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Post  Kim on Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:27 pm

So, THERE I was, MINDING my own business, when suddenly, a blimp rocketed into view!  

Well, maybe not really...we had been watching and rooting for it to cross the river out east for some 20 minutes before it finally made it to the field, and even then, it still headed on westward to loiter over "Three Mile Hill", waiting for it's ground-support crew to arrive after actually out-running them (there's no real, direct root to Cape Girardeau from the east or west, but you're in business if you want to hoof it to Memphis or St. Louis).

By the time the crew trucks arrived, our tower was closed and so we were treated to listening to the blimp call his traffic as he poked around something that resembled a pattern and approach.  Highly recommended, but still appearing somewhat pointless when applied to a flying whale...."I'm terribly sorry for the near-miss sir!  Honest-to God...I didn't see the blimp !"

Anyway, don't know much about it as I was getting tired and cranky and hungry WAY before they got the thing secured.  Someone said it was based out of Florida...maybe a free-lance advertizing blimp or something.


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Beautiful and somewhat surreal evening sky gives the blimp's approach a Lakehurst-esk feeling:

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Photogenic as they may be, I've never been a big fan of Hot Air Balloons because of their lack of command and control over the course they fly ("Freedom in a Balloon"-my foot!), so blimps rate a bit higher, but they're still incredibly helpless and dependent on pampering when they try to land...

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Post  RknRusty on Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:23 pm

In airplane talk, when you say a plane has a range of 450 miles, does that mean it can fly 450 miles from home and have enough fuel to turn around and return to home?
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Post  Kim on Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:33 pm

RknRusty wrote:In airplane talk, when you say a plane has a range of 450 miles, does that mean it can fly 450 miles from home and have enough fuel to turn around and return to home?
Rusty

Range is a one-way shot, typically.

I once read a story about a young, newly-wed pilot who used his upcoming honeymoon trip as an excuse to get checked out in a Mooney, which had a MUCH longer range than his trusty Skyhawk. This would allow the happy couple to get to their destination in one hop. However, being a newbie in the world of a FEMALE'S useful range, he lamented that a plane with +five hours of endurance isn't worth much when your new bride is only good for close to ONE hour of flight !!!
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Post  RknRusty on Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:39 pm

Kim wrote:
RknRusty wrote:In airplane talk, when you say a plane has a range of 450 miles, does that mean it can fly 450 miles from home and have enough fuel to turn around and return to home?
Rusty

Range is a one-way shot, typically.

I once read a story about a young, newly-wed pilot who used his upcoming honeymoon trip as an excuse to get checked out in a Mooney, which had a MUCH longer range than his trusty Skyhawk.  This would allow the happy couple to get to their destination in one hop.  However, being a newbie in the world of a FEMALE'S useful range, he lamented that a plane with +five hours of endurance isn't worth much when your new bride is only good for close to ONE hour of flight !!!
Thanks for answering my question.
And that other problem is what empty jugs are for. My passengers hate riding with me. I haven't had to pee in almost 30 years. lol! I can go a loooong way... unless I stop for some burritos. OKay TMI
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Post  Kim on Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:32 pm

Back in my hard-core, sport-flying days, I always joked that my Grega/Piet would never run out of fuel, because it carried almost three hours of fuel, but I was so cramped in it's tiny cockpit that I COULDN'T stand to be in there for more than an hour and a half...
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Post  RknRusty on Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:16 am

Is this it?
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Post  Kim on Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:08 pm

Yep...with an engine and some covering!

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Post  Kim on Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:16 pm

"Hot Chocolate and Pilatus's!!!"  

The sub-title was my answer to my self-asked question whenever I'd tour a class of youngsters at the airport, "Do you all know what comes from Switzerland?".

I love talking about airplanes, and didn't mind a bit when I'd get tagged to do hangar tours, often making our based Pilatus the main star...just because it's name is fun to say.  Even the teachers and bus driver would join in when I'd ask, "Can you all say PI-LAT-US?"...responding with the kids:    

"PI-LAT-US!!!"  

I'd always ended my tours with a test as the group headed for the main gate: "Now, what comes from Switzerland?"

"HOT CHOCOLATE AND PILATUS'S !!!!!"

Nothing like warping little minds before the professional warpers get their turn with them!

The big turbo-prop doesn't often get noticed otherwise, especially when parked next to the racier hardware out on the ramp...but she's a workhorse, and flies a bunch.  

I got a chance to ride along this afternoon as one of our pilots prepared for a check ride in his next step toward running charters in the plane.  I packed along a camera, and snapped a few photos before and during the ride!

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Some macho trailing-link main gear...

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The false horizon is Missouri's summer haze layer, coming to a level stop at about 4000 feet above the ground...

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Painton International Aerodrome slides by far below...

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Flaps down...slow flight and approach-to-stalls way up high...

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Clyde makes a quick judgement/call on whether he can make the field during a simulated engine failure..

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Post  happydad on Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:55 pm

Kim: Jealous x10,000 cheers

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Post  Oldenginerod on Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:39 am

I grew up next to a parachute drop zone and they would regularly get a Pilatus Porter in when they had an event or formation competition. It was and awesome plane to watch. With 10 jumpers on board it would launch itself off the ground at an acute angle and get to the drop hight faster than any other plane we ever had come & visit. While I love piston engines, the turboprop just sounded like pure thrust. The guys (and girls) would all pile out and the pilot would just point that thing at the ground & was usually down and ready to load by the time the last chute had hit the deck. Reverse pitch the prop, plonk it on the ground about 50' from the compound and there she sat, taking up just a few yards of the strip.

The Porter was in stark contrast to certain other planes we had there. One which comes to mind was the DeHavilland Drover.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Australia_DHA-3_Drover
That thing, with 10 onboard, would heave itself up over the treeline at the end of the strip and then settle back down about 50' over our paddocks until it got up enough airspeed to gain any altitude. You could go inside, cook and consume lunch, have a post-meal coffee and wander back outside just in time to see the jumpers bail out. By the time he got that thing back on the ground it was nearly dark everyone had landed and were probably well on their way to the local Longwarry Pub for an ale.
I spoke the the guy who purchased and restored the Drover after it retired from the drop zone and he tells me he didn't know how the engines even ran as all the spark plugs had their electrodes completely burned off. Still, I love the old bus.

The drop zone is long gone and I shifted off the farm next door, but I credit those many years with developing my love of aircraft.
there was a very good website on its history, but I can't currently locate it. If I do I'll post.

Rod.
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Post  Kim on Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:13 am

What a cool airplane...as are so many of the classic DeHavilland designs. Those Gypsie inline engines are so cool! The old gal may not have the performance of some, but it's certainly a classy airplane !!!
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Post  Waffleman on Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:06 am

Interesting that you mention the parachute drop fro the Pilatus. At the local airport here, we have a very successful skydiving operation called "skydive deland" and they operate a Pilatus, a Short Skyvan, an a couple of Twin Otters. We can see the landing approach from the RC field, that Pilatus pilot is a real hotshot. He comes down quicker "that a bonanza full of doctors" and is often already on the runway by the time his skydivers make their landings. He also makes the most dramatic turns to final.
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Post  crankbndr on Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:41 am

Waffleman wrote:Interesting that you mention the parachute drop fro the Pilatus. At the local airport here, we have a very successful skydiving operation called "skydive deland" and they operate a Pilatus, a Short Skyvan, an a couple of Twin Otters. We can see the landing approach from the RC field, that Pilatus pilot is a real hotshot. He comes down quicker "that a bonanza full of doctors" and is often already on the runway by the time his skydivers make their landings. He also makes the most dramatic turns to final.


Your too young to know the "Bonanza full of doctors" joke, I heard that 50 years ago. You must hang with older pilots!
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Post  Kim on Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:26 am

crankbndr wrote:
Waffleman wrote:Interesting that you mention the parachute drop fro the Pilatus. At the local airport here, we have a very successful skydiving operation called "skydive deland" and they operate a Pilatus, a Short Skyvan, an a couple of Twin Otters. We can see the landing approach from the RC field, that Pilatus pilot is a real hotshot. He comes down quicker "that a bonanza full of doctors" and is often already on the runway by the time his skydivers make their landings. He also makes the most dramatic turns to final.


Your too young to know the "Bonanza full of doctors" joke, I heard that 50 years ago. You must hang with older pilots!

True!!!!!! But that saying STILL has validity !!!!!! Nowadays, We just got more brands for them to plant !!!
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Post  crankbndr on Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:32 am

That turbo prop sure has a nice cabin, looks like it was made for flying around cigar chompin Texas oil barons!!
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Post  Waffleman on Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:49 am

crankbndr wrote:

Your too young to know the "Bonanza full of doctors" joke, I heard that 50 years ago. You must hang with older pilots!

Right on both accounts.

The oldest pilot I know is 97, I have one of his planes that was built in 1962! Older than me by a long shot!
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Post  Oldenginerod on Tue Sep 30, 2014 5:26 pm

Kim wrote:What a cool airplane...as are so many of the classic DeHavilland designs.  Those Gypsie inline engines are so cool!  The old gal may not have the performance of some, but it's certainly a classy airplane !!!

Kim.  I figured the multi-engined thing would get your attention.

The old Drover was built like a tank & I think it was exclusively built with Australia in mind and was used mainly in the Royal Flying Doctor Service. (ignoring the "doctor" joke).  The R.F.D.S. flies doctors out & patients in from really remote parts of the outback where it would take people days to drive to the nearest town or hospital.

The particular Drover in question was purchased by one of our local Drop Zone guys, but unfortunately when it came to taking delivery, he had broken his arm.  He flew to Sydney from Melbourne, taking my then 15 year old brother with him for the ride.  On arrival, he did all the negotiations  Hand Shake  with his jacket draped over his plastered arm.  Once in the plane, my brother took over (with some assistance on take-off & landing) and flew the thing home.  Flying  Shh

I still remember watching the thing descend at dusk after a drop with flames belching from the exhausts, probably due to the aforementioned dodgy spark plugs.

Rod.
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Post  Kim on Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:09 pm

Oldenginerod wrote:
Kim wrote:What a cool airplane...as are so many of the classic DeHavilland designs.  Those Gypsie inline engines are so cool!  The old gal may not have the performance of some, but it's certainly a classy airplane !!!


I still remember watching the thing descend at dusk after a drop with flames belching from the exhausts, probably due to the aforementioned dodgy spark plugs.

Rod.

That HAD to be a sight! Years ago, there was an engineless DeHavilland 'Dove' parked out in the grass at an airport across the river. I think it was originally used as an airframe carcass for the Aviation Maintenance School there. I was told that I was welcome to check it out, but didn't have the time on that trip. When I dropped in a couple years later, the Dove was gone...probably scrapped out.

Wish we had some restored something with Gypsie engines puttering around here !
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Post  Oldenginerod on Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:52 pm

Kim wrote:That HAD to be a sight!  Years ago, there was an engineless DeHavilland 'Dove' parked out in the grass at an airport across the river.  I think it was originally used as an airframe carcass for the Aviation Maintenance School there.  I was told that I was welcome to check it out, but didn't have the time on that trip.  When I dropped in a couple years later, the Dove was gone...probably scrapped out.

Wish we had some restored something with Gypsie engines puttering around here !

I'm pretty sure the Drover was based on a similar platform to the Dove, but the Dove had two Gypsy Queen engines rather than the three Gypsy Majors (basically a Tiger Moth engine).  Three of them droning away together was sort of a unique sound.  We see quite a few Doves sitting around in various states of repair out here- they must have been pretty popular in their day.  I saw a local newspaper article the other day about a guy who purchased a complete running example, dismantled it and reassembled it in his suburban back yard.  He can actually run the engines and likes to entertain the local kids as he has installed a flight simulator in the cockpit.  Wouldn't you have loved to be the kid next door to that guy?  Very Happy

Rod.
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Post  Kim on Wed Oct 01, 2014 9:25 am

He's definitely NOT the "Hey you kids, get offa my lawn" type !!!
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Post  Kim on Fri Oct 17, 2014 6:09 pm

On September 13, 2012, I nearly lost an old friend.  John stalled his Fairchild PT-19 Cornell during a low pass for a TV crew.  He was demonstrating a "Flour Bombing" event in our upcoming airshow.  

Watching the target (a car), and positioning the WWII trainer for release, he let the plane slow to the point that it stalled and nosed down.  Adding power as the stall broke only torqued it to the left, but may have been the reason the accident wasn't worse.

The PT-19 snapped to the left, it's left wing and nose striking the ground, with plane ending up 180 degrees from it's original course.  The wing's crushing impact helped cushion the rest of the plane's impact, with both John and his passenger being able to climb from the plane, though both were still banged up pretty good.

The landing gear struts were snapped off at the wings, the prop shattered and engine mounts bent.  Even more seriously, the fuselage's longerons were bent.  The insurance company totaled the plane.

We put the plane on a flat-bed trailer and hauled it back to it's hangar, were it sat for a couple months as John recovered from from his head smacking the windscreen frame.

John took responsibility for the accident from the beginning...straight-out pilot error...and had to deal with assorted lawyers and the Feds as the whole deal progressed.

He bought the PT from the insurance company, and started pulling parts from wreck.  He had help from several friends, but all the drive to finish the project was his.  His past hobby/job of helping maintain PT-19's, had given him several connections in the community.  He rebuilt the Ranger Engine, pulled the center section and sent it off to Ohio (I think).  The fuse was rebuilt and jigged and one of his friends came up with some "NIP" gear struts.

Parts of the PT 'traveled' around the airport, being stored in borrowed hangars when some of it's larger chunks needed elbow room around them as they were worked on in John's T hangar.

I missed it's first post-rebuild flight, but watched John today as he made laps around the airport, adjusting the rigging of it's controls.  It was good to hear the rumble of the old straight-six Ranger.

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For the past couple of years, John's hangar looked remarkably like your average model-builder's shop...just a bit scaled up.

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John's rebuilt Cornell sits on his hangar's ramp today, September 17, 2014

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N19GP heads out to Runway 28 for some more test flying as John gets the trainer in rig.

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Last edited by Kim on Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:24 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Post  dckrsn on Fri Oct 17, 2014 6:44 pm

I don't know how to reply, except to thank you for that, Kim.
The welling up Bob
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Post  andrew on Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:25 pm

Stupendous --- what a treat to see an old warhorse back on its feet and into the air.
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Post  Cribbs74 on Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:18 pm

Kim,

Tell John that we have been watching. To go through all that mess and still come out on top tells me he is a man with passion. I respect that.

Good job John!

Ron
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Post  Kim on Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:52 pm

Will do!

John is "Old School", and we've got about three of them left at our airport.  Once he got healed up enough to be truly mobile, he methodically rebuilt the PT...a crazy-daunting task in my view.

He's been extremely generous with the PT over the years, handing out free rides from the time it was first restored back in the 1980's.  I've gotten to log almost 4 hours of time mooched over the years, with the extreme honor of being allowed to take the front seat, and on the last two flights, handling the PT from start to shut down, with John in the back seat commenting on the weather and how much traffic there was on the interstate.

Several years ago, John installed an electric starter in the PT.  It was nice, but I somehow thought the PT lost a bit of it's mystique...or maybe I just got a kick out of watching my fellow line guys crank the thing....
On the Ramp Right Now: The 2019 Cape Girardeau Air Festival - Page 14 Airpor10

On the Ramp Right Now: The 2019 Cape Girardeau Air Festival - Page 14 3_pt-110

On the Ramp Right Now: The 2019 Cape Girardeau Air Festival - Page 14 4_pt-110

"Super Tim" (one of our new/old schoolers) hams it up with the PT
On the Ramp Right Now: The 2019 Cape Girardeau Air Festival - Page 14 Tim_po10
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