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(Photo by Ted Koston

By E. E. "Buck" Hilbert
President, Antique-Classic Division
Ever since my comments after last year's Convention about "show quality" or "display
quality" aircraft, the question has come up many, many times as to a definition of "display
quality" aircraft. There is going to be an argument about this, but my description of "display
quality" can be summed up in just a few words.
It is an airplane that the owner takes considerable pride in, and WANTS others to see and
enjoy as much as he does. He is proud of it, he takes very good care of it, and it looks  it.
Regardless as to its age, or make, or status in the realm of life, if the above statement is
true then that airplane is "display quality' ;! The owner has made it that way and we won't
contest his right to enter the display area.
We only ask one thing: that you step ' back a few paces, take an abstract view of the
situation, and truthfully answer your own question as to whether your aircraft is show
quality for display. If you can truthfully say that you meet the criteria, then I'll see you in
the display area at Oshkosh.
REMINISCING WITH BIG NICK is missing from this issue. Nick is working day and night
to get his Travel Air ready for Oshkosh so we're letting him off the hook ... but we'll expect
him to make up for missing an issue by providing us with a write-up on his restoration.
Membership in the EAA Antique-Classic Division is open to all EAA members have a special
interest in the older aircraft that ar . ,a proud part o( 'our aviation   Membership in the Antique-
Classic Division is $10.00 per year -·\vhich entitles one to 12 issues of The Vintage Airplane published
monthly at AA Headquarters. Each member will a\so receive a special Antique-<;:lassic membership
card plus one additional card for one's spouse or other designated family member.
Membership in EAA is $20.00 per year which includes 12 issues of SPORT AVIATION. All mem-
bership correspondence should be addressed to: EAA, Box 229, Hales Comers, Wisconsin 53130.
Photo by Dick Stouffer
Henley Aerodrome ... Buck Hilbert . ........ .. ... . ......... .. ................. . ... ....... ....  4
More On Fleets . . . Buck Hilbert . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
What A Stag Party! . . . AI Kelch . ........ .... . . .. .............. . ......... . .... ... .. . .... . .. .. .  9
Meyers Aircraft Seminar ... Gar Williams ..... . ........... .. .......... . ...... . .. . ...... . .. ....  10
Air Currents . .. Buck Hilbert ................ . ..... . ............. . ... . .. . ..... .. .... . . . ......  16
Incident of Friday the 13th .. . Morton Lester . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..  17
ON THE COVER ... Skeeter Carlson's Student BACK COVER ... The Gee Bee Model Z just
minutes before its fatal plunge.
Photo by Buck Hilbert The Detroit News Photo
Publisher - Paul  H.  Poberezny  Ed itor - Jack Cox 
Assistant  Editor - Gene  Chase    ~ s i s t a n t Editor - Golda  Cox 
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THE  VINTAGE  AIRPLANE  is  owned  exclusively  by  Antique  Classic  Aircraft.  Inc.  and  is  published 
monthly  at  Hales  Corners,  Wisconsin  53130.  Second  Class  Postage  paid  at  Hales  Corners  Post  Office, 
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Copyright  © 1975 Antique  Classic Aircraft,  Inc. All  Rights  Reserved. 
Athol , Idaho
By Buck Hilbert
(Photos by the Author)
In May I made a trip out to Spokane, Washington to
compare notes with Skeeter Carlson. For those of you
who have never had the opportunity to visit and meet
with the folks out that way, I can report the fact that they
are one fine bunch of aviation enthusiasts. The late
Spokane Expo and the subsequent influx of thousands
of tourists didn't seem to affect the local people other
than to make them value their privacy a little more.
Skeeter has a field out in the boonies called OX
Meadows, and although I didn' t see an OX, I did see
much, much more. How about a Hisso-powered Stear-
man C-3? A very historic one at that, as it appears to be
the 7th machine that Walter Varney purchased to use
on CAM 5 between Pasco, Washington and Elko, Nevada.
Presently, Skeeter has the machine down for rework
back to. the original Wright Whirlwind J-4 configuration
to honor United Air Lines' 50th anniversary. Varney was
one of the four who merged to become United's pre-
decessor back in mid 1930.
Also in Skeeter's stable is a very cherry L-5, a Fox
Moth and the only flying Student Prince. Skeeter has  a
stable, too! I would hazard a guess that there are enough
projects stashed away in his buildings to keep him
occupied for the next fifteen year.s, and if there aren't,
he sure knows where to find more. Once a traveling
salesman (forget the jokes!) for his own barber supply
firm, he covered the territories of Idaho, Eastern Wash-
ington, Oregon, Montana and parts of Canada. He took
early retirement a short while back and the guy is doing
what all of us would like to do . . . just what he pleases
as long as it's with airplanes. He and his co-pilot are
very happy just being themselves . . . two of the nicest
people I've met.
Skeeter showed me all around the Meadows. We took
Capt'n Bucky and Skeeter Carlson's
cherry L-S.
Some of the aircraft, autos and
buildings at the Henley Aerodrome
near Spokane.
the morning walk out across the runway, and then we
got out the airplanes. I got to fly the Student Prince, and
I have to report that torque in the wrong direction can
be a little disconcerting when you amplify it by pushing
in the wrong rudder. Ever try to three point an airplane
that doesn't stall? Well, I used up about a thousand feet
of runway trying to do just that in the Student. Sure is
a beautiful flying machine.
Anyway, Skeeter, because of his travels around the
territory, has knowledge of just about every available
antique airplane in his part of the country. So, anytime
he runs short of projects he'll go out there and bring
home something else to work on.
Having been an old Army aviator, I was really en-
thralled by his Stinson L-S. Having flown these noisy-
heatless-fuel-guzzling-headache-machines, I was at
first repulsed at the thought of who would ever want to
fly one of these miserable monsters again. But then the
admiration_Jor the machine' L abilitv to do the iob came
back and I really felt quite good that someone like
Skeeter would take the time to restore it. It's a real tri-
bute, too, to the men who flew these bone shakers in
combat and used them as aerial jeeps. They proved their
worth many times over, and the men who flew them are
still heros. They never had the recognition the fighter
guys did, and they couldn't haul the loads the bombers
did, but in their own way they kept many a dog-face
alive and a tactical situation fluid because they acted
as the eyes for the people who called the shots. It's real
good seeing one in flying condition . . . so beautifully
Skeeter took me on a tour of the area, and we visited
several people and airstrips. One place we stopped was
Jack Rose's strip and there in the shop was the prettiest
Buecker Jungmann I'd seen and a Pitcairn project that
is going to be a winner if I ever saw one. Jack's whole
family is involved in this project and let me tell you
they do beautiful work.
That evening the Roses and Carlsons took me up to
Henley Aerodrome to see Wimpy Redfern and look over
his Fokker and Nieuport replicas. I'll tell you this is one
of those places where it is happening. You can sit on the
porch of the Wing-Over Cafe and watch the action. They
have Tiger Moths used for student work and the WW-I
replicas chasing each other, the usual assortment of
other airplanes, and a flock of parchutists doing their
thing . . . all at the same time. Never a dull moment and
much to my surprise there didn't seem to be any conflict.
Everyone watched out for everyone else and they all had
a good time.
This is a Student Prince - built in
1930 and powered with a Cirrus
engine. Notice the " backwards"
prop. This plane is Serial Number
Skeeter Carlson of Spokane and his
Stearman C-3 which is being re-
stored in the livery of Varney Air
By  Buck Hilbert,  President 
Antique/Classic  Division 
(P.hotos  Courtesy Author) 
You all know my Fleet-flighted imagination, and my
fickleness when it comes to airplanes, and how I finally
got hung on Mr. Fleet and set some sort of precedent by
keeping him nearly six years. After averaging more
than one trade per year for the previous eight years, it
was indeed a precedent to KEEP an airplane that long.
I learned a lot from the experience of having Mr.
Fleet around so long. Personality Plus was what that guy
had, and when Dick Bach flew away with Him, I had
a feeling I'd never had before. Sort of like watching
your mother-in-law go over a cliff ... in your new car.
Also, it seems like every time the phone rings these
past weeks it is someone with a question or comment
on Fleets who also doesn't know He's gone making it
necessary to tell the story all over again. Frankly, it
hurts. Guess I'll never hear the end of it or be allowed
to forget that I traded Him off.
And now to rub it in all the more, Roman Bukelt of
Concept Models, has come out with this beautiful
stand-off scale model of the Fleet (see pictures). Allow
me to quote, "Wing span 49 in., Length 42 in., Weight
5 lbs. ready to fly. Powered by a .40 engine, it does all
the traditional aerobatics with ease and more slowly
than the typical R.C. aircraft. It is nearly stall-proof
and can be landed at a fast walking speed. It spins
nicely and recovers simply by neutralizing the controls.
Also, it does a nice snap roll."
I already know all this about Fleets. What he doesn't
know is that it's even better than that when you actually
fly the real thing! Woe is me! Why did I ever let Him get
Well, I've asked Romie to bring his model to Oshkosh
and display it at the Antique-Classic Headquarters. May-
be some calm evening he will fly it for us, and when he
does I'll DIE a little more ...
By AI  Kelch  (EAA  35767 Al e  700) 
7018  W. Bonniwel/  Rd. 
Mequon,  WI  53092 
Back in the hills of Tennessee, they not only make
moonshine, they throw fantastic Stag parties. The one to
end them all was held at Tullahoma on June 12-14. Before
you get any wrong ideas and I insult the distinguished
guests, a Stag is a Staggerwing Beech. The party, a
dedication ceremony to launch the wonderful Stagger-
wing Museum at Tullahoma - and the honored guests
were Olive Ann Beech and Louise Thaden.
Festivities actually started June 12 and lagged over to
the 15th and the party was so good that some were even
there the day after. They sort of encourage this thing
down there, and someday they are going to have the
proverbial "Man Who Came To Dinner". To give you a
run down on the type of hospitality, I will quickly out-
line the printed program:
Thursday, June 12: Arrival - Regis tration. (Lunch
will be available at the Tower). Evening cookout at
"The Barn" .
Author's Note: Now I have to break in here and tell
you that "The Barn" as they call it, would put the Play-
boy Club to shame, and the cookout was steak and all
the other trimmings, catered by a wonderful caterer.
Author's Note on the Author's Note: She serves cat-
fish breakfast back at the shop on Sunday.
Friday, June 13: More arrivals and registration.
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. - Fly Out/Drive Out to Par-
ish Patch Airport. Swimming. Lunch on the lawn.
Author's Note: Now this place should be in Texas for
what they call at the " patch" is 1200 acres more or less,
and the cops should have arrested them for running a
Roman orgy. A large swimming pool and cabanas to
change in, 4 or 5 patios to sit on, and views from each
that take all day in a rocking chair to digest. A private
airstrip at the bottom of the hill so you can watch it all!
Magnolia trees 50 feet tall in bloom. If you've had
enough say, "When!" - but don't wait for me!
1:00 p.m. ·3:00 p.m. - Committee Meetings
Author's Note: This was just for the poor devils who
had to work and did such a superb job of running the
6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. - Cocktails and Cookout
at The Barn.
Author's Note: The Barn, which is really a clubhouse,
is located in a beautiful woods, with a large patio, large
enough to have a bar and seat several hundred people.
After another steak and goodies, they showed slides of
previous Staggerwing activities . It was staggering -
mind boggling and discombabelated me to think one
bunch of bananas could have so much fun!
Saturday, June 14: More registrations.
9:00 a.m.. 2:00 p.m. - Fly OutiDrive Out to the
12:00 noon: - Lunch at the Tower.
2:00 - Fly-bys, Formation Flying, Photography
(the news media was on hand and busy.)
Author's Note: They have been practicing - the fl y-
ing formation was superb!
An unscheduled treat was the arrival of the guest of
honor, Olive Ann Beech, who was immediately taken on
a tour of inspection. It was a treat to see her and enjoy
the place and people enjoy her.
6:00 pm. - 7:00 p.m. - Dedication of Walter H.
Beech Building.
Author's Note: Now that we have gotten all the
levity over, we get to the real business of the Fly-In. All
were seated at banquet tables in the hangar, and the
program was started:
Master of Ceremonies, H. H. "Red" Holloway, Jr.
Invocation, Father Garnett Smith
Pledge of Allegiance, Aviation Explorer Post 142
Introduction of Special Guests, Steve Worsham
and Robert T. Smith
Introduction of Trustees and Officers , Glen
Introduction of Beech Aircraft Corporation
Guests, Jim C. Gorman
Dedication of Walter H. Beech Building and Un-
veiling of Dedication Plaque, W. C. Yarbrough,
Museum President; Guest of Honor - Olive Ann
Beech, Chairman of the Board, Beech Aircraft
CLosing Comments, Louise M. Thaden
After the program, there was a formal unveiling of
the plaque on the building, which carries an etched-in
picture of Mr. Beech and No. 1 Staggerwing. Olive Ann
Beech did the honors assisted by Louise Thaden. It was
an impressive, memorable moment.
8:00 p.m. ·9:00 p.m. - Banquet.
Author's Note: Back to the tables after time for the
caterers to set up the food and then a lovely festive
banquet with the usual fine food and hospitality. All
guests were introduced and the highlight wa s a few
words from Olive Ann.
I might comment for those of you who do not know,
Mrs. Beech is not reveling in the past but looking to the
future. She is Chairman of the Board and all con-
cerned with current growth of the industry and Beech-
craft. She is truly a representative of the industry!
Louise Thaden, who has the personality of a teen-
ager and the aura of charm that emanates from people
who do their own great things, gave a wonderful, enter-
taining talk. The evening was a delight and ended with
a fun auction of old Stag parts and donated items from
many sources.
Sunday, June 15: A day to unwind, relax, fly and do
your own thing.
An early morning balloonist landed at the field and
delivered a member. Dave Jameson, quite unexpectedly,
was invited aboard and with a 'foosh' of fire from the
torch - away he went. Didn' t see him again until mid-
afternoon. He came back with some wild tale of cham-
pagne landing celebrations, all female helpers and chase
crew. (Lori Jameson, I hope you read this.)
Mrs. Beech departed in her handsome King Air and
by evening there were only locals and Dave and I. We
stayed over and intended to depart early on Monday.
There was a wisp of smoke from some moonshiner on
one of the hills, and we decided we didn' t want to fly
through it IFR, so stayed for another gorgeous day, and
a chance to visit with the people who had been so busy
during the meet. John and Charlotte Parish are such
energetic contributors of time, money and their own
gracious selves, it was worth the trip just to meet them,
the Senior Parishes and all the Tullahoma Bunch.
A finer bunch of bananas even Chiquita hasn't
13. Jim Delaney, Washington, DC D NC19493
14. Robert Hayes, Cleveland, OH F NC50256
15. Dick Hansen, Batavia, IL D NC6923
16. Stan Francis, Saylorsburg, P A F N1422T
1. Dick Perry, Hampshire, IL D N53298
17. Vernon Ford, Fort Pierce, FL D N1038M
2. Jim Gorman, Mansfield, OH G NC80305
18. Bern Yocke, Naperville, IL D N1336V
3. Beech Wiggins, Warsaw, IN D N9886H
19. Les Grotpeter, Kirkwood, IL D N192H
4. George LeMay, Calgary,
20. Glen McNabb, Jasper, TN D N40E
Alberta, Canada D C-FGWL
21. William Hembree,
5. Sonny Clave!, Wauchula, FL D N663
Jacksonville, FL G NC80315
6. John Womack, lola, KS D N1195V
7. Lane Leonard, Covina, CA D N51969
8. Red Holloway, Baton Rouge,
LA G N911
9. Bill Schultz, Madison, NC
10. Norm Coffelt, Lebanon, OR
11. John Henry, Fort Collins, CO
12. Fred Brown, Ridgefield, CT
22. John Parish, Tullahoma, TN
23. Dub Yarbrough, Tullahoma,
24. Bob Smith, Smyrna, GA
(Photo  by  Ted  Koston) 
The  three  AI  Meyers'  designs  - far  left,  Meyers  200;  foreground,  Meyers  145; and  far  right,  the 
Meyers  OTW. 
By  Gar  Williams 
9 S 135 Aero  Dr.,  Rt.  1 
Naperville,  III.  60540 
Friday evening - January 17, 1975 - saw a unique
' happening' at the Antique Hangar, DuPage County Air-
port, West Chicago, Illinois. The Antique Airplane
Association, Greater Chicago Area - the people behind
the fabulous DuPage Air Show - sponsored a Meyers
Aircraft Seminar. As they billed it - " It's a rare oppor-
tunity to see the planes and meet the men who were
responsible for a remarkable chapter in aviation
The Meyers Aircraft factory in Tecumseh, Michigan
is just an hour away from Chicago via their high per-
formance Model 200. The relative closeness of the factory
prompted the Chicago group to make arrangements for
the factory manager and test pilot Ray Betzoldt, and
Pard Diver, Chief Inspector, to conduct this evening
seminar. Both of these gentlemen - now of Tecumseh
Aviation - are long time employees of Al Meyers and
were intimately acquainted with the OTW' s, 145's and
200's produced by Meyers Aircraft. Most obviously, this
gathering was an unusual opportunity to see and hear
the inside story on the highly regarded and proudly
prized Meyers aircraft.
The program was opened by Troy Dodd, President of
the Chicago Antiquers, with the following welcome:
"We are indeed happy to be able to present the
unique program you are enjoying tonight. Most often,
the actual stories of past accomplishments are clouded
by myth and hearsay. But, we are fortunate in having on
our program this evening, two gentlemen who are
intimately acquainted with the development of the var-
ious Meyers aircraft. We owe both Ray Betzoldt, factory
manager and test pilot, and Pard Diver, chief inspector,
hearty thanks for their time and effort in revealing the
facts of Meyers' development to us.
We also owe thanks to those owners of Meyers air-
craft who have made it possible for us to have a repre-
sentative sample of each type on display tonight. A brief
paragraph on each of those owners - Lou Seno, Sr.,
Bob Haney and Captain Charles Downey appears in the
And last, but certainly not least, we have to thank
the vision and creativity of the man who made these
wonderful machines possible. That man is, of course,
Allen H. Meyers . One publication said that all the Meyers
aircraft were each the 'best aircraft of their time'. That I
think is tribute enough, and fine tribute indeed to an
outstanding designer."
Each guest received an eight page brochure com-
memorating the seminar. Within it was a short narrative
describing the history of the Meyers Aircraft Company.
Like many, Allen H. Meyers, was captivated by the
exploits of the fliers of World War One - The Great War,
as it was known at the time. Unlike many others,
though, Meyers took action on his dreams. When he was
unable to find a school that could teach him how to
design and build aircraft, he apprenticed himself to the
leading builders of the era. At one time or another
during this period, he worked for Chance Vought, Glenn
Martin and Stinson.
In 1928, Meyers soloed in a JN4 with an OX5 engine.
(Photo by Ted Kaston)
Question and answer session.
The milestone event took place at Curtiss Field, Long
Island, New York, and from then on, he was on his way.
Prior to the Second "Great War", Meyers flew in a
multitude of aircraft. Among the memorable flights was
his journey in a Waco 10 from Baltimore to Evansville,
Indiana - a flight that saw him downed by snow several
For a man like Meyers, flying alone was not enough.
He came to believe that there were some aspects of the
design of current aircraft which could be improved.
This creative spirit led to the OTW - Out to Win - an
advanced aerobatic biplane/trainer. In a unique tribute
to the design of the craft, Meyers, after only nine hours
of testing, flew from the Wayne County Airport in Mich-
igan to Middleburg, New York to visit his injured mother.
The plane later became the first to be approved for the
Civilian Pilot Training Program during the war.
The end of the war saw Meyers' ideas turn to fast,
efficient, personal transportation. The result was the
145, an all metal monoplane with a great deal of speed
and grace.
(Photo by Ted Kaston)
Left to right, Ray Be/zo/dt, Pard
Diver, Bob Haney and Chuck
(Photo by Ted Koston)
Walter Kimotek (at microphone)
and Lou Seno, Jr. framed by the
wings of a Meyers OTW.
The post-war market, however, was changing, and
customers were looking for an executive/family size
airplane. Meyers was quick to oblige with the 200,
another low wing monoplane, this time with room for
four, and all aluminum construction. The 200 model set
world speed records that still stand today.
There the story, at least temporarily ends. The 200
was sold to North American Rockwell, and due to their
"rationalization" program, is out of production. Allen H.
Meyers is grounded as the result of a devastating stroke.
But who knows? Certified aircraft, like cats, seem to
have many lives. Witness the Citabria - perhaps the
Meyers, too, will fly again.
As Ray and Pard amplified the Meyers story many
questions were raised by the guests. The enthusiasm and
interest was readily apparent and for those who attend-
ed, this truly was a rare opportunity.
Each of the Meyers aircraft owners who had their
(Photo by Ted Koston)
Left to right, Walter Kimotek, Ray
Betzoldt, Pard Diver, Troy Dodd and
Lou Seno, Jr.
ships on display had the spotlight turned towards them
for a chance to relate the background of their ships.
Chuck Downey described how he acquired and has
maintained his colorful OTW, N26487. A 145 Warner
powered 1941 product of Al Meyers, Chuck's ship is
really a 'family' ship having purchased it in 1960. His son
is the crew chief and most often the occupant of the
front cockpit.
The MAC-145 on display was rebuilt after severe wind
damage in 1965 by its present owner, Bob Haney. Bob
covered the story of its rebuild and the requirements of
keeping this beautiful airplane airworthy.
The 200 series was well represented by four ships
including the last two produced. Lou Seno, owner of
MAC-200 N235M, proudly related how he and his son,
Lou, Jr., have enjoyed the speed, comfort and handling
qualities of this classic airplane.
For the fortunate 125 attendees, the presence of Ray
Betzoldt and Pard Diver - their airplanes and proud
owners - made an unforgettable evening - one to be
remembered and treasured.
By  Buck Hilbert, President 
EAA  Antique/Cl assic  Di vision 
The visit to Spokane, Washington was the beginning
this month, and it seems like the warm weather and
the spring thaws have really made the sap run. I've
had phone calls and letters you wouldn't believe. The
Convention planning is getting closer and closer to being
a fulltime job and the firm-up of the judging standards
put out by AI Kelch and Gar Williams promises to make
the decisions easier but maybe the job a little harder
when it comes to judges and judging. The ever increase
in numbers of the Classic airplanes and the decrease in
parking area at Oshkosh is putting us in a real bind. EAA
President Paul Poberezny has given us a show airplane
camping area where we can camp with our airplanes
for the same daily fee regular campers pay, and at the
same time has installed additional facilities for shaving
and showering to ease our way. Just across the road from
Ollie's Woods, too, will be more facilities with a country
store located in the old barn on our new property. As I
asked you to do and you so admirably did, have patience
and bear with us and we'll all come out all right!
Due to that aforementioned lack of parking space,
and the even tighter squeeze of the area designated for
airplane camping, the decision was made to cut the
Classic display aircraft numbers down by limiting that
parking to pre-1950 airplanes. The EAA Board and
President Paul feel there were just too many airplanes
to cope with. I don't readily agree now or will I in the
future . I feel that our Classic airplanes constitute almost
fifty percent of the Convention attendance and we must
recognize that the Classic will one day outnumber all
the other aircraft at the Convention. This will be a
temporary situation, I'm sure, and we'll have a CLASSIC
case to present for next year.
Type Club news this month came in from just about
everywhere. Most novel of the newly formed type Clubs
is one called SPARs. S. E. "Scott" Carson and Capt.
R. A. " Zot" Brazzotto have started this one to foster and
preserve Rearwin and Commonwealth Skyrangers .
Potential SPARs can write the club at S. E. Carson's
address, 29912 4th Ave. South, Federal Way, Washington
Robert Von Willer, Chief Fleet Owner, checked in.
He was over revved about coming home from Casa
Grande with Grand Champion. I can't help but be just a
little envious. Fleet Club, P. O. Box 1426, Spring Valley,
Calif. 92077.
The National Ryan Club is with Bill Hodges down in
Searcy, Arkansas. Bill moved down there a while back
and last I heard was back in school again completing
work for his CPA "ticket". Bill's address is 708 N. Pine,
Searcy, Ark. 72143.
Letters this past month are numerous as ever and I
can't tell you about all the problems and suggestions
people have but a few were really unique or humorous.
Ray Little, Leeds, Alabama got himself a Mooney Mite.
Ray is putting an aux tank and a lemon yellow paint job
on his "Mite" and will bring it to Oshkosh. Dick Pingrey
of Santa Rosa, California turned up a Swallow Com-
mercial just like mine. Dick may come out here to take
pictures as he has no wings for his . Got a nice letter
from Bob Collins of New Hope, Pennsylvania who wants
to learn how to A&P his own antique airplanes. He has
already had a little taste of maintaining them, but wants
to know how to get himself some real experience. John
Whitehouse of West Suffield, Connecticut is bringing
his Seabee to Oshkosh. I'm lookin' forward to this one.
It's got to be the only Seabee in the world if you believe
him. Chuck Woodhull down there in Naples, Florida has
his Aeronca C-3 flying again. And Dick Stouffer, one of
our EAA photographers for many years, has his Piper
Tri-Pacer going at last. Dick is trying to pass it off as an
Acro-Sport . At least he copied the paint scheme almost
to the tenth of an inch.
Chapter newsletters from: EAA 152, Birmingham,
Ala.; the AAA Tri-Counties Chapter at Pittsburgh; EAA
260 at Dolton, Illinois; the Greater Chicago Area AAA
Chapter, Inc.; the Stearman Restorers Association; the
Monocoupe Club; the Stampe Club; and the Ercoupe
George Stubbs has his beautiful Stinson SR-I0G for
sale. (See March 1974 issue of The Vintage Airplane.)
Contact George Stubbs, Speedway Airport, R.R. 18, Box
127, Indianapolis, Indiana 46234.
That's enuf for now. I'll see most all of you at Oshkosh
and maybe we can talk it up a little there.
By  Morton  Lester,  Ale Director 
P.O.  Box  3747 
Martinsville,  Va.  24112 
The early morning quiet of Friday the 13th of June
was broken by the voices of Bill Schultz, Butch Joyce,
Pete Covington and myself as we struggled to get Bill's
beautiful Beech D17S out of the hangar and prepared for
our early morning liftoff for Tullahoma, Tennessee,
home of the Staggerwing Museum. The occasion was
the annual Staggerwing Fly-In hosted by John Parish
and the "Tullahoma Bunch" . Parish Airdrome is indeed
one of the most outstanding antique facilities imagin-
able, and one could not plan a more pleasant holiday.
As the big 450 Pratt-Whitney throatedly barked,
coughed, and came to life, we carefully went through
the check list and run-up. Our take-off and climb-out
was routine and we soon found ourselves level at 10,500
and on course. I loosened my belt and comfortably set-
tled into my seat, relaxed, and concentrated on the
smooth and rhythmic drone of that wonderfully depend-
able engine.
My mind soon wandered back to thi s same day
exactly one year ago, the same destination, and flying
precisely the same course. My brother-in-law, Bob Allen
of Fayetteville, North Carolina, my cousin, Pete Coving-
ton of Martinsville, Virginia and I were on our way to
Tullahoma, flying a handsome new Helio Courier. We
were in a festive mood and looking forward with much
pleasant anticipation to joining with many old friends
and acquaintances for the dedication of the Louise
Thaden Building which forms the nucleus of the Stagger-
wing Museum Foundation.
I was in the left front seat, Bob to my right, and Pete
directly behind Bob. We had established a very gentle
cruise climb and had reached 6,500 msl as we approach-
ed the Smokey Mountain area which joins Tennesse, Vir-
ginia, and North Carolina. I was so very pleased with the
turbine smoothness of the Lycoming 295 and triple
bladed prop, that I placed my hand on top of the instru-
ment panel, leaned over to Bob and said, "Bob, this is the
smoothest engine that I have ever sat behind." With those
spoken words, the engine decided to "self destruct" and
quit "cold turkey." The next spoken words were, "Well,
I'll be darned, this couldn't have happened in a worse
area." A hasty survey revealed heavily forested moun-
tains in all quadrants. The quietness was deafening.
I recalled seeing a small open area among the trees
at about the 4500 ft. level of a mountain that we had
just passed, and immediately set up a 180, all the while
hoping that my memory had not failed me. During this
time the three of us were talking as calmly as if we
were sitting in our own living rooms. The thought was
expressed that if we had to go down in the mountains,
the Helio was definitely in our favor.
By this time, the leading edge wing spoilers had
fa,llen out and we were descending at 1000 feet per
minute, but I had the small clearing in sight and was
mentally setting up an approach. Our touchdown would
be up hill on an approximate 30% grade.
I softly said to myself, "So this is the third one." You
see, I had often wondered if there was any validity to
the adage that things happen in groups of three's .
Shortly before this incident the engine of my Clip-wing
Monocoupe had failed due to a fuel blockage, and within
30 days of that incident, I made a forced landing in a
Comanche 260B due to a faulty fuel injector system.
Fortunately, both of these forced landings were made on
beautiful paved runways.
Without power, the sink rate of the Helio is some-
what excessive, and we therefore were corning in a little
high, and a little fast. The extra speed would be needed
in order to get the nose up high enough to execute the
steep uphill ground contact. The trees were now rapidly
rushing up toward us as I said, "It's gonna be tight -
we'll need to get out of the ship as quickly as possible
because of fire danger." Truthfully, in my mind's eye,
I thought we had it made. In the final moments, as I
was getting the nose up, the top of the last tree that we
brushed, caught the right wing tip and turned the plane
sharply to the right. We actually touched down on three
points in the opening area, but the side load on the left
gear caused by the steep unhill grade was so severe
that it snapped off, taking with it the door on the pilot's
side. When the engine struck the ground, rather than
skidding along as it would have on level terrain, it
simply bulldozed dirt and rocks and the ship decelerated
to a stop in less than 20 feet.
I so vividly recall the snapping and popping of the
tree tops, the dull sickening thud of the jolting and
virtually instant stop, and the stifiling dust and smoke.
The pain in my back was extremely intense, but I was
also aware of the sudden peaceful quietness. I could
hear, but had no vision and was unable to speak because
the impact of the control wheel upon my chest had been
so great that I could not get my breath. I was momen-
tarily unable to move, but slowly began to feel for my
seat belt release, and became aware of other activity
in the cabin. Bob's seat had broken loose from the floor,
slammed into the instrument panel and then toppled
back over on top of Pete. I recall Bob saying, "We've got
to get out of here," and Pete replying, "I can't till you
get out of my lap."
I released my belt, fell out on the ground and crawled
about ten feet before passing out. The next thing I
became aware of was Bob leaning over me, loosening
my tie, asking, "Mort, how bad are you hurt?" I replied,
"It' s my back, I've hurt my back." It was only then that
I discovered that my white shirt was an all over crimson,
which was somewhat disturbing, but was only the result
of a number of rather minor cuts and abrasions .
Bob later related that when he saw me crawling
away from the plane, he leaped out and ran about 20
paces and then realized that Pete was apparently still in
the ship. He immediately turned and bolted back and
upon reaching the aircraft, looked up over the wing just
in time to catch a glimpse of Pete crossing the top of the
ridge in full gate. Pete had lost his watch, wallet,
and glasses, but had his EAA hat firmly implanted on his
head, down to his ears. Bob said that Pete looked like one
of those "Bronco Rough Riders", the type that never
looses his hat.
Anyway, after the excitement had settled, we took
stock of things and knew that we were going to need
some help. The area appeared completely uninhabited,
for we were indeed out in the boonies. During the short
final approach I had noticed a small logging trail several
hundred yards away, and suggested that either Pete or
Bob start walking in that direction. Bob elected to go and
upon reaching the trail, he was much amazed to see a
small boy ride up on a bicycle and with wide eyes ex-
claimed, "Mister, did you see a plane go down near
there!" Bob responded in the affirmative and asked
where the nearest telephone was located. The lad
advised that there was a country store at the foot of
the mountain.
Bob related that his first impluse was to grab the
bike and go for help, but he asked the youngster if he
would have the store owner call the Highway Patrol for
an ambulance. The lad replied, "Yes, sir" and was gone.
Bob said the boy's wheeling down the side of the moun-
tain appeared far more dangerous and risky than our
forced landing.
Back at the aircraft, I was unable to sit up or turn
over, but found that I could move my feet and knew that
I would be all right and decided to simply relax until help
arrived. In spite of our circumstances, it was a beautiful
area. The vegetation was abundant, and the air was
crisp, refreshingly cool, and tranquil. The wind whisper-
ing through the tree tops was almost enchanting.
Some two hours later, we arrived at the hospital
emergency room and were getting the very best of atten-
tion and care. Both Bob and I had several cuts that
needed closing and while this was being done, I became
aware of a great deal of moaning and groaning from
across the room. An emergency room doctor had his
knee in Pete's left armpit and was unsuccessfully trying
to re-set his dislocated shoulder. Pete, of course, was still
wearing his EAA cap. It was decided that it would be
necessary to put him to sleep in order to set the shoulder.
Much discussion resulted from this because Pete did not
want to give up his false teeth and the anesthetist
would not put him to sleep unless this was done. This
was accomplished, and Pete was on his feet the next day
and doing just great.
My father came down the following day and expressed
an interest in going up to the site and asked Pete if he
would care to go. Pete advised, " No thanks, I've been
It was found that my back injury consisted of two
crushed vertebra and a damaged disk. This necessitated
a slow recovery and the wearing of a back brace for
many months. But, all three of us have sufficiently
recovered and our enthusiasm for sport aviation has not
been dampened one whit.
In fact, I remarked to Bob just recently that the Helio
was the first ship that I had ever damaged, and that in
my mind, I had flown that approach on the mountain of
Friday 13th so many times that I felt that I could do it
with my eyes closed. I related that I just wished I could
have another shot at it. Bob replied, "Not me, I'm sat-
During this year's Staggerwing Fly-In, I related this
incident of a year ago to Al Kelch, one of our Antique!
Oassic Directors. At his urging I am offering this detailed
account for our members in the interest that it might
be of help should they ever find themselves in such a
My suggestion would be to keep cool, keep control,
KEEP FLYING SPEED, and keep flying the ship until all
forward motion has stopped. Fatalities during forced
landing are most often caused by trying to stretch a
glide, not maintaining flying speed, and therefore going
in out of control.
I was taught to fly by my father while I was still a
small boy. How clearly I remember practicing power off
approaches with his continuing to drive home the three
golden rules of forced landings. Fly the airplane - Fly
the airplane - Fly the damn airplane.
Currie Lee, 1347 Pueo St., Honolulu, Hawaii
96816 completely restored this Cub and has
done 3 others for friends . He now finds his
stock of airframes running dry, so is consider-
ing building Wag Aero CU8y's for other friends
who want J-3s.
Classified  Ads 
AERONCA ENGINE OWNERS - Send your present and
anticipated future requirements for plain insert-type
con rod bearings along wi th crankpin diameter, if
known, to: Tom Trainor, 4604 Briarwood, Royal Oak,
Michigan 48073.
TRADE - Metal spar J-3 wings. Need little work before
covering. Not for sale but will trade for GOOD wood
spar wings for early '38 J-3. Will consider later model
wood spar wings for J-3 if in really good shape.
Would also like an engine cowl for a 40 hp J-3 or J-2.
Dave Workman, Zane Auto Top, 400 South St., Zanes-
ville, Ohio 43701 .
WANTED - For Laird Super Solution project. The Florida
Sport Aviation Antique and Classic Association is
restoring this historic racing aircraft and they need a
propeller. The plane was fitted with a Hamilton
Standard, ground adjustable, design no. 21Al-7 SIN
36382 - 36385. Please contact Ed Escallon, 335 Mil-
ford Drive, Merritt Island, Florida 32952 (305) 453-
WANTED - Blackface Cub altimeter, Szekely engine or
parts or manuals . Phil Michmerhuizen, 186 Sunset
Dr. , Holland, Mi. 49423.
Calendar  Of Events 
JULY 29 - AUGUST 4, 1975 - OSHKOSH, WISCONSIN - 23rd Annual EAA
Fly-In Convention. Sport aviation world's greatest event. It's not too
early to make plans and reservations!
AUGUST 24 - WEEDSPORT, NEW YORK - Air Show and Fly-In
Breakfast sponsored by EAA Chapter 486. Whitfords Airport.
Contact Dick Forger, 204 Woodspath Rd. , Liverpool , N. Y. 13088.
Southwest Regional Fly-In. Antiques and experimentals. Trophies, Air
Show and Barbeque. Contact: Kerr County Chamber of Commerce,
P.O. Box 790, Kerrville, Texas 78028. Phone: (512)896-1155.
(Antique) Fall Fly-In - formerly held at Gastonia, N.C. Big Fall
gathering of antique and classic aircraft with awards and plenty of
flying fun. Contact Dwight Cross, Jr. , Box 468, Huntersville, N.C.
OCTOBER 10-12 - TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA - 18th Annual Tulsa Fly-
In. Located 50 miles ElSE of Tulsa. Sponsored by AAA Chapter 2,
EAA Chapter 10 and lAC Chapter 10. Contact P.O. Box 4409, Tul sa,
Okla. 74104.
Aviation Antique and Classic Association has a fly-in somewhere in the
state almost every month. The decision on the location of the next f1y-
in is usually made on too short notice for inclusion in The Vintage Air-
plane, so ·we recommend to all planning a Florida vacation that they
contact FSAACA President Ed Escallon, 335 Milford Drive, Merritt
Island, FlOrida 32925 for fly-in details. Joi n the fun'
Back  Issues  Of The  Vintage  Airplane 
Limited numbers of back issues of THE VINTAGE AIRPLANE are available at $1 .00 each. Copies still
on hand at EAA Headquarters are: