Fourteen fortunate pilots took to the skies with Bill Finagin in his Aviat Pitts S2C during the month of April. Fourteen fortunate pilots received innoculations against the "brain lock" that can occur when we lose control of an airplane. They received some of the finest, most advanced safety training available to a pilot.
Jason Staloff wrote, "For me, it was a profound experience and a good step after the recruitment seminar last fall." He continues,
"It was just the bee's knees. I've never spun before; my first time in a Pitts, too, what an incredible airplane. Bill handed it off to me during climbout, and I did most of the flying. The spins went by quick at first, but after the second one it felt perfectly normal. I really enjoyed the inverted and crossover!
"Aside from the the sheer thrill of it, this was a great opportunity to improve my flying. I think Bill provided a good learning environment: his ground school was enlightening, and the cockpit was completely comfortable and focused."
Says, Ron Chadwick, "I spun, and spun, and spun and spun and spun and spun and spun and spun and spinnded. Bill did a great job but I bet he was a tired cowboy at the end of Saturday. I think he did 10 flights."
Rob Marsicano remarked on the power and flying characteristics of the S2C. He owns and flies an S2B. What he found was that the C holds-on though a pull better than his B. He thought he could get a higher G pull before the buffet.
Ebe Helm, another new member of Chapter 52 said, "Thank you. The spin seminar was just as advertised......'A life changing experience.' Bill is clearly a Pilot's Pilot, and yes I did have the plane...more or less....from 500 feet to 500 feet... The S2C is phenomenal in every sence of the word."
On a typical instruction flight, Bill will begin with a multiple turn, fully developed upright spin. They typically fly nearly twenty turns of the spin-- some number in the mid to high teens -- so the student can experience the vertigo that results after recovery. After that they try spin recoveries going left, right, inverted, accellerated, flat, and crossover. Let's estimate twenty-five to thirty total turns on a typical lesson. Fourteen lessons. You do the math.
Thank you Bill Finagin for four hundred good turns, and fourteen safer pilots.
Link to the original announcement.
Link to an album of photographs from the event.