Tuesday, February 23, 2016

CallAir in Silver

Here it is, the last week of February and the CallAir is another step closer to completion. 

Malcolm and Jon have finished sealing the fabric and have graduated to the UV barrier silver coats, with a lot of sanding and sore fingers in between. After the last of the silver, an overall base of white will be laid, sanded, and color to follow.
The devil is in the details ... getting all those pinks (described by one observer as the jiggly-jaggy thingys that are left by pinking shears) to lie down, getting all those corners just right, all the lumps and bumps smooth ... it all counts in a big way when the final color coats go on.

Model makers love the Cadet, too:

Friday, February 05, 2016

Today: CallAir update Feb 2016 - pretty in pink

Great news! The fuselage has its tapes in place and the first coat of Polybrush is on. The airplane is looking more and more like an airplane!

Firewall material is on order. Progress is the trend of the day! Weather has been a factor. It gets too chilly even in central Florida to do much in the way of fabric work and lately if it hasn't been too cool, it's been too wet or a little of both. Flying, it seems, depends on Mother Nature even when we're on the ground.

The workmanship on this project is just terrific. I may have to make a trip from North Carolina to Florida in the somewhat near future to see it firsthand.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016


The firewall material (stainless steel) for the CallAir will be ordered tomorrow. Fuselage is almost done except for a couple of tapes and the first of the Poly Brush coats, and that will be started tomorrow. Once the prep is done, we can get going with spraying color. 

I've had a lot of tomorrows ... I'll get to this or that tomorrow. Fortunately, I didn't put off my flying career until tomorrow - otherwise it would have never happened. I rode my bike to the local airports when I was a young teenager, and would have given up my Schwinn for an airplane ride. Much later, the lucky assignment to sell TV advertising to the Fixed Base Operator at Bluegrass Field in Lexington KY turned into my aviation world today. I still remember the interview, not word for word but almost all of it. Chuck Bohmer taught me more about how to sell an idea than all the how-to-sell training (mostly hot air) than I had experienced to that time. There was a map on his wall with concentric circles 100, 200, 300+ miles in radius and he wove an indelible image of freedom with it - "How far can you go in three hours in a car? How far in an airplane?"

Chuck stood perhaps 5'6" on damaged legs (from a flying accident) but to me he was ten feet tall, his pitch persuasive, rooted in a true love of flight. I signed up on the spot (and he signed up for some advertising). A win-win, I think you'd call it today.

Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. We can live where we like. Yesterday is in full color with all the nuance and texture that perspective can render; Today is a kaleidoscope of options, demanding focus here, focus there, and endless, confusing possibilities; then there is Tomorrow. Tomorrow is home to The Plan.

The electrician and plumber will come Tomorrow. Maybe. The painter will come on Monday (at least that's in jell-o). The office in the barn will be ready for occupancy in a week or so. Maybe. The CallAir will be finished soon. Maybe. Not tomorrow, just maybe. Tomorrow is magic. Tomorrow is a promise.

We said goodbye to Dave last Saturday. A good man. Dave built airplanes and flew them and loved being around them and being around people who loved them, too. He loved animals, big and small, took care of other people's pets when they were away, couldn't bear the sight of an animal mistreated. 

Flight Instructors and flight schools take notice: You need to learn from Chuck Bohmer and Dave Nielsen. People, strangers, prospective students need to feel included if we're to bring general aviation back to where it was when we were first introduced to it. Dave showed up at the north end of Johnson Field with a loaf of bread and a pack of bologna and from that time on there were guys bringing lunch from home to share with the other guys who hang around there. There's been a lot of baloney passed around, too, but that's for another time. That was Yesterday.

Today there is an empty place where Dave stood. If it weren't for the great memories of the man and his pure, generous goodness, that empty space in the hearts of grown up friends would ache terribly when we think of him. 

As it is, we'll remember and laugh and tell stories and hold dear our friend's good-hearted comradeship, and take him flying with us. Tomorrow.

Thanks to Bob Gilbert for the pictorial tribute to Dave.