Ramblings about flying for fun and profit.

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Flying Stories for July 20, 2012

Yes, I’m still here and keeping track of some interesting stories for you. I have been doing a bit more flying lately and, coupled with an influx of clients for my website design business, have been a bit busy lately.

I made it to a fun Swift gathering in Oregon a couple of weeks ago and this past weekend made a nice fly-in in Northern California. I’ll get articles out about both of them as soon as I can.

Enjoy – and fly safe.  Remember, it’s an election year. Check those NOTAMS for pop-up TFRs as the candidates move about the country trying to convince you to vote for them.

Thomas-Morse Scout

Thomas-Morse Scout at the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola.

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

Forty-Seven Years In Aviation: A Memoir; Chapter 15: A Year In Korea, Then Back To OSU
From AvWeb again. This is Chapter 15 of Richard Taylor’s memoirs.

American Airlines mechanic celebrates completing 70 years on the job.
This is from the NY Times. Al Blackman, now 86 years old, has worked as a mechanic for American Airlines for 70 years.  He was recently treated to a celebratory airplane ride – but not in any old airplane over a nondescript landscape…

Michael Porter’s restored Stearman helps tell the women’s story
This is from General Aviation News. Michael Porter restored a 1942 Stearman biplane and in doing so found that it had been one of the training aircraft at Sweetwater, TX Avenger Field – the training base of the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASP). He took it to the Sun ‘n Fun gathering this year and reunited it with some of the WASP pilots.

Flying Magazine’s Top 100 Airplanes
This, obviously is from Flying magazine. I include it just in case you have been in a cave and haven’t seen it yet. A notable list of Flying’s authors and editors got together and came up with their list of the top 100 airplanes of all time. It’s an interesting list and each aircraft on the list has a short paragraph by one of the panelists about why the plane was included.

Last A-4 restored for Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum
This is from DVIDS (by going to the link you can find out what that means). Bob Butcher flew the A-4D Skyhawk as a young lieutenant. Nothing brings to light how much time has passed than to watch one of the planes you flew be inducted into an aviation museum…

Ithaca, NY Aviation History
This is from the Ithaca [NY] Journal. There is a long history of aviation in Ithaca, though people rarely think about it. The Thomas brothers were from Ithaca – builders of the Thomas-Morse Scout, a single-seat biplane used as an advanced trainer in WWI…

A little history about the Airship USS Shenandoah
This is from the Charlottesville, VA Daily Progress. This article is an account of the USS Shenandoah flying over Charlottesville in 1924 followed by a little history of the airship and its eventual demise over Ohio the following year.

A first-hand account of the Hindenburg disaster
This is another from The Daily Progress of Charlottesville, VA. Frank Ward was a teenager in 1936 and had skipped track practice to help his father as a member of the ground crew at Lakehurst Naval Air Station…
As an aside. My late uncle, fluent in Spanish, for several years worked for La Prensa, a Spanish newspaper. He had been assigned to cover the Hindenburg arrival and he, too, was there to see the event unfold. He was also at Le Bourget Field in Paris for Lindberg’s landing.

Flying Stories for May 25, 2012

It seems like we have had more than our share of  ‘wind days’ this year. It has been blowing  for most of the week – except for yesterday when it snowed most of the day. The ground is too warm for it to stick, but that hasn’t stopped the weather from throwing another curve our way.  Just in time for the long weekend.

I did get out to the hangar one day this week and started my polishing chores – only to have the polisher sustain a catastrophic dis-assembly.  A new one should arrive next Tuesday. By then the temperature is supposed to be back in the 80s again.

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

Charles Lindbergh

Charles Lindbergh

Why build?
This is from the Standard-Examiner in Ogden, UT. Ed Willard flew first for Western Airlines and then for Delta after their merger. He’s retired now, but still retains a love of flying – and building. He’s working on his fifth airplane now, a Harmon Rocket…

Monday was an anniversary
This is from the New York Times Learning Network. Monday the 21st was the anniversary of Lindbergh’s solo flight across the Atlantic. The article gives us a history lesson about the flight, some background on Lindbergh and links to several archive articles from The Times.

Inadvertently promoting STEM Education
This is from the online edition of Atlantic magazine. It is an article about two teenagers in Memphis who got involved with the Team America rocketry Challenge and are inadvertently promoting STEM education throughout the Memphis school systems. STEM, if you are not familiar with it, stand for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. STEM education is receiving increased emphasis as American industries look at an increasingly dwindling supply of qualified workers in technical fields. The article reminds me of the 1999 movie “October Sky.”

…never had more fun flying
This is from the Abilene,TX Reporter News. Bill Johnson is president of the Sweetwater Texas National Bank. He was an escort during the first WASP Homecoming in 2006.It was during that event that he was first introduced to flying – and he was hooked…

Aviation Articles for July 15, 2011

The week started out with some nice prospects for this post but yesterday something I was working on locked up my computer almost to a standstill. I thought I had managed to close down all the programs correctly, but when my browser started up again after the reboot the open tabs were wiped clean.

During the week when I run across and interesting article I usually leave the article open in a tab to refer back to when I sit down to write this post. Oh well. I guess I’ll have to find a safer way to go about this.

Here are a few that I have found since my ‘wardrobe malfunction’…General Patton.

A definite oops – guess they won’t take that route again…
This article is from The Province, one of the major newspapers in Vancouver, B.C. It seems that a DC-10 flying hospital had some time on the ground at the Vancouver airport. When it came time to depart, the ground crew at the facility they were using began tugging it to another location – until they found a ‘soft’ spot in the pavement.

Ever heard of NAPP?
This article is from Mason City, IA. I have to admit that I had never heard of the National Association of Priest Pilots (NAPP). Here’s an article about their national conventions and one of their members who was just recognized for his 50-year career as a pilot and flight instructor.

A WASP returns to flying
This article is from the Tucson, AZ area. Silvia Clayton is now 91 years old, but after waiting 60 years she decided it was time to get back into flying. A great WASP story.

It’s unfortunate that this is funny…
This article is from AOPA Online. The Mooney Ambassadors did a man-on-the-street survey of the type you see on a late night show once in a while. Their survey asked the simple question ‘What is general aviation?’ If you are reading this column you are ‘into’ aviation, but we all know that the average individual on the street has no real concept of what aviation is, how it works or what contribution it makes to our daily lives. I really wonder if that will ever change…

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