Page 1

APRIL 2004

VOL. 32, No.4


VAA NEWS/H.G . Frautschy


























Publisher Editor-in-Chief Executive Editor News Editor Photography Staff Production Manager Advertising Sales Advertising/Editorial Assistant Copy Editing



Executive Director, Editor VAA Administrative Assistant Contributing Editors


Front Cover: Dick Jackson has worked off and on for 40 years to complete the restoration of what has become the world 's oldest flying Sikorsky aircraft, the only flying Sikorsky S-39 "Amphibion ." EAA photo by LeeAnn Abrams, shot with a Canon EOS-ln. EAA Cessna 210 photo plane flown by Bruce Moore.

Back Cover:

In keeping with our "oldest of their type flying " theme, this is Red Hamilton and Marilyn Bose 's Cessna 180, Serial No. 30002, the oldest Cessna 180 flying . EAA photo by LeeAnn Abrams, shot with a Canon EOS颅 In . EAA photo plane flown by Walt Dorlac .





Knocking the rust off ere in the Carolinas it's be­ ginning to sound and smell like spring. Through the window next to my computer, I can see and hear the robins, and a few flowers are beginning to peek out of the ground. Lots of things are growing, in­ cluding my schedule. I've been able to make a lot of headway on my Luscombe project before the schedule gremlins got control of me. I have everything cleaned up and ready for the paint gun. I've mounted the new instrument panel on a jig outside of the air­ frame, and I've wired it to my handy Radio Shack power supply. Everything seems to be function­ ing perfectly. I can't wait to finish, but I' ll have to hold off for just about a month. I have been spending the last week or so getting the motor home ready to go to Lakeland, Florida, to attend the Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In. Norma and I will spend almost two weeks at the event; I'll be doing volunteer work for the Vintage Aircraft Associa­ tion, and Norma will be at work with the Aviation Unlimited Agency's display booth. Since we spend this amount of time at Sun 'n Fun, and almost three weeks at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, we have found that a motor home is the best way for us to travel. Once we get back from Sun 'n Fun, we are home for a little more than a week, and then we will be off to Oshkosh for the VAA and EAA board meetings. That will last for about five days. We will leave directly from Oshkosh for


Las Vegas to attend the AlA (Avia­ tion Insurance Association) convention for five days. We're home for three or four days, and then we move on to the VAA Chap­ ter 3 Fly-In, which will take place at the Burlington, North Carolina, airport. This fly-in is only about 4S miles from the house. It's a great time, and we're able to enjoy it with our local friends. So I guess the old paint gun will have to stay on the workbench for a month or so. Sometimes the things you enjoy the most are those you have to wait for! This April issue lands in your mailbox about the same time many of you will be brushing off the dust and pushing the airplane out of the hangar for the first time in many months. Before you strap in and head off into the blue, I'd ask you to stop and think for just a moment. First, do a thorough preflight inspection. Look over the airplane as though you were flying it for the first time, and didn't know any of its past history. Pull an in­ spection plate off and peek inside with a flashlight. You'd be sur­ prised where some critters can get to in an airplane's structure. Look in the wing at the inter-rib lacing. Does it show signs of being chewed on? If it does, keep look­ ing. The nest is in there somewhere. If you're uncomfort­ able pulling off the inspection plates and looking inside, ask a friend who's an airframe and pow­ erplant (A&P) mechanic to help you. Most would be pleased to see an owner/operator who has that

much interest in the mechanical condition of his or her airplane . Every year we have a rash of in ­ surance losses called in right after the first nice weekend in the country. An engine failure or a pi­ lot's rusty aviation skills are usually to blame. It's a shame, but sometimes these losses mean not only a dam­ age claim to property, but also a claim due to the injury of a loved one. Knock off your personal cob­ webs with a few laps with a flight instructor in the back or on your right side. Springtime is a great time to schedule your flight re­ view. If you live in an area that doesn ' t have a flight instructor current in the type of airplane you fly, then be careful and make a couple of solo flights before tak­ ing up your buddies. For those first "post-winter" flights, pick your days carefully. Windy condi­ tions you would have easily handled in the fall may prove to be too much for your rusty feet in the spring. Take it easy, and you'll have your airplane to enjoy for the entire season, instead of sit­ ting by the runway and watching everyone else have fun! Let's all be careful out there and pull in the right direction for the good of aviation. Remember, we are better together. Join us and have it all.


VAA SBA Solicits EAA on Air Tour NPRM Information The controversial FAA National Air Tour Safety Standards notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) was the subject of a recent meeting with the Small Business Administration (SBA) in Washington, D.C. EAA Vice President of Government Affairs Doug Macnair was among those who presented to SBA the hardships the proposed regulations would im­ pose on many small aviation enterprises. SBA officials wanted to know how many Part 91 operators the NPRM would affect; how it would affect their revenue; and what it would cost them to meet the proposed re­ quirements. EAA showed SBA how the rule would affect airfields, flight schools, and charitable organiza­ tions, and it presented alternatives that would allow the FAA to achieve its regulatory goals while reducing the burden on small businesses. EAA, which has submitted its fi­ nal comments to the FAA, feels the NPRM imposes restrictive require­ ments on the air tour industry that are unnecessary and not supported by the data. Worse, the rule reaches beyond the air tour industry and adds new requirements for flight schools that conduct casual sight­ seeing flights, Single-ship sightseeing operations, and operations that pro­ vide rides in vintage and historically significant aircraft. If implemented, the NPRM would likely force hundreds of operators out of business and ground histori­ cally significant aircraft because they couldn't feasibly comply with the new requirements. The NPRM also would increase the requirements for pilots and sponsoring organizations engaging in charitable airlifts and community fundraising flight events. EAA calls on FAA to with­ draw the proposed rule and develop a new proposal that incorporates the comments and concerns of the oper­ ators and public. 2

APRIL 2004


"There is little supporting data to justify the proposed wide-sweeping changes," said Earl Lawrence, EAA vice president of industry and regu­ latory affairs. For example, the NPRM would require a 1920s-era air­ plane operating at a nontowered Midwestern airport to comply with the same operational and adminis­ trative requirements as a helicopter constructed under current require­ ments and operated in continuous service over the Grand Canyon. "That indicates that the authors did­ n't follow past regulatory practice of producing regulations that are re­ sponsive to the wide variety of aircraft and operations conducted in the United States." FAA extended the official com­ ment period to April 19, 2004, to solicit more input from the air tour industry and other aviation organizations.

EAA Works to Preserve Ethanol Labels Working with the Wisconsin Ethanol Producers , EAA recently helped craft a compromise bill that gas stations will continue to identify gasoline that contains ethanol. The original bill would have removed this requirement, unless the pump dispensed reformulated gasoline at an airport for use as aircraft fuel. EAA, which holds a series of supple­ mental type certificates (STCs) that allow aircraft owners to use auto fu­ els, argued that clear ethanol labeling was needed with automo­ tive gasoline for flight safety reasons. "All current automotive gasoline STCs specifically exclude any gaso­ line that contains ethanol," said Earl Lawrence, EAA vice president of in­ dustry and regulatory affairs. "Most auto fuel used in aircraft is pur­ chased at a local service station, not at an airport. And most auto fuel users purchase their gas from only one station, a station that they learn from experience provides a safe fuel for their aircraft. Under the original

proposed legislation, stations could switch to an ethanol blend gasoline without informing consumers, in­ cluding aircraft users." EAA's proposed compromise lan­ guage: "A retail dealer of petroleum products shall post in a conspicuous place and in a conspicuous manner on or near the entrance to the filling station, garage, or other place where the petroleum products are being of­ fered for sale a notice stating, for each device that dispenses petro­ leum products, whether the device dispenses a gasoline-ethanol fuel blend and the grade of the petro­ leum product being dispensed." Multiple issues with gasoline oxy­ genated with ethanol in aircraft use include vapor lock and material compatibility issues.

No Appointment Necessary Medical Assistance has a new shin­ gle on the EAA Members Only home page at http://members. eaa .org/home. Easily recognizable and easy to navi­ gate, the site is home to up-to-date information on airman medical certi­ fication, the EAA Aeromedical Advisory program, and EAA Pilot Ad­ vocates. There are also useful resource links, articles, and downloadable FAA forms to help resolve a medical issue and keep you flying.

EAA Members Have Year-Round Free Museum Admission Starting March I, 2004, EAA members gained free admission to the world-class EAA AirVenture Mu­ seum by simply showing their EAA membership card. The new year­ round admission policy "thanks EAA members for their support in making our world-class museum possible," said Museum Director Adam Smith. "It also encourages members to bring family and friends to enjoy the facility more often." EAAers visiting their museum re­ ceive a special sticker that identifies them as members. Nonmembers can join EAA at the museum admissions

Get Your EAA AirVenture Planning Guide The EAA AirVenture Planning Guide will help you arrange your visit to Oshkosh from July 27 to August 2. Now available on the EAA AirVenture website at, you'll find useful information about the many lodging options, handicapped services, driving directions, commercial flight information, vehicle rental, ground transportation services, and more. View online or print the four-page PDF file and you'll be well on your way to map­ ping your EAA AirVenture adventure!

HOMEBUILT CAMPING Many VAA members who have interests in the homebuilt area are aware that the parking areas for custom-built aircraft have been expanded In recent years. Starting with EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2004, the pilots of custom­ built aircraft who prefer to camp with their airplanes will have a new location. The southwestern corner of the custom-built parking area (just to the north of the Fly Market) has been designated as homebuilt camping. Showers and other facilities are being readied for this shift in camping areas. For the VAA, it means that some additional parking areas will open up. If you've ever thought about camping with your vintage airplane, plan to spend a week with your fellow vintage aviators at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2004!

JUDGING STANDARDS If you 're planning on attending EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, and you'd like to have your aircraft judged during the convention, we'd suggest reviewing the latest copy of the Official EAA Judging Standards Manual, available online at on the link at the top of the page that reads "How Do I Show My Plane?" There is also a pair of associated articles on the judging process highlighted on that same web page. Even if you've re­ viewed the pages in the past, there have been some changes to the rules, so you may want to take a quick glance at the new document.

counter, and current members can purchase $10 family memberships that extend the free admission benefit to their immediate family members. The average cost of membership in a comparable facility exceeds $50. But for just $40 (or $50 for a family), EAA offers unlimited admissions to a world­ class museum, plus all the other benefits of EAA membership like a magazine subscription, discounts on EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, and more. The previous policy provided members with one free admission voucher each year. (Those vouchers already distrib­ uted are valid through the end of the year 2004.)

Biplane Expo The 18 th Annual Biplane Expo, the largest gathering of biplanes by variety in the world, will be he ld at Frank Phillips Field, Bartlesville, Oklahoma,

on June 4-5,2004. This nat ional event, he ld in Bartlesvill e since 1987, has attracted bip lanes from all over the Northern Hemisphere. The event is normally at­ tended by 3,000-4,000 people and 450-500 airplanes, of which approxi­ mately 100-140 are biplanes. All of the biplanes are flown to Bartlesville. This year the Biplane Expo's guest of honor will be Greg Herrick of New Brighton, Minnesota, who conceived, organized, and led the National Air Tour 2003, which was a re-enactment of the Ford Air Tours of 1925-1931 and which was done in celebration of 100 years of powered flight. The National Air Tour 2003 consisted of more than 25 aircraft of late '20s vintage flying in a group to more than 25 cities to illus­ trate to the American public the progress made in aviation since the early days of aerial transportation.

Herrick, a recognized aviation histo­ rian, an avid antique aircraft collector, and an aviation publisher, gained na­ tional recognition in September 2003 with his re-creation of the National Air Tours of approximately 75 years ago when aerial passenger service was in its infancy. In honoring Herrick's attendance, the Expo will additionally invite and host a number of the antique airplanes of the National Air Tour 2003 and recognize the pilots and crews who flew the air­ craft on tour during September 2003. The event is open to the public at Frank Phillips AirfieldField, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, on June 4-5. Gate admis­ sion is $3.00 for adults and $1.00 for children on Friday, June 4, and $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children on Saturday, June 5. The public will have close access to the pilots and aircraft. For information, contact Charles W. Harris at 918-622-8400 or www.biplane­

EAA SportAir Workshop Schedule Online If you want to learn how to build an airplane, an EAA SportAir Work­ shop should be in your plans. Held on weekends at locations through­ out the country, the one-, two-, or three-day workshops are available to EAA members at a discount. A comp lete schedule for the remain­ der of 2004 is now available on Untold numbers of home­ builders got their start at the workshops, and many of them have later told EAA that building an airplane was the most satisfying and rewarding adventure of their lives. EAA SportAir Workshops Di­ rector Charlie Becker reports brisk reservation activity for 2004. "Our TIG welding courses are full usually a month in advance, so EAA SportAir is offering two more courses this fall. We have a solid curriculum for each class plus the best instructors available." For more information, visit or call 800-967­ 5746. ...... VINTAGE AIRPLANE




I read with great interest Mr. Hurry's letter in the January issue of Vintage Airplane. He proposed the use of Mar­ vel Mystery Oil and a top oiler as a method for getting the lead buildup out of low compression engines. Introduction of MMO into the in­ duction system by a top oiler device is exactly the application for which MMO was originally intended. The purpose was to remove the gum, tar, and sludge buildups so common in the early days of tetraethyllead and non-detergent oils. Top oiler installations were com­ mon in the '30s and '40s, and they worked! Most drivers, however, just dumped additives directly into the fuel tank and hoped for results. Installation of a top oiler on old­ time auto engines is no big deal (you can coast to the curb if things don't work out), but it involves drilling the intake manifold and adding tubes, hoses, mounting brackets, etc. On an aircraft it would involve all those things and more. Most importantly, it could change the fuel-air mixture if the system is empty. This could result in burning high dollar valves and per­ haps an inconvenient forced landing. I will admit that the use of FAA ap­ proved products is pretty mundane and experimenting is more fun. How­ ever, keeping that irreplaceable antique airplane of yours out of the trees at the end of the strip is very im­ portant . (We have lots of pilots, but antique airplanes are getting scarce.) IF YOU 'D LIKE TO DROP US A LINE ,



PO Box 3086

OSHKOSH , WI 54903-3086





There is an FAA-approved product formulated specifically for helping our low compression engines spit out the excess lead that accumulates on valves, etc. Its name is tricresyl phosphate. It is marketed by Alcor as TCP. The stuff is availab le at most pilot shops and parts su ppli ers at a reasonable cost, and it works! I used TCP in a Jacobs L4MB en­ gine for nearly 15 years with excellent results. Prior to using TCP I had t o freq u ently p ull jugs d u e to lead buildu p on the va lve faces. Th e use of TCP so lved the problem in short order. So, what's a mother to do? We could build up an experimental system to introduce an undetermined amount of a "mystery" product into our engine. We could put a specified amount of a known, tested, and FAA-approved product in the fuel and go fly. Fritz Mair Keller, Texas

To clarify, adding any additional equipment such as a top oiler would have to be approved by the FAA. I agree with Mr. Ma ir's statement about TCP-it 's approved, and it works. Why mess with success? Mr. Hurry's letter was run primarily to point out two things: first, his expe­ rie nce with Marvel Mystery Oil not always mixing well with fuel . We'd be curious to know if any other members have experienced that phenomenon . Many members have used MMO for years and are happy with the results, and as another aviation magazine mentioned in an article a few years ago, there's always been plenty ofposi­ tive comments about the use of the additive. Second, Mr. Hurry's mention of "CAA approval" of a top oiler device still intrigues us. No other member has mentioned this CAA approval. Can one of our more experienced members help fill in the blanks on this? -Editor

WRIGHT DAY SOLO Our son , Elliott, turned 16 on December 15. I was hired by a major airline as a pilot just six months to the day before he was born. Natu­ rally, while growing up he has spent many hours flying with me and be ing around the aircraft restorations we have had in the garage. Last summer I began to "officially" teach him to fly. With his birthday so close to the 100th an­ niversary of flight, I suggested he might want to wait a couple of days after his birthday and solo on the 17th of December. He thought this would be a good idea. December 17 dawned with a high ove rcast and light winds. We drove out to the small grass strip where we keep our 1941 DL-65 Taylorcraft (civilian vers ion of the tandem L-2). It was a chilly December morning, and the air smelled like snow. We cranked up the old plane and gave it time to warm up before we took it around t he patch a coup le of times. Our last landing was at 10:30 a.m. We taxied back to the end of the strip whe re we were happy to see his mom and sister stand ing wa it ing to see hi m solo. Having signed his student pilot certificate , I stepped out of the Taylo r­ craft, gave him a pat on the back, and closed the door. At 10:35 a. m. December 17, 2003, Elliott rolled down the runway and lifted off on his first solo flight! He also became a fourth-generation pilot in the family. Afte r two t akeoffs and landings snow began to fall , and using good j udgment Ell iott t axied back to t he old hangar. Elliott 's first response as he laughed was, "The t ail su re comes up quicker without you sitting back there, Dad." The DL-65 Elliott had j ust soloed in came out of t he fa ctory on December 15, 1941, sharing the same birthday with Elliott-46 years earlier! Jim Baker Hudson , Ohio

The More Things Change... An editorial by EAA's founder

PAUL We have received several comments regard· ing our last issue of Vintage Airplane, and we were pleased that they were favorable and that we are able to continue to produce favorable re­ sults. However, in organizations such as ours, with our many and varied interests that range from the homebuilt, antique, classic, contempo­ rary, rotary wing and warbird aircraft, many times we find it very difficult to gather the en· thusiasm for the overall movement, which is necessary to ensure our total success. We must assure that we have among us both workers and a great deal of wisdom to meet the challenges that face sport/general aviation. In my many travels around the coun· try I am privileged to talk to many who are involved in various phases of aviation. Across my desk each day come letters expressing un­ happiness with aviation, in one way or another. How does one, in my position, meet these chal· lenges of attempting to reduce taxation, ward off the continuing growth of restrictions on use of airports or this vast ocean of air above us. All too often one believes that he or she can join an organization and that the dues will do the rest. I must admit that I too at one time believed this same thing, but it did not take me long to learn that this is not the solution to our problems . The solution is to develop a strong, reputable, hard working force. One that is not made up of ernotion, but is understand· ing and knowledgeable of the problems that we all face-regardless of the type of aircraft we fly. I am sure that in the last few years, for example, many of you are concerned with the inability to use your own public airport as was possible in the past; that you cannot drive, in many cases, to your hangar, or to load and un· load your airplane on the ramp; that you cannot scale 1()' and 12·foot fences in some areas to get to the FAA Flight Service Station; that you cannot use the lavatory in the terminal build· ing; that you cannot walk across some ramps to request fuel for your airplane. You have been concerned with the increas· ing number of control towers that spring up across the country, and the inconveniences quite often caused by them . You frequently lash out blindly at the three·letter word as be­ ing the cause of all our problems-FAA. It is like saying Uncle Sam is bad. Within any or· gan ization or group and in our government, there are many divisions, departments, and chiefs who make decisions that affect our lives. When a particular decision does have a major effect on our life, would it not be best



that we prepare ourselves knowledge·wise, to speak authoritatively on the particular sub· ject, whether it be TCAs, airport security, possibly the need for better and improved weather service, rather than to lash out at the three·letter word and accomplish nothing, but possibly lose the cooperation of many dedi­ cated people in FAA? True, there are those in FAA who perhaps are not as qualified or have the enthusiasm that one would expect. We too, in our organi· zation, have the same problem. It may be a chapter president, an EAA member, or an offi­ cer who at one time or another does not represent the true spirit of what we are trying to accomplish. Oshkosh time is a good example of that spirit. The great many FAA people who come here to work-a working vacation for them as well as for many EAA members-all serve the multitude and quite often. Though tired and exhausted , they are expected to perform per· fectly or respond patiently to an individual or group of individuals who have recently arrived and are fresh and enthusiastic. At the present time we have three divisions within EAA-the Warbirds, the International Aerobatic Club, and the Vintage division. (We

have since added an affiliate organization, the National Association of Flight Instructors [NAFIJ.-Editor) The purpose in founding these organizations, under the leadership and um· brella of EAA, was to gather within our membership, those who had a particular inter­ est in assisting EAA Headquarters by helping at our annual convention in providing forums, programs, parking assistance, judging, award presentations , and many of the other tasks so necessary to have a great event. Th roughout the year, they shou Id aid head· quarters by instilling a spirit of cooperation in the division members; and by providing leader· ship and identification for the group's specific interests. All too often this responsibility falls back on this office, and with the limited num· ber of hours in the day, I find that we too, receive criticism for not being more than we would like to be. So few can only do so much. This is why EAA and your divisions need loyalty and support, and understanding that dues are just not enough. Many expect to re· ceive a publication the size of SPORT AVIATION devoted solely to antique, classic and contem· porary aircraft, warbirds or aerobatics. However, with only 4,000 members in the Divi· sions (in 2004 , a total of about

19,OOO-Editor), the numbers are not large enough to cover the costs of printing, publish· ing and mailing a publication that can only be increased in size through increased member· ships and funds. (In 2004, the dues do cover the cost of each of the publications .-Editor) Many times I wonder if we are not in competi· tion with ourselves, when we must put out three extra publications. Perhaps there is a better way to go, and yet have the identifica· tion of each group with the leaders to help us, not only throughout the year but also in con· vention planning and at convention time. I would like to know your ideas and thoughts so that I can present them to the Di· rectors of the various Divisions . I can remember when we started with the An · tique/ Classic Division-for the first year we did not charge dues and very few joined . When a dues structure was set up, then people be· gan to join. I know that most of you are proud to wear the patches of the groups you belong to, and this is as it should be-whether it is an EAA Division, the Antique Airplane Association, the Professional Race Pilots Association, Soaring Society of America , or others. This identifica· tion of your interests and enthusiasm is seen on jackets everywhere. I take my hat off to all of those who belong to the many organiza· tions , and not only support them through membership dues, but through personal dedi· cation and enthusiasm. We must also use the same philosophy with the FAA to inspire those who may not be close to the problem or see the reality of the situation , to take a better and deeper look be­ fore making decisions. In my opinion, the day that FAA is separated from the Department of Transportation and the President of the United States sees fit to find and appoint a qualified Administrator of this important function , the better off we will all be.

This editorial by EAA Founder and Chair­ man of the Board Paul Poberezny ran in the September/ October 1975 issue of Vintage Air· plane, nearly 30 years ago. Paul brought it to our attention a little while back, remarking that it seemed we were still "working towards many of the same goals. " He suggested we run the article again , to show our current members where we 've come from and how we continue to work together as staff and volun· teer/ member, for the betterment of aviation.-H.G. Frautschy VINTAGE AIRPLANE


To EAA AirVenture via open cockpits



uly 26, 2003-0shkosh con­ trol tower announced, "Flight of three Stearmans, cleared to land. " Now anywhere else in the world, this would be an un­ usual eve nt for three Stearmans to be in the traffic pattern at the same time, but since the start of EAA Air­ Venture Oshkosh 2003 was only days away, this was a common sight. What made this flight unique, however, was that Richard Packer owns all three Stearmans and that three Packer family mem­ bers were the pilots. First to land was N9856H, piloted by me. This PT-I7 has been a famil­ iar sight in the Past Grand Champion line since 1986, when Richard received the Gold Lindy. Next to arrive were Richard's most recent PT-I7 restorations. Rich Packer, our son, was at the controls of N9856F (nicknamed "Fox"), and my husband , Richard , piloted th e third Stearman, N9856G (we call this one "Golf"). Taxiing off Runway 18, the trio of Army Stearmans made their way to the Antique parking area to begin their stay at Oshkosh.


APRIL 2004

Making the trip to Oshkosh from Radnor, Ohio, required a lot of preparation and some help from friends. As you would imagine, the front seat of each Stearman was a coveted prize, and each pilot se­ lected his or her passenger. Since this was my first flight into Oshkosh, my passenger needed prior experience with the conven­ tion traffic. Bill Bruns from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who re­ cently retired from the FAA as an air traffic controller, was chosen. Bill had directed aircraft into Oshkosh for many years, so it was time to put him on the other end of the radio. Richard 's passenger was Krista Wise. Krista has worked with us in restoring the aircraft. At 17 years o ld, Krista is an experi­ enced aircraft fabric envelope seamstress, rib-stitcher, and sander. Her normal duties at the Packer air­ port include mowing the runway and washing aircraft. Rich's passen­ ger was a longtime friend, Mark from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Departing from Packer Airport (5E9) early on July 26, the three

aircraft headed west toward Chicago with Valparaiso, Indiana, as the first deSignated fuel stop. A strong south wind, however, forced a stop at Warsaw, Indiana, for fuel. When flying in formation, the lead aircraft is responsible for navigation, with the other aircraft following along. I was in the lead aircraft, so upon landing at War­ saw, both Rich and Richard promptly wanted to know "where they were and why were they there." For those of you familiar with the Packer family, you are aware that it is hard for the Packer men to trust anything done by a Packer woman! Proceeding west, we landed as a trio just southwest of Chicago at Clow airport, where we made the last fuel stop before proceeding to Oshkosh. (Airports with north­ south runways were highly favored that day.) While on the ground, Richard called the Oshkosh con­ trol tower to alert the con trollers of our anticipated arrival. With the wind now on our tail, Oshkosh was just a little over an hour away.

From a stack of parts in a hangar in Buckeye, Arizona, Richard and Sue Packer and the crew at Packer Aviation created two beautiful Stearmans. Added to the Grand Champion Stearman restored by Richard in 1986, the trio was flown to EAA AirVenture 2003 to celebrate the first cen­ tury of flight. Flying north, we passed through a narrow corridor between Du Page and O'Hare Airports. On a clear day, the airliners going in and out of O'Hare look close enough to touch. On this day, the haze around Chicago limited our visibil­ ity. The time to Oshkosh went by fast, thanks to the tail wind, and the excitement of arriving at Wittman Field grew as we heard on our radios, "Flight of three Stearmans," at the Ripon and Fisk checkpoints. We were greeted in the aircraft parking area by a group of special people headed up by Kristie Bruns and Audrey and Bon­ nie Poberezny. Attending EAA AirVenture each year is the highlight of the sum­ mer. Normally, our Past Grand Champion sits just east of the Vin­ tage Barn and provides a common

meeting place for acquaintances to gather for the air show, or to plan the next adventure of the day. This year the National Air Tour aircraft were displayed in our normal spot, so we tied our aircraft south of the Vintage Aircraft Registration booth. Our Past Grand Champion sat on the east side of the road fac­ ing west, and the two freshly restored aircraft faced east on the west side of the road. The three Stearmans created a beautiful sight as you wa lked down the road. Camping in Camp Scholler is the only way to really experience the convention , and we need to give special thanks to Chuck Howald and his brother, Don. I'm normally the designated driver to pull the trailer to Oshkosh, but Chuck and Don volunteered their services so I'd be able to fly into

Oshkosh. Thanks again. With the aircraft secure and the campsite set up, we were ready to begin our week of sharing flying stories and showing off our air­ craft. We set up a table between the two new Stearmans, Fox and Gulf, and displayed two books showing the eight-year restoration. Restoring two Stearmans at the same time seems like a monumen­ tal task, but in many ways the second aircraft went together eas­ ier than you would expect. The theory that the second time you do something goes faster than the first time holds true for everything but wings. No matter how you look at it, there are eight wings, and when it comes to covering and rib­ stitching and sanding, the second time is not any faster than the first. Restoring aircraft that played such a vital part in history is re­ warding in itself, but sharing the aircraft with people brings its own rewards. Hearing the stories from current pilots mastering the art of flying an old biplane and watching an older pilot recall his first flight makes you forget the frustration of trying to get the rudder on and the sore fingers from rib-stitching. Our week at EAA AirVenture was over all too soon. Our departure was planned for Saturday, August 2. As the aircraft were being preflighted, Kristie Bruns came out to wish Bill a good flight. Since Rich's aircraft did not have a front seat passenger for the flight home, we convinced Kristie to come to Ohio with us. She said it was an offer she could not turn down. With the aircraft set for flight, it was time to start the en­ gines and head for home. The flight home was absolutely wonderful. We had good weather and good visibility. One fuel stop was planned at Valparaiso, Indi­ ana, where we serviced the aircraft and ate lunch with the local EAA Chapter. Flying three Stearmans in formation cross-country is an ex­ perience not to be forgotten, and it was a great way to celebrate the lOOth anniversary of flight. ...... VINTAGE AIRPLANE



Are you ready

for a new

flying season?


The sound of hundreds of wings in flight was distracting me from the job at hand, that being to get an article written in time to meet a deadline. But as I sat at the com­ puter, the buzzing of all those wings was starting to get irritating. How could that be? A lover of flight such as myself being irritated by the sound of wings in flight? Distracted, perhaps, for like so many of us I cannot help but stop what I am doing and look skyward whenever I hear the sounds of flight, but bothered? That's cer­ tainly not what the sounds of flight do to me. Yet here I was, starting to get really upset. So I went over to the window. Looking outside I could see that it was one heck of a beautiful spring day. The snow was gone. The grass was starting to green up. The sky was inviting me to get out to the airport and add the Tennessee Red and Diana Cream of my Super Cruiser to the cerulean blue that stretched to the horizon in all di­ rections. This was a day to be out flying, not sitting indoors writing, or tending to the "honey do" list. This might be what was causing my irritation. But I have learned that there are times when certain responsibilities dictate that I cannot be flying, no matter how badly I wish to be up in the sky. So that was not the cause of my aggravation. What was the cause were the hundreds 8

APRIL 2004

of cluster flies buzzing around the window. They too were eager to get outside, to stretch their wings in flight, before heading to the

And so it is with many, many pilots across this great land of ours. For whatever reason,they have managed to rationalize not flying throughout the winter months. greening grass to propagate their species. Those cluster flies appear every spring, filling the windows of many older houses, trying to get outside. They have lain dormant in the attics of our buildings, wings

folded in silent submission to the cruel elements found outside throughout the winter. They can't wait for spring to come so that they can once again be airborne, fulfilling their purpose here on Earth. And so it is with many, many pilots across this great land of ours. For whatever reason, they have managed to rationalize not flying throughout the winter months. They wait impatiently for that first warm spring day to head out to the airport and partake again of the gift of wings. For many of these pilots it might have been at least 30, 60, or maybe even 90 days or more since they last sat at the con­ trols of their aircraft. But unlike the cluster flies whose instinct for flight is inborn, these pilots have in many cases let their flying skills atrophy. Come the first nice week­ end day of spring, they flock to the airport, as do the cluster flies to the window, to regain the sky. Un­ fortunately it becomes quickly evident, especially to those of us who have stayed current through­ out the winter, that the adage "Use it or lose it" is a true saying. For me, those first few weekends

(or weekdays for those not constrained by oth er re­ sponsibilities) are some of the most dangerous times to be flying. It seems as if every pilot who has spent the winter chomping at the bit to be back in the air is taxiing for the active runway, or in the pattern, or en route to his or her favorite $100 burger destination . And whereas the bicycle analogy (you never forget how to ride one) is indeed often true regarding the ability to fly an aircraft, it is also true that if you have not flown within the past 30 days, your piloting skills have probably deteriorated to a certain extent. And if the last time you took the controls was before winter set in, I think I could safely say that a little recu rrent training might be a useful thing. It is not only stick and rudder skills that can get rusty (Did you remember to "dive away" from that quartering tailwind as you taxied to the runway?), but also the memory of procedures and regulations might be affected. For example, have you remembered that if you have not flown within the previous 90 days you will need to perform three takeoffs and landings (each to a full stop if in a tailwheel airplane) before you can legally carry passengers? Do you remember the right of way rules? Sometimes observing the antics that oc­ cur in the traffic patterns of nontowered airports makes me think that no one remembers those rules or, worse yet, no longer cares about them. Or is it just as simple as the fact that pilots forget, during the long winter, that the best equipment for collision avoid­ ance is the two eyes each of us was born with? So I have a suggestion that could help all of us who share the skies on those wonderful days of spring fly­ ing. Why not use these early days of the season to get some recurrent training? The FAA Wings program is a wonderful way to do that! I certainly see more pilots attending winter safety seminars than I do in the sum­ mer. If you have already been in the process of improving your knowledge by attending a seminar during those dark winter months, all you need to do now is get three hours of flight training ... one hour each of maneuvers, takeoffs and landings, and instru­ ment flight. By getting the recurrent training of the Wings pro­ gram, you are not only satisfying the requirements of a biennial flight review, and quite possibly reducing your own personal insurance premiums, but you will also make yourself a safer pilot. At this time of year, when your pilot skills might be at their lowest level, why not use the Wings as an excellent opport unity and incentive to knock off the rust that has accumu­ lated over the winter? Doing so will certainly aid in elevating you from being a good pilot, to being a great pilot. That is a never-ending endeavor we should all be taking. Doug flies a 1947 PA-12. He is the 2004 National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year. Visit his web­ site: www.dsflight. com.

2004 National Certificated Fligbt Instructor of the Year Douglas Stewart, MeFI North Egremont, Massachusetts Congratulations go to Doug for earn­ ing the distinction of 2004 National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year. Doug holds a Master Instructor designation and operates Doug Stewart Flight Instruction ( at Kline Kill Airport (NYl) in Ghent, New York. A veteran of U.S. Army service, h e is a longtime aviation safety coun­ selor, deSignated pilot examiner, and member of the National Association of Flight Instructors.


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ror many pilots w~o flew t~e S-39, it ~ecame afavorite, an~ one t~ey'~ remem ~er for t~e rest of t~eir lives. for ot~ers, it woul~ ~ecome an aeronautical ~oly grail. intage airplanes are re­ markable machines. When you think about their longevity, and the fact that so many of them can be rebuilt with not much more than average craftsmanship and a few special tools, it's no wonder that roughly half of all airplanes built since World War II are still flying. But there are exceptions. Many of the airplanes built before WWII did not survive the scrap drives of that time, or they were tossed into the dump. And some, despite be­ ing built robustly, were "ridden hard and put away wet." They were tools to be used and discarded when worn out, and not a second thought was given to them by some who flew and owned them. The Sikorsky S-39 was one of those tools, but it was a stubborn machine. At first glance it looks ungainly, but a more careful review of the structure and intended mis­ sion for the airp lane gives you a real appreciation for Igor Sikorsky's vision of what an amphibious air­ plane could do. It could go just about any place a person wanted to be on this Earth, from the Tropics to the Arctic, on a windswept




African plain or a beautiful blue­ green inland lake teeming with pike and trout. It was a remarkable aircraft, the "little brother" to the larger twin­ engine Sikorsky S-38, which was being used all over the globe to ex­ plore and survey. The S-39 was to be the well-heeled sportsman's personal mount or the conven ient chariot for a champion of indus­ try, an airplane he could take where he wanted. A person could handle and dock the airplane alone if need be, and it wouldn't need as much fuel as the S-38. The S-39 proved to be rugged, even more so than most seaplanes. Not many were built; besides the two prototypes, a total of 21 air­ planes of the S-39-A, S-39-B, and the final variant, the S-39-C, were constructed, but many went on to serve for more than a decade, and a few even longer than that, sol­ diering on into the postwar years. During the war they served on search and rescue missions and as bush planes, hauling in whatever was needed. When first designed by Sikorsky, the S-39 was literally a shrunk­ down version of the S-38, sporting a pair of 105-115 hp Cirrus Hermes eng ines and a pair of outrigger­ mounted rudders. It was first flown successfully on Christmas Eve 1929, but a crash on its third test flight on December 30 nearly ended the program when famed

Sikorsky test pilot Boris Sergievsky and the project engineer, Mike Gluhareff, had to ride the airplane down to a marsh on Long Island Sound after one of the Cirrus Her­ mes decided to quit. Unable to maintain flight on the other Her­ mes, Sergievsky and Gluhareff managed to swim away from the ensuing wreck, but the airplane was totaled. Since his early days as a designer in Russia, Igor Sikorsky preferred multiengine aircraft. He felt that when properly designed, the loss of one engine should not result in the loss of the aircraft. The S-39 became a single-engine aircraft after the accident with the prototype. Although Sikorsky still would have rather installed a pair of larger engines, another factor came to bear when the decision had to be made. Sikorsky Aircraft had recently become a division of the United Aircraft Corp., and United management made it known it preferred the airplane be powered by another United Aircraft product, an engine built by the Pratt & Whit­ ney company. A single 300-hp P&W Wasp Junior was mated to the S-39 airframe. It could even be argued that it enhanced safety, since it was unlikely that a twin-engine version wi th lower horsepower engines would have been able to maintain flight with one engine. The S-39 isn't written of very of­ ten, since its design and production was taking place at the same time VINTAGE AIRPLANE


Dick Jackson, of Rochester, New Hampshire, has loved vintage air­ planes all his life. He's owned a num­ ber of great ones, and still owns the rare Waco Model D, a closed-cockpit black biplane that comes straight out of the pages of 1930s The (use/age hull and wing bits and pieces for 5-39 pulp magazines like NSOV, SIN 912, lies in a loading area after being re­ Flying Aces. He also covered from the Alaska bush near Naknek, Alaska. It loves seaplanes, and had been stripped of just about everything usable, and so in 1962 he started was being used as a clubhouse by an 8-year-old Inuit researching antique boy and his friends . When found, it had small trees seaplanes. An am­ and undergrowth pushing up through the structure! phibian made the most sense, since you didn't have to leave it outside all the time, and you could just taxi up to the fuel pumps. Be­ ing able to alight on both water and land gave plenty of op­ tions for places to visit, instead of be­ ing bound to only seaplane bases. For practical reasons, he Most often, each piece had to be constructed using the ruled out wooden original parts for patterns. Here, a portion of the en­ airframes, since they gine cowling is used to create a pair of dies that were didn't hold up well used to press louvers for the cowling. over the years. That meant an all-metal as another Sikorsky Amphibion" airframe, and when the folder of (Sikorsky's coined term for his am­ research materials started to grow, phibious airplanes)-the four ­ it became obvious that the air­ engine airliner being designed and plane he was looking for was a built for Pan American Airways, the Sikorsky Amphibion. He soon dis­ S-40. Working closely with Pan Am covered that finding one was a real consultant Charles Lindbergh, Igor challenge. None were flying, and Sikorsky designed the airplane to be there were few bits and pieces that a quantum leap from the capabili­ could be found. Given the way the ties of the S-38. The S-39 wasn't an airplane was constructed, I suppose afterthought, but understandably, it it's not surprising that the parts didn't get a lot of notice when com­ seemed to scatter as soon as an air­ pared with its much larger brethren. plane was deemed unairworthy. Dick Jackson's a persistent New For many pilots who flew the S-39, it became a favorite, and one they'd England bUSinessman, a character­ remember for the rest of their lives. istic that has served him well over For others, it would become an the years while restoring the S-39. Once he decided to rebuild a Siko­ aeronautical holy grail.

rsky, he was going to pick apart every lead he could uncover. His first major breakthrough came in 1964, when he asked his good friend Steve Rhodes to follow up on his research. He gave Rhodes a list of the eight S-39s thought to be in Alaska. One proved to be if not the jackpot, at least a good start. At the end of the Aleutian is­ land chain is the small Inuit village called Naknek. There, Steve asked about the whereabouts of the re­ mains of NC-50V, which had been rumored to have been abandoned after being damaged in 1944 or '45. No adults knew of the air­ plane, but an 8-year-old boy did-he and his buddies were us­ ing it as their clubhouse! By truck to King Salmon and then by airfreight to Anchorage, it was finally shipped, dirt and all (so no little buried parts would be lost), to New Hampshire, where it arrived in 1965. Thankfully, the airframe did still have its all-im­ portant nameplate. Now Dick had a place to start, but didn't know how long the road would be. If he had, he might very well have de­ cided the project was pure folly.



APRIL 2004

Each of the tail booms was repaired and then coated with epoxy primer.

The completely new center section with its fabric covering applied. You can see the fuel tanks installed in the center section, which was done in the S-39C model of the airplane. Earlier versions had the fuel in tanks located in the hull.

The two long hatches and the smaller aft hatch allow you to gain access to th e cabin. The aluminum vertical tub e is a retractable handle that makes the climb up easier.

the restoration, but Dick was a stick­ ler that the airplane be accurately re-created. Since he didn't have a riding lens (which serves as an "at anchor" light when the airplane is sitting in the water), Dick had a new set molded. He was also miss­ ing parts to the Pioneer position lights, so molds were made and new red and green lenses were cast. Dick owned an original set of 14

APRIL 2004

The engine control quadrant, like the control wheel, is original.

Pyle landing lights, which were in­ stalled on many S-39s. Years before the project was completed, smooth-talking Larry Harmacinski talked Dick into selling the Pyle lights to him for his Waco ASO project. It gets complicated after that, but later, when a complete set of Pyle lights was made avail­ able, Larry bought that set, so Dick was able to buy back the set of lights he'd sold Larry years before! Each part of the project had its

own little mountain to climb. More than half of the wing ribs in the 52-foot wing had to be built from scratch. There are 72 pieces in each rib, which meant more than 1,800 pieces were made for the wing's ribs. The center section from NC-809W proved to be un­ airworthy, so a new section was built. Since the unusable section

From the original Sikorsky Am­ phibian S-39 brochure.

was intact, it showed the technical changes needed to convert the S­ 39 to a C model. Dick deviated from one method of original con­ struction-the original corrosion protection for the wings was a

combination of red lead oxide primer, covered by beeswax. The areas coming in contact with fab­ ric were dope-proofed using tin foil. For the restoration, Dick chose to use epoxy primers. The tail section also required the manufacture of some new ribs, along with a set of spars. The rud­ der is an original part that could be repaired. Even the ripples in the rudder's skin surface, which were there when the airplane was built, have been maintained. The first major piece recovered, the hull to NC-SOV, was severely cor­ roded. Three major bulkheads needed to be replaced, as well as the upper decking, hatches, and win­ dow frames. The bottom skins and the keel also had to be replaced. All of the riveting was done using the same methods craftsmen at Sikorsky had used in 1930. The upset side of the rivet was rounded, instead of flat . All of the hardware in the air­ frame is white cadmium plated, and all nuts that must be safetied are done so with cotter pins-no elastic stop nuts were used. All of the con­ trol cables are spliced, with no compression fittings used. The interior is strikingly origi­ nal. Since both fabric and leather upholstery samples were found from the various S-39s, Dick and

Patsy chose to use leather for the seat cushions, and the interior side panels were reproduced from ma­ hogany, using the original parts as patterns. The instrument panel is equally original, with the addition of a small panel that hides the modern switches and controls for the alternator, radiOS, and inter­ com. One of the original parts in the cockpit is the control wheel, which was disassembled and then reglued. The S-39 came equipped with a control wheel on the pilot's side, and a removable control stick on the right. Unlike the S-38, the cockpit to the S-39 is entered through the cabin. (The S-38 must be entered through hatches on each side of the cockpit.) With two up forward in the cockpit, there's still plenty of room for two or three passen­ gers in the aft cabin, though with three on the seat, they'd better be married or very close friends! Above the cockpit, mounted on the wing center section, is a neatly cowled Pratt & Whitney 96S-ANl, which is rated at 400 hp at 2200 rpm while pulling 34 inches of manifold pressure. (The -ANI is the military designation for the B series of the 98S.) The cowling sur­ rounding the Wasp Junior is new and secured using pins and wires.



I have been lucky enough to fly the S-39 with Dick and Patsy (Thank you, Hank Jackson) on a couple of occasions, and one of the most striking aspects of flying in the S-39 is the sensation that you're suspended from the wing and the rest of the airframe. That feeling comes from seeing all the struts that make up the intercon­ necting structure of the S-39. All of the struts on the Jacksons ' S-39 are new, and they're attached using the same system originally used by Sikorsky. Each strut end is secured using hollow steel tubular rivets, which are then filled with beeswax for corrosion protection. It took a lot of experimentation and re­ search to duplicate the system. The landing gear does have a modern system installed: Cleve­ land wheels and brakes. Originally, the majority of the S-39 braking systems were set up so that brake and rudder input could not be ap­ plied at the same time, but since NC-809W had been revised with toe brakes, Dick chose to use that configuration on NC-SOV. One of the biggest challenges af­ ter the fuselage was re-creating the landing gear. Four struts were re­ covered over the years, but none could be successfully rebuilt. A complete set of new struts was built, using chevron seals and the original end caps. Since the S-39s were built with varying sizes of tires, it gave Dick some latitude to choose something that would work well on grass and pavement. A set of 8.5 x 10 tires were picked and recapped to match the smooth tread from the 1930s. The tail wheel size is original and acts as the water rudder as well. The forks are original, but the spring, oleo shock absorber, and a few other parts had to be replaced. Two other additions to the air­ plane were made in the interest of safety. A set of wingtip strobes help keep the Sikorsky visible in the hazy summer skies, and Dick added an oil filter to the engine's oil system. 16

APRIL 2004

Dick and Patsy Jackson toast the restoration crew present after the wings and engine are hung. By golly, now it's beginning to look like an Amphibion! The fabric covering is Ceconite, with dope finish. Dick and his helpers mixed their own silver dope, working to get just the right amount of color. The Sikorskys did not have a lot of dope applied to the fabric, so Dick and his helpers did their best to keep the finish to a minimum. The yellow inlay on

the top of the wing is exactly per the Sikorsky finish speCification, and it matches a sample that came with the parts from NC-S4V. But what about that fuselage? In the 1930s Martin and Osa Johnson traversed Africa shooting documen­ tary films. They used a pair of Sikorskys, a zebra-striped S-38 they

Friends have added to the collection of the Jacksons' giraffe motif collec­ tion of cabin pillows. Both cloth and leather seat cushions were used on the 21 S-39s built-th e Jacksons chose Leather.

dubbed Osa 's Ark and an S-39 they called the Spirit ofAfrica. To honor both the memories of the Johnsons and of the designer of the aircraft,

Two forward and two or three aft is the seating arrangement of the S-39.

Dick and Pat chose to name their S­ 39 Th e Spirit of Igor and paint it in

the same giraffe motif as the John­ sons used on theirs. A black and

white photo was projected onto the hull of the S-39, and each spot care­ fully masked off. During their research, Dick and Pat were amazed at the number of different types of giraffe that exist in the wild-there are nine different marking sets for the giraffe. So how long did it take? Well, over the years, whenever some­ body asked Dick when the big Amphibion would be finished, his reply was always the same. "Thursday." Over the 40 years it took to col­ lect and restore the S-39, 2,080 Thurdays went by, with a couple of years taken off in the middle of the restoration. And over those decades 40,000 man-hours of work went into the project. Dick estimates that over the years, Patsy made thou­ sands of lunches for the volunteers. The restoration took more than half of Dick's lifetime, and he had some great helpers along the way. In the beginning he had Lockhart "Smitty" Smith, Chickie Mattocks, and others who are no longer with us, including Steve Rhodes, Phil Redden, Lyman Rice, Norman Wal­ lace, Stillman Worcester, and Bill Beck. Since the final eight-year push to complete the restoration began in 1995, the core of the hands-on effort was supported by John LaChance, Frank Stephens, Hank Jackson, Barry Jameson, Bill Thaden, Phil Sawyer, Dwight Horne, and Arthur Shute. Through it all, Patsy Jackson was there as well, supporting her husband to realize a dream that took an enor­ mous amount of dedication. Persistence. That's what it took. Heaps of persistence. Always keep­ ing the goal in sight, and never forgetting how much it meant to have friends who were always there to help. Do you think Dick Jackson remembers all that was given to him by friends and family along the way during those 40 years? Just look in his eyes wh e n he talks about their contributions. He knows , and he 's eternally grateful . ~ V INTAGE AIRPLANE


very legendary airplane has to start somewhere. There has to be a first one. But in the case of utility airplanes, like the omni-present Cessna ISO, the very early airplanes seldom sur­ vive. Working airplanes are exposed to operating conditions that often preclude long-term survival. Ditto the tailwheel-taildraggers tend to have lower survival rates. Still, mir­ acles do happen and that is the case


with Red Hamilton and Marilyn Boese's Fort Bragg, California-based C-lS0: it is the first Cessna ISO to leave the factory and only the third one produced (the first two stayed at the factory). Even more amazing, it never deteriorated to the point that it had to be fully restored. The C-lS0 was a logical out­ growth of the C-170. In fact, the prototype was exactly that: a C-170 with a 225-hp, Continental 0-470A

stuffed in the nose, plus and modi­ fied, rectangular tail surfaces, which were needed to handle the higher horsepower and speeds. It's not known how much input the mar­ keting department had on deviat­ ing from the curved outline of the C-170 tail surfaces, but it was a rad­ ical departure toward the modern. Art deco was out, cubism was in. The result was that, although the new airplane was clearly based on VINTAGE AIRPLANE


the 170, the 180 stood out in a crowd as being something new and different. Internally, the 180 is essential­ ly 170, with a little extra beef here and there. It's often thought that the 180 is a bigger, wider air­ plane but that's not the case. Not only are they the same width, but also for the first several years of production, many of the parts numbers were the same. Factory test pilot Hank Waring made the first test flight of the prototype in January of 1952, and it went into production even before the full type certificate was issued. The first airplane rolled off the production line in October of that year and full type certification wasn't granted until December. A year later, a total of 641 C-180s had rolled off the line at a base price of $12,950 1953 dollars. The first two production air­ planes were retained by the factory. Initially, they were pressed into service as demonstrators and per­ sonnel hacks. In 1956, however, the factory was updating the 180 line and one of the updates involved modified landing gear legs. As part of the testing they did what was essentially a test-to-destruction and the airplane chosen for that test was old Serial No. 30000. They kept dropping it from higher distances until at 12 feet, the airplane itself was damaged to the pOint that it wasn't economically repairable. The

Red and Marilyn with their Cessna 180. 20

APRIL 2004

second airplane produced was destroyed in an accident leaving N2802A (the first airplane the facto­ ry actually delivered to a customer) the oldest surviving C-180. Incidentally, the first 600 air­ planes reportedly had sequential liN" numbers beginning with N2800A, with the only exceptions being the occasional custom num­ ber for a customer. The last two dig­ its in the liN" number match the last digits in the serial number. The airplane was an instant hit. With what was blazing performance for the time, it was hailed as a true "Business Liner" and sales were strong, peaking out in 1955 with an astounding 891 airplanes built. The next year, however, Cessna intro­ duced the C-182. This was the C­ 180 with a training wheel up front

and no cowl flaps, and sales dropped sharply on the taildrag­ ger as the rank and file pilot dis­ covered the joy and simplicity of the nosewheel. By the 1960's approximately 150 airplanes a year were being delivered to those pilots who still saw the taildragger as the ultimate utility airplane and capable of going places the nose-dragger didn't dare go. Production continued until 1981 when the last 180 rolled off the line September 10th of that year. The first airplane delivered, N2802A, went straight to Conti­ nental Motors who put 788 hours on it over the next three years. Then it went through a succession of owners until Red Hamilton saw it listed for sale. Red freely admits that he is mechanically fixated on older machinery. In fact, that's how he has always made his living. He says, "I just like old stuff that works." He's always had an interest in air­ planes but it wasn't his primary pas­ sion when younger. "I suppose I shouldn't admit it, but I never did build model air­ planes as a kid. I was into cars, and still am. Especially flathead Fords. When I was in my teens, in the 1950's, I started rebuilding Stromberg carburetors. In those days, the old Flathead V-8 wasn't old. A lot of folks were still driving them and the hotrod community, which I was closest to, still used lots of them. My first V-8 was a '39 Deluxe coupe and, after driving Model A's, it made me feel as if I had really arrived." In his twenties Red went to work for an aerospace company where he found himself working with any­ thing but antique hardware. "I was in the R&D lab and we were building all sorts of stuff for the space program, including parts for liquid fuel rockets and ablative materials. "Outside of work, I was doing a fair amount of official and unoffi­ cial drag racing. Among other cars I had, and still have, was a 427 Ford Galaxie on which I built the head­

ers. I'd found on the flatheads that the best thing you could do for horsepower was get rid of the manifolds and go with tubing headers to make the exhaust flow easier. "I was rebuilding a lot of engines, the majority of them flat­ heads and I equipped just about everyone Many have speculated that the Cessna 180 was bigger with headers. Then, in than the 170, but they are the same size. The early 180's 1974, J. C. Whitney, instrument panel is nearly identical to its earlier cousin. my primary source for founder of the scheme draWings from Cessna and headers, stopped producing them, so Bombardier, had it stripped and put back in its I started making them myself and International Cessna 180/185 club. that's where my present business got He told us about an airplane that was 1952 paint scheme. its real start." "I'm an engine guy so I did the for sale and told us where to find the As improbable as it sounds, today ad for it. The ad read " . .. oldest C­ engine, an 0-470U, myself under the the old flathead Ford engine is enjoy­ 180 for sale ...." The word "oldest" supervision of an A & P. I love doing ing a major resurgence courtesy of the is probably what drew us in. crankshaft and rod work so I brought "That was about 1987 and no one the engine up to my standards. That nostalgia boom in hotrodding as well as the growing interest in early V-S was interested in whether an airplane was 600 hours ago and the engine Ford cars (1932-1953). Hamilton's like a 180 had any significance or not. has been trouble free and super company, Red 's Headers (22950 It was just another old airplane to smooth during the entire time. Bednar Lane, Fort Bragg, CA 95437, most people. We, however, really "Being a hotrodder at heart I 707-964-7733, liked the idea of owning the oldest added a Snyder speed kit to the air­ was ideally positioned and became Cessna 180 and especially liked the frame that added five to six miles per part of the boom. The activity was fact that it was the very first one sold. hour so it cruises at an honest 160­ partially fueled by the discovery of In production airplanes it's hard to 165 mph. It already had the pants on hundreds of new flathead Ford come up with something unique. it. engines the French military released "In some ways this airplane is a "We also cleaned up the panel. in the '90s. Besides his signature tub­ celebrity because it is one of the air­ The top half is original, including the ing headers, he supplies virtually planes shown in the 1953/54 pilot's "hockey puck OG" and antique arti­ every part necessary to rebuild or handbook. ficial horizon. The original plastic hOp-up a flathead Ford as well as "In the course of owning the air­ work is still on the bottom center doing custom rebuilds himself. plane we've tried to find out as much and we found an original glove box "When we were starting a family I as possible about the airplane and door through the C1S0/185 club. made it a point to avoid airplanes while doing that we ran across an ex­ "Basically, we've just enjoyed the because I knew they'd suck me in, Cessna engineer who had lots of old airplane and fixed things as we and I couldn't afford them. By 'S4, records about our airplane. needed to." however, things were going well "During the first few months, Red, however, is the kind of enough that I started working on my from October 1952 until January hands-on guy who always has to be license and did a lot of flying in our 1953, the factory did a lot of rework building/fixing/modifying stuff. club's ]-3, 172, etc. on the airplane. In fact, the paper­ And that's what drove him to his "We bought our first airplane, a work generated by Cessna on this current project. ISO, in 'S6 and had two partners. one airplane during that time is a "I bought a 150-hp Tailwind proj­ Unfortunately, one of them totaled stack of paper about an inch thick. ect that I finished and just started fly­ that airplane so when it came time "When we got the airplane it was ing. It may be a little odd looking for a new airplane, we didn 't have a actually in pretty good condition compared to more modern airplanes, partner." and most of what we've done has but it flies really well and is quite fast When Red and his wife, Marilyn, been in the area of cosmetics and for a 50-year-old design. Like I said, I went looking for another airplane the making sure it is good mechanically. like old things that work." ISO was on the top of their want list. We wanted it to look original so we And that pretty well sums it up, "We called Charles 'Bomber' bought a copy of the original paint doesn't it? ...... VINTAGE AIRPLANE


A Tribute to Cole Palen and

His Friend Gordon Bainbridge

The early days at the Aerodrome Ev CASSAGNERES

am very saddened about the recent layoffs of three key people who were part of the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in Rhinebeck, New York. Ken Cassens, Jim Hare, and Scotty MacKenzie were devoted workers whom I got to know intimately and respected. I wish I knew the real reason for their layoff, but I do not. However, I would like to at least convey my early experiences with that world famous aerodrome, created by James Cole Palen. Cole Palen and Gordon Bainbridge, along with a handful of others, will go down in history books as strong, quiet, humble, kind, and interesting pre­ servers of our wonderful flying heritage. I first knew about Cole Palen in the early 1950s, when flying friends said, "some guy" has been flying a WW I Spad 13 out of Stormville Airport, Stormville, New York (Pete O'Brien's place) on Sundays. Wow, I thought, what a sight that must be. I never did get over there to see such a flight. I did meet Cole, however, in about 1956 at an air show in Massachusetts. I was riding an original 1880 high-wheel bicycle at the show, and it was not long before we struck up a conversation when he needed someone to "prop" the Spad, or perhaps it was the Nieuport 28. I had earned my flying lessons in 1945 while working as a "line boy," and propping airplanes all day long, winter and summer. I thought I knew all the commands for getting one of these things started "by hand," until he informed me of the command "buzz," but that's another story. Some months later I recall riding my bicycle to where he lived in Poughkeepsie, New York, at his par­ ents, small home down the street from Vassar College. Imagine my eyes when he took me out back to the chicken coops and yard where he had stored several WWI airplanes, in various stages of repair, or disre­ pair, depending on how you looked at it. Eventually he purchased an old piece of property in Red Hook, near Rhinebeck, New York, with one house and lots of trees. Apparently there had been a murder in the old house, and the locals were a bit supersti­ tious, and the price kept dropping, as no one wanted it. But then along came visionary Cole Palen. The deal was made in no time, and soon the tree cutting be­ gan. Rock picking parties were the order of the day



APRIL 2004

(billions of rocks I'll have you know) but with the help of other airplane nuts like myself, a flying airstrip began to form, funny looking as it was. Driving over there from Connecticut on weekends as time went on, in my trusty old 1951 Hillman "Minx" was a real adventure. Spending the whole weekend completely absorbed in this fairy/dreamland was nothing short of fantastic. Cole was a task driver from the word go. We would work hard all day long on airplanes, rocks- you name it. The old house was full of charm-and I might add-dust, by the proverbial inch. No running water as a start, no operating toilet, and well, you know the rest. This was pioneering, and who cared, really; there were important airplanes out there to be taken care of. I remember it like it was yesterday. At lunch time, to the minute, we would break, go to the house, and sit in the, ahem, 'dining room,' where, and picture this, there was this absolutely huge, and very heavy

old dining table, the likes of a monster pool table, upon which you were likely to find just about any­ thing, and I mean anything, but usually airplane parts, a whole crankcase from a Hisso, OX-5, rotary, dope cans, pieces of fabric, water soaked old airplane books, and an "official" man eating "guard Kat," by the name of Pete. Pete the one-eyed cat, yes, a real live (most of the time anyway) honest to goodness cat with one eye. He drifted in from we know not where, became part of the crowd or crew, and left some years (many years) later just the same, off to we know not where and has not been seen since. Pete and the rest of us shared that humongous table, with real food of the day-a huge round can of the life-giving peanut butter, and a loaf of bread, maybe a piece of cheese here and there, a banana or two, much milk (much to the delight of old one-eye) and of course ice cream which we attempted to keep "ready" in an honest to goodness "ice box" (any of you younger aviators out there ever hear of one?). As Cole and I were single at the time, we would al­ ways look forward to Saturday night. Why? Because we could jump into his 1953 (I think) Chevy, and drive the 30 or so miles off into the country to Williams Lake, better known to the locals as "Willie's Pond." What was there, you ask? Aha, water and soap for one. They actually had real running water in showers and sinks and all that kind of thing. We would go early, get all cleaned up from two days of grime, and into our finest dress clothes (or what­ ever we could afford at the time with our limited funds, which surely were lim­ ited). Actually we really were rich men at that time. Even though we drove old cars, funny ones at that, we had an airplane or two. Cole had more than I. I only owned a rare thing called a Ryan, with two little holes in the top of the fuselage, and an upsidedown blue engine up front. Between us we barely had enough money just to put fuel in them. Well sir, as soon as we sort of became proper like, and I use the term a bit loosely, we would go upstairs from the shower room, and make a grand entry to the grand ballroom, where much to our delight was a live band, with the most wonderful music you could imagine, but mainly Scandinavian stuff, for dancing,

like the waltz, fox trot, rumba, hombo, and Iawegeon polka. AND, real live girls, the kind who would actu­ ally talk to you and look like girls, in real dresses and all the rest of those fine and frilly feminine attrac­ tions. What fun it was, for the two "daring young adventuresome" aviators to attack the place with our stories of grand dogfights over the "front" of Rhinebeck. That was living, I can assure you. In fact, this is where Cole met his future bride, Rita, whom he stayed married to for a long time. Rita had been a wonderful and devoted lady and a close com­ panion to Cole. But getting back to Willie's. When midnight ar­ rived , Cole would come over to me no matter at what stage of a wild hangar flying adventure I was in to some unsuspecting young thing who would "in­ sist" on giving me her phone number so she could find out the next exciting episode. He'd say "it's the bewitching hour, and we have to get back to the field to get some sleep" so we could arise at 6 a.m. to begin working on the airplanes. With that we'd head straightway for the door. I recall one night when it was raining rather hard, we drove along this dark and lonely road. Cole's head­ lights spotted some kind of animal that appeared to have been hit by a car in the middle of the road, and was just kind of lying there staring up at us. Cole stopped the car; we both got out, and went to the ani­ mal. It was completely Cole's idea to do something, even though I have always loved animals and nature. But he did something. He very, and I mean VERY, gently, and with a board , picked up the animal-I think it was a possum or beaver. He carefully moved the poor thing way into the woods out of the sight of people, and remarked, "animals and nature have a wonderful way of healing themselves and should be given a chance to survive like us." I never forgot this, Cole the giver, a man with a lot of love and respect for life, his fellow man, and laughter. We had a lot of fun in those days, scared ourselves all the time, but always found things to laugh about, even our own rather stupid mistakes and antics. Cole gave me a lot of chances to learn about "real" air­ planes, which I had loved since early childhood while building models. Back at the aerodrome, and after the interesting strip was cut out, with a hill at the south end and a curve at the northeast end, some flying began to hap­ pen. Some of the most interesting characters began to show up from all over the place. There were no "air shows" then. Just a lot of dreams on Cole's part. Sometimes, especially on a nice Sunday afternoon, people would show up, and mind you there were no advertisements, only word of mouth. If a family with children would stop in, Cole would ask if they would like to hear an engine run; and if they could adjust to that okay, "Would you like to see one fly?" And that VINTAGE AIRPLANE


GORDON BAINBRIDGE (Passed away October 31, 1993) Gordon Bainbridge was learning to fly from Dave Fox and rebuilding a Taylorcraft at the same time, when I first met him. Gordon was the first announcer for Cole Palen, in the very early days of the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome air shows. I have to admit I enjoyed just as much listen ing to Gordon on the microphone as I did watching all the aerial antics of Cole's WW I air­ planes as they flew overhead. It was a laugh a minute with a profound education on what was going on up in the air as well as who and what was in the air. Why? Because Gordon Bainbridge, like Cole Palen, was a special kind of person. He was an educator by profession, and at the time was teaching art and drafting in the local school system. He was also a very accomplished artist and craftsman. When those first old-time hangars went up on the field , Gordon was the artist who painted the names of Curtiss, Fokker, Spad, and others on them, to give the place that special kind of appearance, atmosphere and nostalgia. He also liked to do "caricatures" of those of us who hung out there, and was extremely keen on picking up on our so called talents as well as our weaknesses and blunders-especially our blunders. Case in pOint ... I had just purchased a 1936 Ryan ST, and spent a couple of weeks polishing and waxing it, and flew it down to an air show in Pennsylvania. When asked to fly with Harold Krier alongside his Great Lakes by Pathe News, I jumped at the chance. However, upon take­ off, and at altitude of about 50 feet, the Menasco engine quit cold, and with thousands of people all over that airport, I had only one little corner to land the Ryan. All went well until the left wing stalled first at just about the same time the left landing gear hit the ground, and broke the left rear spar at the junction of the flying and landing wires. So what does this have to do with Gordon and Cole? With not much money to have it fixed, Cole offered to do the job, loaned me his 1953 Chevy and "Rube Goldberg" air­ plane trailer and I brought the sick bird up to Rhinebeck, in a snow storm yet. All that winter the wing was repaired and both wings re-covered. By spring all was ready, and on a nice Sunday afternoon the airplane was put together on Cole 's front lawn right in front of his house. Of course I had to start up the engine, and taxi it off the lawn, down the road, and across the rickety bridge to the airstrip. But wouldn't you know that with all myexcite­ ment and "hurry-up-itis" I hit Cole's three-bladed propeller mounted mailbox with the wing tip, putting quite a dent in the mailbox, and scratching up the wing tip. Cole never stopped laughing about this but of course it was Gordon Bainbridge who re­ ally picked up on the opportunity to do a caricature of this "federal offense," which he did and which hung in the museum in some glass cabinet for many years. Every time I went over there and saw it I had to laugh myself, especially at my embarrassing blunder. Gordon was an inspiration to us all back then, and as the years went on he was re­ sponsible, together with his lovely wife, Catherine, who worked at his side, for the restoration of many of Cole's airplanes, and in addition building brand new replicas for the show. Gordon, his lovely spouse, and I were good friends, a friendship I have cherished all these years, and hope never to forget. Gordon Bainbridge had a special kind of quiet and wonderful dignity and a sense of humor similar to Garrison Keillor, one of my favorite humorists. I miss Gordon Bainbridge very much. Incidentally, it was at Rhinebeck where I first learned about and met John Miller, who flew a Bonanza in one day to Cole's place. Most impressive. I very much enjoy reading John's articles in Vintage magazine; he is quite a guy indeed. For the past several years I have been regularly flying into the Old Rhinebeck Aero­ drome in my 1953 Cessna 170, N1953A, to help with the building and authenticity of the replica Spirit of St. Louis. All other airports are boring in comparison. I will miss many trips into that place and how much fun it was. 24

APRIL 2004

was that, and we would put one in the air, with Cole doing the flying, of course. One day, I shall never forget , when he said to me, "Hey Ev, why don't you take the Aeronca C-3 up and do something funny with it?" (NC17447, which is still there.) And I said, "like what?" "Oh, I don't know, you have a good sense of humor, whatever comes into your mind is fine with me." So with that, we propped the little "bathtub" airplane, as it was known, and with only a tail skid on the rear end, managed to "climb" up to the top of the hill at the south end, turn it around, check the single mag (single ig­ nition) and push the throttle full forward . All 36 horses of that lit­ tle horizontally opposed two-cylinder engine got us started at "breakneck " speed, down the hill with what ap­ peared to be a lot of effort, even down hill. I was glad I was a thin and lightweight guy at the time. After what seemed like forever I finally coaxed that little pow­ ered glider off the ground, got some much needed altitude and played around with it for a while. Then I cut the power and glided off over the hillside and disappeared over a potato field and slow flew (that's the only kind of flying that airplane knew anyway) at 100 feet over the field. I then decided I had scared Cole long enough and came "thundering" over the field, crosswise, like there was no to­ morrow, finally doing a loop or two, and coming in on one wheel, forgot which one , and screeched to a stop. "Solo" the flying clown was now in the air show business, thanks to Cole Palen, and I went on to do this many years after that, usually with a C-65 powered Piper J-3, dressed as a real clown. Yes, it was Cole who gave me that start. Some of the characters who became part of the land there

were such names as IBM engineer Bob Love, old-timer and highly respected pilot Dave Fox, Morgan Cobb, Akron Funk, Don Brewster, (C-3) Owen Billman, 0-3) Tom Stark, Ralph Hasking, and of course the leg­ endary "Mike Spandau." We were all given the chance to fly his airplanes at one time or another, sometimes without warning. One nice spring day, during the week, when there was just the two of us sort of taking a break from working on the Spad and Fokker D-7, Cole asked the $64,000 question, Ev, would you like to fly one of these things? Hah, what a question indeed. I figured I had died and gone to heaven, and could not wait to climb into the Spad. I was all fired up, and full of confidence (which can be dangerous) until he swung that big prop and the Hisso came to life. Then every bone in my body shook, and I said to myself, "This is for real, kid, think you can handle this?" And the answer quickly came back-"NO, NO, NO." But what the heck, you only live once, just another adventure to add to the list of life's exciting challenges. So after a couple of dry runs, with the tail off the ground, down the runway, in both directions, I de­ cided I was now Captain "Rick-et-y-back" and had to take care of the Huns somewhere out over the Rhine (actually the Hudson River). And off I went. But that's another story, which ended up with a "fair" landing, and a smile from Cole. The D-7 was next, and this skinny old Connecticut fly-boy suddenly became the Von Richtofen of Deutsch-et-e-kut. Yes, Cole Palen was the kind of guy who loved air­ planes, old ones, and I think he got just as much enjoyment out of sharing this love with others who had the "disease" too. I was not the first pilot and I know not the last one he gave a chance to fly such historically exotic flying machines and other vehicles at the"Aerodrome" in Rhinebeck. What I liked about the place and him was the low­ key atmosphere. He was quiet, kind, unassuming, and gentle, with an excellent sense of humor. He could dish it out and by the same token, he would re­ spect others' attempts to crack a joke or funny story

and laugh along with them. He could laugh just as much at himself as with others. And that is one heck of a special kind of fellow in my book. He could be stone serious one minute due to some weird mechan­ ical problem , and splitting his sides laughing two minutes later over some silly or simple solution to the problem. Cole Palen was a modern day Rickenbacker, Doolit­ tle, Lufbery, Lindbergh, Acosta, Papana, all in one, with all the talents, daring, adventure, skill, cleverness nec­ essary to develop and run such an operation. A man I will always admire and remember, and miss. .......

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The four wings are of equal length, double cambered, forward staggered, and ganged for an adjustable angle of attack. (Dust the bottom and top wings were ad­ justable.-Editor]) Tom Flannery flew the Air Sedan from a field on the Washington County Fairgrounds in Fayetteville, Arkansas, for a distance of about 1,000 feet before being damaged on landing. No other flights of this aircraft were recorded. However, Mr. Zerbe contin­ ued to attempt flight with multi-winged aircraft after BY H .G . FRAUTS C HY moving to California and becoming an instructor at JANUARY'S MYSTERY ANSWER the Los Angeles Polytechnic High School. He devel­ oped a S five-wing Quintaplane with an open fram e and tricycle gear in 1910. This plane was reported to have damaged its landing gear prior to takeoff at the 1910 Dominguez Hills Air Meet in Los Angeles, Califor­ nia. The plane did participate in the closing parade and was last seen being airlifted by a hot hot-air balloon to Mr. Zerbe's workshop. Mr. Zerbe also developed a Sex­ tuplane with six IS-foot forward-staggered wings and two tractor props, but again there is no record of its success. Tom Godfrey Superior, Wisconsin Greg Carter of Fayetteville, Arkansas, would like to point out that Mike Eckels and the Fayetteville Air Mu­ seum at Drake Field in Fayetteville did much of the research done on Professor Zerbe and his Air Sedan. Our January Mystery Plane was not a great aircraft, but it was fairly well known . Here's one of the letters we received: The January 2004 Mystery Plane is the 1909 Zerbe Air Sedan, 4pC quadruplane, designed and assembled by Jerome S. Zerbe of Fayetteville, Arkansas. The cabin is clad with plywood; the engine is a 100-hp Gnome.

A number of other members were abl e to correctly identify not only the airplane type, but also the exact example built. They were are as follows: Jim Funk, Plano, Texas; Thomas Lymburn, Minneapolis, Min­ nesota; Larry Knechtel, Seattle, Washington; Wayn e Van Valkenburgh, Jasper, Georgia; and Dick Harden, Richfield, Minnesota.




APRIL 2004


John Gurholt ... . ........ Dartmouth, NS, Canada

Alex Burton . . ........ . .. Chilliwack, BC, Canada

Carl Zwanenburg ... Niew-Vennep, The Netherlands

Viorel Popescu .......... .. .. .. .. Arges, Romania

Stig Norrby .................... Ljusdal, Sweden

James w. Martin, Jr. . . .. ........ ... . Newport, AR

Stephen G. Chial .................... Aguila, AZ

T. Randy Gillette .. . .. . .. .......... Chandler, AZ

Brett M. Austin . .. ........ .. ... Laguna Hills, CA

John Balunda .. . .. . .. .. .... West Sacramento, CA

Tom Bower ........ .. ...... . .... Santa Rosa, CA

Roger Durham ................. Yucca Valley, CA

R. Richard Farnell .... . .. . .. . . Newport Beach, CA

Dwayne C. Green ..... .. .. ..... .. Santa Rosa, CA

William Madsen ...... . ......... . Garberville, CA

David Romero ... .. ......... .. .. Santa Ynez, CA

F. Hal Smith . . ............ . ..... San Ramon, CA

Paul Williamson ................ Chino Hills, CA

Terry S. Bloom ... .. ..... . ... .... Port Orange, FL

Lothar Boeck . . .. . . .. .. .. South West Ranches, FL

Michael G. Quinlan ..... ........ Summerfield, FL

Jamie w. Rhea .......... . ..... Bonita Springs, FL

James B. Roseneck ... . .... .. . . ... . .. Sarasota, FL

Billy J. Sides . .... ......... ....... .. Orlando, FL

William Smythe .............. .. ... Pa lm Bay, FL

Gerald L. Giroux ..... .. . .. .. . .. . Williamson, GA

Richard N. Pann ..... . ...... .. ..... Augusta, GA

Colie Pitts ..... . ..... .. ........... Douglas, GA

Todd Bledsoe ..... .................. Salmon, ID

David Schuck .. .. ....... ..... ..... ... Hope, ID

Terry R. Beachler ................. Chi llicothe, IL

William Harter .................... Bell eville, IL

William Kuesel .. .. . . ........... Streamwood, IL

Thomas R. McDonald .......... .. .. Napervi lle, IL

Thomas Murray . . ........... . ... . .. Rockford, IL

Perry Rhoads .. . .... .. .. . .. . ... .. . Carlinville, IL

Steve A. Comer .. .. . . .. . ... ... ... Glenwood, IN

John McGlone .. .... .. . ... ..... . .. Speedway, IN

Larry Schlotterback .. ..... . ... . ..... Syracuse, IN

David Voelker ........ ... ... .... Indianapolis, IN

E. David Crane . .. ....... . ....... Great Bend, KS Larry E. Leyda . . .. .... .. . . ... .. .. Coffeyvi lle, KS Pompei A. Cedrone .. ......... East Falmouth, MA Irvin F. Holdgate .... .. .... ...... Nantucket, MA Steve Page ..... . .. .. ...... ...... Amesbury, MA Doug Stewart ..... . .. . ..... North Egremont, MA David Willey ... .... ........ Vineyard Haven, MA Bruce R. Hoener ........... . .. .. .. Odenton, MD Danny C. Green ...... . .. .. . .. ...... Linden, MI Frank Mowinski .. ........ . .. Sterling Heights, MI Angiolino Consolati . . ...... . .. Bloomington, MN Scott Emkovik . .. ............ . Cannon Falls, MN Dean A. Griswold .. . ...... . ...... Princeton, MN Jennifer Lang . .... .. . .. .. . .. .. .... Beaufort, NC Storm Williams ... . .. . . ... . .. Winston-Salem, NC William Compitello ........ .. ... Englishtown, NJ

John E. Grindley ........ . . . ........ Yonkers, NY

Mike Current ..... ...... ...... . .. Loveland, OH

Matthew P. Frederick . .......... ... Freemont, OH

Leigh Mantell .. ........... .. ..... Nashport, OH

Steven Schmid .................. Jamestown, OH

Ted Williams .... . . .. ... .. ..... .. . Marietta, OH

Gary McClendon . .. ... . . ........ .. Skiatook, OK

Allen Miles .... .. ........... . ... Charleston, SC

William Dender. .. ... .... ......... . Etowah, TN

Rickie M. Friar ......... .. ... .. .. Millington, TN

Happy E. Smith ................ . Rogersville, TN

Brad Donner ... ................ ... .. Hurst, TX

John Luscher .... . .... . ... .. . .. ..... Dallas, TX

Daniel J. Martinez ........... . .. San Antonio, TX

Jan Scott.... .. ................. Lovettsville, VA

Kenneth G. Bixler .. . .............. Olympia, WA

Charles W. Hood . .... .. ......... Gig Habor, WA

Matthew Malkin ......... .. ......... Seattle, WA

Randall W. Snodgrass . . ............. Sumner, WA

Henry F. Bassett ... . ............... Madison, WI

Lawrence Runge ................. Franksville, WI

Tom Gomes .......... . .... . ..... .. Gillette, WY


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What if? I had a question the other day. A guy wanted to know about re­ porting an airplane accident. His question came at me all at once: Whom do you report it to? What is the definition of an accident as opposed to an incident? And what could he expect in the way of reprisals from FAA? I couldn't answer right offhand. I've been over this ground before, but since having an accident is the furthest down on my want list, I tend to ignore the subject. I did, however, do a little re­ search, and this is what I came up with. The criteria concerning an acci­ dent or incident are related to damage, costs, and injury. If a se­ rious injury resulted , that generates an expeditious report that is to be phoned into the near­ est National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) regional office and the local Flight Inspection Safety District Office (FISDO) office. (It's in the phone book under Govern­ ment.) Your report will trigger an investigation. The person you talk to on the phone will ask ques­ tions and decide whether you need an immediate investigator, whether or not you can move the aircraft, and what course of action you should take. NTSB is the re­ sponsible investigating agency. The FAA provides technical assis­ tance and in some cases may be designated by the NTSB to do the investigation, since FAA investiga­ tors are usually the first on the scene. A Flight Service Station can re­ lay an accident report to the NTSB and FISDO if you go that route. 28

APRIL 2004

Basically, if you've busted your airplane and can fix it with a mini­ mum of effort and dollars, and nobody got hurt, it's an incident. In all probability, if it was off-air­ port, the loc al fearless crime fighters (law enforcement) will be on the scene . They have the au­ thority to ask for your, and the airplane's, credentials and will call the firefighters and the rescue squad, and perhaps the State De­ partment. of Aeronautics, as a matter of routine. It will probably generate media attention as well-they monitor the local police radio bands, and as you know, airplanes create lots of interest. Do what the NTSB person tells you. Don't do anything to the air­ plane other than what is necessary to care for the injured. Post a guard to preserve the scene for the inves­ tigators and protect the public. What is the difference between an incident and an accident? Mostly, it's in the eye of the be­ holder. I'd say they were both reportable, but they may be either substantial or minor. How much metal can be bent? The NTSB doesn't consider cowl­ ings , fairings, a simple engine failure, bent propeller, and dented metal, substantial damage, but the FAA and the insurance company will certainly be interested. If it's busted to the extent that it's a mess, or serious injury has oc­ curred, then it's substantial. That generates immediate reports and follow-up paper work to be done in the next ten days. But like I said, if the local law enforcement and rescue people are

involved, then you report it as a matter of self-defense. Get your in­ surance people on the phone, too; they have a real interest in what happened, and may want to re­ view your report before it is sent to the NTSB. Most certainly they'll have an adjuster assigned who will want to look. With the emphasis today on general aviation operations and the supposed threat to National Security, that's another considera­ tion to think about. The media may just start with the "What if?" journalism, so be aware of this tactic. If your airplane is on a private airstrip, and no one is around, then the problem is between you, your conscience, and the insur­ ance adjuster. Keep a low profile; don't be afraid to talk to your in­ surance people. Normally there are no exclusions in your policy about FAR violations, but if it was a will­ ful neglect Situation, who knows? The insurance people are in­ terested in your report for other reasons, too. Is this a trend? Are they having repetitive accidents with this particular brand of air­ plane? What's the pilot's history, etc.? You can rest assured their statistical computations will be correlated and digested, and then the rates will be adjusted accordingly. The opinions stated here are en­ tirely mine and no one else's. Do what's legal and what your con­ science tells you. Over to you,


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The following list of coming events is furnished to our readers as a matter of information only and does not constitute approval, sponsorship, jnvolvement, control or direction of any event (fly­ in, seminars, fl y mark et, etc.) listed . To submit an event , please log on to www. vents.asp. Only if Internet access is unavailable should you send the information via mail to: Att: Vintage Airplane, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Information should be received four months prior to the event date. MAY 1-2-San Martin, CA-Wings of History Museum "Wings & Things Fly-In." Breakfast & lunch

served. Info: 408-683-2290 or

www.wingso{ MAY 8-Kennewick, WA-Vista Field,

EAA Ch. 391 Fly-In Breakfast. Info: 509-735-1664. MAY 14-16--Kewanee, IL-Muni (EZI) 2nd Annual Midwest Aeronca Fes­ tival. Camping on field, breakfast, flying events. Info: 309-853-8141, MAY I S-Middletown, OH-Middle­

town Municipal Airport (MWO). "Chris Cakes" Pancake Breakfast Fly-In, 8am-1pm. Sponsored by the Middletown Aviation Club. Info: Bob 513-422-9362. MAY I S-Riverside, CA-Flabob Air­ port, EAA Vintage Ch. 33, 5th Annual Open House. 200+ vintage aircraft and dozens of vintage cars and hot rods are expected. Fabric covering demonstrations, radio controlled aircraft flying, welding demonstrations, and a flea market. Young Eagles flights. For more in­ formation or to make reservations for Young Eagles flights, contact Kathy Rohm, 909-683-2309, ext. 104 or MAY 16--Warwick, NY-Warwick Aerodrome (N72), EAA Ch. 501 Annual Fly-In, Info: 973-492­ 9025, or MAY 23-Troy, OH-WACO Field (1 WF). VAA Ch. 36 Old Fashioned Barbeque Fly-In, llam to 4pm. Lunch at noon. Young Eagle Flights will be given, weather permitting. Info: Dick and Patti 937-335-1444,; or Roland and Diane at 937-294-1107, . JUNE 17-20-Bellamy Field,

Knoxville, IA (OXV). Ercoupe Owners Club 2004 National Con­ vention. Info: j.M.(Mike) Abrahams, 515-287-3840, Full info. at under 2004 Con­ vention button.

JUNE 17-20-Middletown, OH-(MWO)

12th Nat'l Aeronca Assoc. Conven­ tion. Air Force Museum and Aeronca plant tours. Aeronca air­ craft judging and awards, Aeronca forums, banquet with speakers. All welcome. Info: 216-337-5643, or JUNE 26--Prosser, WA-EAA Ch. 391

Fly-In Breakfast. Info: 509-735-1664. JUNE 26--Gardner, KS-Gardner Mu­

nicipal Airport (K34). Greater Kansas City Vintage Aircraft Fly-In. Enjoy vintage aircraft at the "Great­ est Little Airport in Kansas!" Info: 816-363-6351 or JUNE 26-Gardner, KS-Gardner Mu­ nicipal Airport (K34). Greater Kansas City Vintage Aircraft FlyIn. Enjoy vintage aircraft at the "Greatest Little Airport in Kansas!" Info: jeff, 816-363-6351, JUNE 26-27-Bowling Green, OH-

Wood County Airport (lGO) Ch. 582 Plane Fun 2004. Young Eagles, pancake breakfasts, aircraft dis­ plays, pilot forums, antiques, warbirds, homebuilts, and auto dis­ plays. 9am-5pm both days. Info: john, 419-666-0503,, or AUGUST 14-Cadillac, MI-Wexford County Airport (CAD), FlyIn/Drive-In Breakfast, EAA Ch. 678. Info: 231-779-8113, AUGUST 21-Newark, OH-Newark-

Heath Airport (VTA). EAA Ch. 402 Fly-In Breakfast. Info: Tom, 740­ 587-2312, AUGUST 21-Broomfield, CO-jeffer­ son County Airport. 8th Annual jeffCo Aviation Assoc. Fly-In, 7am­ noon. Trophies awarded in 9 classes. Drawing for a free flight in Dick jones T-6. Info: Daril 303-423-9846. AUGUST 27-29-Mattoon, IL-Coles County Airport (MTO). 2004 Lus­ combe Fly-In. Forums, Luscombe judging, shower, camping, electri­ cal hook-ups. $50 distance award. Info: jerry 217-234-8720.


Sun 'n Fun EM FIy-In Lakeland, R. (tAL)

MAY 14-15

Southwest EM Regional Ry·ln

New Braunfels, TX (KBAZ)

JUNE 18-20

Golden West EAA Regional Fly-In

Marysville, CA (MYV)

JUNE 26-27 Rocky Mountain EAA Regional Fly-In Front Range Airport (FTG) Watkins, CO

JULY 7-11

Northwest EAA Fly·ln

Arlington, WA (AWO)


EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

Oshkosh, WI (OSH)


Virginia State EAA Fly-In

Petersburg, VA (PTB)


Southeast EAA Regional Fly·ln

Evergreen, AL (GZH)


Copperstate EAA Regional Fly-In

Phoenix , AZ (A39)


Ch. 391's 21st Annual Labor Day Weekend Posser Fly-In. Info: 509­ 735-1664. SEPTEMBER 6·12-Galesburg, IL­ Galesburg Municipal Airport (GBG). 33rd Nat'l Stearman Fly-In. Fun and camaraderie. Aerobatic, formation, short-field takeoff and spot-landing contests. Aircraft judging and awards. Technical seminars. Aircraft parts, souvenirs for sale. Dawn patrol and break­ fast. Lunch-time flyouts. Pizza party. U.S.O. show. Annual ban­ quet. Info: 309-343-6409, stearman@stearman{, or

www.stearman{ SEPTEMBER 25·26--Nashua, NH­

Boire Field, adjacent to the College. Daniel Webster College 2004 Avia­ tion Heritage Festival. Aircraft, speakers, activities. Adult admission is $15, children 6-12 are $7, and children under 5 get free admission. Special discounts for families, sen­ iors, veterans, and groups. Info: 603-577-6625 or VINTAGE AIRPLANE




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Classified Word Ads: $5.50 per 10 words , 180 words maximum, with boldface lead-in on first line. Classified Display Ads: One column wide (2.167 inches) by 1, 2, or 3 inches high at $20 per inch . Bl ack and white only, and no fre­ quency discounts. Ad vertising Closing Dates: 10th of second month prior to desired issue date (i.e., January 10 is the closing date for the March issue). VAA re­ serves the right to reject any advertising in conflict with its policies. Rates cover one insertion per is­ sue. Classified ads are not accepted via phone. Payment must accompany order. Word ads may be sent via fax (920-426-4828) or e-mail (c/a s­ using credit card payment (all cards accepted). Include name on card, complete ad­ dress, type of card, card number, and expiration date. Make checks payable to EM. Address ad­ vertising correspondence to EAA Publications Classified Ad Manager, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086

April 23 - 25

Corona, CA

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Oshkosh, WI

• RV Assembly

May 14 -16

Griffin, GA

• TIC Welding

May 15 -16

Griffin, GA

• Finishing and Spray Painting

May 22 - 23

Frederick, MD

• Sheet Metal Basics • Fabric Covering • Composite Construction • Cas Welding • Electrical Systems and Avionics

june 4 - 6


• RV Assembly


june 11 - 13

Denver, CO

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june 25-27

Griffin, GA

• TIC Welding

june 25-27

Lakeland, R... Sun "n Fun Campus

• RV Assembly

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APRIL 2004

Warner engines. Two 165s, one fresh O.H., one low time on Fairchild 24 mount with all accessories. Also a fresh O.H. 145, 1938 Fleet 1OF, Helton Lark, and Aeronca C-3. Find my name and address in the Officers and Directors listing and call evenings. E. E. "Buck" Hilbert. Flying wires available. 1994 pricing. Visit www.f/ or caIiSOO-517-9278. For Sale - 1939 Spartan Executive, 3500TT, 10 SMOH. 214-354-6418.

Membership Services VINTAGE



EAA Aviation Center, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh WI 54903-3086

OFFICERS President


Espie "Butch" joyce 704 N. Regional Rd. Greensboro, NC 27409 336-668-3650

2448 Lough Lane Hart/ord, WI 53027 262·673·5885

secretary Steve Nesse 2009 Highland Ave. Albert Lea, MN 56007 507·373·1674

George Daubner

Treasurer Charles W. Harris 7215 East 461h 51. Tulsa, OK 74147 918·622·8400

DIRECTORS Steve Bender

DaJe A. Gustafson

85 Brush Hill Road Sherborn, MA 01770 508-653·7557

7724 Shady Hills Dr. Indianapolis, IN 46278 317·293-4430

sstlO@comcast.nel David Bennett P.O. Box 1188 Roseville, CA 95678 916-645·8370

Phone (920) 426-4800 Fax (920) 426-4873

Web Site: and E-Mail: vintage @ eaa,org Jeannie Hill P.O. Box 328

Harvard, 1L 60033-0328


john Berendt

7645 Echo Poinl Rd.

Cannon Falls, MN 55009

507·263·24 14


1002 Heather Ln.

Hartford, WI 53027


Robert C. "Bob" Brauer 9345 S. Hoyne Chicago, [L 60620 773·779·2 105

Robe,rt D. "Bob" Lumley 1265 Soulh 1241h SI. Brookfield, WI 53005 262·782·2633


Dave Clark 635 Veslal Lane Plainfield, IN 46168 3 [7·839·4500 davecpd@iquesl.ncl

Gene Morris 5936 SIeve Court Roanoke, TX 76262 817·491·9110 n03capl@nash.nel

john S. Copeland l A Deacon Street Northborough, MA 01532 508-393·4775

Dean Richardson 1429 Kings Lynn Rd Sloughlon, WI 53589 608·877·8485

Phil Coulson

28415 Springbrook Dr.

Lawlon, MI 49065


Geoff Robison 1521 E. MacGregor Dr. New Haven, IN 46774 260·493·4724

Roger GomoU

8891 Airport Rd, Box CZ

Blaine, MN 55449



2359 Lefeber Avenue Wauwalosa, WI 53213 414·771·1545

Steve Krog

EAA and Division Membership Services 800-843·3612 .... . ...... .. FAX 920426·6761 Monday-Friday CSn (8:00 AM-7:00 PM • New/renew memberships: EAA, Divisions (Vintage Aircraft ASSOCiation, lAC, Warbirds), National Association of Flight Instmctors (NAFI)

• Address changes • Merchandise sales • Gift memberships

Programs and Activities EAA AirVenture Fax·On·Demand Directory · ..... .......... .... ..... .. . 732·885·6711 Auto Fuel STCs ........ ....... 920426·4843 Build/ restore information ..... . 920-426·4821 Chapters: locating/organizing .. 920·426·4876 Education ... ..... . .. ........ 920·426·6815 • EAA Air Academy • EAA Scholarships

S.H. "Wes" Schmjd



EAA Aviation Foundation Artifact Donations ........... 920-426·4877 Fi nancial Support ...... ...... 800·236·1025


EAA Membership in the Experimental Aircraft Associ­ ation, Inc. is $40 for one year, including 12 issues of SPORT AVIATION. Family membership is available for an additional $10 annually. Junior Membership (under 19 years of age) is available at $23 annually. All major credi t cards accepted for membership. (A dd $16 for Foreign Postage.)

E.E. "Buck" Hilbert P.O. Box 424 Union, IL 60180 815·923·4591

AVIATION magazine not included). (Add $15

for Foreign Postage.)


Current EAA members may join the EAA War· birds of America Division and receive WARBlRDS magazine for an additional $40 per year. EAA Membership, WARBIRDS maga zine and one year membershlp in the Warbirds Divi· VINTAGE AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION sion is availab le for $50 per year (SPORT Current EAA members may join the Vintage AVIATION magazine not included). (A dd $7 for Aircraft Associaton and receive VINTAGE AIR­ Foreign Postage.) PlANE magazine for an additional $36 per year. EAA Membership, VINTAGE AIRPLANE EAA SPORT PILOT magaZine and one year membership in the EAA Current EAA members may add EAA SPORT Vintage Aircraft Association is available for $46 PILOT magazine for an additional $20 per year. per year (SPORT AVIATION magaZine n ot in· EAA Membership and EAA SPORT PILOT c1uded). (Add $7 for Foreign Postage.) magaZine is available for $40 per year (SPORT AVIATION magaZine not included). (Add $8 for


Gene Chase 2159 Carllon Rd. Oshkosh, WI 54904 920·23 1·5002

Flight Advisors information .... 920·426·6522 Flight Instructor information ... 920·426·6801 Flying Start Program ... .. ..... 920·426·6847 Library Services/Research .. .. . . 920·426·4848 Medical Questions ... . ........ 920·426·4821 Technical Counselors .... ...... 920·426·4821 Young Eagles .. . ....... .. . . .. . 920·426·4831 Benefits AUA . ..... ................. 800·727·3823 EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan ... 866·647·4322 Term Life and Accidental ... .. . 800·241·6103 Death Insurance (Harvey Watt &: Company) Editorial . ........ .. ........ . 920426·4825

........ . .... ....... .... FAX 920426·4828

• Submitting article/ photo • Advertising information

Current EAA members may join the Interna­ tional Aerobatic Club, Inc. Division and receive SPORT AEROBATICS magazine for an addi· tional $45 per year. EAA Membership, SPORT AEROBATICS magaZine and one year membership in the lAC Division is available for $55 per year (SPORT

Foreign Postage.)

FOREIGN MEMBERSHIPS Please submit your remittance with a check or draft drawn on a United States bank payable in United States dollars. Add required Foreign Postage amount for each membership.

Membership dues to EM and its divisions are not tax deductible as charitable contributions.

Copyright ©2004 by the EAA Vinlage Aircratt Association All rights reserved . VINTAGE AIRPLANE (ISSN 009t ·6943) IPM 40032445 is published and owned exclusively by the EAA Vinlage Aircratt Association of Ihe EXperimental Aircratt Association and is published monthly at EAA Aviation Cenler, 3000 Poberezny Rd" P.O. Box 3088. Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54903·3086. Periodicals Poslage paid al Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901 and al addilional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to EM Vintage Aircraft Associalion. P.O. Box 3086. Oshkosh. WI 54903·3086. Return Canadian issues to Station A. PO Box 54. Windsor, ON N9A 6J5. FOREIGN AND APO ADDRESSES - Please allow at leasl two monlhs for delivery of VINTAGE AIRPLANE 10 foreign and APO addresses via surface mail. ADVERTISING - Vintage Aircraft Association does not guarantee or endorse any producl offered through Ihe advertising. We invite constructive criticism and welcome any report of inferior merchandise obtained through our advertiSing so that corrective measures can be taken. EDITORIAL POUCY: Readers are encouraged 10 submit stories and pholographs. Policy opinions expressed in articles are solely Ihose of Ihe authors. Responsibility for accuracy in reporting rests entirely will1lhe contributor. No renumeralion is made. Material should be sent 10: Editor, VINTAGE AIRPLANE, P.O. Box 3088, Oshkosh. WI 54903·3088. Phone 9201426-4800. EM"' and SPORT AVIATION", the EM Logo" and Aeronaulica N are regislered trademarKs, IrademarKs. and service marKs of the Experimental Aircraft Associalion, loc. The use of these Irademar1<s and service marKs withoullhe pennission of the Experimenlal Aircraft Associalion, loc. is striclly prohibiled. The EM AVIATION FOUNDATION Logo is a trademar1< of the EM Aviation Foundation, Inc. The use of Ihis trademark withoul the pennission of Ihe EM Avialion Foundation, Inc. is slrictly prohibited.



• US Air Force and Air Force Reserve, 1953-1975 • CAF member since 1978 (Confederate Air Force, renamed Commemorative Air Force in 2002) • WWII "Warbirds" enthusiast • Maintenance officer - CAF Lone Star W ing, Marshall, TX - • Most unforgettable flight: P-51 Mustang, Peachtree, GA October 2003

"AUA's EAA Vintage Aircraft Association insurance pro­ gram is made to order for those of us who restore, main­ tain and fly the WWII warbirds. We like doing busi­ ness with a company that values-and appreciatesour a ircraft."

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