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Swifts and Articles for September 30, 2011

This was really a slow week for the kinds of aviation articles that I like to pass along to you.Flying home from the West Coast Swift Fly-in To give this article a little more body I’ll combine it with a little coverage of the West Coast Swift Fly-in that I attended last weekend. I do have one link which I’ll put at the end of the article.

The Globe/Temco Swift group is pretty active overall. The Swift Museum Foundation owns the type certificate for the airframe and maintains a Parts Store at the Association headquarters in Tennessee.  Each year there is a National Fly-in and a West Coast Fly-in. The West Coast version is traditionally held in Jackson, CA at the Westover-Amador County airport (KJAQ). Swift Fly-in registration tent.

This year there were about 30 Swifts in attendance. Arrivals began on Thursday and most participants were on their way home by mid-afternoon on Sunday. The Friday night BBQ dinner on the airport fed 65 people and the Saturday awards banquet had 55 in attendance. This was the registration tent and souvenir store.

One day there was a Formation flying clinic – the Swift Formation training program is certified by the FAA and, when completed, results in the awarding of a Formation Qualification card – required by the FAA in order to participate in any airshow formation flights.

Globe Swift parking at Pine Mountain Lake airport (E45). On another day there were two fly-outs. One to the San Francisco Bay area to view the clouds covering the Golden Gate Bridge – the group settled for lunch near one of the bay area sport flying airports. The other fly-out was to the Pine Mountain Lake Airport (E45). A Swift owner there invited the group over to be ‘guests of honor’ at their airport’s open house/fly-in. This was the Swift parking area at Pine Mountain Lake airport.

Several different awards were given out at the banquet on Saturday night. The award winners were

Longest traveled:  Bill Whelchel from Costa Rica
Best Paint:  Nate Andrews, N98338, Graham, WA
Best Polish: Karl & Donna Johanson, N78103, San Diego, CA
Best Original:  Denis Arbeau, N3307K, Napa, CA
Best Custom:  Paul Ross, N3890K, Lakeside, CA
Viewers Choice:  Kyle Hook, N90383, Portland, OR
Bud Knox Grand Champion:  Scott & Sandy Naumann, N817CC, Arroyo Grande, CA

Swift on the way home from Westover fly-in. One of the attendees sent a few shots he took on the way home. At a fuel stop they crossed paths with two of Eddie Andreini’s planes on the way home from an airshow – a Super Stearman and a Yak-9U.  I’ll also include a link to a NSFW (Not Safe For Work) balloon photo that he sent along – saying he saw it near Napa, CA. (Maybe in a bad dream.)Eddie Andreini Stearman. Yak-9U




NSFW Balloon photo

Many, many thanks go out to Gerry and Carol Hampton who organized the Swift Fly-in. My wife and I have been involved with the planning of a similar event and we know that the work load is tremendous. They did a super job. Thanks also to Don Thomson and Karl Johanson who both supplied photos for this article.

Here’s the only article I found this week that I wanted to pass along:

A Georgia boy and Ohio aviation history
This is from Douglasville, GA. The author’s father told her the story of the first time he had ever seen an airplane. She did some research and the story expanded to aviation history in Cincinnati and Atlanta. A lot of familiar names. Good read.

Not Flying for a While

Last weekend I took my longest straight-line flight to date with the Swift I now own. Globe Swift parked at Livermore, CA airport.I logged roughly 1.5 hours each way and got to know the plane a little better. It definitely makes different sounds than my previous Swift. That is a function of the larger engine (Continental O-300 then vs. Continental IO-360 now) and a major difference in propellers ( Fixed pitch Sensenich then vs. McCauley 3-bladed constant-speed now).  The engine sounds much more powerful and the wind noise pulses are much different with the 3-bladed prop.

The flight was made to attend a Swift lunch date. The Northern California Swift group sets a date each month to meet somewhere for lunch. In the past the attendance has been great, but in recent years it has dropped off for some reason. I would imagine that it’s a combination of age, retirement budgets and fuel costs – the group isn’t getting any younger and although the Swift  seems to have a cult following the younger pilot crowd seems to be drawn to the high-tech shiny new planes over the proven classics.

I had a really good time visiting with the other Swift club members who attended the lunch gathering.  As we were leaving a group of five RVs landed and parked near our spot – probably taking advantage of the same restaurant we had used. As I made my way first to the fuel island and then the end of the runway a Curtiss P-40 took off,  made a low pass or two and then landed. He taxied right by me on the way back to his hangar as I accomplished my magneto check at the end of the runway.  Nice performance.

After that flight the Swift sat for 4 days while we hosted a house guest. When I finally got back to the hangar I opened the door and found a new liquid on the floor.

Preflight inspections of aircraft should always begin as you walk up to the plane. Does the  ‘big picture’ of the airplane look right? Is there anything parked or placed near the plane that will affect moving the plane from its parking spot? Is the area behind the plane clear? Is there anything under the plane that indicates something has leaked from where it should have been contained?

Hmmm. A new spot of red fluid under the nose – not just the nose, but out front – under the propeller.  No chance that it’s hydraulic fluid – there’s nothing that far out front that uses that type of hydraulics. However,  some constant-speed props have a hub filled with lubricating oil that has been dyed red – and mine is one of them. The manufacturers started doing that to allow easier identification of cracked propeller hubs. More investigation was needed.

Drips of propeller oil on the floor of the hangar.Notice of lubricating oil in the propeller hub.





Removal of the spinner provided a closer look. No leaks were obvious anywhere on the hub, but a few drops of red oil were found on the spinner backing plate. A closer look at the inside of the spinner showed an area of red fluid splatter around one of the propeller blade openings.

Oil splatter on the inside of the spinner.

Propeller with spinner removed.







I bought this plane from an estate around five years ago. The prop had been purchased new from McCauley and installed on the plane by the previous owner who then flew it for about 75 hours before he passed away. The family let the plane sit for about 5 more years without flying it before they decided to sell. I bought it and took another 5 years to get it in flyable condition as I worked between airline trips.  Letting any piece of mechanical equipment sit without using it or taking any preservative action is the worst thing you can do.  I had to rebuild most of the systems on the plane – especially anything that had a rubber seal in it.

I had been planning to send the prop out to a shop for inspection, hoping to have it done over the winter months when I wouldn’t be flying much anyway. This event has moved up the schedule to now. I called a couple of different shops in my general area and asked each a bunch of questions.

  • What would you recommend in this particular case?
  • What services would you provide?
  • How much will this cost?
  • Is pick-up and delivery included?
  • What is the time involved for getting it all done?

I decided on a shop in Northern California based upon all the work that they will do for a reasonable price. As an added benefit, they are an authorized McCauley Service Center. I had also used them to overhaul my Sensenich fixed-pitch prop on the other Swift, so I had a history working with them that had been positive.

Unfortunately they can’t pick up the prop for another week and will have it for a week before they deliver it back to my hangar. Guess I’ll have time to polish the bottom of the plane and get some work done in the cockpit area – making some pockets in the side panels for charts and checklists and installing an aux. power receptacle for a future ‘authorized electronic device.”

I’ll let you know how it all works out.

Aviation Articles for July 1, 2011

Is it already the July 4th weekend?

Here are some flying stories that you may have missed this week:

Grosse-Pointe Historical Society Photo of Wright brothers aircraft flight.

Something to do between graduation and full employment
This article is from the Daily Bruin. Shana had just graduated from UCLA with a degree in economics and had some time off before her employer needed her to start work…. what to do?

A Family with three generations of aviation lovers.
This article is from Sidney, Montana. It relates one family’s love of aviation, spanning 50 years.

The Girls in the Blue Beret
This is a book review from the Washington Post. The book The Girl in the Blue Beret by Bobbie Mason is a story of a retired airline pilot who, now widowed, grounded and unemployed, decides to go back to Europe and try to find the people who saved his life when his B-17 was shot down during WWII. It sounds like a really good book. I have ordered it and have placed an affiliate link in the right sidebar.

Another opinion piece concerning AF 447
This is from Aviation International News. Rob Mark, of Aviation Geeks Podcast fame(?), published an opinion piece on the Air France Flight 447 crash. The question, once again, is brought up about whether we are producing pilots or systems operators.

His family is an RV-4
This article is from OA Online. It is that tells a little about an individual flying out of Roy Schlemeyer Field in Odessa, TX. A nice story. It caught my eye because I have flown out of the airport – way back when. I’m not a glider pilot, but I have a half hour of time in one – with Roy Schlemeyer out of the airport that now bears his name. It was also the airport where I first soloed a Globe Swift – the one I owned for 36 years. Small world.

A story of successful mentoring
This one is from Fox Atlanta. It recounts the story of a young man mentored for the past 7 years by a group of individuals who instilled in him the gift of giving. Another nice story.

Aviation in Miami and Pan Am in New York
This article is from the Miami New Times blog. It is an article describing a new exhibit at History Miami that recounts the growth of aviation in Miami – once the home of Pan Am Airlines. It looks like a really nice exhibit.

Aviation comes to Grosse Pointe
This article is from the Grosse Pointe Patch. It recounts the flight of a Wright brothers aircraft in the Michigan town one hundred years ago.

A Buffalo man receives the Wright Brothers Award
This one is from the Buffalo News – and does not refer to the Colgan Air accident. Herman Goldstein got his first ride in an airplane when he was 13 years old and attending a Boy Scout camp – well before the Young Eagles program had begun. Now he is 88 years old and has been awarded the prestigious Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award.

The last flying A-3 Skywarrior is now in a museum.
This one is from pnj.com. A contract civilian pilot delivered the last flying A-3 Skywarrior to the Pensacola Naval Air Station for display in the museum there. Why a contract pilot? Because he was the only one they could find still qualified to fly one.



One of my readers passed this one along, so I thought I’d add it here for everyone’s benefit. D-Dalus aircraft design introduced at Paris Airshow. No wings, stationary or rotating on this aircraft. Sounds interesting.

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