99.99% of the population has a brain. It's the other 0.01% that scare me. In the past, Brian and I encouraged people at airshows and fly-ins to touch the airplane (gently, of course) so their experience would be more "real." After all, it's much easier to appreciate a vintage warbird if you can touch the fabric-covered wings, smell the blend of av-gas and oil, and hear the rumble of the radial engine.
Unfortunately, we've had to crack down on touching the plane. Progressively, over the past few years, we've had permanent dents made to the fabric from parents putting their toddlers onto the wings (yes, on the wings, not the wingwalks) for happy family photos. We've watched in shock as a guy tapped his swiss army knife across the fuselage and tail (don't ask me why). And, most dangerous of all, we've had to sprint to the plane on several occasions when some idjit gets a wild hair and decides to start swinging the prop. While we're always careful to turn the mags off, there's still no guarantees with an old airplane.
So, as Brian and I vented one day, I decided that I needed to make it official. I brainstormed several ideas for "do not touch" signs to put on the airplane. While I've printed some off, I haven't used one yet. I really wish I don't have to, but if I see that 0.01% making a bee-line for my bird, the plane's going to get plastered with signs. Below are some of my thoughts for signs.
- It may be your sole purpose in life to simply serve as an example to others. Don't be the first person to touch this airplane.
- Touching an airplane never killed anyone, but why chance it?
- A clean airplane is a sign of hard work. Please don't touch.
- You want to touch my airplane? Can I touch your wife?
- Two rights don't make a wrong. They make an airplane. Please don't touch.
- Follow your dreams. Except the one where you're touching my airplane.
- Please don't touch me. I've just been washed.
- You touch it. You clean it.
- I'm covered with dead bugs and oil. Do you really want to touch me?
- When you own this airplane, you can touch it.
- Friends don't let friends touch other people's airplanes.
Let's make this fun. Post a comment with other ideas you have for "do not touch" signs. You just may see your idea on one of our planes someday soon.
Wow. This week has really gotten away from me. Well, this past weekend was great. With Craig's help, Brian picked up the Red Baron Stearman, and it is now back home with a clean bill of health. Turned out to be just a loose tubey-thing somewhere (that's about as mechanical as I can get).
Dan and Diane also came to town, but with the insane heat, we spent most of the weekend lounging. Brian did get up in the air on Sunday, giving two great veterans a ride on the Texan. Here's a picture of Mel and Bob out of Jefferson. They said they enjoyed the ride, and we felt honored giving them one.
Guess we're already wrapping up Wednesday so it's time to start planning this coming weekend. Any fly-ins or other events this weekend?
It may be drizzling outside right now, but the weekend promising good flying weather. Ankeny is hosting their fly-in breakfast tomorrow/Saturday morning, and Tipton has a breakfast on Sunday morning. Weather permitting, we hope to see you at Ankeny. Craig and Brian headed out at sunrise this morning to pick up the Red Baron Stearman (yay, it's back together!) and hope to bring it home yet today. If that's the case, I'm sure you'll hear and see it flying around this weekend, smoke included. Have a great weekend!
It's National Aviation Day so get out there and fly!
If you don't have your license, it's a perfect day to take that discovery flight.
We make lines pretty much everywhere anymore - from coffee shops to movies, from grocery stores to church, and towered airports are no different. On September 30, you'll no longer hear "Position and Hold." if you are flying out of DSM or any other towered airport, you'll now hear "Line Up and Wait". The FAA changed the terminology in response to pilots getting confused. I guess it was just a matter of time that the idea of forming lines moved into aviation.
What are some key changes you've seen happen in aviation through the years?
I'm grouchy today. The weather's beautiful, and I've been stuck indoors the entire day. Not even a glimpse of an airplane. (*grumble, grumble*)
Well, at least I have great memories from this past weekend. What did we do, you ask? Well, let me tell you... On Saturday, we spent the day at Boone for their first annual (I hope) Military Appreciation Day. We didn't get there until close to lunch time because of the weather, but when the sun finally showed itself, man - it was a cooker. We brought over every plane in the hangar. So Brian had to make several trips back and forth (courtesy of Craig in his T-34) to ferry the planes. Since I'm not checked out in the Stearman yet, Brian had to come back to ride with me. So, I enjoyed a couple takeoffs and landings without any scuffed paint or torn fabric.
Craig's T-34 was one of the highlights of the event. Mike from Atlantic brought his P-51, which is always a hit. Dan and Diane (and Sheila, Diane's sister) made sure their Stearman made it to the event. There were several other planes as well, giving attendees plenty to look at. In addition, they had a cool gun display set up, aviation artwork, shopping, presentations, and a setup for the Iowa 8th Squadron who was having their reunion Saturday night. I'm always impressed with what our armed services folks have done to protect us, and Boone did a great job at showing it.
Well, from there, we desperately needed air conditioning and headed back to the hangar for a bit. Some more flying was done, and Jim Pippert flew in with his polished Cessna 180 (it's beautiful, just take my word for it). After our fill of flying, we lounged around Sunday morning until we did more flying (when Matthew Sawhill brought over the 140) in the afternoon. Great day, great weekend, and great friends. If only the weekends were longer... :)
Some of the planes at Boone
Christian Ledet's adorable daughter taking a break from the sun
Craig Sommerfeld's T-34 with a nice background of flags
Just a quick reminder that Boone is hosting their first Military Appreciation Day today at the airport (KBNW).There will be quite a few warbirds, weapons and noseart on display, and most importantly, many amazing men and women who have courageously served our country. The event is 8am to 3pm today (Saturday, August 14). We'll be there for the entire event and hope to see you there!
Despite hot, muggy, stormy weather, we were still able to fit in plenty of flying this weekend. Here are a few photos Dan and Diane snapped while flying down under (i.e. around Lake Saylorville) on Saturday. Unfortunately, they didn't get any pictures of the naked sunbathers they flew over. There's always next time...
Nice clear day... or at least it was (*cough* *cough*)
Is that Kilroy flying the Stearman?
My new flight goggles just came in the mail today, and they are awesome! (Ah, I think I have a crush on the UPS guy). I am ready to go flying... who wants to come along?
Here's an ELT update from Jim Aukes (Brian's brother) in California...
You're still perfectly legal to fly with that 121.5 MHz ELT in your aircraft. Rumors that the Federal Communications Commission was going to ban the use of 121.5 MHz ELTs by Aug. 1 have sparked concern in the general aviation community.
While the FCC has proposed to ban the "certification, manufacture, importation, sale, or continued use of 121.5 MHz ELTs," the FAA and general aviation groups have taken steps to prevent such a ban from happening. So far, the FCC has not published its proposal in the Federal Register and has not given any indication that it intends to do so, which means there can be no effective date on the prohibition.
If the FAA and AOPA get their way, the FCC's proposal will not ban 121.5 MHz ELTs. In July, the FAA started the formal process to ask that the FCC withdraws its proposal.
"The ability of the aviation industry to continue the manufacture, importation, sale, and use of 121.5 MHz emergency locator transmitters is of utmost importance to the aviation community," the FAA wrote in its letter
requesting that the FCC's proposal be rescinded.
AOPA has been working with the FAA and FCC, clearly stating the concerns
associated with any ban on
121.5 MHz ELTs. The association also has provided briefing to congressional staffers who have inquired about the issue.
"The bottom line is that pilots can continue using the 121.5 MHz ELT installed on their aircraft," said Rob Hackman, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. "AOPA believes that the move to equip with a 121.5 MHz or 406 MHz ELT should be left to the aircraft owner to decide based upon the type of operations and over what terrain the aircraft performs, and we are working to ensure it stays that way."