, but backups are still very important.

I bought a new laptop a couple of years ago and decided that, with 1,000 gigabytes of space, I’d keep the backup on the internal hard drive. The tech savvy among you are already cringing, I know. Well, the worst happened, and my hard drive died.

Without belabouring the point, I just want to pass on a “do it now” reminder to all of you who don’t have a recent backup of all your hard work, or even just your e-mail and Skype contacts. You'll sleep better.

It was with deep sadness that we learned about several aviation-related deaths this week. First of all, Red Bull Air Race superstar Hannes Arch died in a tragic nighttime helicopter flight. A very experienced glider pilot, Jacques Fontaine, died at my local airport within a kilometre of the end of the runway, and then the next day there was a fatal crash in a more remote area of Quebec in which two of the three occupants perished and one was badly burned. Our thoughts go to the survivors and the families of all involved.

Flying into Oshkosh this year was a delight. Arriving is so busy we forgot to take a video, so imagine how pleased we were to find a very brief video online that included a flash of our aircraft arriving. It was about seven seconds into the link, so don’t miss it. It’s the white RV-9A with the red tail.

Well, it’s been a tough week all round. The word “crash” is never a popular word with aviators, but a hard-disk crash? The good news is that with the purchase of a SATA-USB cable, I was able to rescue all my files from the bad hard drive and get this newsletter out on time, and even rescue the dead laptop with a new internal hard drive. Okay, finished writing. Time to back this all up.

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