Ramblings about flying for fun and profit.

Tag: Tuskegee Airmen

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”.

Aviation Articles for January 20, 2012

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

Going to be around the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum?
This is from the Washington Post. The Smithsonian Air & Space Museum is opening a new exhibit dedicated to Marine Aviation. The exhibit, called Fly Marines! The Centennial of Marine Corps Aviation: 1912-2012 opened on January 7th. It sounds like it’s a great display of Marine Aviation History.

The Living Legends of Aviation Awards will be presented tonight in Beverly Hills, CA.
This article is from the Sacramento Bee. I mention this, not so that you can rush out and get your ticket for the event, but so that you can read the list of attendees and award recipients. I would imagine that you will recognize a few of the names…

Mechanics had Red Tails, too.
This is from the Fort Wayne, IN News Sentinel. James Lattimore, now 90 years old, was a Tuskegee Airman, but he wasn’t a pilot – he was a mechanic. With the Red Tails movie released yesterday, it’s also important to realize that it wasn’t just the pilots who were pushing the social envelope.

Meet a Vietnam Ace.
This is from the Macon, GA Telegraph. “Chuck” DeBellevue is one of only five fighter pilots during the Vietnam conflict who were designated as an ace. He was a Weapons system Officer (WSO) and later an F-4 phantom pilot who served with the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron. He is credited with 6 MIG kills during his 220 combat missions.

WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame Inductees
This is from AOPA Online. The Women in Aviation International conference will be held in Dallas in March. During the conference the organization will honor a new batch of inductees into their Pioneer hall of Fame. This article lists this year’s inductees and describes their contributions to aviation.

A Tuskegee Airman pilot tells his own story
This is from The Daily Beast.com. One sentence from the opening paragraph tells the story…Dr. Roscoe Brown, 87, squadron commander of the 332nd Fighter Group, tells Marlow Stern about being a real Tuskegee Airman.

The history of an airport
This article is from SeaCoastOnline.com. The Sanford, ME airport construction began in 1930. For a time it was used by the Navy to augment the Brunswick Naval Air Station. Pilots trained in the Vought Corsair using both Brunswick and Sanford. Since then it has continued in operation and has provided service to celebrities, Senators and occasionally a President or two – and, of course, a world-renowned Uncontrolled Airspace podcaster.


In case you have about 10 minutes of free time – here’s an original P-38 training video that popped into my inbox this week…

Aviation Articles for August 5, 2011

Here are some flying articles that you may have missed this week.

tail view of the restoration project at Reno-Stead.

The way to live on an airpark
This article is from the Denver Post. I guess all it takes is being a successful orthopedic surgeon to be able to live your aviation dream.

The Rutan Boomerang
This article is from Wired.com. If you missed going to AirVenture this year then you missed seeing Burt Rutan’s Boomerang on display. It’s such an unusual airplane that I thought I’d include it in the line-up this week. It was as much a hit this year as when he first brought it to Oshkosh in 1996.

Aviation history in St Louis
This article is from St. Louis today. Back in the days when aviation record-setting was in it’s infancy a couple of pilots spent some time looking down on St. Louis from a Curtiss-Robin.

A 70th Anniversary Celebration
This article is from the NPR website. The Tuskegee Airmen are celebrating their 70th anniversary. They met in Washington recently and had a chance to see one of their old trainers again. I mentioned this restored plane purchased on eBay in a previous post when the Smithsonian announced it would be displayed in the Air & Space Museum.

Did we forget a celebration?
This article is from the Yuma Sun. Harriett Quimby received her pilot’s license on July 31st in 1911, the first woman to do so. Her legacy lives on with this young pilot.

The key is to stay busy.
This article is from the Green Valley (AZ) News. C.W. and Rod are both retired from successful careers and they both share a common desire – to build and fly their own airplane. Sounds like they’ll succeed again.

For those of you who have made it this far in the article – here’s a challenge. A new aircraft restoration project at Reno-Stead. As I was driving along the ramp yesterday I happened to see the hulk shown here and in the photo above sitting there with a few people crawling around it. It turns out that the local FBO has a new restoration project and it had just been delivered. Can you identify what it is? Yes, I know the answer – and I’ll post an article in a couple of days with an explanation and more photos.

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