Monthly Archive: December 2012

Dec 31 2012

Let’s Hang Out. Up There. You Know What I Mean.

What’s that, Red Bull?  You think it would be sweet if an Extra 300 could fly along with a dude flying a parachute?  Yeah, I mean, I guess that would be cool.  Sort of.  Seems kind of impossible, but I bet if you throw enough money at it, you could make it work.  What did you say, Red Bull?  You’ve already done it?  And you made a super-awesome video of it?  Well, let’s see your video!

Red Bull never ceases to amaze.  They come up with some of the wildest ideas, and then make them reality.  We all benefit from the entertainment that Red Bull sponsors.

Dec 31 2012

Sunquest Aviation, Inc.

Sunquest Aviation, Inc.
Instructors: Joe Brinker, Cory Wallace, Mike Banas
Location: North Palm Beach County General Aviation Airport, West Palm Beach, FL (F45)
Telephone: (561) 627-0037
Email: Click Here to Send a Message

Aircraft: PA18-105 solo & dual, Pitts S2A dual only. Other nosedraggers available.

Rental Rates: PA18 – $105/hr wet solo, Pitts $320/hr dual with parachutes included.

Instruction Rates: $55/hr tailwheel instruction, $75/hr aerobatic instruction

Solo Rentals Available: Yes, PA18 and other nosedraggers.

Additional Information: Sunquest’s flight instructors have experience in a wide variety of tailwheel airplanes including vintage and new tailwheel aircraft. Including recreational and competition aerobatics. This long list of experience includes Cubs, Pitts, Extra, Stearman, Waco, Citabria & Decathlon, Great Lakes, Vans RV series, Cessna tailwheels such as the 140, 170, 180 & 195, and many more… We can instruct in your aircraft or one of ours.

Dec 25 2012

Free Airplane Plans!

Do what?!

You read that right, friends.  Team Mini-Max is giving away free digital downloads of the complete plans to build any one of their Mini-Max line of ultralights and Light Sport Aircraft.  Fill out the form and get your free plans!

I’m getting the Hi-Max plans.  I’ve always admired the simplicity and longevity of the Mini-Max line.  My first exposure to the Mini-Max was a small ad in the AMA magazine about twenty years ago.  Makes me feel like I’m getting old to think of it that way.

Here’s the text from the Team Mini-Max website:

” At Team Mini-Max we know the current economic climate is really putting a strain on many households. That’s why we’ve decided to give our plans away for free. By offering them at no cost we hope many more pilots and potential pilots will be able to achieve their dream to fly!

When you see the quality and detail that we’ve put into each sheet, you will know it’s an indicator of the quality of our designs and the kits themselves. So we hope you will come to Team Mini-Max when you’re ready to buy a kit, sub-kit, parts or materials.”

Go get your free plans here:

Don’t forget to download the manual!

I highly recommend following Team MiniMax on Facebook. Like many businesses, their Facebook page is often the most active resource for up to date information. Lots of activity on Facebook.

If you want to learn more about the Mini-Max line from other builders and pilots, check out the East Tennessee Lonesome Buzzards forum.  Click HERE to go THERE…

The Hi-Max featured above is shown as owned by Homer Webb, High School Principal and associate at the Cold War Museum in Texas.  More pics HERE.



Dec 24 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

20121224-094645.jpgToday is Christmas Eve, and I’ll be spending time with my wife and kids watching Charlie Brown movies and eating cookies. Tomorrow we’ll wake up to see what old Santa has left under the tree.

20121224-094536.jpgI hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday season, no matter what you celebrate.

The winter season is upon us, and that means it’s time to build. I’ll be working on the Baby Ace once the holidays are over, getting the A-65 controls and instruments installed. The front sheet metal will be removed to provide easier access to the forward fuselage.

20121224-094633.jpgI figure once that’s done, I’ll strip the fabric off the fuselage in preparation for clean up and paint. No rush, as I don’t want to start spraying until late spring when the temperature is a bit warmer.

If you’re working on a project, I’d love to hear about it and see pictures. I can share them here if you’d like.

Have a Merry Christmas!


Dec 19 2012

Falling in Love with a Cassutt

Steve Weaver in the early 1970’s, with what is clearly a Citabria, NOT a Cassutt, as it is incorrectly labeled on the In Flight USA website from which I “borrowed” it.

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Steve Weaver for In Flight USA.

“Down went the nose and the airspeed quickly accelerated to over two hundred. I pulled the stick back and the G forces built as the nose came up, through the horizon and on up, up until the wings were exactly parallel to the ground and the nose exactly vertical. At that moment I pushed the stick to the right and the airplane rotated. Unfortunately at the same time I also inadvertently added a bit of forward stick and negative G force. Instantly I saw the propeller stop dead, as the fuel stopped flowing to the carburetor, the engine quit and the airplane tumbled out of the vertical plane. Without an inverted fuel system this engine would not run without positive gravity on the airplane and I had just taken that away.

My first thought was only that I had blown the maneuver and would have to try it again. My second thought, following closely on the heels of the first, was, ‘Oh crap, I don’t have a starter!!!'”

Clearly you enjoy aviation, which is why you’re on this website.  Read Steve’s full article by clicking on the link below.

Steve Weaver’s “Falling in Love with a Cassutt” article.

Hey, Steve…  GREAT article. -WB


Dec 16 2012

Vintage Fly-In Photos

Jim Rice is the owner/moderator of the Globe Temco Swift Yahoo! Group, and also has an extensive collection of photos of his experiences growing up in an aviation family.  What caught my eye was his collection of photos from different Antique Airplane Association fly-in’s from the early 1960’s.  Of all the really beautiful airplanes, the one that caught my eye was Mong N353L.  What can I say, I’m a sucker for little biplanes.  Especially legit homebuilts from what I consider to be the heyday of the EAA.

So, I sent a link to the photo to Ed Fisher, SAA President and Mong guru, who provided me with a little insight: “That Mong was originally built in the ‘very’ early 60’s by Jerry Quarton, of Galt, California.  He flew it to the Rockford, Illinois EAA fly in  and was so tired from the flight that he sold it to Carl Woods that week at Rockford.  Bought a bus ticket home, and went right out and built another Mong…..  Carl was from the quad cities area, I think Moline, so it was always around the western Illinois/eastern Iowa fly ins in the sixties.  Then It was sold to a B. Gugelor, who still owns it today.”

Huge thanks go out to Jim Rice for digging out these old photos and putting them on the internet.  Additional huge thanks to Ed Fisher for being a wealth of knowledge on not just Mongs, but so much of the history of the homebuilt “movement”.

FMI:  Jim Rice’s website
The Globe Temco Swift Yahoo! Group
Sport Aviation Association
Ed Fisher’s RaceAir Designs


Dec 16 2012

Clusus Aviation

learntoflyhere150x150Clusus Aviation
Instructor: Herve Marchadier
Location: Hattiesburg Bobby L Chain Municipal Airport, Hattiesburg, MS (KHBG)
Telephone: (601) 674-0661
Email: Click Here to Send a Message

Aircraft: Decathlon 8KCAB

Rental Rates: $135/hr wet

Instruction Rates: $35/hr

Solo Rentals Available: Not at this time.

Dec 10 2012

EAA Tech Counselor Visit

20121210-124402.jpgA longtime friend and EAA Tech Counselor paid me a visit yesterday and proclaimed N173DP to be an excellent candidate for a cosmetic restoration. He looked over the structure, welds, wood work, and engine. Everything looks great!

We identified a few areas needing attention, such as the carb and possibly the mags. The plugs, cylinders, and piston tops look free of corrosion, but we’ll do a “gasket overhaul” of the A-65 before the airplane is flown.

The previous engine had an electrical system, and the oil temp and pressure gauges will need to be replaced with the mechanical type, so I’m on the lookout for a nice set of gauges.

The throttle and carb heat cables will get replaced, and the primer will get an overhaul. The gascolator needs a good cleaning, too.

I’m looking into replacing the “flipper” pitch trim with a Wittman Tailwind type trim system. Simple and light compared to the old, heavy, somewhat unattractive external trim system.

I’ve got a lot of work to do, and I’m sure I’ll have plenty of questions along the way.


Dec 09 2012

A Wing is an Odd Thing

20121209-085914.jpg“And a wing is an odd thing. Strangely behaved, hard to understand, tricky to handle. In many important aspects, a wing’s behavior is exactly contrary to common sense. On wings it is safe to be high, dangerous to be low; safe to go fast, dangerous to go slow. Generally speaking, if you want the airplane to go up, you point its nose up; but point its nose up a little to much, and you go down in a stall or a spin. In landing an airplane, to make it sink down on the runway and stay down, you move the controls much as for an extreme upward zoom. In the glide, in you want to descend more steeply, you point your airplane’s nose down less steeply; if you want to descend less steeply, you point the airplane’s nose down more steeply! And – most spectacular contrariness of all – in emergencies, when the airplane is sinking toward the ground in a “mush” or falling in a stall or spin, and you are afraid of crashing into the ground, the only way to keep it from crashing is to point its nose down and dive at the ground, as if you wanted to crash!”

-Wolfgang Langewiesche
“Stick and Rudder”

Dec 06 2012

She Feels So Good in Your Hands

“Of course I guess it’s possible the overly sensational powerplant confuses the issue like a padded bra and stilettos on a man.  But I’m pretty sure this old girl is the real thing.  She feels so good in your hands”


Rich Davidson, don’t hold back anymore.  This stuff is pure gold.

Read the full blog post on the Nordo News blog.


Dec 06 2012

1/4″ Nose Blocks

I can’t promise you that what’s shown in this video is necessarily the best way to do the task at hand, but I love the video anyway.  Something about watching an hours-long process from start to finish in just a few short minutes really appeals to me.  Reminds me of the videos of the group of guys building a Knight Twister.  Different video technique, but same appeal.


Dec 04 2012

Gary W. Babcock, Independent CFI

learntoflyhere150x150Gary W. Babcock, Independent CFI
Instructor: Gary W. Babcock
Location: Ingersoll Airport, Canton, IL (KCTK)
Telephone: (309) 357-0323
Email: Click Here to Send a Message

Aircraft: Between Tailwheel aircraft at this time. Looking for another Super Decathlon

Instruction Rates: $40/hr

Additional Information: 30 year military aviation career, retired 7/2012 from IL ANG, A&P, Flight Engineer, ATP, CFI-AI, with mountain instruction experience, Sportsman level acro, and last several years contract flying in Afghanistan.