Al Bleyenberg, Steve Tisi, Lonnie Hagadorn, Billy West, Jim Bates, Dick Blackburn
New members Doug&Sherry Gast, accompanied by RENO.
Late arrival, Blake Hunicutt. GLAD YOU MADE IT OUT AGAIN.
Getting there early is interesting. Many bunnies are hopping around, and wild turkeys (not Lonnie) are bopping around.
I’ve brought my Frankenstein plane, doing some testing. Got a few good flights in, butwith unusual results. A lot of bucking in the sky.
Many adjustments, until I realize the motorshaft is flopping around in it’s housing. Hmmmm.
Steve Tisi showed up. He starts out with his mini Convergance VTOL.
Billy West hot on his heels. Billy looks naked (not physically-thank goodness), he’s just in his SUV. No trailer, no Madison, just a heap of planes in the back.
Billy starts out with his Flitetest “cardboard” A 10. I’m always amazed at the Flitetest products. A bunch of cardboard glued together and it works and flies well.
Lonnie has started with his new E-flite Extra 300. This is a very attractive plane. At one point, while I’m not paying attention, I hear the oh,oh’s. I look up and the plane is waaaayyyybehind the driveway heading towards the trees near the big tower. Luckily, Lonnie, gets it back into the flight pattern.
A few deep breaths and he gets it onto the runway in one piece. Lonnie just got disoriented.
Steve has now brought out his twin engine Mule. He’s mumbling something about dropping something out of the plane. Steve has this “paratrooper”
that he loading into the belly of the Mule. A very hasty takeoff and the plane climbs to a safe level. As Steve lines up for the “drop”. He has a gaggle of “engineers” helping with wind direction and speed for the proper drop so that the paratrooper will land back on the field. 3,2,1 drop. This itsy bitsy paratrooper is now heading to earth. AND, at a respectable drop and direction. Steve gets the Mule back onto the runway happens about the same time as the paratrooper hits the grass.
Decent drop sight. He’s landed on the cut grass portion about 50 yards from the end of the runway.
Now the mumbling starts again, if we did one paratrooper, why not try two.
The situation is in progress. This time Billy is the pilot. Same flight pattern as last time.
Takeoff, climb, and line up for a good drop. 3,2,1 drop…….drop……drop…….the trap door is open and we can see a chute flopping in the wind, but no drop.
Billy does some pilot “stuff”, to try to help with the drop. Finally, they drop. Billy brings the Mule to the ground.
The paratroopers have floated to the right of the main hangar and over by the roadway.
both paratroopers have survived, everyone is happy.
Alan Roberts has shown up. I introduce him to Doug and Sherry Gast. Then they start talking
about that “nitro” thing. I now have a blank look on my face, and walk away.
Billy has uncaged his Pterodactyl. If you haven’t seen this thing fly, you have to look it up on Lonnie’s Youtube sight. It’s a riot.
Doug has brought out his SIG KADET with an 80 four stroke motor. A few teething problems, and it’s airborne. Luv the sound of a four stroke.
Looking behind me, and Billy is putting his Quaker together, also a four stroke.
As sleek as Doug’s KADET is, as gawky is Billy’s QUAKER is. But, Billy’s plane is in an American flag theme. Very striking and very visible in the air.
Jim Bates has launched his flat black jet. As slow as the Quaker is, as fast is the jet is.
Lonnie drags out his Visionaire, 3D plane. He pulls off a very respectable flight, UNTIL, coming in it goes hard right towards the cars, hits the chain,
which is 5’ away from Lonnie’s own truck. PHEW.
Dick Blackburn brings out his yellow/white sailplane. Puts out the lawn chair, launches, sits down, and soars. At one point, I look up and can barely see it.
It’s high up there.
Billy brings out his UMX Beast. It’s small, fast, and jittery to fly, but it’s got that AS3X system on it. Amazing performance from Billy.
I drag out my Pulse XT 25e. it’s a foam copy of the balsa plane, flies the same, amazingly. One battery flight, second battery flight in progress.
I call out landing left to right. Now remember, it’s still breezy, with the wind coming right at you. The Pulse is in line with the runway, straight,
good downward flight pattern, 5’ from the end of the runway, the wind kicks it toward the pilot station, instantly I give it right rudder.
UM, should have been left rudder, THWACK, wing just catches the end of the wire guards, out of the corner of my eye, I see Billy’s UMX GeeBee coming in also,
and in a “copy cat” fashion, does the same thing I just did.
The GeeBee hit’s the first mesh guard. Billy comes over and we give each other a high five. Billy is so competitive; I think we are tied for the most crashes.
Once the dust has settled, we all start to gather under the main hangar. Except for Dick.
No fuss no muss, he takes it up and just flies. Brings it down, comes over, sits down. And it’s lawn chair flying for the rest of the time.
Pilots start to fade off into the distance for home.
I follow shortly after that.
P.S. this time pics will follow and hopefully be bigger.
Today’s players: Al Bleyenberg, Jim Bates, Dick Blackburn, Dave Putnam, Al Moe
Got there 9 ish, cool temp, low winds. First up was the Dining room table Hummer.
For me, didn’t do to bad. Actually, did some rolls and other pilot sh….
landed a little too hard one time and the landing gear was now where the rudder is.
Don’t think that’s right. C/A to the rescue. A couple more flights. Runned out of batteries.
Jim showed up and took out his Voltigeur. He’s been having “teething” problems with it
since he bought it. Today was no different. Got everything ready plugged up the battery.
No beeps, motor started making a “chunking” sound. That’s a technical term. Look it up.
Tried a different battery, same thing, I gave him a spare motor, same chunking.
Pretty safe bet it’s the speed controller. Bummer, no fly today with it.
Dave Putnam arrives in all his glory. No fanfare, just a hey how you doing.
He throws a P-51 foamie on the ground just behind his truck. Guess that’s what he’s flying.
Nope, he brings out a stick built sail plane. Looks really good. Once it’s on the plane stand,
he’s putting it together for first flight. Jim obliges by hand launching it for Dave.
Plane make a slooooooooooooow, circle at not to high an altitude around the field and down.
Come to find out, the air brakes (I think that’s right) weren’t working the way they should.
Only one side was engaging. Further inspection showed that one of the cables going to the
Control surface had come loose. We are going to take up a collection for Dave so he can buy
Now Dick shows up and does his usual routine. Out comes the padded lawn chair first.
Then he puts his Aspire sailplane together (nice bird). Jim does the hand launch, and Dick is
away to the races. Actually, he sits down and flies.
I bring out my Eflite Commander to try. The last adventure, the elevator servo puked out on
me. Alan Roberts was at the controls, good thing. He knew how to get it back to earth in one
So this time, I ask Jim to do the honors. Commander slowly gets air born. Jim is working his
magic with the trimming. Turns out to be a respectable flyer. UNTIL!, he tries to land it.
Fourth attempt was the charm to get it on the runway. The other 3 times, just as it was
about to touchdown, the wind would gust up and the plane would lift off again.
You go Master Jim.
Dave has put away the sailplane and is now in P-51 mode. You’d almost think it wasn’t his first
time at the controls. Even landing, it came down nicely.
Jim brings out his DARTH VADER jet. I sorta kinda hand launch it for him. Despite my poor
launch, Jim has it doing all sorts of zoomy stuff. I can barely see the thing as it’s blasting back
Much to everyone’s dismay (how’s that for literary speak), the wind has picked up. So what
else do you do, but sit under Hangar 1 and tell lies.
Alan Moe has joined the group, pulls a Dick Blackburn, pulls out a lawn chair and starts
We are all sitting, and lying about how things used to be in the club.
Half and hour blows by and we head for our respective Hangars.
Volunteer co-pilots are welcome tomorrow for grass cutting.
Today’s players: Alan Roberts, Alan Moe, John Walker, Al Bleyenberg, and a late arrival by
no one else than Wayne Huffman (go figure)
after being in Atlanta for a week’s holiday, had the urge to fly. As a spur of the moment thing,
got up at 5am (couldn’t sleep)(not excited, just still wound up from driving), headed to the field. Got there around 9, no one there except me, the mild wind, just enough clouds to make it comfortable, and the buzzards. I think they were “trolling”.
Today is a test and tune for me. Tried using a prop saver on the Dinner Table built Hummer.
Ran into a hassle trying to fit the prop to the prop saver. The adaptors didn’t want to play well. While messing around with that for way too long, the wind started picking up.
Time to bring out a heavier plane.
Brought out the Skylark. A 3d ish plane with a little more weight to it. Spent a bunce of time trimming. Flew light a drunk crow. Major trimming and made it tolerable.
Car pulls up, Alan Moe, big grin on his face as usual. Unloads his helicopter. If you haven’t seen this thing, it’s amazing. Looks great, flies even better, and Alan knows what he’s doing.
Sorry Alan, no pics of heli.
That one out of two at the field.
Half hour goes by and Alan Roberts shows up. Alan and Alan have known each other for years, but due to “life”, hadn’t seen each other in a long while. They drifted off into reminiscing mode.
I kept on “testing”. By now it’s the Dynam T-28, flies not to bad after hitting a tree the last time I had it out. 2nd landing broke the front gear, again. Tried to fix it on the spot. Ain’t happening. Back to the hangar.
By now, the wind is up and down and above my abilities.
Didn’t stop Alan and Alan from flying.
Next to arrive was Wayne Huffman, and guess what, no plane with him. Didn’t stop him from staying for an hour and a half, bench flying.
Next, John Walker shows up. Now it’s picnic table round table, b.s. session.
I’m standing there just lapping it up. I KNOW these guys wouldn’t lie.
I brought out the folder I made with the old pictures from the club members from the late 1990’s. They helped put names to the faces. Of course, none of the people in the pictures have changed in appearance.
John, takes out his 3d plane, and even with the big winds, flies like nobodies business.
Right now, my right leg (hip replacement) is screaming at me. Time to go home.
Left the boys to tell tales.
Today’s pilots: Lonnie Hagadorn, Alan Moe, Al Bleyenberg, Jim Bates, Don Jerch, Wayne Windsor, Dick Blackburn
For the first time in a long time, the accue weather people were right. Coolish at 9:30 when I got there. Lonnie and Alan were already flying for a couple hours.
Lonnie had migrated to his new Twisted Hobbies 3D plane. Surprisingly, he did quite well at it. Go Lonnie.
Alan was doing the eggbeater thing. Didn’t know heli’s were supposed to fly like that.
Upside down would not be comfortable in a real one.
As I unloaded, Jim Bates, arrived. Jim brought out his Voltigeur 3D plane and flew the
begeebees out of it.
I asked Jim to give me a hand with my dinner table built Hummer 3D plane. Last time, we
burnt up the motor for whatever reason. This time, bigger motor, but same prop. As Jim
got it into the air, the plane was a handful. Major “trim” on Jim’s part. Glad he
knows what he’s doing. I had made some “builder” errors adjustments. My bad.
Back in the air, and it was decent. He brought it in and we changed the prop to a larger
diameter and 1 more up on pitch. Whole new plane. Even though Jim wasn’t happy with
the slowness of the servo throws, it was a ton better. By now the wind started picking
up and “me” doing a flopper would have been funny and dangerous.
Next, I drug out “Frankie”. This is the first and second plane I ever owned all rolled
up into one plane. As I’m attempting to “fly”, I realized it was beyond my control. Jim stepped
in and took control. He made another circuit and was bringing it in for some adjusting.
Lined up perfectly with the runway, came down on a perfect descent, missed the runway by
4” which put the landing gear right into the edge of the fabric. Now it’s a belly lander. The gear
was about a foot before the edge of the runway. I’d have done the same thing.
Don had shown up and brought out his Variant. Very well put together plane and looks great
in the air. Plus, Don can fly it extremely well.
Another vehicle arrives, oh boy, be still my beating heart, it’s Wayne “Moses” Windsor.
Cybil is riding shotgun. Within minutes David Putnam arrives. A jet appears on the ground
behind Wayne’s truck. I don’t know who it belonged to, but Wayne took it out to the
runway and did a superb job of flying it. And here I thought Wayne was a “prop only”
Don’s turn to fly his newer sailplane. I’m not a sailplane guy, but can appreciate the talent it
takes to make it look easy. Biggest problem is trying to find it in the sky. They go HIGH.
Lonnie makes his exit. Company coming.
Wayne is now assembling one of his “old” biplanes. This thing is so old, he has a hand
crank start. Still sounds wonderful when it’s running. Someday, when I grow up, I want to be
just like Wayne.
So here we are, Wayne, Jim, Don, and me. So, what else do you do as the morning has
turned into afternoon, but shoot the breeze. Once again, I can’t figure out who’s the biggest
storyteller. Doesn’t really matter, it’s all interesting to hear of past exploits.
After about half and hour, Wayne looks at his watch, lunch time for me, or is it “nap time”.
Jim packs it in, home duties.
Don does one more flight and heads to the house to meet an insurance adjuster.
Last night’s storm put a tree into his roof and he’s needing it repaired.
So once again, there I am, outstanding in a certain field, all by myself.
FINE!, I can take a hint.
TOODLES FOR NOW.
Todays player: Billy West, Al Bleyenberg, Lonnie Hagadorn, Jim
Bates, Dick Blackburn, Alan Moe, Wayne Windsor, Don Jerch, Steve Tisi
ACCUE WEATHER was half right. Temps were super. The 5mph winds were at least double and triple at times. Grass was a little “longish”, gonna cut Friday after lunch, helpers welcome. Dick, Jim, and I, are going to Dos Amigos on Hwy 70 for 12 for lunch. All welcome.
Flying started out with Billy and his “new” hatchlings. First was Flite Test LongEZ Electric Airplane Kit (483mm). It’s a canard style. Same idea as the plane in the Clint Eastwood movie “Firefox” only a little slower, but not by much. Big boy needs big motor, pilot that is. This thing just screamed.
Billy did a hard left and vertical and it corkscrewed out of sight. Best description is WOW.
Lonnie was trying to film it, but he’s too slow on the uptake for that.
Then was the fluorescent orange “bug” looking thing. Not as dramatic. Still KUTE.
Now comes the “NEW” big gun. Now, gotta admit, it’s beuuuuutiful.
Yellow, gray, white, twin engine. This is a water boat. Which means no landing gear, so what
does Billy do, takes it off on the grass. No harm no foul. Excellent flying rig. Lonnie will have
video. And of course, lands it back on the grass almost hitting Jim Bates.
Jim has his H-King Voltigeur MkII 3D EPO Aerobatic Plane 1220mm (48″) with JM Inc, landing gear. A one-off setup, only available in Morganton.
See Jim for pricing and availability. After that, he flew his older than me 3D plane that he wrangled out of Wayne Huffman.
Not to be outdone, don’t take much, I flew “Frankenstein”, to Jim’s amazement did not too
shabby, till the last flight. Oopsied (technical term) landed in the tall grass to the left.
Landing gear 5’ from plane. C/A to the rescue. Then to the rescue was “Goofy” go to plane. Nuff said.
Dick goes thru his routine, padded lawn chair, check, plane and transmitter, check, sit down, check, toss plane, check, fly, check.
Wayne (Moses,Noah,Methusala) and his lovely bride Cybil show up. Wayne draaaaggsss out one of his “yawn” big gas planes. Completely puts it together for flight, except missing a screw. Couldn’t hear if it was the plane or Wayne. Fuels up, spins prop, fires up fast. Perfect takeoff, does a couple of laps, and then must be trouble, smoke just billowing out of the plane for the rest of the flight. Looked way kool. Does some of that Top Gun “pilot sh…”
Lands it with no problem.
By this time Alan Moe has joined the group. No plane, no helicopter, just smiling personality. As Alan and Dick are in conversation, Wayne mosies
over and it’s a three way tie as too who has the tallest tale.
While all this is going on Steve brings out his new Mini Convergence VTOL BNF Basic, 410mm.
It’s like a bumble bee floating around.
Don Jerch brings up the rear. He’s flying his new Phoenix glider sailplane.
Now is my turn to bail first. Say my farewells, no one cares.
Today’s players: Lonnie Hagadorn, Billy West, Jim Bates, Dick Blackburn, Steve Tisi, Wayne Windsor, Al Bleyenberg, and one “guess player” at end of newsletter.
On Lonnie’s insistence, we showed up at the field so he wouldn’t feel lonely. He did tie a porkchop to his ankle so the dogs (or buzzards) would come around, but nothing took the bait. Till Billy showed up.
The boys got there early, a little chilly, but virtually no wind, yeah!
By the time I got there, Jim Bates had already shown up and Billy was flying Lonnie’s new Flitetest Corsair. This plane is one of Flitetest’s cardboard planes. It’s got a 48” wingspan. Lonnie had it out last week with minimal blue paint on it, but today, it was all decked out like a WWII Corsair should be. Jap flags, indicating kills, name on the cockpit for pilot, plane number, and all the rest. I showed up and Billy had it swooping down, soaring up, making a half circle turn, and repeat, while Lonnie is filming. It flew low and slow. Lonnie has some great pics which he will be posting.
Jim had his new Voltigeur there. And go figure, so did Billy. Jim had a couple of go rounds. He asked Billy to “tweek” it. Much improved.
Not wanting to be out done, I had Billy re-re-re……. maiden my troublesome Corsair. This time, I had reinforced the landing gear again for the umpteenth time. First test, needed some weight on the nose, landing was okay-ish. Take off was horrible, veered to the left, even with Billy’s input with the transmitter. We eventually narrowed it down to the landing gear needed an alignment.
So while I was doing that, Billy and Jim did a tandem set of flights, with their Voltigeurs. Looked impressive. At one point, they were “CLOSE”. So close, I saw one plane loose a sticker, that’s how close they were.
Lonnie got into the mix with his Timber. Nice flying for Lonnie.
Wayne Windsor non-challantly, brought out his “foamie” ha!ha!, T-28. As per usual, for Wayne, plane goes down the runway, picks up speed, and at 10’ 6”, gets into the air. Another 4’, and it’s up, up, and away. Wayne does his, ho hum, “routine” of showing us all how “it’s” done. Perfect in every way, until he brings it in for a landing, and misses the double wide runway. TEE!HEE!
Steve Tisi brings out his twin engine Commander. This is the plane that Bob Hoover immortalized with his flying skills. If you’ve never seen Hoover fly, look him up on youtube.
A M A Z I N G! With a capital A. This “commuter” plane isn’t designed to do what Hoover does with it.
My turn. Brought out my Dynam T-28 after reworking the nose gear for the fourth time. This time I took Wayne Windsor and Alan Roberts advice and put a spring in the nose gear. Due to my setup, it was a bear to fly. Needed a ton more nose weight, with everyone coaching from the cheap seats, got it back on the ground. This was after it crashed into the tree on the East end of the field. I swear those trees move. Jim Bates was kind enough to help retrieve it from the tree and bushes. Fixable, yes, missing one little piece of the canopy.
Wayne brings out his B.K. Commanche, four stroke power “oldie goldie”, and not by appearances. It’s up and away and Wayne’s doing that ole timey flying. Still looks great.
All the while, Billy keeps bringing out one of his 4 new planes. Each one unique in its own way. And of course, Billy knows how to fly. Once Jim and I get back from getting the T-28, we go to where Billy has brought out plane 3 or was it 4. I don’t know, lost track.
Billy is a little vain, this plane matches the color of his eyes.
A “shocking” pink Skysword. Unusual for Billy, this plane has landing gear, go figure. Even though, he flew the living day lights out of it.
Now, slowing down a ton, Dick Blackburn started with his repaired sailplane. It’s a strikingly good looking white with transparent yellow on the middle of the wings. As usual, Dick has his “routine”. Bring out the padded lawn chair, walk back get the plane. Make adjustments to the transmitter, sit down, hand launch the plane. Then soaring greatness.
About an hour later, he brings out another sailplane, and goes thru the same routine.
As I’m cleaning out the cigarette butt can, a car pulls up. Gentlemen gets out and heads toward me. This is reminiscent of the old west when a “new” gunfighter comes into town. What the heck, extend my right hand, introduce myself. Alan Moe is my name, I used to be a member. I recognized the name, because he’s on the mailing list. He thanks me for the newsletters, he gets a kick out of them. Thought he check out the field, knowing we were flying today. I catch up on his history with the club, he knows everyone. He knew everyone there today, except for Lonnie, and of course me. Take him over the guys, and he’s off to the races.
While I’m doing this, Steve has launched his Cessna Skyline (hope that’s right Steve). After a couple of minutes, I hear some yells and groaning. Steve puts his transmitter down and heads to the West side of the runway, way down there. Returning a few minutes later, Steve and Jim Bates are back with “remnants”. Good news, repairable.
Due to the fact that my Corsair has a bad landing gear setup, and the T-28 in pieces, I’m relegated into bringing out “IT”. The Fun Cub. This is my “go to” plane. Does everything I need. I ask Billy to take it up, big grin. Makes some transmitter “adjustments” and proceeds to fly the living daylights out of it. SLIME. Lonnie is burning up a ton of film getting the Cub.
Standing next to me is Steve, told me he had one at one time. Loved it.
Now’s the time to say goodbye to all our friends and company, Mickey Mouse club for some of you who don’t recall that phrase.
We all head out to our respective “hangars”.
Lonnie will have pics and videos.
Great newsletter Al as always I look forward to reading. Just a few corrections. It’s a Cessna 182, 1st flight was spot on with no issues, 2nd flight it hit the ground. Good news is it’s back together. Just need to re-prop it and it is ready to crash again lol.
It was a perfect day (morning, at least) for a maiden flight, and the new Corsair survived 6 trips with just a busted prop on the last landing. I’m very happy with the results and will now put some time into additional painting and adding decals. The blue paint is pretty good as-is, but the gray is way too dark. I think I’ll add some color to the nose and maybe a few “invasion stripes” to help me figure out which end is up at a distance.
She flew a little tail heavy with the 2200 mAh battery all the way forward, so I’ll a a little weight in the nose. She climbs steeply at full throttle (without any elevator input), but flies level very smoothly at 3/8-1/2 throttle. The 2200 mAh battery will give me around 14 minutes at such a low throttle setting, so I spent a bunch of time in the air.
Don, Al, Jim and Bill Holder showed up, and the attached photos show some of what they brought, along with the Corsair shots. Thanks to Bill for filming me while I flew. (He fired off over 600 photos and got tons of keepers!)
CVRC 31 Thur Mar 28,2019
Thanks for Lonnie for taking up the reporter/photographer duties. Great job as usual. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I didn’t get to the field till 1pm.
By this time the players were: Lonnie Hagadorn, Bill Holder, Jim Bates, Don Jerch
They had been there since 9am. TALK ABOUT HE-MEN! Too fresh for my “delicate” condition. Lonnie had just taken off with his “paper” FliteTest Cub. Now don’t laugh, this is a nice rig.
Flies great, even with Lonnie at the controls.
Don Jerch was getting his Horizon Valiant ready for another flight. He had his new sailplane a Phoenix 2000, on the ready. Nice paint job using Krylon. Don’t knock it, does a good job.
I took out my “Frankenstein” out. I’m a glutton for punishment. Even with the fairly brisk winds, flew Frankie not too shabby “for me”.
Once again, Don, Lonnie, and Bill called it a day. HMMM! I show up and everyone leaves??? Jim Bates hangs around, (he gets the “be kind to dumb animals award”).
Once the “boys had left, and for no particular reason, I brought out the “dining room table” plane that I built. It’s a 3D ish Red Eagle Hummer. I asked Jim to give it an expert set of hands and eyes on it, even with the wind conditions.
For what this plane is, it actually flies pretty decent. Jim’s words. Jim does a bunch of tweaking and it’s like a whole new plane. Then the wind says, no more for you. Just too blustery to fly such a light weight.
So Jim and I gab for a bit. Jim decides to head “up yonder”. Still have to have that explained to me.
I grab a late, late bit of lunch. I break out Frankie again. First flight, even with the wind, not to shabby. Bring it in, rubber side down. I do some tweaking on the transmitter.
I put the plane into the air, going right to left, circle the field a couple of times. Wind is playing havoc with it. I decide, time to come to papa. I come down the runway from left to right, too much speed, do a fly around, still heading right, right, right……..
NOW, BETWEEN MY DISTANCE VISION ISSUES, MY SUNGLASSES, THE WIND, THE NEXT SOUND I HEAR IS THAWK AND THEN SILENCE. There is Frankie, straight down the runway about 30’ in the air, stuck in a tree, pretty as you please. So, I saunter over to “shake” it out of the tree. Makes a lousy Christmas tree ornament.
All you “seasoned” pilots out there know this is a near impossible feat. I don’t climb trees.
Besides, the branches wouldn’t hold me. Trying to “shake” it out by using the transmitter, didn’t work. PLAN B. I go back to the hangar, grab the fiberglass flag poles that are hanging up in the rafters, grab some tape. I go back to the tree, tape the poles together to “knock” it out of it’s perch. With 30’ of fiberglass rod taped together isn’t very stiff. I worm, twist the pole up to the plane. After about 10 pokes, down she comes. Repair the broken prop, lost landing gear, and we can be in the air.
NOW FOR THE REST OF THE STORY:
load everything back in my trailer and car. Close up the trailer lid, close the trunk. Go to start the car, hmmm, no keys. I spend the next half hour, looking in every “normal” place I’d have put it. NOPE!. Next option is to call my wife. Not a good option, she works from home on her computer, tied into work.
LIGHT BULB! The cutlass of this vintage has a trunk release in the glove box. BUT! It don’t work without the ignition on.
McGiver: drop the glove box door, pull the wires of the switch. Get a jumper from the lighter to the switch. POP. There are the keys on the trunk floor taking a nap.
I GO HOME.
For those of you who are of grey/no hair status, you’ve probably heard of Paul Harvey.
So, in his famous tag line: NOW THIS IS THE REST OF THE STORY
This is the continuation of the Sat Mar 23, newsletter.
Now. The story of going to Mark’s place and then Wayne’s place.
The phrase that comes to mind is: DIED AND GONE TO HEAVEN. Mark leads me down the road apiece, about 4 miles to his “homestead”. We turn down this paved lane/road that’s lined with 40’ pine trees.
About ¾ mile down the road, we come to a clearing. Brand new house, at the 2 o’clock position. A guy in the field/grass is mowing with his pit bull standing guard.
At the 9 o’clock is a house/cabin that looks like an old railroad station. I go straight into a laneway, make a u-turn so that I’m facing out.
Mark comes from the new house in his golf cart. I’m thinking we’re going to his “hangar”, but we make a sorta kinda detour. Mark takes me on a tour of the property. We go past some old barns that have an array of old rusted farm equipment. Next, is the old original farm house. A little farther, we make a left turn and go past Marks’ sons house. Go past my car, we’ve just made a circle. We head straight past Mark’s house and head into the woods. Dueling banjos is playing in my mind. Go about 30’ and come to a mowed hay field. He stops the golf cart and tells me that this used to be the field for the club. By now, a few years down the road, it’s being farmed for hay.
Still going at a 45 degree angle, we go between a couple old buildings that have rusted tin roofs and old barn wood sides.
Inside the over hangs are some 50’s military trucks. We head farther and more to the right. Lots of older cars and trucks, basking in the sun. We finally come to the front of this 40’x80’ 30’ tall steel building. There are 2 double axle covered trailers in front. We head to the first one, Mark opens the ramp/door.
First thing to hit your senses is a BIG BLUE CORSAIR fuselage hanging on the right wall. It has to be 6’ tall. Extremely shiny dark blue covering with multitudes of WWII markings on it. The wing is hanging on the left. It’s about an 8’ wingspan.
Mark recalls the story of being at Joe Nall one year flying it. He’s flying it for a friend. This is in the time of 72mh. This means cross chatter can mess up someone else’s plane controls.
Marc is zinging this thing everywhere. Eventually comes in for one of his perfect landings. 4’ off the ground, straight in front of him and the rest of the crowd, someone turns on their transmitter.
KERSPLAT! One crashed Corsair.
No one owns up to being the “culprit”. Which means, at that time, you pick up the pieces and go home.
THIS IS NOT MARK’S PLANE. The owner is so bummed out, he pulls the electronics out of the plane and says take it. Mark takes it home and its back in the air the following week. Who says you can keep a good pilot down?
The rest of this trailer is loaded with shapes and colors and styles of planes. He’s got a story for each one of them. OH! To be able to turn back the hands of time and be there with them.
Next is the second trailer. More of the same, and stories for each one. AND! I’m loving it. Wish I could remember all of it.
We “mosey on over” to the steel building. OMG! This place is packed. Every square inch is either bits and pieces, tools, farm equipment, STUFF, and everything is covered in about 3/8” dirt or dust.
Worming our way around the tables and storage shelves, we come to a clearing. I make a 360 and everywhere the same.
COMMA BUT! There is a table as soon as I walked in with 6 planes stacked on top of one another.
The only covering on them is the dust. All the while, Mark is narrating about what he’s done in there. This is Wayne Huffman’s building. Wayne and Mark have been buds for decades (sorry boys). They have done more work and storytelling in this building than you can imagine.
The door opens up and in walks this guy. It’s Wayne. I do the introductions, tell him I’m impressed with all the “toys”. You need to get out and fly!!! Been busy he says. Plus, didn’t know when anyone was at the field.
Mark educates Wayne about what’s been going on. And the fact that I took over Marks position. We keep walking straight ahead. There’s an 8’ lathe, 4’ metal sheer, 6’ metal brake, a couple of welders, drill press. Is there anything ya’ll can’t do in here? They look at each and grin. Follow us. As they lead me towards a closed in room, I can’t help but notice this storage rack to my right. From top to bottom are planes. A T-28, P-51, then planes I have no clue what they are, all stacked from waist height to about 15’ in the air. All with the “dust”.
We go into this room. It takes a lot to impress me, but they did. This is their workshop. Lathe, Bridgeport, CNC machine, steel work table, ………, it don’t stop.
There isn’t much they can’t make in there. And have.
We head back out to the main area. I know I’m in trouble when both Mark and Wayne sit down. It’s a tag team match between the two of them reminiscing about days gone by. The fields they started, were kicked out of. Having to find new locations. Stories of pilots and flying.
As they are talking, Mark gets a “light bulb” moment. He stands up, goes back towards the machine shop room area. He digs around doors, plywood and whatever else is there, “searching”.
Found it! He brings out this 3’ x 6’ board covered in Polaroid pictures. These were the shoot, pull out, develop on their own, pull off the covering , and see the photo. They are stapled in an orderly fashion on this board. The date on the pictures is 2011. The field logo is an original CVRC one.
Both Mark and Wayne are struggling to remember the names to the faces. The “fun” part, were the “characters” in the club from “yesteryear”. One notable, was Cecil. He’s wearing a beat up old ball cap, white-ish T-shirt, suspenders holding up his Levis, and a big toothy grin.
Turns out Cecil was kind of a “scrap” man. He’d show up to the field with a plane that was “frankensteined”. Fuselage from one plane, wing from another, bits and pieces of every description.
BUT! He could fly. He ticked off a lot of other members who had the “good” machines. A couple of guys felt sorry for him and bought him a brand new plane.
The very next week, he brought it to the field. But, he had “frankensteined” it. OH WELL! Can’t change a leopard’s spots.
This same scenario went on for about 80% of the rest of the pics. The remainder seemed to be lost in time.
I thanked Wayne, asked him to definitely come out and fly. I could see a glint in his eye, thinking about what he could scrounge up to bring. We said our good-byes and back to Marks house.
Mark then took me to HIS trailer/hangar. These plane were no slouch. Cap 32’s and a Super Decathalon the size of my car. On the floor were the left overs of 3 Gremlins. On the walls were about 10 other planes. I’m just shaking my head. These were during Marc’s IMAC days.
By now, I’m into sensory overload. Made my good byes, see you at the field, bring Wayne. Then it’s a long drive back to Maiden. The hardest part of all this is trying to remember it all and get it presented to all of you, and do it justice.