Sunday, May 24, 2015

Will Fly For Food

Back in the day when the tee shirt message was funny - "Will (your occupation here) For Food" - I had one that echoed the title of this note. Flying jobs were hard to come by but good luck and perseverance paid off and I enjoyed a remarkable career as a corporate pilot. 

The food thing was always interesting since we (the crew and I) were exposed to cuisine from all over the world. My friend Ray's description of pink stroganoff (meat undefined) was entertaining, as was a description of actual entertainment in a smoky club at Khabarovsk where the band knew only one song in English and played it over and over to honor the Americans who were there - Barry Manilow's "Feelings". I heard it once in Bangkok and the memory is seared in my mind.

Nowadays, and more to the point of this missive, I delight in pointing Woody toward venues where barbecue and accompaniments are dished out by some of the nicest people you'll find anywhere. 

This week's outing took us to the Seminole Lake Gliderport, just west of Disney World and the home of one of the nicest grass runways you'll find anywhere. Our hosts were Shawn and Connie Knickerbocker whose home and hangar are located across the runway from the glider operation. 

There were Corvette enthusiasts and their cars, airplane enthusiasts and their airplanes, and good folk in general enjoying the day and each others' company.

Click on the pictures to make them bigger.

The Tiger Lady was there and I took this picture because I like the nose art and the nifty striping on the spinner.

 And, of course, Woody was there, hanging out with his buddies on the early bird row.

The jewel of the day (in my humble, but honest, opinion) was this beautiful PT-22. You could eat off any part of it. 

Oh, and the barbecue was wonderful.

Woody and I made our way back to Bob White Field to finish a perfect day for flying in Central Florida.

It doesn't get much better.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Time to say Goodbye

Airplanes and people either mate for life or they cast about for adventures heretofore unrequited. With the CallAir Cadet mushing toward completion of a long refurbishment, it's time for Woody to poke his nose toward new adventures. 

Click on the pictures to make them bigger

I put the ad in Barnstormers today with a mixture of regret and anticipation. Regret, because Woody is a darned good airplane and a LOT of fun to fly; anticipation, because I'm already looking ahead to a building project after the CallAir is done and sold and no, I won't tip my hand just yet ... There are bridges to cross first.

I like airplanes and because of that I like to leave them to the next owner better than I got them - not that there was anything really wrong when I bought it. 

I'll point out a few things; the old Stromberg carburetor had to go. The engine ran OK, I just wanted to change it out. Fortunately, there is an alternative in that Marvel-Scheblers are available. I bought a factory reconditioned one for less money and aggravation that I'd have spent trying to keep the Stromberg.  

The exhaust was pretty close to the fabric on the left side so Malcolm fashioned new outlets that were canted to blow straight out. 

One aileron control cable was beginning to show signs of wear so we ordered a new one. 

... and that's all it took to make me happy - not bad for an airplane bought sight unseen, not that I recommend it.

Ed Sterba lives not too far away from here and he was really pleased to see one of his props at a local fly-in. He's still in the business of making props. I know I'd buy another one if I needed it.

Pardon my photographic non-skills. We installed 8.50x6 tires to increase the deck angle on the ground. I found I had to accelerate to a higher speed for takeoff than I thought necessary because the angle of attack was so low with the old 6.00x6 tires. The bigger tires did the trick. The fittings for the landing gear in the picture on the right are good sized fittings. Everyone who knows anything about airplanes remarks that it is really well designed and built.

Up front, if you don't see it, you don't need it. This is an airplane for going up and looking down - my favorite pursuit since handing the jet keys to the younger pilots. I carry a makeup mirror in the cockpit to look at the "fuel gauge" behind me. That gets a laugh at fly-ins...

Some new owner is going to have a lot of fun in this airplane just as I have. 

Here's my shameless pitch: I have about $20K in the airplane but I don't expect to get that out of it. If you know someone who is looking for a fun ride that won't nickle and dime them in maintenance, look for my ad in Barnstormers and put them in touch with me. 

P.S. Barbecue is better when you fly to meet up with friends.

P.P.S. For a look back at my earlier posts about Woody, go to:
                 In theory ...
                 Getting the hang of it ...