Category Archive: Social Distortion

Social Media Feed. Twitter, Facesmash, Tumbler, etc.

Jul 12 2014

Roger Dat

This guy…


Mar 25 2014

Drop ‘Em


Mar 21 2014

Metal Butterfly








































Completely off-topic. Deal.

Feb 28 2014



Get it?

Feb 12 2014

“The Collector” Featuring Greg Herrick

I’ve not yet met Greg Herrick, but from the accounts I’ve heard, he’s a nice guy. I’m glad to see someone so passionate about vintage airplanes not only restore them, but restore so many of them to flying status. You can tell by the look on his face that he truly loves aviation and old planes.

Jan 31 2014

Finally, A Good Decision

20140131-062651.jpgI would normally encourage everyone to fly, and especially encourage those who have been flying to keep flying. But, this guy has made the right decision to quit flying. It’s in his best interest, his wife’s best interest, and in the best interest of aviation as a whole. Specifically those of us who build and fly experimental aircraft.

The following is a direct copy and paste from the Mansfield News Journal:

“JEROMESVILLE — The Federal Aviation Administration says the pilot injured in an experimental aircraft that crashed Dec. 4 near Jeromesville had been involved in previous accidents never reported to authorities.

The preliminary report issued Jan. 13 said William E. Moore, 65, of 295 Township Road 1600, told an investigator who interviewed him at Kingston Nursing Home in Ashland that he does not plan to fly again.

“I’m done flying,” Moore confirmed this week.

The Jeromesville man told the News Journal he felt comfortable tinkering with an experimental, amateur-built aircraft because of his background as a mechanical/electrical engineer, but he had become increasingly concerned about problems he’d had flying the plane when the crash occurred.

Moore said he’d taken about half of the training he needed to fly solo, and was hoping to perfect his skills with touch-and-goes on a sod strip at his farm. His goal was to take his wife, who loves to fly, up in the Sparrow 11 he purchased April 9, 2012, he said.

Instead, after two short flights without incident, the aircraft apparently fell while Moore was turning it an estimated 150 feet to 200 feet in the air. Moore suffered two broken legs and a broken arm, and he was unconscious for five days after the accident. Medical staff told him he had bruised his brain, and it took two to three weeks before he could think normally, he said.

Moore still is recovering at Kingston. Doctors have told him it could be six more weeks before he can safely put weight on his right leg.

The FAA said Moore had about 300 hours of flying time in ultralights and about 30 hours in the Sparrow II when the crash occurred.

FAA investigator Arnold Wolfe wrote that Moore, laid up at the nursing home, told him about “many of the accidents he had in the Sparrow 11” before the crash.

In one incident, Moore hit power lines by his house, which stopped the aircraft and caused it to fall to the ground tail first. The Jeromesville man wasn’t injured, but the plane’s tail was destroyed. Moore, who did all of the maintenance on his plane, rebuilt that, the report said.

“During the investigation at the accident site, I noticed numerous cold welds on the fuselage structure,” Arnold wrote. “One tube became disconnected and was laying on the floor of the fuselage. It looked as if it just fell off.”

The FAA investigator wrote that Moore told him it became apparent after he rebuilt the tail section that the ailerons were rigged incorrectly, causing the Sparrow to go left when he initiated a right turn.

Moore’s flight instructor for ultralights, Gene Berger, told the FAA he saw the Sparrow 11 at the Shelby Airport, where Moore took it for a test flight, and noticed the aileron cables were held together with zip ties instead of a turnbuckle.

According to the preliminary report, none of Moore’s previous accidents were reported to the FAA or the National Transportation Safety Board.

On Dec. 4, the 65-year-old was testing new carburetors he had just installed. He told the FAA he taxied the aircraft up and down his sod runway a few times with the cowling off to check the engine operation, then flew around the farm and landed with no apparent issues.

Moore said his wife was watching when he reached an altitude of 150 to 200 feet, then turned the plane. Then, it crashed.

The FAA report said Moore didn’t remember the crash. “He stated ‘I think I took off again and the engine quit at some point. I think I was returning to the runway, but I am not sure,’” Arnold said.

Moore said he believes he may not have brought the engine up to full speed, which meant he couldn’t pull enough airlift. “I think I’m very lucky. If my wife hadn’t been home, I probably would have been dead. I would have bled to death,” he said.

Both wings and the nosecone of the Sparrow 11 were damaged by the impact.

Moore had a student pilot certificate, but no repairman or mechanic certificate, according to the FAA. The report said the Jeromesville man kept no pilot flight or maintenance logbooks. Arnold wrote that Moore pointed to his head, telling him he kept that information “up here.”

The aircraft was not registered, and the airworthiness certificate and operation limitations did not appear to be on the Sparrow when it crashed, according to the agency.

Moore said he took up ultralight flying eight years ago, after hearing a radio advertisement for a flying club. He never had any major incidents while flying ultralights, but he occasionally had to make minor repairs, he said.

The Sparrow 11 was “a lot different,” he said.

“I had a major crash a year and a half ago. It was my fault. I just put it in a power stall. I hit a tree limb and it spun me around. It put me tail down first, into a field.” Though he wasn’t hurt — “it was like landing on a shock absorber” — the experience was scary, he said.

“I found that the engine I had in the plane wasn’t strong enough to do what I wanted to do,” he said.

He said he feels badly that his wife is having to spend time with him at Kingston, rather than somewhere a lot further south, as Ohio remains in the grip of record low winter temperatures.

The two had been planning to take off in an RV to spend the colder months “somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico,” Moore said.”

Jan 30 2014

The Human Fly

I’m not going to write much about this, as the story of The Human Fly is fairly well documented on the internet. A quick Google search will keep you busy with videos and websites, at least until your boss walks up and catches you watching goofy videos from 1976.

20140130-091941.jpgI didn’t realize Clay Lacy was a stunt pilot. There are some pretty good videos on the Clay Lacy Aviation YouTube channel. “Props, Pistons, and Pilots” is another really good vintage video featuring a 1000-mile unlimited air race. The ship Lacy flies is, um… unique. The YouTube channel is definitely worthy of an afternoon of watching. Even a few taildraggers in there, too.

Much like the Everal prop video from the other day, I’m very thankful for the keepers of these old videos, images, and history for sharing them in our new digital world.

Jan 30 2014

Free Airplane Plans! :: Update.

I originally posted about Team Mini-Max and their free digital downloads of the drawings for their line of ultralight and Light Sport Aircraft back in December 2012 (click here for the original post). The post has been one of the most popular on Taildraggers, Inc., so I know you guys and gals are downloading those plans.

Team Mini-Max recently posted a link to the manual to go along with the plans drawings on their Facebook page, and I felt it was a good opportunity to update the post here, too. The manual covers all models.

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.



Jan 24 2014

A Plane, A Place, A Perfect Day

Model aviation documentary from the 1980’s.

Jan 21 2014

Everal One Bladed Prop

one_bladed_propThe picture at right was shared by Bill Poturica on the STUNT FLIERS AND AIRSHOW GREATS Facebook page, and as do most aeronautical oddities, stirred a bit of discussion.  It doesn’t take much googling to find an original article written by Walter W. Everal about his propeller design.  (Link to .pdf HERE).  In the article, published in September of 1937, Walter explains some of the principals and features of the one bladed propeller, including increased efficiency due to the single blade operating in undisturbed air, and an automatic constant speed function whereby the blade moves fore and aft along an axis within the hub.

While this is all very interesting, it’s of little to use to us in our modern times.  We have so many good propellers to choose from, that the benefits of the single bladed prop are far outweighed by the reduced cost and complexity of a simple two bladed prop.  That is, of course, unless you happen to be one of the very few people who own and operate an Everal one bladed propeller.

Enter Andrew King and Gene Breiner.  Gene owns a J-2 Cub with an Everal prop, and Andrew was kind enough to make a video of himself flying Gene’s airplane.  In so many ways technology is the enemy of tradition, but if it weren’t for GoPro, YouTube, and Facebook, it’s quite possible that we would never have gems like the video below.

Jan 19 2014

Merle Larson

20140119-061201.jpgWell, it seems I’ve been misled about the origin of this photo. I guess you really can’t trust everything you read on the internet!

A huge thank you to Gary Pavek for the update, including links to posts made by the photographer who took this picture, William Larkins.

Mr. Larkins explains the real story a little bit on the J-3 Cub group on Facebook:

I just discovered this group and in scanning through it I noticed my photo of Merle Larson proping his Cub in flight. This has been floating around the Internet for awhile without any explanation. I took this in November 1946 and it shows him demonstrating a small air show stunt that he did. It appears that he is alone in the plane but there is another pilot (Gladys Davis) flying the plane from the back seat and he does have a rope tied around himself. Merle was a WWII B-24 pilot, flight instructor, inventor and builder of three unusual planes based at Buchanan Field, Concord, California.

So, as it turns out, Roland Maheux wasn’t the only one doing in-air hand propping. I guess in the 1940’s it was petty easy for two guys to do the same thing on opposite coasts and no one know anything about the other. It must’ve been pretty great living before the internet.


Mr. Pavek’s comments can be seen on the original post about Roland Maheux. Go to post.

Jan 18 2014

Oshkosh ’77

A well done video highlighting the 1977 EAA convention. Much of the video is focused on Bob Lyjak, who does a wonderful job of explaining why we love to fly, and what aviation means to us in this community.

The video narration is not without it’s faults, but it’s expected that a media outlet, no matter how aviation savvy, will never get all the details right. My biggest gripe is that although Duane Cole and Art Scholl performed in the airshow in ’77, and both men are seen in the video, neither of their airshow performances are featured.

It’s worth the time to watch. Enjoy.


Jan 16 2014

Roland Maheux

***UPDATE 1/19/19*** The photo to the right has been shown to NOT be of Roland Maheux, but instead of Merle Larson, a California based pilot. The photo was taken by William Larkins back in 1946. Read more about it here.

20140116-081918.jpgWe’ve all seen this photo, but it wasn’t until recently that I leaned a little bit about the history behind the man in the picture, Roland Maheux.

From Stu Tinker, as shared on the Stunt Fliers and Airshow Greats Facebook page:

“Roland Maheux (later changed to Maheu) from Lewiston, Maine would shut the engine off on his Cub, stop the prop and then get out and hand prop it at airshows all around New England. He did it solo for years until the FAA went nuts and made him take someone to hold the brakes and land it if he ever fell. He never did!”

20140116-081938.jpgA little more background on Maheaux was found on the always wonderful Little Known and Abandoned Airfields website, as recalled by Clarence Dargie:

“Roland Maheux was a very interesting character. He never had a flying lesson in his life. He bought what I believe was a Heath Parasol at age 16, climbed into it & taught himself to fly. He opened his airport during the 1930s. He kept his first airplane in a farm field south of Taylor Pond.”

Maheux actually founded two Maheux Airports, one in Auburn, ME sometime between 1938-41, and then another in Minot, ME sometime in 1943-44. The history of the first is somewhat interesting. It was sold to a local butcher, and then became a hot spot for delinquent pilots, with a bad reputation in the local community.

Again, from Clarence Dargie:

“Other pilots started using it and it developed into an airport which was later bought by Wilfred Charest, aka, The Butcher. Maheu had already opened the new Maheux Airport in Minot before selling the Taylor Pond one to Charest. Rumor had it that bad blood developed between Charest and Maheu over some shady aspects of the airport sale.

The single grass runway ran north & south… about 1,200′ long. There was an office building & a couple of hangars.

20140116-082952.jpgThe field was owned by Wilfred Charest, a butcher by trade who owned a butcher shop in Auburn. Thus, the field was more popularly known as The Butcher’s.

It was an outlaw field that played host to every misfit pilot in the area, most of whom had been banned from other local airports for dangerous & unorthodox behavior. In fact, Roland Maheu cautioned us students that any of us he caught landing at the Butcher’s would be grounded for a month.

I never landed there but did fly in the vicinity to observe the antics of that wild bunch and one day watched as someone in a Waco UPF-7 did low altitude loops over the center of the field as airplanes were landing in both directions.

A few days later, one of the Butcher’s Boys, as they were known, was killed in a Stearman along with his passenger when he crashed into the pond while doing slows rolls on final approach to the runway.”

Roland Maheu (previously Maheux) passed away in his home January 16, 1999.


Jan 16 2014

Ultralights. A Video.

I’m not going to comment on, or endorse any of the techniques shown in the video, either on the ground or in the air. However, I really appreciate the quality of the camera work used to capture so much of what is the essence of flight. Not boom-fast jets and point A to B stuff, but real freedom flying.


Jan 03 2014

Video :: Squirrel Steals Airplane

Yes, I know it’s silly.  That’s the fun of it.  Turn off your brain, and enjoy some creative video work.  Watching this makes me want a pet squirrel.  With my luck, I’d end up with the psychotic squirrel that would try to kill me in my sleep.  I’d name it Dexter.  He’d be cute and fluffy, though, that little Dexter squirrel.


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