Search news

Monday, November 2, 2020

Can't fly? It's a good time to tinker

What’s Up
by LeRoy Cook

After a rugged stretch of unflyable conditions, Friday and the weekend provided some opportunities for aviating. A total of 12 Fliars showed for the Saturday morning flyout, using 5 airplanes for the hop to Paola. It was windy aloft, like 40 knots out of the southwest, but manageable with plenty of fuel and preparation.

We heard that Christian Tucker successfully completed his checkride for the instrument rating, a major hurdle in his quest to advance his flying skills. Without it, you can’t qualify for the Commercial Pilot license and Flight Instructor certificate. Christian is to be congratulated for his major, major accomplishment. Onward and upward.

Airplanes. If we’re not flying them, we’re working on them, and not in equal ratios. Seems like it takes two or three hours of maintenance for every hour spent in the air. It was only a month ago that we had a main tire on the 150 go flat, necessitating a jack-up and dirty change job. Now I’ve got a nosewheel tire flat and it’s back to waiting on parts and inclination. Just glad it happened at home instead of on the road.

The transient traffic count this week included a Cessna Skyhawk, a Mooney M20 and one Army Guard Blackhawk helicopter. Local flyers were John Hurshman in a Cessna 150, Randy Miller in the Cessna Skyhawk, Brandt Hall in his Genesis experimental, and Jim Ferguson in his Cessna Skylane. Airport Manager Chris Hall is recovering from a bad fall that fractured a vertebra, and with a brace he’s getting around the airport to check on things, hoping to be back in the cockpit, gingerly, next weekend. He did a few flights in the King Air jump plane on Sunday.

Our week’s question was “in what kind of airplane did football coach Knute Rockne lose his life in 1931 and where. Reader Jim Saunders knew the answer; it was a TWA Fokker trimotor, whose wood wing had deteriorated, out in the Flint Hills near Bazaar, Kansas. Now, for next time, tell us how many pilots would normally be required on the long-haul trans-Pacific flights of 12 to 14 hours in length. Send your answers to