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Aviation news and comments.

Flying Stories for December 7, 2012

There seems to be a real hit-and-miss thing going on with aviation writers lately. Only one link to pass along this week.

Also, no flying for me this week either. The Swift annual is still only partially completed and was due the end of last month. No estimate on the completion time – I’m not good at working in an unheated hangar in temperatures below 40 deg (F).  Yeah, I’m a wimp…

Perry Sisson, the individual who set up the “World Domination – the Day of the Swift” effort has published his tabulation of the day’s flying. It has also been covered in several aviation publications recently. The bottom line is that 102 Swifts went flying that day  from 4 countries (USA< Canada, Brazil & France) and, after correlating time zones he determined that 33 were in the air at the same time and a total of over 136 Swift hours were flown that day.  It was a great effort by all involved – there is already talk of trying to better the result with another event.

I was going to publish a separate post (a couple of months ago) on my time at the West Coast Swift Fly-in – I’ll add it to the bottom of this post to add a little more to this effort. Enjoy.

Pilot celebrates 100th birthday at controls of his airplane
This is from The Journal in Martinsburg, WV. Thomas Reynolds took his first airplane flight in a Ford Trimotor in 1929. It sounds like he has been involved in aviation one way or another ever since. He recently celebrated his 100th birthday by going flying in his Evektor SportStar. He always flies with a copilot now, but he is the pilot in command and does all of the flying himself. We should all be so lucky…

The 2012 West Coast Swift Fly-in

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”.

Flying Stories for November 9, 2012

Yes, I missed my publishing deadline on the 2nd – I was out flying both days. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…

Swifts at Auburn (KAUN)

Three of the five Swifts at Auburn (KAUN) for World Domination Day.

Last weekend I took part the “World Domination – the Day of the Swift”.”  One of our Swift Association members got the idea of trying to get as many Swifts into the air as possible and started promoting the effort in social media. The idea was to go flying – anywhere – on November 4th and then report back to him with the details of the flight.

He has been swamped with information and is now trying to correlate all of it, including correlating time zones to see how many were physically airborne at the same time.

For my part, I joined 4 other Swifts and their crews at the Auburn, CA airport (KAUN) for a nice lunch. It was a beautiful day for flying – clear, relatively calm and temperatures in the 70s.

Today, on the other hand, finds us with cloudy skies and anywhere from one to four inches of snow on the ground, with a high of 28 degrees so far. My how times change…

Here are some articles I found that you might enjoy:

Wally Dier – Flying high in restored biplanes
This is from the Pomerado News in Poway, CA. Wally Dier is now 83 years old. About 20 years ago he was given a ride in a biplane and he has been in love with them ever since. He wanted to buy one, but couldn’t afford it, so he bought a restoration project. Now he’s on his third biplane restoration and isn’t looking back…

65th anniversary of Spruce Goose
This is from the UK’s Mail Online. The article includes several archival photos from Life Magazine.

Colorado pilot inducted into the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame
This is from the Times Call of Longmont, CO. Jack Greiner, a well-known name in aviation circles was recently honored by being inducted into the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame. He says he caught the aviation bug when ye was 12 years old. He has restored 11 antique airplanes and built 3 others from scratch. But he admits that he is beginning to slow down – Jack will be 92 years old next month.

Senior pilots soar above aging stereotypes
This is from the Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, FL. UFOs gathered in Ft. Lauderdale recently to receive the Turn Back Time award from the Forest Trace retirement center. UFOs are the United Flying Octogenarians, a unique group whose only requirement is that they are active pilots over the age of 80. We should all eventually be members…

Second World War veteran recalls days at flight training school
This is from Nova News Now dot com in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Les Corkum will soon be 80 years old, but back in 1942, when he was 20 he joined the Air Force in hope of being a pilot and helping out the cause during WWII. He reminisces a bit about the experience…

Page students learn the ins and outs of hot-air balloons
This is from the Navajo Times in Page, AZ. The annual Page-Lake Powell Balloon Regatta was held on November 1st. One balloon pilot, Cookie See, from Cortez, CO spends part of her time at the Regatta working with students in the Page Unified School District teaching them how hot air balloons work…

A passion for planes
This is from the Cranston Herald in Warwick, R.I. Stan Essex served as a plane captain for F9F Panthers aboard an aircraft carrier during the Korean war. But that wasn’t his only participation in the field of aviation. This month he will be inducted into the Rhode Island Aviation Hall of Fame…

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