EAA Vintage AirMail Newsletter

December 2017
EAA Vintage Aircraft Association AirMail e-Newsletter
Straight and Level

Straight and Level

By Susan Dusenbury, VAA President, VAA 5721, EAA 55229

Dear Friends,

On December 9, 2017, VAA Director Emeritus Charlie Harris flew his final flight west. With Charlie’s passing aviation has lost one of its strongest supporters and an icon in the vintage aircraft movement. Charlie was a person of impeccable character that so many including myself were fortunate to call their friend.

Charlie gracefully and successfully managed to juggle his time between his business, Transportation Leasing Corporation of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and his lifelong passion — antique airplanes. Charlie acquired his love of airplanes as a young boy through spending time with his father who was also an avid pilot and owner of private aircraft. Full column >>


VAA Board to Meet February 8 at Flabob in Riverside, CA

VAA Board to Meet February 8th at Flabob in Riverside, CAYour Board of Directors has scheduled a winter board meeting for February 8, 2018 at historic Flabob Airport in Riverside, California. Similar to the winter meeting two years ago at Ron Alexander Peach State Aerodrome in Georgia, the board will conduct regular business and also have a meet-and-greet session for members and guests in the region. All Vintage members are invited to attend and bring potential VAA members.This winter meeting is being hosted by recently appointed director Jon Goldenbaum. Join us to meet your officers and board members. You will be able to join Vintage or renew your membership at the meeting. More details will be provided soon.Flabob is the seventh oldest surviving airport in California. Founded in 1925 as Riverside’s first civil airport, Flabob is a paradise for homebuilders, antiquers, and everyone devoted to sport and family aviation. They are a village of aviation nuts – “Flabobians” – stuck in a ’40s and ’50s time warp.Flabob Airport is also the home of The Tom Wathen Center, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to education through aviation. Founder Tom Wathen believes that aviation is a powerful stimulus to learning, especially the vital STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

VAA Board to Meet February 8th at Flabob in Riverside, CAVintage Directors bring Christmas Enchantment to Oshkosh Families

On Saturday, December 2, 2017 two of our VAA directors did what they usually do at this time of year and it all centered around happy, sparkly eyed children and Santa Claus.VAA Director Bob Lumley donned his Santa Claus duds and took to the sky in his sleigh which was expertly maneuvered to the EAA Museum grounds by Santa’s personal pilot, VAA director Joe Norris.Actually, the sleigh was EAA’s helicopter but, heck, who was looking that close! All eyes were on Santa! Full story >>

2017 Volunteers of the Year Honored at Fall Board Meeting

At AirVenture 2017 the VAA volunteer chairmen selected four recipients of the Art Morgan Volunteer of the Year Award. This award is an Oshkosh tradition which goes back decades. The Flightline Volunteers this year were Suzy Danielson and Marcus Valdez. The Behind-the-Scenes volunteers were Erich Rouder and Alex “Spike” Gluhushkin.VAA Board to Meet February 8th at Flabob in Riverside, CAThanks also to Flightline Chairman Mike Kosta and Co-Chair Kathy McGurran who attended the board meeting from Denver to honor their recipients and assist with the award presentation.

EAA Releases 2017 Vintage AirVenture Video

Click here or on the image below to view the video online. Many thanks to the EAA Video Team.VAA Board to Meet February 8th at Flabob in Riverside, CA

Great Pilots, Great Airplanes

by Eric Gourley, VAA 717193

I received a call one morning from Evan Haskell asking if I could teach him how to fly a pristine Beaver he and his father had recently purchased. Evan added that although he had quite a bit of time, it was mainly in a Cessna 206 on amphib floats. He also would need a tailwheel endorsement. He and his father had plans to find a set of amphib floats for the Beaver. While looking for the floats, Evan reasoned it would be a good time to learn to fly a taildragger and get a tailwheel endorsement as well.

Southern Cross image

I suggested instead of starting in the Beaver, we first get him proficient in my Citabria. With its spring steel gear and lightness, it would give him a great foundation in flying taildraggers. Full story >>

Outstanding Flights: The Italian Armada

Intro and research by Wes Schmid, VAA 6688

Southern Cross image

When planning to cross the Atlantic Ocean in the 20s and 30s pilots settled on just one aircraft for the attempt. So when Italy’s Minister of Air, General Italo Balbo, in 1933 announced his plan to lead a squadron of 25 seaplanes across the Atlantic it was looked upon as fool-hardy, dangerous and an impossible stunt sure to fail. However, the flight if successful, would also convincingly prove to the world that the Italian Air Force was one to be respected and reckoned with. Full story >>

VAA Board to Meet February 8th at Flabob in Riverside, CAVintage Champ Provides A Day of Glory for 80-Year-Old Pilot

by Priscilla A. Crawford

One day after his 80th birthday on August 19, J.E. Stuart received a surprise visit and was provided with a day that will be remembered and talked about for a long time. In considering ideas for their Dad’s birthday, Stuart’s daughters, Kathleen Stuart and Kara Barber, had looked through old photos and had found one of Stuart as a young man propping his Aeronca Champion airplane, nicknamed The Champ.

Stuart’s daughters then got to work. The numbers written on the plane were run through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) registry which brought up the current owner’s name. After entering the name in Google, the owner’s contact information popped up within seconds. Stuart’s daughters contacted the owner, and learned that he is a pilot and a flying instructor. He offered to fly the plane from his hometown of San Angelo to Luling the day after Stuart’s birthday.

With family members and friends watching, when Stuart arrived for his surprise at the airport on the designated day and saw the airplane, he noticed the number on its side immediately and remembered it well. Although the airplane had changed its appearance having been painted and restored by the present owner, Stuart appeared to feel comfortable as he climbed into the cockpit to take it for a spin with the owner seated behind him. Family members and friends were present to cheer Stuart on his flight. Full story >>



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