Category Archive: Musings

When I write what I think.

Oct 16 2014

Two More CFI’s Added to the List!

learntoflyhere150x150….aaaaaaaand, add another pair of taildraggin’ CFI’s to the list! The Taildraggers, Inc. CFI / Flight School Directory just keeps on growing.

Folks, please support your local CFI. These fine ladies and gentlemen work hard for your business, all to promote and share a passion for aviation. Alright, enough babbling from me, here’s the scoop:

Lanier Flight Center :: Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport, Gainesville, GA (KGVL) and Dekalb-Peachtree Airport, Atlanta, GA (KPDK)

P3Air Classic :: Compton/Woodley Airport, Compton, CA (KCPM)

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

 

Sep 09 2014

Add Another CFI to the List!

learntoflyhere150x150 The Taildraggers, Inc. CFI / Flight School Directory just keeps on growing. It’s always satisfying to add another CFI to the directory.

Folks, please support your local CFI. These fine ladies and gentlemen work hard for your business, all to promote and share a passion for aviation. Alright, enough babbling from me, here’s the scoop:

Bully Aero :: Raleigh Executive Airport, Sanford, NC (KTTA) and Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport, Burlington, NC (KBUY)

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

 

Aug 27 2014

Another Pair of CFI’s Added to the List!!!

learntoflyhere150x150….aaaaaaaand, add another pair of taildraggin’ CFI’s to the list! The Taildraggers, Inc. CFI / Flight School Directory just keeps on growing.

Folks, please support your local CFI. These fine ladies and gentlemen work hard for your business, all to promote and share a passion for aviation. Alright, enough babbling from me, here’s the scoop:

George Asselanis, CFI :: Columbus-Lowndes County Airport, Columbus, MS (KUBS)

Jim Frederick, CFI :: Numerous Airports, Columbus, OH (KSGH, I74, KUYF, etc.)

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

 

Aug 04 2014

NPRM To Define Hangar Use Policy

As privately owned (and funded) airports close, and municipally owned airports become the only options available for public use, we will see a continued decline in affordable general aviation facilities, training, and fuel resources. As soon as an airport accepts government funding for improvements, they must abide by the rules set forth by the FAA, good and bad.

Below is a quote from a NPRM from the FAA regarding approved use of hangars. This might not affect you, but it will affect thousands of homebuilders across the country.

“While building an aircraft results in an aeronautical product, the FAA has not found all stages of the building process to be aeronautical for purposes of hangar use. A large part of theconstruction process can be and often is conducted off-airport. Only when the various components are assembled into a final functioning aircraft is access to the airfield necessary.”

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/07/22/2014-17031/policy-on-the-non-aeronautical-use-of-airport-hangars#h-13

Jul 12 2014

The Grassroots Aviator

20140712-075651-28611399.jpgLadies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to my latest project, The Grassroots Aviator (www.thegrassrootsaviator.com)

A new blog that celebrates our shared passion for aviation, our community, our past, and our future. The blog promotes flying for everyone, with the reminder that flying needs to be neither expensive or exclusive. There is an aerial option for all budgets, and all interests.

The blog is meant to be a community blog, and your content submissions are welcome.

May 26 2014

Funnies

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May 15 2014

Ryan’s Secret Plan

If you’re on Facebook, please join the group “Taildragger Pilots United”. It is an open group with members around the world. Lots of good sharing of pictures, videos, and information.

The following photo was shared by Ryan Lunde, and I have to admit, I’m quite envious of the success he’s had implementing his “secret plan”. Read it in his own words below.

20140515-060107.jpgCuriously, ever since I started my current flying job two years ago, my company’s hangar has been slowly filling with taildraggers. In fact, it’s now the ratio is about 50-50. Some people say that I keep making my students buy taildraggers and I’ve been told to knock it off. I can’t make anybody do anything, but I take that sentiment to mean that my secret plan of making more competent tailwheel pilots is coming to fruition.

Ryan also has some spectacular photos over at www.championairphotos.com. Be sure to check it out.

Photo credit goes to Ryan, of course.

May 10 2014

Airbus E-Fan

It’s not a taildragger, but the technology used to power it is of great interest to me. I have a Quickie Q-1 project in storage that I hope to fly with a fully-electric power system. I personally believe that electric powered full-scale aircraft will bring a great many benefits to personal aviation.

Mar 06 2014

Bobby Younkin T-6 Airshow

1993.

Feb 22 2014

In-Flight WIFI

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Feb 16 2014

Snoopy

Hat tip to Rich Davidson for sharing this on Facebook.

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

Steve Wittman to be Inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame

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I’m happy to see him receive this honor, even if it is posthumous. Wittman played many important roles in aviation, and his contributions reached much father than most people understand. The next time you’re at Oshkosh, take the time to really study the displays at EAA’s tribute to Steve at the Pioneer Airport, adjacent to the museum. There is a lot to be learned there, and it’s one of the best parts of the museum.

From eaa.org:

“The late Sylvester J. “Steve” Wittman, the pioneering aircraft designer, builder, and racer who was an early EAA member and the namesake of Oshkosh’s Wittman Regional Airport, is among six individuals who are among the class of 2014 inductees for the National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF).

The NAHF announced the upcoming year’s inductees during Tuesday night’s annual dinner hosted by the Dayton, Ohio-based Aviation Trail Inc. on the anniversary of the Wright brothers’ first successful powered flight on December 17, 1903.

Wittman built his first airplane in 1924, and competed in his first air race in 1926. Wittman managed the Oshkosh, Wisconsin, airport, and operated an FBO and flight school there while continuing to design, construct, and fly innovative aircraft, his homebuilt kit plans selling in the thousands. His final air race was in 1989, at age 85. Along with Wittman’s name on the Oshkosh airport he managed until the late 1960s, EAA Chapter 252 in Oshkosh is known as the “Steve Wittman Chapter.”

FMI – National Aviation Hall of Fame

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.

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