Around the Pattern

Ramblings about flying for fun and profit.

Category: Aviation News (Page 5 of 44)

Flying Stories for September 21, 2012

Yes, I know I’m a bit late with some aviation article links.  September is really a busy month around here and frankly for quite a while I wasn’t finding any articles I was willing to pass along.

I did finally get back into the air with the Swift, though. I tried about a month ago, but ended up with a maintenance delay instead. When I got to the hangar I found that the tailwheel was flat.  Hmm.  I must have worked for 20 minutes trying to get the air hose from the compressor onto the filler for the tailwheel tube. There isn’t a whole lot of room where the filler neck comes out of the wheel half. It’s always been a chore, but this time it just wouldn’t work.

So, I took the tailwheel off the plane and tried it again – this time the filler neck just fell off of the tailwheel – it completely separated from the tube. Guess that’s why it wasn’t holding air anymore. A 3/8″ hole in the tube will do that…

I ordered a new tire and tube – I figured that the tire was probably half way through its life and I may as well replace them both. The Swift has an 8″ Scott 2600 pneumatic tailwheel – steerable. Nice.  The larger wheel, though providing a bit more drag, gets the nose down just a little more on the ground and gives a bit more taxi visibility. The parts order arrived 3 days later and on the fourth day I installed it.

I had work to do the following two days, but then flew down to Minden for breakfast – a two-ship formation with a friend who built an RV-6A.  It was a nice day – though a bit hot on the way back to Stead. For our route south to Minden we took a westerly track – past Truckee (KTRK) and then around the eastern shore of Tahoe to Spooners Summit – a pass to the NW of Minden.  We were surprised as we went through the pass by opposite direction traffic – a powered parachute at 9000’ MSL.

The next week I flew to Westover, CA (KJAQ) for the West Coast Swift Fly-in.  I’ll cover that later.

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

Boeing retiree dreams of flying his ‘bathtub’ plane

Chase G-20

Chase G-20 Glider – An assault glider that eventually turned into the Fairchild C-123.

This is from the Seattle Times. Ed has built a replica of a 1924 Dormoy Bathtub – powered by a converted motorcycle engine. He hopes to fly it soon – all he needs is a FAA sign-off. Sounds like an interesting use of “re-purposed” parts…

Restored B-17 draws out those ‘warbirds’ that kept them flying
This is from MySuburbanLife dot com in Lisle, IL. The EAA B-17 visited the Downer’s Grove, IL airport recently and provides some WWII veterans with a trip back into their memory banks. Some interesting comments from the veterans…

The Birth of the Flying Boat
This is from The-Leader dot com in Corning, NY. The article was written as the Curtiss Museum is preparing to fly their 1913 flying boat. It discusses the happenings at the Curtiss Factory in Hammondsport, NY in 1911 that led to the development of the flying boat…

Richard Taylor Memoirs, Chapter 17
This is another installment from the AvWeb archives. In this chapter Richard talks about flying the Fairchild C-123 – something that he and I have in common, though all my time was flown in Southeast Asia.

Rare Russian WWII tank killer to fly in Everett
This is from the News Tribune in Bellingham, WA. What’s believed to be the only flying Ilyushin II-2 Shturmovik was scheduled to have  its first flight since restoration a couple of weeks ago. It is one of the aircraft in the Flying Heritage Collection.

Alaska Living Legend of Aviation: Al Wright
This is from the Alaska Dispatch. It is an interesting article about Al Wright and some if his aviation exploits flying in and around Alaska.

Flying Stories for August 24, 2012

Swift over Lake Tahoe

Swift over Lake Tahoe

I was going to wait until Sunday to write this because I thought I was finally going to get the Swift out of the hangar and blow the dust off. There is an airshow/fly-in at the South Lake Tahoe (KTVL) airport this weekend that I was planning on attending. So much for plans – I apparently forgot to notify that Low Pressure center off the Northern California coast to stay away a bit longer.

When we get a High to our East and a Low to the west they work together to give us some fun wind conditions. The TV weather display had clear, low 90s and  “Breezy” written across both weekend days.  That doesn’t sound bad, you say. Well, you have to know the weather definitions for the Reno area.  Breezy works out to be wind gusts 35-40 mph in Reno. KTVL was showing gusts to 30 mph. At 4 pm today I checked the density altitude at KTVL – it was 8905′ with a temperature of 88 F.

Sorry, that just doesn’t sound like fun to me…I’ll keep trying.

I only found one article this week that I’d like to pass along.  Enjoy.

Ben Eielson and his Jenny
This is from the Fairbanks, AK News Miner. Fairbanks, AK is about 26 miles from Eielson AFB. Here is a little information about the man and the first airplane that he flew in Alaska.

Flying Stories for August 17, 2012

Another week without flying. If the thunderstorms weren’t building the smoke was thick in the valley – sometimes both were present. We have been in a cycle of storm days this week. They usually start to our south and move through the area.  Not something I mess with in the mountains.  I have a friend who lives in the town to the NW of here where I like to fly for breakfast. There is a huge fire in the mountains near there and he says the visibility has been less than 1/2 mi in smoke. If you take a look at ForeFlight or some other means of checking a graphical representation of TFRs you can see them all over northern NV. They are established for firefighting operations. The weather is supposed to stabilize by mid-week with temperatures closer to our norm for this time of year – around 90 for a high.

Sunderland Flying Boat

Sunderland Flying Boat – photo from Archives New Zealand. Flickr|CC

Here are some articles you may have missed this week:

The Days of Flying Boats
A link from Seattle PI brought me to this blog. There is a very good piece about the ‘Romantic Days of Flying Boats’ as well as lots of other historical aviation information. You’ll be able to spend a considerable amount of time on this link.

Musings of an Island Bush Pilot
This is from Maine’s The Working Waterfront. The article is a look into a day in the life of a Maine bush pilot by the name of Ted Westlake. An interesting read.

Recollections from a lifelong love of aviation
This is from the Press-Enterprise in Riverside, CA. Mary Magalee is now 93 years old and living in a retirement village in Southern California. One day when she was 3 years old and living in Baldwin City, KS her grandmother called her outside to see a biplane that was flying by. “I saw a little speck in the sky,” Magalee recalled. “It was bright red. I thought I would like to be up there.” And that’s how it started…

Curtiss Model E to fly again
This is from the Leader.com in Corning, NY. Some of the volunteers working at the Glenn H Curtiss Museum have been busy this summer restoring the museum’s replica Model E flying boat. They plan to fly it from Keuka Lake on September 15th, the centennial anniversary of it’s first flight.

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