Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Visit to Jack Tiffany's to see the Autogyro.

We were in Columbus, OH for a couple days, so I had the idea to go see Jack and Kate Tiffany in New Berlin to see how they were coming on their extremely rare Pitcairn PA-18 Autogyro.
A short drive over and we were at Jack's hangar. He told us the history of the aircraft and how it survived. Jack showed us the rotor blades which he was in the process of recovering after their second boo-boo. A short tour around his projects and we got out of his hair.
Top pix shows Jack and Kate, middle shows the cockpit and bottom shows a rotor recover in progress.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Our Super Cruiser has crashed.

I'm very upset right now. The PA-12 Super Cruiser my dad and I restored culminating in it's first flight in 1976 had a "fuel problem" and a forced landing late last month resulting in her being seriously ... bent.

If I find out that some dumba*s ran her out of gas, I'm going to need to be tied down before I....

I'm very upset. This shouldn't happen.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Nothing feels good like a hot shower.

After a long day of walking in the sun looking at airplanes, perusing the fly market and sitting in Spitfires, there is nothing that feels as good as a long, hot shower. Here Skyler dries his feet as I get out fresh clothes in the tent.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Tuesday Eve/Wednesday at Oshkosh

I, like many others, like to see Warbirds fly. I think this was Tuesday evening. The Warbirds of America had about 7 fighters up, all in a tail-chase. A few of my favorites are pictured here, a Corsair, a P-40 landing in Flying Tigers colors and a rare P-51B.
Wednesday saw Skyler going out to the Seaplane base with a friend. He liked being on the lake and seeing the seaplanes.

Tuesday at Oshkosh

Tuesday morning we ran into friends Ken and Lorraine Morris who were doing the hand-propping demonstration. They needed a "qualified individual" to man the cockpit, so naturally Skyler voluntered (the spark plug wires were all disconnected). After that, we went and walked around the four Exhibition Buildings and the EAA Wearhouse. As we headed back to camp, Sky saw Glacier Girl and wanted to go see her and the Spitfire parked next to her. I recognized one of the pilots and started talking to him. He asked if I was still in St Louis and with that the guy standing next to him jerked his head around, looked me straight in the eye and said "Hello Don." I soon realized I had flown with him 12 years ago at Trans States. He said he'd left Trans States to go to work for the owner of Glacier Girl and the Spit, Rod Lewis. We chatted for awhile, then he asked, "Ever sit in a Spitfire? Ever want to?" With that, he just smiled, lifted the rope allowing me and Sky into the area and soon we were on our way around the wing to the cockpit.
He told Sky where he could step, where he couldn't and then helped him up on the wing and into the cockpit of the Mk Vb Spitfire. Sky sat there for quite awhile and then I got to go in and place my hands on the controls that Don Blakeslee once used to pilot the plane over England. I got out, we profusely thanked him and then walked back to our Fairchild with broad smiles on our faces.
Later that night we were out looking at the Mustangs. I was over looking up at the cockpit from the left wing with Sky reading the signs posted in front of the right wing. All of a sudden, a big man (John Muszala) walks my direction with Sky in tow saying, "If he wants to sit in the cockpit, just hoist up behind the wing. He can sit there as long as he wants." I asked Sky if he had asked if he could, but he said John had just invited him to sit in the Mustang.
I lifted him up on the wing (He's getting heavy!), one of John's workers was already there and hand slid the Malcom Hood back so Sky could get into the cockpit. I handed him my camera and he got a great shot of Sky sitting in the cockpit looking like a WWII fighter pilot.

Camping at Oshkosh

Our timing is perfect as we slide right in, being helped by the fact the airport is saturated with General Aviation aircraft and they are being turned away. We land on 36L and turn off right into parking for Vintage Camping. Glenn is right behind us. After we park I go over to Glenn to make sure he's okay, knows where Sky and I are parked/camped and then go back to tie down the airplane and set up the tent. We sleep well.

On the way to Oshkosh

We finaly got off towards the EAA Fly-In at Oshkosh at 9:30 Monday morning. It was cloudy, a thunderstorm had just passed and another was on the way when we slipped out thru the gap.

No problems up to Canton except the heads were running really warm, almost redline temperatures. Glenn keeps the power back to keep the heads under control but we still manage to do 95 mph.

We leave Canton for Poplar Grove, arriving at 2:00. We go have lunch and ice cream at Culver's, then head back to the airport to read the arrival notam. We see we can go in after the airshow and the field should be open for arrivals at 7:00 pm. We plan to leave Poplar Grove at 6:00 so we'll be over the Ripon arrival a little after 7:00.