Sunday, May 31, 2009

Stearman Formation Clinic

Snapped this with my wide-angle of the Stearmans practicing their finger-4 formation to qualify one of them to be a 4-ship leader.

I'll post more tomorrow. I got quite a bit of sun today, so I'll write more when I can put a sentence together.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mixed-breed Dog show.

Okay, so she looks a bit like Marilyn Manson. But this pup doesn't have a bad bone in her body. This 6-month old Australian-Shepherd pup is friendly beyond belief. I was shooting the mixed-breed dog show and this woman asked me if I could take a nice picture of her dog. I told her sure, but not inside. We went outside and found this little piece of shade about 3 feet wide. The dog is not trained yet, but we managed to have her sit on leash and still snap this portrait.

Beautiful dog.

Stearman F.A.S.T. Clinic

"Coming up on power now"
The Stearman guys at Creve Coeur just received accreditation from F.A.S.T. to give formation training. They have been having these get-togethers for years but this was the first official one. After meeting on thursday night, they flew the fabric off the wings friday getting people qualified for a 2-ship wing and 2-ship lead positions.
It's not much of a spectator sport, but to hear all those Stearman's crank-up can't be beat.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Cub Progress May 25 Starting to cover the tailfeathers.

Ace tube-cleaner Sky came out to the airport with me today to help me prep the tailfeathers for cover. I already had 3 of the 5 pieces cleaned off, so he quickly cleaned the other 2 and then we cut fabric for them.

We also had light rain this morning, so we rolled the Fairchild out to help get her clean the The Last Biplane Fly-In @ Bartelsville. We are planning on attending with the Zenith Z6a, a Travel Air 4000 and a Cessna 170.

I also lined up a photo-gig/shoot this coming weekend to cover a Stearman Formation Clinic being held at Creve Coeur.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Watching the birds.

When Gina and Sky went to a Birthday Party this afternoon and my daughter was asleep for her nap, I decided to stake-out the old Hummingbird feeder. This male ruby-throat kept coming about every 15-20 minutes. These suckers are so skittish and so very fast they're hard to catch, even with autofocus.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Great Day

I didn't get a lot done on the Cub today, but it was a great day.

Glenn and I helped Ken Thomas change the tires on his Bird biplane. Glenn got to fly the Zenith.
I got some great shots of Ken flying and of Terry and Doug Gardner flying their Ranger-powered Great Lakes.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"You say it's your birthday...Happy Birthday to ya!"

Today is my beautiful wife Gina's birthday. This morning, she went for her birthday manicure and pedicure leaving little Linds at home with me to bake her a birthday cake. Linds was truly a big help doing everything from breaking the eggs to adding the cooking oil to the batter and stirring it up. I didn't take her advice on how long to bake the cake (3 minutes) and baked it for 30 minutes instead. It turned out great!

Then, after Linds nap and mom got back, we went out to Macaroni Grill for dinner. I was disappointed to learn they had removed Vodka Rustica (my favorite!) from the menu but a nice word to our waitress had it coming our way. Then we went home and put four candles, one for each ten years, on the cake and sang Happy Birthday to Gina. Then Linds immediately blew out the candles, much to all of our surprise. This bottom photo, with Gina covering Linds mouth, was actually her 3rd try at the candles.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Terry Chastain flies the Waco YKS.

Terry Chastain flew his, John Cournoyer's and Scott Johansson's 1937 Waco YKS this morning. He said it flew faster than before and everything went well with the flight.

Ironing down tape edges

Kind of slow this week. I'm ironing tape edges and I just can't get into it. It's really boring and tedious.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nimitz the Wonder Dog!

I came home this afternoon and Gina was working with Skyler's dog, Nimitz. The little guy loves to please, jumps to the moon and goes thru tunnels lightning fast. He's going to be a good agility dog.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cub Progress 5-12 - Polybrushing and Covering

Finished brushing the polybrush on the fuselage (for now) and while waiting for it to dry, I decided to start cutting fabric for the tailfeathers. Started out with the rudder and did a stabilizer before I had to go home.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Taking Sky for a F-24 Ride.

After feeding mama a nice breakfast, Sky and I went out to the airport and went tooling around for a while in the Fairchild. He was as relaxed as ever and the plane flew every bit as nicely as before. Guess it's back to the Cub!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A little help washing the plane.

Saturday was wash day out at the airport. Lindsay wanted to tag along, so we had to accomodate her wanting to help wash the airplane. We only had enough clean water to do one washing on the top of the wings and tail but the airplane looks much better than it did.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Breaking News! The Fairchild flies!

I finished the Fairchild engine right after lunch (and the thunderstorms rolling thru!) She started right up, immediately after switching on the mags. We put the left side cowl on, went and got some gas and called Flight Circus. No TFR's, the wind was 030 @ 5 knots-we were good to go.

I hadn't flown her in nine months so I had to stop and think about what I was doing and the checklist. I rolled onto the runway, fed in the throttle and let her rip. A quick check of the tach and oil pressure-both were good.

You can see the video here:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

5-07 Fairchild almost ready to go.

Started out the day by having Glenn set the valves. Then I checked that everything was the way I wanted it and put on the bottom of the cam galley...again. Every year I have to take this thing apart. Every year I say it's the last time. I guess I like the airplane too much.
The bottom picture shows how the airplane looked when I left. I'm about an hour away from starting her up. Still have to hook up the battery, put the tools away and sweep the floor. This time I put Kitty Litter down so I didn't have the usual oil slick under my feet. If it starts and runs fine, we'll finish the annual tomorrow and then I'll get to fly her for the first time since August 1st of last year.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Fairchild Progress - The engine goes back together.

This part is tough. Putting the cylinder on, attaching the manifolds and the carburetor is easy compared to this. First, seen here, you put on the top of the cam galley. Then you put the cam shaft on and it's here that you can really screw the pooch. The #1 cylinder has to be top-dead center, the cam has to go in a certain way or when the engine rotates it'll smash the valves. Then you put the rocker arms in place, in a certain order. We had the book. There's no way you can remember this stuff.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Glenn test flies the Zenith after Carburetor Overhaul.

I've been up to my elbows in engine oil the last few days as I took my Ranger engine from my Fairchild apart to replace a cracked cylinder. I had a break today when Glenn decided to put the freshly overhauled carb back on the Zenith.
He test flew it and it got airborne in about 300 feet on 1/3 throttle. The temps were much cooler than before when it had the wrong carb jets in it. When he winds up the starter and then we hear that 1340 growl it makes the hair on my arms stand on end.