Globe with the words Around the Pattern cured around the top half.

Flying Stories for November 23, 2012


North American F-86 Sabre
North American F-86F Sabre painted as flown by John Glenn in the Korean War.
Photo credit: D. Miller | Flickr:CC

Time goes by really fast in the holiday season. I’m surprised that the stores don’t already have Valentine’s decorations  on the walls…

I haven’t had much luck in the flying article area lately – it has been taking me a couple of weeks to gather any kind of meaningful list. I’ll keep trying.

I didn’t make much progress on the Swift annual the past couple of weeks. I’m probably half way through the inspection. It usually takes me longer than usual  because I tent to spend extra time doing little extra things that aren’t really part of the inspection – cleaning this and tweaking that. I’m down for parts right now. I have noticed a couple of instances in the past couple of months when the battery master switch was slow to release – turn the master switch off and nothing happens. Then in about 10 seconds or so you hear the solenoid click and the power goes off. The landing gear lights and fuel flow indicator are wired to come on when the master is switched placed on so it’s pretty obvious when you turn off the master switch and nothing happens.

If the relay stuck closed there would be no way to remove battery power from the aircraft – not a good thing in the event of an electrical short somewhere.

It’s one more reminder to always check to see that the switch or lever that you moved resulted in the action that you expected. That was pounded into us in our airline ground training.  Move the switch or push the selector button and then verify by some other means that the desired action occurred.

I took a look at the master switch relay and noted it’s part number and will order a new one from Aircraft Spruce. They have both a continuous and intermittent version of the relay for certified aircraft. The continuous relay is for use on things like the master switch relay. The intermittent is used on things like the starter and the landing gear that have no need to be engaged for more than 5 minutes.

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

End nears for Parr as unique pilots dwindle
This is from My SA in San Antonio, TX. Ralph Parr is a double Ace from the Korean War and one of the most decorated military pilots in history. Unfortunately, he is terminally ill from cancer. His long-time friend, Frederick “Boots” Blesse, another Korean double ace passed away last month. We are losing our military heroes at an alarming rate. Here is some of Parr’s story…

An aviator in love
This is from The World in Coos Bay, OR. Those of us active in aviation found ourselves taking up flying for all sorts of reasons. But I had never heard of someone who ended up as a pilot because they took a typing class…

The Other Riverside Airport
This is from The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, CA. Riverside’s first airport wasn’t even in Riverside. This article discusses the history of that airport, including a 1930 photo with three aircraft parked on the grass. Good history…

Tuskegee pilot shares stories of World War II with Great Lakes Academy students
This is from the Oakland Press in Pontiac, MI. Alexander Jefferson is now 91 years old. Recently he shared some of his WWII experiences with some students in Michigan – some of the experiences in his book “Red Tail Captured, Red Tail Free: Memoirs of a Tuskegee Airman and POW”.