Monday, November 7, 2022

What’s Up by LeRoy Cook

Jumping Veterans

Once the storms blew past, last weekend turned out to be fine flying weather. Visibility was so clear one could see Truman Lake clearly from over Butler. From the air, it’s evident that most of the soybean harvest is accomplished, with just some of the wetter ground still to be combined. It’s amazing how greener the landscape became after the rains finally started falling.

Visiting aircraft last week included a big Kodiak 100 single-engine utility turboprop, taking up most of the north half of the ramp, along with a Cessna 210 and a Beech Bonanza P35. A Beech Musketeer tied down for a few days and a Piper Archer made some touch-and-go landings. An Army Guard Apache attack helicopter arrived just after the rain on Saturday.

Locally, the big training news was the creation of a new Private Pilot, Nathan Schrock, who passed his checkride with Designated Examiner David Bradley in Boonville on Wednesday. Instructor Eric Eastland and he have worked hard over the past few months, polishing his skills. Congratulate Nate on his accomplishment; he’s earned it.

On the same day, young Jeremiah McElroy from Nevada made his first solo flight, taking his traditional three laps of the traffic pattern just before sunset. By doing so, he’s joined the ranks of pilots everywhere, acting entirely on his own as pilot in command of an aircraft. Jeremiah credits his Flight Simulator gaming skills as helping him achieve this goal. Again, congratulations are due.

It was Veteran’s Recognition Day at SkyDive KC last Saturday, when a former member of the Army’s 101st Airborne scratched off a “bucket list” item from his goals by taking his first civilian parachute jump—with only one leg. He’d lost it in later years, after 20 jumps in the service, so he signed up for a tandem skydive with an instructor, sliding in safely at the Butler drop zone. He was accompanied by two Vietnam vets from Kansas City, one being John Hall, co-owner of SkyDive KC.

The U.S. Air Force recently tested a “reduced force” contingency flight crew status on a KC-10 aerial refueling tanker plane, flying a mission with only two persons, the boom operator and one pilot. To be done only in case of a shortage of pilots, the boomer sat in the copilot’s seat when not needed to pass gas.

Our question for the week wanted to know which Piper airplane was the first to carry a name honoring an American Indian tribe. It was the old Apache from 1954, Piper’s first twin-engine plane. It’s other twins were the Aztec, Navajo, Seneca and Seminole. Next week’s brain-strainer is “what was the Hughes H-4 Hercules flying boat made of?” You can send your answers to

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