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Past News 2001

"White Lightning" Damaged in Gear-Up Landing

WARBIRD LOVERS RALLY TO REBUILD DAMAGED P-38...
AVweb has learned of an unsolicited effort to help Lefty Gardner rebuild his heavily damaged Lockheed P-38. On Monday, June 25, N25Y "White Lightning" made a gear-up landing in a cotton field near the Greenwood, Miss., airport after a fire broke out in the left engine compartment.

Parts for 50-plus-year-old P-38s are in notoriously short supply and repairs to the $2 million airplane are being estimated at $500,000. Lefty's stepson Daron Skurich tells AVweb that the plane was not
insured.

...EFFORTS HOPE TO LIFT BLACK CLOUD FROM "WHITE LIGHTNING"
Skurich says that a group of EAA and Confederate Air Force members are sending contributions to Lefty to help with repairs. If you would like to help rebuild this proud old bird, you can send your donation to M.L.
"Lefty" Gardner, 413 Malabar Street, Austin, TX, 78734.

Evergreen Airport in Washington

Note: This came from AVWEB.COM newsletter. June 27, 2001.
While publicly owned GA airports face an uphill battle, privately owned fields are fighting even tougher odds, and usually it's a lack of money that seals their fate. In Vancouver, Wash., Evergreen Airport - - once a source of immense community pride - - is now, sadly, the object of developers' designs. With cash reserves dwindling, the owners have been trying to find a buyer that would keep the airport open. Hopes that the Port of Vancouver would purchase the 57-acre property were dashed last week when officials announced the purchase was not feasible. Heads up, fellow aviators - - general aviation as we've known it is ceasing to exist.

Lots of airports are going away. A new site for Barnes Airport in the East Coast is one such site. (This was a temporary site just for the crisis. http://hopgoodgroup.com/ sets up and runs such sites for specific projects.)

Patty Wagstaff's New Site

http://www.aerobaticsource.com/ is the URL of her new web site. Patty is one of the top acrobatic pilots in the world.

Sound Tracks

If you live near SFO airport (San Francisco) you can watch - - in real time - - the flight tracks of airplanes in the SFO area. http://live.airportnetwork.com/sfo/ is the URL for it. This is part of their nose abatement and awareness program. Some airports have this inside a concourse for people to watch.

New Web Site for Aviation Weather

Out of the Plane and Pilot magazine I saw this clipping that www.flightbrief.com is a new site for pilots to get weather (WX) briefings at. Another site is http://www.mxtelecom.com/ for WAP devices.

A third site seen in the zine has more than 1200 airport diagrams online. Handy if you are home and all the airport info in the bag in your plane.

Me 262 Broke the Sound Barrier in 1945?

(From AVWeb) A MATTER OF SUPERSONIC PROPORTIONS: A former Luftwaffe pilot is claiming to be the first person to break the sound barrier, preceding Chuck Yeager's recorded feat on October 14, 1947, by more than two years. Hans Guido Mutke claims that he broke the speed of sound on April 9, 1945, in his Messerschmitt 262 jet. Mutke said that he had applied full throttle to the German fighter in hopes of catching up to a fellow pilot who had bailed out under U.S. attack close to the end of World War II. Now 79 years old, Mutke has enlisted the help of an aeronautics professor to prove his high-speed claim.

Battle of Britain Pilot Johnnie Johnson

Britain's leading Fighter Ace Johnnie Johnson died recently. He fought from from the Fall of France, through the "Battle of Britain" till till the end of the war. I believe he had 38 kills.

Braking after Takeoff

Some POH state that after takeoff the pilot (or copilot) is to press the brakes on the wheels to stop them from spinning before they go into the wheel wells. I found out from Rick Durden (RDurden@compuserve.com), who is a columnist on AVWeb, that this is no longer the practice in B-17s, B-24s and DC-3s. It seems that pressing the brakes too fast would stop the hubs but the tires would then spin on the hubs and ruin them. These tires being very unique now are very expensive to replace. So the next time you are in a WW-II type aircraft remember not to brake the wheels after takeoff. In the book "Beyond Fighter Cover" a B-24 pilot tells a tale of a pilot who liked to do "hot" takeoffs: i.e. stay on the ground till 160 or so before lifting off the B-24 (normal takeoff under combat load is around 135). The POH book stated that at 160 the copilot is to brake the wheels. A new copilot did not know about this pilot's habit of fast takeoffs. The copilot read the gauges while the pilot took off and at 160 braked the wheels. They were still on the runway at the time and the B-24 promptly flipped over and blew up killing all 10 crew members. It pays to know who you are flying with.

Thunder Mustang

Thunder Mustang http://www.thundermustang.com/. This is an 80% scale flyable P-51D Mustang. It raced at Reno last year but was not in the top 3 in any of the metal races.

Penguins in the News

From AVWeb. SCIENTISTS TO SCRUTINIZE FALLING-PENGUIN STORY: AVWeb reported way back in '96 that Royal Air Force pilots stationed in the Falkland Islands told a strange tale: Penguins, perhaps jealous of those machines that can fly while they are earthbound, would stare as the aircraft flew overhead, craning their necks till they toppled right over on their backs. Environmentalists now are calling for limits on flights, so British researchers are sending two helicopters to South Georgia Island to fly over the birds and determine whether they really fall over. Altitude restrictions are the likely outcome if the legend proves to be true. But we think maybe the penguins enjoy watching the aircraft, just like all those folks at an airshow, so our solution is to fit them with little booty bumpers, so they would bounce back up.

Win an Airplane

The Alaska Airmen nonprofit group is raffling off an Aviat Husky - - complete with skis and wheels direct from the factory.

For a more powerful a/c go here

Get a new FW-190 at www.flugwerk.de.

From the radio

Never use a GPS in the arctic (or any sub zero environment over a long period of time) that uses a LCD (Liquid Crystal Display): since it will freeze! The man who flew the PT-17 Stearman to the Magnetic North Pole in conjunction with National Geographic Explorer program had three (Goodman?) GPS handhelds: and they all froze in the cockpit. He was being interviewed on the G. Gordon Liddy radio show on September 8 of 2000 when I heard this.

Opinion

I posted this regarding an Aviation Article on the United Airlines problems concerning their pilots in the summer of 2000.

The airlines, there used to be hundreds of them in the post WWII era when it was regulated. Then "consumer" activists complained that it stifled competition and the Government relented and let the free market reign. Now there are only 20 or so major / regional carriers and the SAME activists are now complaining about the lack of competition and lack of service to the small regional airports. The economy of scale that everyone always talks about does not ALWAYS work. Airlines have gotten too big, and the number crunching gotten so precise that even when profit is make on some runs - - but not enough to satisfy the corporate owners - - routes get dropped. They want the big bucks and so they will go where the most efficient routes - - in this case the largest cities - - and the rest of the world be damned - - not enough profit for them there.

All the complaints stem from this simple goal of economy of scale that has been touted for the last 50 years in every corporate boardroom. That is why there is less leg room. Why planes are bigger. Why there are more delays at airports. All trying to do more with less resources to earn more dollars due by making things more "efficient" by concentrating all items to one place to avoid any redundancy. And when one item fails they ALL fail. And these same consumer activists are surprised when a thunderstorm over O'Hare outside Chicago causes 50 flights to be canceled on the West Coast for the next day.

To paint a similar example everyone knows that it is "cheaper" to pay someone overtime day in and day out than to hire a person to do a job. One less cube (pilot) to pay health benefits for, one less union vote to worry about, one less person that can complain to congress from and so one. Even the Government does this same thing to people who work in the Government! Lead by example and so the corporate world follows the lead set by the US Government. The pilots have a right to complain about having mandatory overtime. Mistakes happen when people are tired and after so many months a mistake will happen and it will be blamed on "pilot error" and not the boardroom decision made 6 months before banning the hiring of new pilots in order to increase profits .05% as stated by the number crunchers.

End soapbox.