Monthly Archive: November 2012

Nov 30 2012

Because Who Doesn’t Have an Extra Hour?

You can thank me later.


Ok, seriously, a HUGE thank you to Christian Sturm from the land of YouTube for posting this video.  I have to chuckle a little bit here as I posted another video from Christian back in September.  I didn’t realize he had so much good stuff on his YouTube page.  I’ll be sharing more of it in the future.  BTW – there is also a part 2 of this video if you have another free hour.


Nov 27 2012

Taildraggers, Inc. :: Instagram Daily Digest

Nov 25 2012

The Before Pics :: N173DP

These are the pictures that Mike emailed to me when I inquired about N173DP.  They show the condition before he bought the airplane from Mr. Pickering and brought it home.

Nov 25 2012

Baby Ace N173DP :: I Bought It

I’ve been looking for a good project aircraft for years.  I’ve seen many listed on the different websites, but never did the elements of time, location, and cash in hand all combine in my favor until now.

On November 24th, 2012, my brother and I left Front Royal with a 20′ trailer attached to his big Ford truck and headed West into the dark, cold morning.  Our route took us north into West Virginia, then west into Maryland where we ran into light snow.  The snow continued through the mountains of western Maryland, and followed us all the way to Friendly, West Virginia along the Ohio border, just north of Parkersburg where we met Mike Stokes.

We looked the plane over and talked about it’s history and builder, Charles Pickering.  We poked and prodded at the 26-year old bird looking for anything bent, broken, or just plain weird.  When we agreed that everything was as it should be, I forked over my cash and we loaded up my new Corben Baby Ace model D, N173DP.

The airplane was built from scratch, and completed in 1986, after less than two years of construction.  Mr. Pickering built the airplane with his son at the same time that a friend of his was building another Ace.  The two men flew their planes together until the friend passed away, at which time Mr. Pickering lost interest in N173DP, and parked it with slightly less than 65 hours on the airframe.

The airplane was originally equipped a full electrical system, starter, lights, etc. and flown behind a Continental C-85 engine.  All the gizmos and gadgets (plus 10lbs of lead in the tail) brought the empty weight up to 700 pounds.  Quite a bit heavier than what an Ace is supposed to weigh.  All that weight on the nose led to at least one nose-over.

At some point, Mr. Pickering acquired a Piper J-4 Cub basket case that came with a Continental A-65.  He decided that he’d prefer the 85 on the Cub, so the Ace got the 65, and that’s the engine I bought.  No starter, no generator, not gizmos or gadgets.  The engine logs only go back to 1974, when the engine was given a Major Overhaul.  As installed on the J-4, the engine only saw about 20 hours of use before it went idle again.  The next log entry is from 1998, when new cylinders and pistons were installed.  The engine was test run only after that, and hasn’t been run since.  You can but your ass I’ll be pulling the cylinders to look for corrosion.

My intentions with N173DP are to tear it down and build it back to a fine flying machine.  Simple and light is the goal.  No radios, lights, or anything else that adds unnecessary weight.  The entire airframe will be stripped, sanded, painted, and recovered.  At the pace I work, this will be a multi-year project.  I have a job, two small kids, a busy wife, and plenty of household chores to keep me busy.  I’m looking forward to involving my family in this project as much as possible.  I want my kids to grow up remembering what it was like to have an airplane in the garage, and seeing it go from a pile of parts to a beautiful flying machine.

I will post pictures and information about the project as I move along.  Please feel free to share these posts via Facebook, Twitter, etc.  I appreciate feedback, and will surely picking a lot of brains to see this project through to completion.

Right up front I want to thank three people for their help in getting the ball rolling on this project.

First is my brother, Paul for being so generous with his time and equipment on a holiday weekend.  He drove over ten hours in one day in snow and poor visibility so I could buy an airplane.

Second is my good friend and EAA Tech Counselor Rob Brooks.  He has been a constant source of positive inspiration over the last twelve years as I’ve waffled back and forth over different planes, goals, and ideas.  He’s always willing to listen and provide solid advice, and I thank him for that.

Last, but absolutely not least is my wife, Marie.  Without her love and support, this project would have never begun.  Despite our sometimes crazy life and schedule, she understands how important it is for me to reach this goal of restoring an airplane.  She pushes me to reach my goals.




Nov 19 2012

Brian Lansburgh and The Tailwheeler’s Journal

Normally, when I get a request to add a CFI or flight school to the site, I read over the text looking for errors in spelling and abbreviations, ensure completeness of information, and verify that what they offer fits the intent of the directory. After that I normally visit their website and nose around for a minute just to see how they present themselves and their business. If everything looks good, I get them listed on the site and move on to other tasks. I almost NEVER post their full profile on the homepage, not because they don’t deserve it, but because I reserve the home page for the stuff that really gets me going. That’s why you see so many videos and stuff. Not too many words.

And then I got an email from Brian Lansburgh of Tailwheel Productions.

I regret that I didn’t visit Brian’s website yesterday, and put if off a full 24-hours. Not only does he offer real-world flight instruction in tailwheel aircraft, he is also a former airshow performer. His website is a gold mine. Old videos, personal re-tellings of some of his adventures, and plenty of excellent flying tips fill the pages. Put all your work aside, and go spend the rest of your day on Brian’s website. Watch the videos, read the posts, and learn a thing or two while you’re there.

If you need some motivation, I’ve included a video below. It’s 100% worth your time. I guarantee it.

If you need some tailwheel training out in Oregon, give Brian a call. Tell him Wayne over at Taildraggers, Inc. sent you.


Brian Lansburgh, Tailwheel Productions

Tailwheel Productions
Instructor: Brian Lansburgh
Location: Sisters Eagle Air Airport, Sisters, OR (6K5)
Telephone: (541) 948-9873
Email: Click Here to Send a Message
Aircraft: C-140, customer’s
Rental Rates: $100/hr
Instruction Rates: $65/hr in your aircraft. Six-hour course is $850
Solo Rentals Available: No
Additional Information: Brian Lansburgh is a former air show pilot who, for the last thirty years has specialized in tailwheel instruction. He’s currently giving dual in a Cessna 140 in beautiful Sisters, Oregon, just up the road from Bend. His tailwheel course is highly regarded, partly because of his inclusion of high performance maneuvers such as the landing in a turn and the dead stick landing. You can see videos of both on our website,

…I told you it was good. -WB


Nov 19 2012

Tailwheel Productions

Brian Lansburgh, Tailwheel Productions

Tailwheel Productions
Instructor:  Brian Lansburgh
Location: Sisters Eagle Air Airport, Sisters, OR (6K5)
Telephone:  (541) 948-9873
Email: Click Here to Send a Message

Aircraft: C-140, customer’s

Rental Rates:  $100/hr

Instruction Rates:  $65/hr in your aircraft.  Six-hour course is $850

Solo Rentals Available: No

Additional Information: Brian Lansburgh is a former air show pilot who, for the last thirty years has specialized in tailwheel instruction.  He’s currently giving dual in a Cessna 140 in beautiful Sisters, Oregon, just up the road from Bend.  His tailwheel course is highly regarded, partly because of his inclusion of high performance maneuvers such as the landing in a turn and the dead stick landing.  You can see videos of both on our website,

Nov 14 2012

Another New CFI Added to the List!

This week, I’d like to welcome independent CFI Travis Hamblen from St. Paul, MN to the Taildraggers, Inc. CFI / Flight School Directory.  Please visit Travis’ listing here on Taildraggers, Inc. to see his complete information.

Travis Hamblin :: Lake Elmo Airport, St. Paul, MN (21D)

As always, we encourage ALL tailwheel-friendly CFI’s and Flight Schools to get listed here on Taildraggers, Inc.  We receive nearly 1,000 hits per month for people searching for tailwheel CFI’s all over the U.S.A.  You should be getting those customers!!!  Follow the links below to see the directory, and learn how to get listed.

Taildraggers, Inc. CFI / Flight School Directory

How to get listed


Nov 14 2012

Travis Hamblen, CFI

learntoflyhere150x150Travis Hamblen, CFI
Instructor: Travis Hamblen
Location: Lake Elmo Airport, St. Paul, MN (21D)
Telephone: (651) 269-6542
Email: Click Here to Send a Message

Instruction Rates: $40/hr

Additional Information:  I’m an independent CFI based out of the Lake Elmo Airport, but I am available throughout the twin cities and surrounding areas.  I have a wide range of experience including experimental aircraft (building and flying), tail wheel, ski flying, high performance, complex and so forth.  I have a professional “day job” and I’m NOT looking to build hours as a CFI in order to work my way through the aviation industry; I am a CFI because flying is a passion of mine!  I’m interested in helping with just about anything, including primary through advanced instruction as well as BFRs or any other services needed to make someone a safer pilot.

Nov 05 2012


Wayne Handley is a super hero in the aerobatic game.

This video is a primer on the effects of uncoordinated flight at the edge of the envelope.  The message is intended for ag-pilots, but the lesson applies to all of us.  I was fortunate enough to be taught many of these stall/spin entries and recoveries early in my PPL training.  We were flying the Super Decathlon back then, and I’m thankful for the exposure.  I still remember very vividly being in an uncoordinated extra-steep turn with full top rudder and lots of power.  I just kept pulling harder and harder on the stick until the plane broke to the outside, sending the world below tumbling as we entered a spin.  What a blast.

Hat tip to “Peteohms” on the Sport Aviation Association forums for posting the video.  If you’re not a SAA member, join now.


FMI: Wayne Handley Aerosports

Nov 05 2012

Homie Gots New Wings, Yo

Skip Stewart has new wings for his airshow mount.  Built by Eddie Saurenman.

Skip says on his Facebook page:

The new Eddie Saurenman wings are unbelievable! … I feel like I have been flying for years with one arm tied behind my back. Roll rate is 400+ degrees/second, perfect control pressures, no bad habits..flew my show after only two flights…. my Crew Chief had tears running down his face when I landed..they are UNREAL…. Eddie is the MAN!

Watch the video.  Just unreal.  As you’re watching, know that this is only the third flight on these wings.  You read that right.


FMI: Skip Steward Airshows Facebook page


Nov 05 2012

Ah, jeez…

Aw, jeez…

I give credit to the usual media outlets for…  Nothing.  Again, they fail to recognize even the most basic facts about aviation in their constant attempt to sensationalize everything.  The best thing about the news is all the clips of when things go awry.  Remember the reporter who goes “ghetto”?  There are a million blooper clips on the YouTubes if you get bored.  But before you go…

The runway the pilot was using at 52F has a 400′ displaced threshold (see pic), with a 4.5 degree glide path.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this pilot was going to be short of the displaced threshold, and somewhat below the glide path.  My assumption (I know…) is that the displaced threshold and glide path were implemented to prevent accidents like this from happening.  When this dude came in low, no flaps, and dragging it in, he put himself right in the mix with the traffic.  Something he should have avoided by sticking with the local procedures.

That doesn’t excuse the driver for not following the posted warnings.  According to the news reports, the word “STOP” is painted on the road to warn drivers of the hazards of approaching aircraft.  I’m glad they’re not dead.

I hate to point fingers without adequate facts, but the video sure doesn’t paint a pretty picture for the pilot in this one.  While it’s easy to judge after the fact, I’d like to see the NTSB report before we start calling people names.

I’d love to hear the opinions of some pilots based at 52F.



Nov 01 2012

Dos Mas Escuelas de Vuelo Anadido WEF 1211020142

Did google translate get that right?  That should be “Two More Flight Schools Added…”  I promise to try not to do that any more.  Maybe.

Check ’em out, and give them all your money:

JacksonAir Flight Training :: Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport, Palm Springs, CA (KTRM)

Bellanca 14-13 Aviation :: Lovell Field Airport, Chattanooga, TN (KCHA)

It doesn’t cost a dime to get your flight school listed in our directory.  Don’t let thousands of hits a month pass you by.  Go to the Taildraggers, Inc. CFI / Flight School Directory page to learn how to get listed.  For free.  Free.  Free.  Free.

Nov 01 2012

Bellanca 14-13 Aviation

Bellanca 14-13 Aviation
Instructor: Enrique A. Troconis
Location: Lovell Field Airport, Chattanooga, TN (KCHA)
Telephone: (706) 398-3761
Email: Click Here to Send a Message

Aircraft: Bellanca 14-13

Rental Rates: $75/hr dry w/instructor

Instruction Rates: $45/hr

Solo Rentals Available: Possible.

Additional Information: I started flying hangliders, moved to single engines, went back to hang gliders and instructed for several years, bought a Bellanca Super Viking and got SEL Commercial/Instruments and CFI.  Also got a skydiver license…    Started towing hangliders and gliders and I’ve built a boatload of TG hours towing.  Got MEL Commercial/Instruments. Instructed in Alaska for 6 months.  I am an excellent instructor (or so I am told).

Nov 01 2012

Pistol Grip Pump

I love Pandora.

Did you know Paul Ryan loves Rage Against the Machine?  Did you know Rage Against the Machine did a cover of Volume 10’s “Pistol Grip Pump”?  Have you ever even heard of Volume10?

…me either

Whatever.  Listen to the track.  Buy the album.  What is it that the kids do these days, download it?  On iTunes, or some other crap.  I don’t know.  I buy CD’s.  Hell, I bought a half-dozen records at the Sunday flea market a coupla weeks back.  Old-School rap stuff.  Digital Underground’s Humpty Dance and some Young M.C. (see the pics on my Instragram feed).  I don’t even own a record player.  Maybe Santa will bring me one for Christmas.  Too bad I haven’t been a good boy.  Again.