-> I Can Fly!

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Got my pilots license in this Cherokee – 1977

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Bought and rebuilt this Piper Colt the next year, flew it for a couple of years and 300 hours.

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Monerai sailplane – my first homebuilt aircraft. Took about two years to build even though it was a kit.

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I built the Acro-Sport II from scratch – over an eleven-year period. Been flying it since 1991 and now have over 1300 hours in it.

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Built this Challenger for a friend. This is the plane I was test flying when the planes hit the Towers on 9/11. Read Last Flight In America

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Again, for a friend, this Skyraider

Plodding along with construction on the Grizzly that I designed myself. It’s mentioned in several of the articles, but I’ve made many changes from my original design and the write-ups. I’ll have to detail all at a later posting, but the most significant has been the airfoil selection. I finally selected a GA30-613.5 airfoil designed by the rather controversial Harry Riblett. This is a very high-lift airfoil with a concave bottom, and I have chosen to build it with wood and fabric, although I’ve built the ailerons and flaps from aluminum.

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Ribs and wing fittings for the Grizzly

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One of my favorite photos of the Acro. I think Don Hausman took this one of me from his Cessna 175.

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This by Mark Langford (of KR2 fame) -from Larry’s KR2

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Here’s the office part of the Acro. The rubber bands have nothing to do with propulsion – honest. I hook them over the canopy handles for a safety lock as it tends to come loose at high Gs

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We roll in on something that caught our eye – must be one of those napalm runs

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Ty Englehardt (Pitt’s S2C) and I link up with the Decathlon camera plane for a video shoot. We were making a commercial on DVD for Ty’s air show routine.

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My home base at Carbondale, Photo by Don Hausman

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Marion airport

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I link up with Larry coming out of Benton in the Tripacer over Rend Lake. Going to Mt. Vernon – probably for lunch

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Benton Airport

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Pinckneyville Airport

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Bald Knob Cross – coming home from the Cape Airshow

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I hook up with Richard Parrish in his Stearman crossing the river at Cape.

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. . . later in the summer Richard picks some corn with the Stearman when he gets home late and misses the grass runway in the dark

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Loose formation with Jim Wall in his 152 to Pinckneyville

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Brett’s Harley Davidson powered 601 Zenair

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I get ready for my first flight in a Challenger

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This is a frame from a video (that’s why it’s so grainy) of me doing something stupid on the back side of a loop.

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Coming over the house on a cold winter’s day – note the sailplane trailer beside the workshop.

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Leaving our offshore platform home is one of the two G-47s that I maintained, when I worked for PHI.

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Larry and I were returning from a fly-in picnic. I was flying his Tripacer when he started making gun runs on me with the KR2. Now I know how the B-17 pilots felt when the bf109s came calling.

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Ty makes a low inverted pass while we were filming for the DVD commercial. He gave me my bi-annual flight review in the Pitt’s! (Ooooh – I be bad!)

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Larry points out 200kts for all us non-believers on a low pass down the runway in the KR2.

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A little cool weather on the Mississippi – near Cario, IL Don’t worry, we rolled in for a strafing run on the barge to end it’s misery.

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This is the twin-Comanche that was written about in My CIA Career Note the flare racks on the wings and the burner cans at the tips.

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Close up of the flare racks, photo taken a few days earlier than the flight written about in CIA Career. This one we were burning flares at cloud base, rather than entering the cloud.

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I get a little left seat time in the company’s Cessna Citation. I had my private ticket and owned the Piper Colt at the time, and being good friends with both our pilots got me a little seat time on our numerous Chicago trips. I had strict orders not to push any of the big buttons, but it was a decent “Walter Mitty” thing.

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With a close-up of the panel to show that we are just shy of 31,000 ft. If I remember correctly, we were over Springfield, IL.

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The FBO at Marion bought a couple of the very first Piper Tomahawks and I got to pick this one up at the factory and fly it back. I took Nan for a ride in it the following weekend, and they made me check out in it with an instructor! I already had more time in it than he did from the 7-hour flight back from Pennsylvania.

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I took my glider training just south of Chattanooga, TN at Chilhowee Gliderport. We took the family and camped in a tent on the field for a week. Here I’m taking off in a Switzer 2-33 towed behind a Piper Super Cub. Got to try some ridge soaring over by the ridge on the right. I was pretty nervous by the ridge, as there is a “notch” in it that was part of a military low-level training route, and a couple of times a day, a pair of F-105s would come screaming through at about 500 mph. Yee-Haw!

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As soon as I got my glider rating, I headed up to Hinckley, IL where I checked out in this Switzer 1-26 single place.

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I stayed a week at Hinckley and learned how little I knew about thermaling. It was, however, good preparation for test flying my Monerai. Here we are in the 1-26, on tow behind a Citabria. That’s the yaw string in the middle of the windshield – seems I could only center it on tow. If you look hard, you can see the 200 ft. tow rope.

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Here’s the little Monerai, just after I completed it. This is the plane who’s name gave me all of my screen and email names.

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In this photo, I have the engine mounted (a single cylinder 20-hp Zenoa snowmobile engine.) It had been mounted upside-down and enclosed in a fiberglass pod, but was extremely hard to start as fuel would flood out the spark plug. I removed the pod and turned the engine right side up, and am about to test it.

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Bruce is telling me, “Don’t do nothing stupid” as I put the chute on in preparation of a test flight.

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Those 20 little ponies get us airborne. As there were no tow-planes or glider facilities near home, most of the flights were made with the engine, shutting it off or running it out of fuel as soon as I got to any altitude. It would not restart in the air.

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Kind of stuffed in, but still the best seat in the house.

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All good things end, and we pull it off the runway (after kissing the ground.)

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3 Comments on “-> I Can Fly!”

  1. Jim Jefferson Says:

    How much surface area does the SkyRaider have under it? Must be allot if it will fly with no wing!

    JJ

    PS whats that thing sitting to the left of the SkyRaider? Is that a boat anchor! Can’t believe you even allow it in the yard!

  2. mauri Says:

    hi there, i am from argentina, last 19/03/2010 we did the flight test for a monerai lv-ux108, we flight in a small glider club in punta alta buenos aires argentina.
    do you still have your monerai?
    see you and keep in toucho, escuse my english, i now is too bad!!, jaja, bye bye
    mauricio

  3. mauri Says:

    here is the link


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