Friday, December 20, 2013

Planes of the past Part1

My first Aeronca. An 11ac Chief. The tail post collapsed on landing one day causing it to do things that weren't very good for the rest of it. It's a weak point in taildraggers as water tend to collect there and can cause rust. I wasn't aware of this at the time as I was just starting out as a student pilot. 

My second. An 11AC-s, A stripped down version of the Chief, with less than 100 made. I was in the process of building a homebuilt and realized it was many years from completion and that if I wanted to fly I needed something sooner. I found the Scout on a bulletin board at Sun & Fun one year for about $3000.00. The engine needed re-building from a prop strike and both wing tips (and the spar ends) were damaged. It took a year of evenings and weekends to get her airworthy. I spliced the spars and recovered and painted the wings. I bought another 65hp Continental engine from the estate of an old mechanic. I tore it down, checked it out & replaced all the gaskets. All the parts, crank, cam etc, were new factory parts inside. Along with the engine, I also scored a new crank, cam, mags and mag parts and piles of other stuff for my $1,000.00. I used these to re-build the Chief's original engine which I sold to a friend who put it in a Cub he built & it is still running strong. I paid a visit to Sensenich  in Lakeland and bought a new wood prop for $900.00. This is the plane I finally learned to fly in. Yes, I reinforced the vertical tail post.

I met a really nice guy and an excellent pilot named Bob Knapp. He had flown all his life and in just about everything up to and including TWA jets. He taught me for free just for the joy of flying. We did a lot of very low and slow flying and a few loops and lots of spins. I really miss Bob. He was one of a kind.

Bob and his  new RV

Here is Bob coming over the trees in a friend's Chief, and doing a short field landing across  his 900 yard long farm strip where he soloed me. There was no bounce and he only rolled a few lengths of the plane.

Bob had a very distinctive profile.

The instrument panel in the Scout. Yes that's an ashtray. In 1947 It came with one on each side.  
(I have at long last quit smoking) 

Landing the Scout at Zephyrhills

The lake I lived on & what used to be my orange grove. It is now all developed with a six lane highway in front. This was after the hard freeze that killed the trees and I had re-planted in pine to keep it agricultural for tax purposes. Everybody that re-planted oranges for the next few years were frozen out again.

Landing my friend Wade's Chief at Bob's farm strip.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Todays game cam photos

The elk have been spending a week or two here enjoying our woods. There were a few shots of some nice black-tails too. I probably had three or four thousand pictures to sort through,mostly of elk. Here are a few after a quick look. Some of these might be better viewed enlarged after clicking on the photo.

Monday, December 9, 2013

TSA agent confiscates sock monkey pistol


I can just see the terrorist with his sock monkey and it's two inch toy pistol holding the flight crew hostage.
I think I would pay extra to be on that flight.
But, alas. It will now never happen, as the monkey's little gun has been confiscated and probably is now being sold on eBay with all of our fingernail clippers, two inch Swiss Army knives, and mini leather-man tools.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

It's a bit chilly and no water

A low here of 8.2*F.  Of course the fire went out during the coldest part of the morning and it was in the mid 50's inside. It's my fault, I opted for heat in the evening & there wasn't room to stuff a really large, fire box filling, chunk of wood in the stove before we went to bed. And of course I oped to stay in bed when the chill (and my aches & pains) woke me up around 3 AM because I was too lazy to go down in the basement and stoke the old wood furnace. For some reason the pump has shut off in the well and there is no water. The pump house in insulated and I have a heater in there. I turned it up. It must not have been hot enough to warm the pipes near the floor.
On the brighter side, we painted the house. When we pressure washed it, it removed almost all of the original paint on the South side (and about 1/8" of wood). The house had evidence of only one original coat of paint, and no primer. It took 12 cases of caulk to seal all the cracks. As the house, which was built somewhere around the late 1800's has no insulation, it was important to seal everything. This had the added benefit of keeping the lady bugs and alder bugs, and starlings from sharing our living space. It is now on the average, about 25 degrees warmer inside when I let the fire die than before.
Update: Water came back on at 11:00am when the temp. reached 21*F. WooHoo! We can flush!

It took almost four week to prep (pressure wash, caulk, and repair wood), land only a few days to paint.
I worked around the bee hive in the upper wall, opting to let them continue to live there as the feral hive has been there as long as I can remember. It would be a major job to remove them, and I can always try to catch them when they swarm.
Last seasons swarm

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nice blacktails

A friend called the other day to tell me that a pretty big buck was shot near my place. I was hoping it wasn't the one I've been seeing on the game cameras well inside my property. After comparing the photos, it looks like they are different animals.. Then I find out the harvested buck was actually shot several miles away.