Monday, November 10, 2008

November 10 - Marine Corps Birthday
November 11 - Veterans' Day / Armistice Day

This year, on November 11, I remember James Lundin, who we lost in Iraq, and ask you to pause and give thanks for the men and women who serve our Country at home and abroad on this day. Another James, our son-in-law, James Coughlin, is set to return to the Middle East next month. Last time it was Iraq, this time it is Afghanistan. Save a place for him in your prayers, too.



Monday, October 13, 2008

October in the Mountains

This is a view of my home field, looking down runways 15 (there are three!).
The paved runway on the left is, in reality, the left side of the airport runway. Half is paved, half is nice, smooth sod. Further to the right is Johnson field, privately owned, and used by the members of the Western North Carolina Air Museum. It's an interesting arrangement. I've been in the pattern with skydivers (not many of those around here anymore), ultralights, business twins and antiques, all using the runways more or less simultaneously.

Flying around the mountains reveal lots of beautiful scenery, especially this time of year ... and a few sights that are decidedly seasonal. This is a hillbilly corn maze next to a pumpkin patch and petting zoo ... the lot looks pretty full - I guess they're doing OK.
This is my corner of the museum's long hangar at Hendersonville ... I like it here.

The company is pretty good ... all ragwings and all but one a taildragger - the Ercoupe down the way is the only exception. All the guys are great and we take turns closing up at the end of a day of flying ...

More pictures to come ...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A September to Remember

It was the best of times ...
The guys at work arranged for my last trip in the Global Express to be a special one and the fellows at Farmingdale Airport operations went along with it ... the crash trucks positioned themselves on either side of the taxiway and hosed us down as we left the ramp for the last time ...

There again the guys at Arrindell Aviation were just terrific ... they set us up with some really nice hotel rooms right on the Caribbean ... Frank Arrindell flew in especially for the occasion and they gave me a nice plaque to hang on the wall (and a nice bottle of brandy, too)! I'm going to miss Frank and Henke and Roy and all the great guys at Arrindell.

And just like that, my jet career was history. My only regret: I couldn't buy a decent landing.

So I packed up my kit bag and said goodbye to the gang at Bayport Aerodrome ... that's a picture of my old Cub that belongs now to 7 of the guys and Bob's Stearman ... Bayport will always be a fondly held memory.
The Big Day came and Champ was ready to go ... Stu took me to the airport and we hung around together while a sea fog dissipated along the south shore of Long Island ... when it cleared enough to take a look, Stu and the Cub flew with me as far as the Captree Lighthouse and left Champ and me to go the rest of the way on our own.

This is the route that I chose using AOPA/Jeppesen. I decided to use 1.5 hours as my leg lengths for my own comfort and to get to know the airplane on a long trip. 

We just missed being able to do the whole trip in one day. The sea fog delay made us run out of daylight 30 miles from the new home base.
And here it is: The Western North Carolina Air Museum at Hendersonville NC (0A7)

More to come.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

August with Gusto!

Pictures by our talented member, Fred Miller, from the great Bayport Aerodrome neighborhood picnic held on August 10th. What a terrific month! First, the picnic, then the Antique Airplane Club of Greater New York fly-in, from the 22nd to the 24th! The weather even cooperated! If you missed these, you missed some serious aviation fun.

Here with his permission is a link to Fred's picnic pictures:

The report from the AACGNY fly-in is in and it was a rousing success! A highlight for everyone is this incomparable OX powered Pheasant:

...And this pink L-type Aeronca, owned by a visiting lady pilot, as viewed by Fred through the flying and landing wires of Bill's 1930 Bird Model A:

The incomparable view of Bayport Aerodrome while on final approach ... Bill did a nice, slight forward slip to the left to give Fred this next great shot:

And, finally, a wonderful air-to-air picture of Stuart and Tim in Tim's Tiger Moth ... Stu and friends are in the process of restoring and assembling Tiger Moth parts and will hopefully have Bayport's third Tiger Moth in the air one of these days:

For more of Fred's pictures, including his terrific work with the American Airpower Museum and the Cradle of Aviation Museum, select his albums from his web site:

Fred's photographs are available for purchase and we encourage you to buy from him to support his work as he continues to record Long Island's exceptional aviation history.

Happy Landings!

Monday, July 14, 2008

July's When We Flies!

July at Bayport!

The first look our visitors (by car) get is the flag. We're a proud bunch and our flag tells everybody just where we stand.

Every now and then we have visitors who love to just walk around and touch the airplanes ... there's always somebody who says "I helped build those during the war" or "I worked on or flew those during the war". It's great to have these men and women stop by for their visits ...
...and there's a car buff or two who'd like to have pictures of themselves or their cars with the classic biplanes ...
Pretty soon the wind died down enough to go flying and Bob and I cruised the Great South Bay in the Champ looking for aggressor forces ....
...and there they were! Lurking above the boaters and ferries ... a couple of Cubs!
We decided to take them from the sun, but they turned tail and made for the safety of Bayport Aerodrome where they were met by ...

The Green Baron von Clifford and his 1930 Bird Model A!

Vladimir and Andre even got into the act, firing up the mighty Ranger and killing the mosquitos in a cloud of blue smoke ...

I wish I had pictures of the feast Bill and Bill brought to us....the Striped Bass and crabs were tasty and appreciated by all ... culinary arts honed by years of practice over a roaring barbecue grill ...

In the end it's about friends and airplanes and good fun on a weekend afternoon .... and there's nothing that can compare.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

June and I like to go fly

.... And so we did ... the Bonanza hauled me from New York to Kentucky to North Carolina to Florida and did it in very good time - better than driving and just about the same cost when you consider stopping for meals and a couple of nights in a hotel. I can prove it with the fuel slips and with the help of AAA and their driving maps. Even with avgas costs just absurd, the numbers compare very favorably (seeing as how the price of car gas is absurd too, these days).

More about June as soon as I figure out how to load a video on the blog ... this antique pilot still has a few tricks to learn. In the meantime, try clicking on the link below or cut and paste into your browser to see the ornithopter ride at the Western North Carolina Air Museum ... it's a big hit with the kids, especially during the Air Fair, held the first weekend in June each year.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

May, Dismay and Maybe

Well, my friends, May has been blustery, gustery and when it's not blustering and gustering it's been wet. But there have been days like the day below, even when we had to go out of town to find them!
This is Horn Point and this is the annual fly-in of the PAAS (Potomac Antique Airplane Society) near Cambridge MD ... We happened to catch them on a dry day between wet days but the main thing is it was a grand day ... Stu took a bunch of pictures and sent me a few so here is an actual airplane that was actually there ....

A gen-u-wine Mooney M-10 basking in the sunshine ...

May was also the month when the Cub changed hands ... A gallant group of 7 intrepid aviators, members of the Bayport Aerodrome Society and/or the Antique Airplane Club of Greater New York, banded together to buy the Cub and leave me semi-Cubless (semi because they give me rides every now and then and because some of the guys need their tailwheel endorsements.

So the little yellow airplane flew away without having to fly away and will ply the skies over Bayport and Fire Island for years to come ... meanwhile ...

I still have my "other" Cub ... at Area 52 north of Tampa FL ... and will be flying it as soon as my son teaches me how not to create a kit out of all it's parts.
Then to round out the month, Stu and Bob and I launched the Banana and flew up to New Hampshire where we met a wonderful family and took a look at a possible Cub replacement for me ... more on that to come as soon as we can work out details ...

But it might look like ....

A Champ!

Come visit us at or .... bring a picnic and enjoy the airplanes at the last publicly owned, grass runway on Long Island!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Bayport Members in China

The Bayport Boys go to China ... and the China Aviation museum, located just north and west of Beijing. Next time you find yourself wandering around Beijing with nothing to do, make a side trip to the museum - it will definitely be worth your time. The admission price is low - just a couple of American dollars - and for about 75 cents you can see inside Chairman Mao's airplane (which he used only once or twice).

Alex and Mike in front of the entrance to the mountain hangar ... yep, the Chinese Air Force stationed their last line of defense inside a mountain. If the invaders came a'calling and if they got past the Great Wall, the airplanes would fire up, taxi out of the mountain and meet the foe.

Craig in front of the ceremonial entrance. Note the Whitewall tires on the ack-ack guns - they spent most of their time in parades.

Here is the inside of the mountain hangar. Mike and Craig are checking out the jet engines on display and you can see one of the wall displays on the left. The hangar is really nicely done and immaculate. I had to brighten the picture a little - they could use a little more light inside - but everything is right out in the open - lines of airplanes (including a few American Air Force and Navy aircraft and a Huey.....wonder where that came from?) ...

Walk through the mountain and you come to a line of MiGs ... Mike and I couldn't resist a picture in front of these simple, amazing airplanes.

And to document that this is unofficially Bayport-China ....

Craig and Mike man the guns ....
There's really too much to show in one post ... we spent about 4 hours and didn't see everything, but this line of AN-2s was pretty interesting.
...And on the fringes, you find airframes and engines in various stages of disrepair, just waiting for knowledgeable hand to bring them back to life. This old Yak trainer's engine still turns and there is not a speck of corrosion on it. The fiberglass skin is pretty ratty and there's bent metal, but it is very restorable. Craig couldn't resist getting a little cockpit time in this interesting hulk ... the prop might need a little work, but he's calling for "contact" anyway ... by the way, the skin metal really is rusty ... it's 1/4" steel from behind the cockpit to the spinner!
The first couple of clues that this is not a DC-3/C-47 are the cowl flaps and the 4-bladed props. These are IL-2s, made in Russia from plans given to them by Douglas during the Lend-Lease program.
We gave away the B-29, too ... this and the drones under each wing were made by Tupelov ... note the turbine engines that replaced the original radials
....and it comes in a variety of flavors ... this AWACS model is quite fetching ...

On the way out, we stopped to take a look at this fantastic seaplane ...

Way back in the back of the museum, there's the beginning of a general aviation operation. The owner/manager is a Lifetime EAA member and got a grant from the govt to build this facility, buy a couple of Tecnam LSAs and build a runway. In true Air Force fashion, he built the building, bought the airplanes and is now waiting for the runway (old Navy joke).

One final look back at the jet at the entrance to the museum and you've had yourself an interesting day.

More pictures to follow.

Come see us at Bayport Aerodrome (23N) ... we're just south of the Islip-MacArthur Airport and will be opening our public season later this month (April 2008). Bring a picnic and enjoy the airplanes!