I write this on my return flight from Prague to Zurich to Chicago to Tampa. I get home after midnight Saturday and will fly to Dayton Sunday. At least I can get a change of clothes.

There was a bit of drama earlier on this flight. I always try to book an exit row for more leg room. On this Airbus that row happens to be next to the restroom (Or lavoratory if on an aircraft?).  A couple hours ago (this is a 9 hour flight or so) a guy struggles up to the restroom but does not quite make it. Fell to his knees. I thought he was going to blow chunks right next to me. And it wasn’t even turbulent, nor had they served lunch yet….

I got up quickly to help him but only managed to break his face-plant somewhat. He went out cold. Flight attendants showed up and we got him turned and commandeered some pillows. Gradually he came around so it apparently was some kind of fainting and/or vertigo spell rather than some more serious medical issue. Eventually he was able to get to a seat with only some minor carpet burn on his chin from the face-plant. The flight attendants moved him to business class so he could get more horizontal for the rest of the flight. I told the flight attendant I was feeling a bit faint too and maybe should be moved to business class as a precautionary measure but they didn’t bite. I did get my pillow back however.

Occasionally you hear about some drama somewhere and it shows up on cell phone videos. My phone was in my hand as I was reading a book on it at the time. For me the choice was easy, put the phone down and help out the guy. Maybe some other passenger videoed this incident and maybe it will show up somewhere. I hope not.

Here is a nice Merlin with HKS going to a European customer. The panel above is from the Czech demo Merlin.

OK, on to aircraft business. Might as well get this out of the way now: The Merlin price has increased. The EURO has increased in value more than 12% over the USD. Plus, we are now including more details and adding more labor to the QBK. I have updated the price list on this website to reflect the change in the f/x plus updated a few of the optional items. HKS has also raised their price. Of course, there is no change to those who have already ordered a kit. And for those on the fence I will still offer you the past prices for ordered placed before the end of this month.

As for the factory trip it was excellent. There are plenty of Merlin’s in the production line. The 4 QBKs shipping this month are pretty much finished so I will now arrange the container. There are already 3 more QBKs finished and queuing up for the next container.

The quality of the kits is outstanding as usual. And as we put most of the parts in place for shipping there is nothing missing. Only some work remains on the HKS firewall forward documentation but that has progressed a lot since my last visit as well. I will have packing lists and installation drawings e-mailed out me shortly. I had pdf files of the panel but that is not good enough for making an exact CAD panel layout so I have requested the panel CAD file and expect it soon. It is about time now to make a ‘builders’ page’ on my web site. I will make this action and include stuff like the POH, assembly manual, FAA docs, build photos, CAD drawings, panel photos, etc….


Czech Duck, Czech Beer, Marek, my Czech aviation friend who picked up the Check!

I was asked about the Czech food. My favorite is roast duck with dumplings, sour kraut, and plenty of Czech beer.  I had it two nights in a row. The third night I was in Prague so to change things up I went to a Thai restaurant. And had duck curry!