Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Glorious Tuesday Evening

I can't think of a better way to enjoy a glorious fall evening. . .

The view from downwind at York, South Carolina.  The leaves are not quite at peak.  Soon it will turn cold and grey. . .
Brother Barbeau and I weren't the only ones enjoying the great fall weather.  Across the way, Russ Farris was flying his R/C DC-3 with Capitol Airlines markings.
When was the last time you saw anyone roll a DC-3?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Jumpseat Rider

My good friend John Mullis sent the following note: 

Your picture of Brother Baker's ancestor with the license signed by Orville Wright reminded me of something that happened to me at Braniff.   This was in the pre-TSA and pre-FAA intense scrutiny days, so what happened  next would be a serious anomaly today.  A very senior couple came aboard one of my flights and asked if she could come in to the 727 cockpit.  Of course we invited her in and then she asked if her husband could come up because he was a pilot.  Of course again.  He was in his late 80's, a diminutive man no more than 5'7".  He looked around just grinning and we all chatted for a while about his flying years.  He said he still had his license and he proceeded to take it out.  It was very old, kind of fading to brown but intact.  He handed it to me and I couldn't believe what I was seeing...his was signed by Orville Wright, in 1920 something.  The captain asked my why my mouth was hanging open and so I showed him the license.  Ed Leviker was the captain and he told me "John, close the door", which I did.  He then asked the man if he would like to ride in the cockpit with us from Kansas City to Dallas.  The man was so elated he could hardly stand it.  We strapped him in behind Ed, briefed him, and off he went.  Ed was as delighted to have him in the cockpit as the old man was, heck, we all were, and both of them grinned ear to ear all the way to Dallas.  It was a neat experience and I often thought about how good it was that Ed risked his neck to allow the old man to ride with us.  It was one of my most memorable 727 trips....


John is retiring from FedEx this month.  I know his colleagues will miss flying with him.

November 1972, John's first trip to "The Boat."  USS Lexington, Gulf of Mexico, near Pensacola, Florida.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fall Vintage Fly-In


The Carolinas-Virginia Antique Airplane Foundation (EAA Vintage Chapter 3) had it's Fall Vintage Fly-In this past weekend at Woodward Field in Camden, South Carolina.

The Jellystoners were there for the revival!

Brother Baker and I met up with Benny Zimmer and Les Kanna at Unity Airfield early Saturday morning.  Les has a spread on the North side of Unity's 2700 foot grass runway that Brother Baker and I both covet.  Does that make us bad people?  Seriously!  Look at that view!

In keeping with the theme, our three plane caravan to Woodward Field was arranged by vintage.  Les was our pathfinder in the '46 Cessna 140.  I was next in the '47 Luscombe 8A.  Benny and Joe were Tail-end Charley's in the '67 Cessna 150.

For you airline types out there (especially Airbus pilots), this is a chart.  I know it's old school, but that's how we do things at Jellystone Air Park.  This particular chart was a gift of the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission. . .  GAMECOCK 1 MOA, 100' AGL to 6000' MSL. . .  We went anyway!

I keep telling my wife (Nancy) that I know what I'm doing.  She keeps insisting that I call her whenever I reach my destination.  I sent her this "See; I didn't get lost!" picture of Joe and Benny standing in front of Jim Wilson's 1936 Cabin Waco.

Folks in the congregation. . .

Randy Berry, Benny Zimmer, Joe "Big Iron" Baker, and Les Kanna on the ramp at CDN.  Randy is Head Honcho of the Tree Top Flyers - EAA Chapter 1467 out of Gaston Airport (2SC8) just South of Columbia, South Carolina.

Randy has a great looking 1968 Cessna 150 that I forgot to photograph, apparently.  I swiped one from the Tree Top Flyers website.

Eddie Price, Chief Pilot at Pond Branch Airways, was on the scene with his 1950 Cessna 140A.  I found him chatting with Jack Austin.  Jack lives in Florence, South Carolina.  Their Great Great Great Great Granddads may have crossed paths way way way way back when.  Seriously!

Jerry Langley (pictured) and Ed Kale were there with their award winning 1941 Aeronca 65-CA Super Chief.  Jerry and Ed restored this airplane in a warehouse close to Brother Barbeau's UPS Store in the Southend area of Charlotte, North Carolina.  Gary and I would drop by every now and then to check on their progress.  (See photos at the end of this post.)

The '41 Aeronca Super Chief.

The Fleet was in!

A pair of Fleets.  Model 2 & 16.

Stan Sweiker with his Airventure 2012 Silver Age Champion Bronze Lindy 1929 Fleet 2 Biplane.


What kind of chart does one use in a 1929 Fleet Biplane?  Vintage, of course!

Fahlin Propellers, Sunnyvale, California.

Fleet 16 Biplane & the MetLife Blimp.

The other varieties. . .

Tree Top Flyer Don Schmotzer's beautiful 1946 Taylorcraft BC-12D.

Russ Farris was there with the 1957 Cessna 172 that he co-owns with Forrest Walton.

Whoa!  It looks like the fat lady moved to the front of the blimp!

This 1947 Stinson 108 was stunning!

Inside and out! 

You don't see that every day. . .

1971 Champion Champ with a two cylinder Franklin engine.  Red line on the tach was 3200 RPM!

How about a hand crank starter chain for your Fleet 16?  Just insert the handle and crank away. . .

The Benediction. . .

Brother Baker endorsing Benny Zimmer's logbook for a solo flight from CDN to LKR.

Parting shots. . .

Complements of Eddie Price.

Les & Joe in the Cessna.

Yours truly in the Luscombe.

Complements of Randy Berry.

I traded places with Randy for this shot.

Ed & Jerry's 1941 Aeronca Super Chief, November 2008.

Ed Kale with the Mighty 65.

The panel markings were all hand painted! 

A few years later. . .
Roxboro, North Carolina, May 2011.