Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Gone Flying...on Sunday

Jimmy Johnsons Aeronca L-16

Capt'n Jimmy at the controls.

Northbound on the Mississippi.

Southbound back home and into the haze.

On final for landing.

Jim puts 5 gallons in the tank.

Scott fires up the 1937 Waco YKS.

taxiing out.

Look at all the room back here!

Creve Coeur out the window.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Morning Departure

Eric Downing departs Creve Coeur in his Skyraider.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Creve Coeur-Saturday, Aug. 13. Glenn and Doug chase down an oil leak.

The say "If a radial doesn't leak, it's out of oil" and "A radial leaks to mark its territory"...

Oshkosh-Day 3.

Arriving back at Camp, we found our stuff even wetter than the night before. I set the sleeping bags out on the Mustang to dry and settled in in my clothes to stay warm. We'd heard from the Shuttle driver that the rain was finished for the week and I hoped the bags would dry out overnight if not the next day.

I was wrong...I awoke at 2:20 am to the sound of rain, raindrops dripping on my stomach thru the tent. Shazbot! I had to urinate. I put on my flip-flops, grabbed my flashlight and avoiding puddles and muddy areas, made my way to the Porta-potty. Getting old isn't for sissys!

Sky was awake when I came back. He had to go too. Our spirits were about broken. The only saving grace was his scheduled B-17 ride in the morning.

We slept fitfully thru the night, wrung out our clothes and headed off to breakfast.

The Mustang, wet towels and sleeping bags line the muddy road to the showers.

We ate at the Roxy again. Nothing great but at least it was hot. Then walked over and checked in for his ride. They said I could ride with him up to Appleton in the van and I gladly accepted.

Getting to Appleton, we were dismayed to see the first flight of the day people still there but ecstatic to see the B-17 pilots, Ken and Lorraine Morris. I had emailed Lorraine a couple of weeks before Oshkosh to ask if the would be flying the airplane together. She said yes and gave me their schedule and I had booked one of these flights for Sky.

We talked to Ken outside the airplane for a while and then seeing Lorraines silhouette in the cockpit, made our way to the entrance in the tail and upfront to the cockpit.

Sky and Lorraine in the cockpit of the EAA's B-17 "Aluminum Overcast."

Lorraine then told me to get upfront and switched places with me in the crowded flightdeck.

Capt'n Sky at the controls of the B-17, numbly assisted by his first officer.

Ken explaining the big fan on the left wing of the B-17.

The ceiling finally rose enough they could go fly and the first flight was off!
They came back 25 minutes later and now it was Sky's turn!

Ken and Lorraine Morris maneuver the big Boeing on the taxiway at Appleton.

Sky guards the sky against the wily Hun during his B-17 flight.

Sky disembarks after his B-17 ride.

On the ride back to Oshkosh, we decided to have lunch, pack up and head down to Madison
back to a hotel. The temp that night was supposed to get down to 55 f and I didn't was us getting hypothermia at Oshkosh.

We had lunch, made plans to leave right after the Warbird portion of the show.

We stayed just long enough for me to catch the EAA's P-64 making fly-by's. I had seen it fly in the 70's, maybe early 80's but it had been grounded since due to it being a one-of-a-kind airplane.

We said goodbye to our friends and packed up the Mighty Mustang. On the drive to Madison, we called the hotel and made a reservation. Had a great burger across the street at Daly's Bar and Grill and settled in for a good, WARM and DRY nights sleep.

Oshkosh-Day 2

Today was to be Warbird Day. We started out damp and dreary. I trudged over to the showers and washed the waves of sweat and stink off my wet body. The warm water of the showers felt good.
We walked over to the Country Store. I had a coffee, he had an Orange juice. We both had big cinnamon rolls.

We walked thru the Aeromart, stopping to look at a few projects

We walked down under threatening skies until we came to the Roxy, the old EAA cafe where we'd had bacon and eggs and homemade donuts in years past. We ate our breakfast and started walking down to the Warbirds when it started pouring.

Sky and I took shelter underneath Titan's P-51B replica which had just enough wing area to keep us dry.

The rain finaly stopped and we crossed the road into Warbird Land.
The first thing I noticed was that there was a Spitfire there!

Donnie in front of his next airplane purchase; a Supermarine Spitfire.
(Provided of course, he wins the Powerball.)

We looked at the Mustangs and then walked further east to see what else was there.

We came across the Confederate Air Forces P-39 Airacobra. The pilot was just out to wipe off all the raindrops and take the canopy cover off. When I saw he had a tip jar that said, "5 minutes in the cockpit-$20", I whipped out a 20 so fast it would have made Sean Tuckers head spin. Handed the bill (and a camera) to Sky and said, "Go take a look."

Bell P-39

I told Sky I'd never had the chance to sit in a P-39 but I wanted him to enjoy his visit.

After Sky had exited, we turned around and saw a beautiful Jug. No, not the girls, a P-47 Thunderbolt..

We went over and admired the big Jug.
Walked all around it.

Behind it was a tent with Bob Cardenas, the man who saved Glacier Girl from the ice in Greenland.

There was an older gentlemen sitting in the tent talking to all the ladies.

Sky pointed out it was Richard Cole,
Jimmy Doolittles Copilot on the famous raid.

I asked Sky if he had his logbook/autograph book hand and he pulled it out of his backpack.

We both shook his hand and he signed Sky's book for him.

What an honor!

We stopped and had a coffee at the Warbird Cafe and then slurpped down to the Classics.
I'd hoped that Thursday was the Warbird Show, but it was Trainer day...bummer.

The Martin Mars flying boat flies over Lake Winnebago.

Flying each day of the Airshow and making a water drop, the Martin Mars was the highlight of the show.

Oshkosh-Day 1

We had driven up to Madison Tuesday afternoon. Just Sky and I this year. Glenn had cancelled out at the last minute. We pulled into Camp Scholler about 9:15 am, paid our fees, found a spot and set up our tents.

I always wanted to take a Mustang to Oshkosh and this year, I
was not to be denied. I took Mighty Mustang! And Sky too!
Row 14 1/2 of Camp Scholler.

After we were all set, we hiked 3 miles, both ways uphill and in the snow, down to the Antique/Classic Flightline. We stopped at our favorite fast food restaurant-Subway-"Eat Fresh!" and had a bite.

Our friend John Cournoyer was about to give a talk in Interiew Circle on his beautiful Waco brought up this year by Terry Gardner and Jimmie Johnson.

Ray Johnson interviews Jimmie Johnson, l and John Cournoyer.

That ended and we decided to see what was there in the Antique/Classics. We saw six Spartan Executives and ended up talking with our photographer friend Eric Presten.

Reflection of Interview Circle as seen in the spinner of a Spartan Executive.

Wandering aimlessly thru the Classics, we came upon a beautiful 1929 Bellanca CH300.

But storm clouds were brewing, raindrops were beginning to be felt, so we hightailed it to the nearest shelter, in the case being one of the EAAs parking garages for all the little scooters.

We stayed there past the first wave. Sky decided to run back to camp and close up all our tents
(ed. note:   uh-ooooohhhhhh).

By the time he got back, it was Air Show time. He didn't want to watch and instead headed out to Warbirds to see what was there. I was hoping to see the A-20 Havoc come in or the P-39 make a few fly-bys but it was the same, old boring stuff.

I got a text from Sky during the air show: "Good thing I left Aeroshell Square"....
Just like a fighter jock, falling for some girl out at fly-in...

I told him we didn't come all the way here to look at girls! Geesh, what's wrong with that boy?

He didn't even notice the name of the front of the Mustang!

I wasn't leaving the flightline just so he could take some girl out to dinner, I had airplanes to watch!

(ed note: The previous is filled with sarcasm and should be taken as such by the reader.)

After the boy had a cold shower, we went to the Hangar Cafe, now being run by the Machine Shed and waited for the night airshow to start.

Sky was tired, so he left early and went back to camp. I stayed and shot the night airshow from the flightline.

Coming back to our tents, we found some of the contents a little wet, Okay, a lot wet. His sleeping bag was soaked and he slept in his clothes. My clothes bag was soaked but I had a dry sleeping bag.

Stay tuned for Day 2 of our great Airventure.