|FIFTY-TWO News... August 2001|
July 4th parade celebration
Several members of our chapter performed a formation flight display at the annual July 4th Firemen's Parade in town of Dover, NJ. This was an amazing experience for all of us. Precision formation flight requires great skills: a steady hand, nerves of steel and lots of practice.
The 4 planes formed up at Andover/Aeroflex base early on Saturday for a briefing and a practice run. The lead was Stephen in his Pitts S-2A, on his wing two Pitts S-1Ts were flown by Larry and Alex. Ron Chadwick later joined us in the slot position in his S-2A.
After almost 2 hours of flying a mere wing-span away, we were mentally and physically exhausted but pleased to hear that once again, we were the hit of the parade and can't wait to do it again next year.
"Maverick! You can be my wingman anytime!"
Next Chapter Meeting
The next meeting will coincide with the annual Sussex Airshow at Sussex, NJ (FWN) on Saturday, August 25th at 12 PM. The Chapter will display our aircraft on the ramp and introduce folks to the magic of flight. We will talk about unusual attitude training, spin training, aerobatics, competition and how to get involved in aerobatics. This event is not to be missed! Many local and national airshow acts will entertain the crowds. Scheduled to appear, Split Image, Drew Hurley, Angelo Cillaroto, Jimmy Franklyn and his JET-Waco, and many more!
Chapter 52 extends our condolences to the family of John Nagy, our good friend and comrade competitor from Maryland. John's big smile and even biggest heart made us always feel welcome and respected. You couldn't help but instantly admire and respect him in return. This is a sad loss to the aerobatic community and John will be sorely missed.
A member's journey after his dream plane.
By Mark R. Benton
Four months ago I walked into the weather room in Newark to sign the paper work for my flight to Houston, Texas. On the bulletin board was an advertisement describing a '46 J-3 CUB that was disassembled sitting in a barn in Antigo, Wisconsin. I had been looking for a project and at $11,000 bucks with a fully rebuilt zero time 75 hp engine, I thought this might be a good deal. I called the guy up and we talked for a couple of hours. After hearing the details, I offered the gentleman $10,000 dollars and he took it. The problem I had was that I had to somehow get the airplane from Antigo, Wisconsin to Argyle, New York where master craftsman Dick Bovey was going to rebuild the J-3 from the ground up. I was assured that the seller could get a local kid to do the job but the months went by and no deal. I was getting desperate.
It's funny how things work out if one has enough patience. A few weeks ago I was sitting in the Tewskbury Inn sipping on a cold German beer with a lemon when I ran into a gal who competes nationally in English style riding. This is a very physical and demanding sport. She had just returned from Ireland after buying three horses over there. I knew nothing of this sport so we began to talk. It was interesting how closely her sport correlates with what we do as aerobatic competitors. In her sport, they have different levels, they need to be focused, there are inherent risks involved as they compete especially during the Jumping events and they spend a lot of money on their "mounts" and equipment....just like us. This gal leases 500 acres in the Tewskbury area for her horse business so unlike many of us, she lives and breathes the thing she loves on a daily business....maybe that is why she is nationally ranked in her sport.
After a couple of dates we wandered into a discussion about my airplane in Wisconsin. I brought up the problem I was having with the logistics of getting my airplane from Wisconsin to New York. She mentioned that she had a 39 foot horse trailer and a big truck to pull it with. Hmmmm....okay. After some discussion we decided, what the heck...why don't we head off to Wisconsin with my dog Percy JoJo, get the airplane and bring it back. It seems that sometimes spontaneous decisions are the best! We left early Monday morning and finally arrived in Antigo Wisconsin at about 9 am the next day. Truck stops, fast food, good music, great conversation and many cups of coffee kept us on the road through the day and into the night. A few hours sleep in the middle of the night (sleeping bags in the horse trailer) in some little town in Wisconsin, and then we hit the road again.
Upon arrival at our destination I could hardly wait to see my airplane. It was as advertised and it felt so good to see and touch my J-3. We loaded it up in the horse trailer, secured the frame, wings and engine with old airplane tires, rope and wood, closed the door and headed for New York after a brief good bye and handshake with Jeff Bell who was the previous owner. The drive to New York was long and arduous...but fun nonetheless. We almost ran out of gas in Illinois in the middle of nowhere....we shut down the air conditioner and just kept plugging along watching the gas gauge go down....bad planning but it worked out okay. We pulled into this little tiny gas station with this huge truck and trailer....an airplane and a big yellow dog....it seems that the whole town turned out to see this operation. More soft drinks, more ice, a bag of potato chips, a "good luck" from the locals and we were back on the road again . Percy JoJo seemed interested in all this activity and he was not shy about laying his "claim" on any telephone pole he found in and around our various gas stops.
2,000 miles, 7 States, and 40 hours of driving....we finally arrived at Argyle with my J-3. Just as we pulled in to the airport they were launching a big beautiful red balloon into the evening sky. Aviation is great....you never know what surprise is around the corner. We unloaded the CUB and hit the road for the 3 1/2 hour drive home. What a great trip! We saw many beautiful sights, a couple of beautiful sunrises and sunsets, met some great people and overall, it's one of those experiences in life I will never forget.
Dick Bovey is going to start on my CUB just as soon as he gets the project he is currently working on completed in about three (3) weeks. First he is going to sandblast the frame and then primer it to stop further corrosion. I have seen his work and he is truly a master craftsman. At this time, we are discussing which engine to put into the airplane. I am considering a 150 hp engine with an inverted system. We are obviously going to do the "clip wing" conversion. I will keep the Chapter up to date on the progress of my CUB as the project continues complete with the costs involved as well as any problems that come up. Perhaps, if nothing else, these articles will spark one or more of you to do the same thing some day. My CUB doesn't look like much now but already I am getting excited in anticipation of that first flight....whew!!
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