Aviation Stories for April 20, 2012

by on April 22, 2012

I think we missed Spring this year. The past couple of days have set records with temperatures close to 90 deg (F).  that meant I had no choice but to go to the airport. The warm temperatures taking hold meant it was time  to move all the the freezable items back to the hangar and restock the fridge with ‘after-flying beverages.’

That took most of Friday morning. Then, after lunch with the airport gang, I took the plane down to the fuel pumps and added some fresh fuel to all the tanks. (The price of 100LL at Stead is currently $5.34/gal if you were wondering.) My plan was to fly to a pancake breakfast Saturday morning. I put the plane back in the hangar and packed away all of my pre-heating equipment. Recent lows at a night have been going no lower than 50 deg.

Saturday morning dawned clear and calm. I was one of four in the run-up area, so I wasn’t the only one taking advantage of the weather. It was a beautiful morning for flying. Hardly a bump in the air.

This particular pancake breakfast was in Carson City, NV – at the EAA Chapter 403 clubhouse. In typical pilot fashion, I could have driven there in the time it took me to drive to the Stead airport – an equal distance in the opposite direction. And I could have flown there going direct in about 20 minutes, but I first flew in the opposite direction to cross  to the next valley to the east before I traveled south – increasing the flight to 50 minutes.

After all, the point was to go flying – not just to eat pancakes (though they were very good, at a reasonable price and with good company).

Here are some articles that you may have missed this week:

Spitfire Aircraft  2-seat version

Twenty Spitfires to fly again?

By now I’m sure that you have seen this information- this was one of the first news releases about a week ago, but now virtually all of the aviation news channels have broadcast it.

This is from iTV News in the UK. A recent agreement with the Burmese government may result in the recovery and restoration of up to twenty Spitfire aircraft which were ordered to be buried toward the end of WWII. This sounds like a great opportunity to see more of these planes flying…

Grandma is going flying.
This is from the Southern Oregon Mail Tribune. Nancy Meyer, 74, has several things on her ‘bucket list’ that have already been accomplished. Now she is in the process of checking off another – she is earning her private pilot certificate. It sounds like she is the perfect student…

Time for a Mock statue?
This is from the Columbus, OH Dispatch. Jerrie Mock was the first woman to successfully fly solo around the world, though she was not the first to try. However, more recognition is given to the famous failed attempt by Earhart than the success of Mock. Now a group of supporters in Ohio are trying to gather the funds to erect a statue in her honor…

Another person who built his own simulator.
This is from the San Jose (CA) Mercury News. Back in April of last year I gave you a link to a Microsoft employee who built his own flight simulator. It appears that he is not alone in his efforts. James Price (an air traffic controller and private pilot) has a B-737 simulator in his garage built in an actual B-737 cockpit.  And his buddy in LA has one, too.  I wonder if he could recoup some of his costs if he got the FAA to certify it and rented it out for Instrument Proficiency checks?

Jim April 22, 2012 at 10:36 am

Tracy,
I stumbled on this summary of facts and figures from WWII aviation that you may find interesting. Note the low number of hours many WWII pilots had when they were sent into battle. I found this to be quite interesting reading.

http://www.usshancockcv19.com/history6.htm

Tracy April 22, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Jim,

Certainly a different philosophy about training during wartime.

For those of you without the time or inclination to go to the website he mentions, the information he refers to is:

Experience Level:

Uncle Sam sent many of his sons to war with absolute minimums of training. Some fighter pilots entered combat in 1942 with less than one hour in their assigned aircraft.

The 357th Fighter Group (often known as The Yoxford Boys) went to England in late 1943 having trained on P-39s. The group never saw a Mustang until shortly before its first combat mission. A high-time P-51 pilot had 30 hours in type. Many had fewer than five hours. Some had one hour.

Tracy

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