Monday, September 12, 2022

What's Up by LeRoy Cook

Fall is the greatest time of the year for flying. Fronts are milder, thermal turbulence ends at lower altitudes and airplanes just perform better in the denser air. it’s good to be an airplane in autumn.

Transient traffic was light at Butler last week, as well as at Harrisonville, where we did some training at mid-week. Spotted in the pattern were a Cessna Skyhawk, a Cessna Skylane, a Piper Archer and a Beech Bonanza. Jim Stevens flew over from Olathe in his Cessna 182 for lunch. 

Local participants included Roy Conley in his Grumman TR2, Brandt Hall in his Avid Flyer homebuilt, Dennis Jacobs in a Cessna 150 and Orvine and I in the Aeronca Champ. Skydiving resumed in the Beech King Air E90 and crop spraying took place with the big yellow AirTractor.

There was a big crowd at the Lincoln, MO fly-in last Saturday. I estimated 50 airplanes that flew in, and the townspeople turned out in droves to observe the action. A homebuilt helicopter came by, and many homebuilt airplanes and sharp classic/antique birds were shown off. The organizers lucked out on the weather and the turf airstrip was in good shape. 

On to this coming weekend; Fulton, MO is hosting a fly-in breakfast on Saturday, and the Zenith Aircraft kit factory at Mexico, MO is having an open house on Friday and Saturday, the 16th and 17th, to commemorate its 30th anniversary. There is a national Bellanca fly-in at Bartlesville, OK from the 22nd to the 25th taking in both Citabria lightplanes and the Cruiseair and Viking variants.

We are proud to be able to announce the certification of a new flight instructor. Todd Proach, well-known Harrisonville pilot and Beech Bonanza A36 owner, passed his CFI checkride with FAA examiner Brian Morgan last Saturday. He’s now able to teach basic and advanced flying. Congratulations, Todd!

 The nut-case line service guy who stole a Beech King Air C90A turboprop at Tupulo, MS last week, flying it around for five hours while threatening over the radio to crash it into the local WalMart, must have some innate flying ability. He not only got the Pratt & Whitney turbines started, he landed successfully in a soybean field after he came to his senses. Rumor has it that four pilot-strapped airlines have offered him a job.

Our current brain-teaser question asked the definition of an “ornithopter.” It is a hypothetical flying machine that works on the principle of flapping wings, like a bird. No practical one has ever been put into the air. One would have to wonder what the ride would be like; probably like a helicopter with a bad rotor blade tracking problem. For next time, tell us how many spark plugs are used on the Pratt & Whitney R4360 Wasp Major radial engine. Send your answers to .

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