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APRIL 2011

Ev Cassagneres
Cheshire, Connecticut
Commercial Pilot
Flying since 1945
Ryan Aircraft Historian

Ev has flown more than 100 types of airplanes and he has flown
more Ryan airplane types than any other living pilot.
Dealing in any way with AUA is an old-time pleasure. They
are, courteous, pleasant, thorough, personable, businesslike,
competitive, and on top of that - they love old airplanes and
talk the language too.

Thanks AUA

Ev Cassagneres

AUA is Vintage Aircraft Association approved. To become a member of VAA call 800-843-3612.

Aviation insurance with the EAA Vintage Program offers:

Lower premiums with payment options QAdditional coverages
On-line quote request available QAUA is licensed in all states

Flexibility on the use of your aircraft


Experienced agents


Remember, Were Better Together!

The best is affordable. Give AUA a call its FREE!

Fly with the pros fly with AUA Inc.

Vol. 39, No. 4




Straight & Level

Young Eagles and spring inspections
by Geoff Robison



Taylor J-2 Cub

In the beginning there was this someday project
by Budd Davisson


The Skys the Limit

40th Anniversary of the National Stearman Fly-In
by Ed McKeown


Leather Helmet, Goggles, and a Rosary

Adventures of a teenage barnstormer
by Ray Goss


My Friend Frank Rezich, Part VII

by Robert G. Lock


The Vintage Instructor

Its a new season for flyingare you ready?

by Steve Krog, CFI



The Vintage Mechanic

EAA Publisher
Director of EAA Publications
Executive Director/Editor
Production/Special Project
Copy Editor
Senior Art Director
EAA Chairman of the Board

Vibrations, Part I
by Robert G. Lock


Classified Ads


Mystery Plane
by H.G. Frautschy



FRONT COVER: Steve Kretsingers newly-restored Taylor J-2 Cub was trailered to Watoma,
Wisconsin from Eugene, Oregon, then reassembled and flown to EAA AirVenture 2010. During
the convention, the J-2 was reunited with one of its early pilots, EAA Founder Paul Poberezny.
Read more about the restoration in Budd Davissons article starting on page 6. EAA photo by
Jim Koepnick.
BACK COVER: Another cover from the drawing table of prolific illustrator Frank Tinsley, this
fanciful interpretation of Waldo Watermans Aerobile shows us what life could be like for the
aviation countr y-club set if Waldos dream of production could be realized. The September
1937 cover for Air Trails shows the nation the promise of post-Depression aviation. Unfortunately, World War II would interrupt the advancement of civilian aviation for more pressing
needs. Tinsley seems to give another nod towards innovation, with the illustration of what
appears to be a version of the Everel single-bladed propeller on the prop shaft of the Aerobile.
Wouldnt the Aerobile be a nifty replica project?

Rod Hightower
Mary Jones
H.G. Frautschy
Kathleen Witman
Jim Koepnick
Colleen Walsh
Olivia P. Trabbold
Tom Poberezny

Publication Advertising:
Manager/Domestic, Sue Anderson
Tel: 920-426-6127
Fax: 920-426-4828
Senior Business Relations Mgr, Trevor Janz
Tel: 920-426-6809
Manager/European-Asian, Willi Tacke
Phone: +49(0)1716980871 Email:
Fax: +49(0)8841 / 496012

Interim Coordinator/Classified, Alicia Canziani

Tel: 920-426-6860




Young Eagles and spring inspections

aving just spent four days in
Oshkosh, I return home with
a renewed feeling of invigoration. Every time I engage myself in the atmosphere of EAA, even
in the month of March with all that
snow, I come home with a renewed
sense of excitement about this organization. What a great way to slap
down the seemingly eternal winter
doldrums. It really makes me want to
shout it out to anyone who will listen
that all of my experiences with EAA
are also available to every EAA member out there. You just need to engage,
and ride the wave. I have been riding
this wonderful wave of opportunity
now for 28 years, and it has been a
great ride, a ride I hope continues for
at least another 28 years.
If you havent heard, I want to
share with you the fact that aviation
recently lost a good friend in Jack
Cox. I didnt know Jack well, but I
clearly knew who he was and what
he meant to our organization and
the entire world of aviation. He was
the epitome of a gentleman and possessed a rare ability to communicate
his knowledge of aviation to us all in
a fashion that was not just entertaining but accurate as well, and he had
great value to those of us who enjoy
vintage airplanes. My deepest condolences to his wife, Golda, and the entire family, as well as the huge group
of friends Jack enjoyed over all these
years. We will miss him deeply.
Its always a great day at the hangar
when we host a Young Eagles event.
VAA Chapter 37 in Auburn, Indiana,
and the local Fort Wayne, Indiana,
EAA Chapter 2 will host about eight individual events during the upcoming

2 APRIL 2011

flying season. We recently celebrated

with two of our members when they
reached the remarkable accomplishment of 300 Young Eagles Flown.
Congratulations to members Drew
Hoffman and David Resler for their
generous efforts in sharing the experience of flight with so many young
folks throughout our community, and
for their direct participation in inspiring the next generation of pilots.
The Young Eagles program continues to expand its horizons. Your
EAA leadership is now at the ready to
launch the next spectrum of Young
Eagles by providing an opportunity to
assist parents in enabling their childs
journey into aviation. EAA Chairman
Tom Pobereznys March column in
Sport Aviation, titled Brace for Impact, should be read by every pilot
who has ever flown a Young Eagle.
The research that was recently completed by EAA on the impact to aviation this program has produced since
1992 is nothing less than amazing.
Tom stated, The biggest results are
yet to come! When you plant the seed
of aviation, you dont know when it
will sprout. Toms column reports
remarkable data that will not only
encourage those pilots who participate now to stay engaged, but also it
is highly likely to inspire even more
EAA pilots to engage themselves in
this amazingly effective program.
With springs arrival I want to
again remind everyone to perform
an extensive preflight inspection of
their aircraft prior to that first breakfast run. If youre like me, your aircraft oftentimes will lie idle in the
hangar for months through the wintertime, and it is clearly susceptible

to those fuzzy little four-legged visitors nesting in the most remote areas of your airframe. Taildraggers are
particularly vulnerable to these little
critters, so you have to get in there
and do a thorough inspection including the tail cone, the wings, under the floorboards, and behind the
panel. Pull the inspection plates and
use a mirror and flashlight to get a
good look all around. If you see an
unusual stain on your headliner that
you cant account for, you better look
into it! Even if you have never seen
any mice in your hangar, it is always
a good idea to set traps to keep their
population to a minimum. Rock that
wing and sump a little more fuel than
normal to make certain you have no
contaminants in your fuel system. Be
sure to pop open the engine cowling
and look throughout the compartment. Remember, they like cozy,
out-of-the-way places to nest. If one
little piece of grass, shredded paper,
or fabric looks out of place, investigate further. I could go on and on, but
you get the idea here. Be thorough
in your inspection prior to that first
flight, and dont get in a hurry. It is a
real disconcerting feeling when one
of these critters tries to run up your
pant leg on your initial takeoff run.
Trust me, I know the feeling!
VAA is about participation: Do
yourself a favor and ask a friend to
join up with us. Lets all pull in the
same direction for the good of aviation. Remember, we are better together. Join us and have it all.

Former Sport Aviation Editor and Founding Editor of Vintage Airplane Passes

Jack Cox, EAA Lifetime 14286, VAA Hall of

Fame Inductee, who influenced generations of
aviators as the longtime editor-in-chief of EAA
Sport Aviation magazine and founding editor of
EAAs Vintage Airplane magazine, passed away Sunday, March 6, 2011.
Jack joined the EAA staff in 1970 when he and his
wife, Golda, moved from North Carolina to Wisconsin
at the invitation of Paul Poberezny. While busy working at EAA in a variety of roles at the headquarters in
Hales Corners, Wisconsin,
Jack was managing the
day-to-day work that led
to the formation of EAAs
Antique/Classic Division
(now the EAA Vintage Airplane Association), which
included his new Classic
category for post-war aircraft, then the largest unaffiliated entity in aviation.
Jack created the Divisions new monthly publication,
The Vintage Airplane, and served as its first editor. He
also designed the Divisions first logo, which featured
the Wright Flyer.
In 1972, Jack was named editor-in-chief of Sport
Aviation, a position he held until his retirement in
1999. During his tenure, Golda was his partner on the
magazine, as she was in all aspects of his life, serving
in the role of managing editor.
Jack was born in Seagrove, North Carolina, in January 1934 and grew up enamored with aviation,
building model airplanes and reading everything

available on aviation. After graduating from college

and beginning a teaching career, he began taking
flight instruction and soloed a J-3 Cub at Air Harbor Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, in April
1956. As a private pilot, Jack logged more than 3,350
flying hours in a total of 137 different makes and
models of aircraft.
Jack was inducted into the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association Hall of Fame and the EAA Homebuilders Hall
of Fame. In 1986 he received a prestigious award from
the Aviation/Space Writers Association for his article
on the around-the-world flight of the Voyager.
Upon retirement, Jack and Golda returned to Asheboro and remained active in aviation. Jack was a lifetime member of EAA, a member of AOPA, a director
of EAA/VAA Chapter 3, and a member of the Asheboro Airport Authority. He was also a member of the
voting panel of the Motorsports Hall of Fame.

After serving as the first editor of The Vintage Airplane, he was always available to the editors who followed, offering story suggestions and helping nurture
the growing vintage airplane movement. He was unfailing in his belief in recreational aviation, and we
should be forever grateful for his steady guidance
of EAA publications, and the work that helped create EAAs largest special interest area. I join past editors Dave Gustafson, Gene Chase, and Mark Phelps
in expressing our profound condolences to his wife,
Golda, and Jacks extended family.
Feel free to visit for a link to
an online obituary where EAA members are invited to
share memories of Jack.



Sportsman Pilot
Ceases Publication
The publication of Sportsman
Pilot magazine ended on March 6,
2011, with the death of editor and
co-owner Jack Cox of Asheboro,
North Carolina.
Jack and his wife, Golda, enjoyed their association with a small
but very loyal subscription base for
the last 30 years. Upon Jacks passing, Golda shared this message,
Jack and I hope we have provided
as much pleasure as we received
producing Sportsman Pilot. Our regret is that some interviews from
Sun n Fun and AirVenture 2010
will not be written. We hope the
publication has provided interest,
education, and historical knowledge to many of our readers.

Mistakes That Can Derail

Your Re-Registration
The FAAs aircraft re-registration
initiative that began on November 1, 2010, is going about as
expected, according to Walter
Binkley, manager of aircraft registry in Oklahoma City. That is
to say, its going fairly wellwith
more people than expected using
the online registration instead of
mailing in the paper form. Reregistering online is much more
effi cient, resulting in a one-week
turnaround as opposed to the six
to eight weeks for fi lling out and

4 APRIL 2011

mailing in the form, then waiting

for hard copies to wind their way
through the queue.
There are some mistakes the
branch is seeing that can derail a
registration; these include:
Failure to print or type name.
Making an alteration to the
text and whiting out or obscuring
something on the formthe only
acceptable way to alter text is to
line through and correct.
Including the appropriate fee.
Checking both info correct
and changes made boxes or
leaving both uncheckedone of
the boxes must be checked.
Sending in the re-registration
w h e n i t s n o t t h e i r t u r n . We
wont take applications out of cycle, Binkley said.
If you receive a final notice

even though you have already

submitted re-registration materials, dont worry; the FAA wants to
give aircraft owners every opportunity to re-register in the event
of procrastination, materials lost
in the mail, or other reasons, Bink
ley said.
If you submit your re-registration
and it has not been processed by
the prescribed final notice date,
youll automatically receive a final
notice. The FAA also sends a third
notice when an aircrafts registration expires, giving owners a final
opportunity to get their materials
in and save their N numbers.
Call 866-762-9434 (toll-free)
or 405-954-3131 with any questions or concerns. Or go to www. to fill out an online
form for fastest response.

Young Eagles Ford Mustang Raffle Opens

The annual Young Eagles Raffle features one sweet ridea 2011
Ford Mustang GT conver tible valued at $42,000. The raffl e, which
suppor ts EAAs Young Eagles program and other youth aviation education initiatives, of fers only 1,500 tickets at $100 each, and can be
purchased at the EAA AirVenture Museum as well as during AirVenture
through July 31. Other prizes include four cash prizes ranging from
$500 to $5,000.
The prize drawings will be held after the afternoon air show on Sunday,
July 31, the final day of the fly-in. The Mustang is provided with assistance
from Ford Motor Company and Kocourek Ford of Wausau, Wisconsin.

Send your comments and questions to:
VAA, Letters to the Editor
P.O. Box 3086
Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086
Or you can e-mail them to:

Thank You!
As we get closer to this years EAA
AirVenture Oshkosh fly-in and convention, its fun to see that members
sometimes go to great effort to drop us
a note. This letter (above) from member Ken Berger was dropped off at our
Red Barn hospitality center just before
the awards ceremony. Written on a
piece of soft drink packaging, Kens
heartfelt note reminds us that the efforts of our volunteers and staff alike
dont go unnoticed. Thank you, Ken!

Where Are They Now?

Dear Sir,
I just read the latest issue of Vintage
magazine [January 2011], and found
much interest in the Rearwin story.
But my main reason for writing is to
ask if anyone out there in our association knows the whereabouts and status of the Rearwin Speedster 6000M,
NC15865, s/n 36. I was fortunate to
fly that airplane, apparently the prototype of the 6000 design, with the
Cirrus engine. It was all cream with

orange trim, in original configuration. How well I remember the narrow

front area where the rudder pedals
were, which made me feel as though
I was pigeon-toed. Last time I saw the
machine was many years ago in a
T-hangar on some airport in Michigan, and have since lost track of it.
In addition, I would love to know
if there are any other Speedsters out
there, either flying or in restoration.
And lastly, I flew a Buhl Pup LA-1,
NC12109, back in the late 40s at New
Haven, Connecticut, and wonder if it
might have survived, and where it is,
and what the status is of that wonderful and fun airplane with the Sickly
three-cylinder engine and cable all
around it so the cylinders would not
fly off into the wild blue yonder.
And oh yes, I also got to fly a Barkley-Grow, NC18388 (looked like a
Twin Beech D-18 only with large,
beautiful wheelpants), out of Bridgeport airport, with Alan Wheeler back
around 1957, and wonder if anyone
knows where that beautiful twin is.

Please print this in your next issue, if you dont mind. I sure would
appreciate it, now that I am 82 plus.
Ev Cassagneres
You can send your response back
to Ev care of us here at VAA headquarters, via e-mail at or
regular mail at VAA, PO Box 3086,
Oshkosh WI 54903.

Crosswind Landings
Hi Steve,
I enjoyed reading your article
about windsocks and downwind
landings as well as your previous articles. One can never learn all there is
to this business.
That is my 1941 A75-L3 in the
background. I owned an Air Repair
Stearman previously and checked
out in a B75-N1 back in 1969 or so.
When I owned the Air Repair Stear
man, I was flying for Eastern Air Lines
and had the Stearman hangared in
Laconia, New Hampshire (LCI). One
nice day, I thought Id fly over to
Wolfeboro for some 80 octane, check
out the lakeshore, and get me some
landing practice. Here I come over the
north side of the airport, and I noticed
some kind of whiz-jet taking off to the
east, then a Cessna of some sort also
going to the east. So, what does the
gallant Stearman flier do? You have it!
Fall in a left-hand pattern to the east.
As I prepared for another fine landing, the Stearman began to get squirrelly and wobbly! Whats going on?
Well, I managed to catch a glimpse of
the windsock, Holy-moly, idiot. You
had landed or attempted a landing
downwind with a right-quartering tail
wind! I immediately applied power
and went around to land to the west,
as I should have in the first place.
I had fallen prey to doing as others
do and not checking the wind direction.
Never did that maneuver again! Stear
mans just dont like tail wind landings.
In later years when checking out new
Stearman guys, I always made it a point
to discuss wind direction and my almost-incident with them.
Thanks for the fine articles.
Pete Chestnut, VAA 65


Taylor J-2 Cub

In the beginning there was this someday project

6 APRIL 2011




Steve Kretsing

didnt want to be one

of those who say someday when talking about
a project, because someday quite often doesnt
come. So, I made up my mind to actually start working on the project.
The speaker was Steve Kretsinger,
of Eugene, Oregon, and the project to which he referred was his
uncles Taylor J-2 Cub, which had
lived in his uncles garage for almost two decades and was often referred to in someday terms. Steve
was determined to break the cycle
and do something about it.
As is almost always the case with
decisions like this, it was a long
time coming and involved more
than just waking up one morning
and saying to himself, Im going
to rebuild the Cub.
Ive always dreamed of flying,
Steve said, but, there was no aviation connection of any kind in my
immediate family. So, at the time,
I just figured yeah, just another
kid dream thatll never happen. I
was so far outside of aviation that
I didnt have a clue as to what the
proper path would be. I had no
idea that lots of kids my age were
trading paper route money and

Rights: 1st No. American,

One Time



The rounded tail sur faces and wingtips help distinguish the J-2 from its squared-off predecessor, the E-2 Cub.
The changes to the design, created by Walter P. Jamouneau, softened its appearance. In previous writing, the assumption has been made that the J in J-2 stood for the designers name. Pete Bowers, in his 1993 book, Piper
Cubs, points out that in reality, the J just happened to be the next letter in the series of Taylor Cub modelsthe
previous version had been the 35-hp Szekely SB-3-35-powered H-2, and skipping the letter I, since it could be
mistaken for the number 1, meant the next model-designating letter would be, at best, a happy coincidence with
the design modifiers last name!
wash jobs for flying time. And it
went that way for quite a while.
For one thing, I thought I had
to have ground school completed
before I could start taking flying
lessons. So, when I got older, I enrolled in a ground school course at
the local community college and
met a guy there who had a C-152.
I told him I was itching to get into
an airplane. He said, Fine. How

8 APRIL 2011

about Saturday?
I said, I cant. I havent finished
ground school.
He replied, Dont need it. See
you at what time?
It was just that simple. Then I
started talking about airplanes at
home and how Id like to own one.
Thats when my mom said, You
know your Uncle Tom has an airplane in his garage. Go see him.

At that point Steve was 26 years

old and just beginning to dip his toes
into the aviation pool, so his aviation knowledge was minimal. Still,
he knew that he liked old airplanes,
and he knew exactly where he could
find one. So he set out to visit his uncle down the road in California.
First of all, he said, it turned
out that Uncle Tom didnt have
an airplane in his garage. He had


two airplanes in his garage. A 1938

Fairchild F-24J and a 1937 Taylor
J-2 Cub. I guess I never realized
how heavy he was into airplanes.
It turns out that at one time in the
early 60s he used the Fairchild to
commute from Long Beach to work
at Vandenberg Air Force Base. He
had also been one of the Flabob
Airport gang, and vintage/antique
airplanes were a big part of his life.
I started hinting around that
Id like to buy the Cub, and he said,
Tell you what: You rebuild the Cub
and you can fly it, but Ill own it.
That was 1986, and I took the Cub
home to my shop to work on it.
Only problem was, I got married
and started having kids at the same

time, so the Cub was once again a

someday, Ill get at it project,
and it didnt look as if I was going
to get to do the airplane myself.
I had been introduced to Tim
Talen, in Eugene, who was doing
airplane restorations (Ragwood
Refactory, http://RagwoodRefactory.
com), and as I hadnt even touched
the airplane, it looked as if the
only way I was going to get it done
was by having a professional do
it. I talked to Tim about it, and he
pointed out that it was going to
cost so much to do the Cub that
Id probably have more in it than it
was worth. He suggested I have him
do the Fairchild instead because
Id have a more valuable airplane,
when finished, and would come
out better financially. So, I talked to
Uncle Tom about doing the Fairchild, but it turned out a friend of his
wanted to do it for him, and he did.
When the airplane was finished,
my uncle and I flew it to Oshkosh.
That was in 2000.
In 2006 I had the epiphany
about someday and realized that
day wouldnt come for me on the
Cub unless I made it happen. So, I
pulled the trigger on it. Only I was
going to be as hands-on as I could
be, within the limitations of my
own time and talents. And thats
when I hired Tim Talen to finish the
project. As he worked on the project, I was able to contribute in the
areas that he thought were within
my abilities. Hed look over my
shoulder directing me on the things
I could do and taking over for those
areas where I was over my head.
As near as Steve could tell, the
airplane hadnt flown since the
1940s. In the 65 years since it had
gone through dozens of hands,
each adding their own pile of parts
to the someday project, but none
of them did anything constructive
to the airplane, although right at
the beginning Steve and his uncle
had sand blasted the fuselage and
primed it, which, with the passage
of so many years, had to be done
again. What Steve had was a gigantic pile of parts that he hoped to-

taled up to a complete airplane.

Steve said, Tim had already
done a J-2 or two, so he knew what
we were looking for and how different years of airplanes might
have different parts. This first surfaced while I was doing the wings.
Steve continued: When we started
spreading out the parts, we realized that I had three wing panels,
but no usable ailerons. Not a one.
What we did have, however, were
factory drawings for those ailerons.
So, starting with the hinge fittings
and horns, we just built them. The
wings needed total rebuilding. I
built new spars for them and had
to repair every single rib. Some
werent too bad, but others were
mostly trash.
We bead-blasted the fittings
for all three wings and picked the
best for these wings. We also tore
our hair out looking for new pulleys of the right kind, but couldnt
find them. We did, however, have
a big box of stuff, and in them we
found enough usable pulleys to put
this airplane together.
One of my mantras was originality and no new parts, which
turned out to be harder to do than
I thought it would be. For instance,
when we started rebuilding the
seats we found that the top of the
seat back was supposed to be a special C-shaped steel channel that the
drawings called a Dahlstrom Channel No. 543. The same channel material was used in the tail for ribs.
Miracle of miracles, it turned out
that the company that made them
was still in business and still had
the dyes. Great, we thought, well
just give them a call and buy 20 or
30 feet of the stuff. We called the
factory and talked to a very nice
person who had worked there for a
long time, and she told us that yes,
they could build the parts, but wed
have to buy a minimum of 5,000
yards! Oh, well, so we got creative
with steel while filling those gaps.
The fuselage wasnt too bad,
Steve said. Although we had to strip
it again, there wasnt a lot of rust.
There was evidence that the airplane



The new Sensenich propeller sports the proper yellow-painted tips and a
pair of decals with the correct Made in Lititz, PA wording.


Continentals first-production flat-opposed aircraft engine, the A-40. Unlike

the later A series of engines, the cylinder head for each pair of cylinders
is cast as one piece, as are the cylinders.

10 APRIL 2011

had some repairs near the wing attach points. I had the first three logbooks, which didnt mention an
accident, but those logs only covered
the 1930s, and I had nothing after
that. It also had a good turtledeck
structure, so that didnt need much
work. In general, however, compared
to the total rebuild of the wings, the
fuselage wasnt too bad.
The sheet metal needed a lot of
work. The boot cowl was all there,
but good only for patterns, and
the firewall was more holes than
metal, Steve said. We were able
to use the original nose bowl, although as it came out of the factory
it was a single-piece unit. However,
somewhere along the line, this one
had been split for ease of maintenance, so we put it back together.
Tim did the top cowl and some
other parts so that it came back to
totally original configuration, including the boot lace clips.
When an airplane is as basic as
the Taylor J-2 Cub, doing the instrument panel doesnt require a lot
of instruments, but they have to be
the right instruments or itll look
wrong. Nothing is more visually
jarring than a 1980s airspeed or altimeter in a super-simple 1930s instrument panel.
We had an instrument panel,
but not a single instrument. Im
certain they are all in a box under
someones bed, but thats when
we had to resort to flipping over
rocks, looking for what might be
available. Tim had some of the instruments, and I found the right tachometer from a guy in Sonoma,
California. We ran into a brick wall,
however, when it came to the al-

Left: One of the simplest cockpits

in the histor y of aviation. The rod
at the top with the small knob surrounding it is the throttle, and the
parallel white ropes activate the
pulley controlling the stabilizer angle for pitch trim. From left to right
we have the minimum instruments
needed for VFR flight in the 1930s:
airspeed, oil temperature, oil pressure, and nonsensitive altimeter.

Personal History Steps Out of the Crowd


timeter. We thought it was a Zenith altimeter but werent sure.

They came in two sizes, 4 inches
and 3-1/8 inches. Fortunately Tim
found a Zenith altimeter at a fly-in
swap meet.
When an airplane has a history
that includes lots of owners, its interesting how much extra stuff
starts to follow it around, each
owner adding something theyve
found. If the stuff box that comes
with a project is big enough, the restorer can do his shopping at home
rather than make Google a silent
partner. In this case, the extras are
what made some of the project possible. This especially applies to both
the tail and the engine.
Steve said, We had three complete sets of elevators and stabs,
and all were pretty good, but although they were all the right
shape, they werent all built the
same. Some of them appeared to be
J-3, not J-2. Tim selected the right
ones by matching their manner of
construction to that shown by the
rudder, which obviously was original to the fuselage.
We had two sets of landing gear
legs, with two different types of
axles. We went with the type that
the type certificate said we could
run 4-inch Hayes wheels, which we
had, and let us run the commonly
available 8.00-4 tires.
Since this ship was built with the
option for a tail wheel, we debated
about adding brakes, but that would
have been a big departure from the
idea of total originality. The tail
wheel steers fine, so that wouldnt be
a problem, but getting stopped might
be. Doug Griffin of Red Bluff, California, indicated that the airplane was
engineered and built with a little excessive toe out, which scrubs the tires
just a little, so that really helps slow
the airplane down. If a tail wind is
pushing you and you need to stop,
you just spin around and put the
nose into the wind.
When we started on the engine,
he said, we really had a serious pile
of stuff to sift through. We had two
more-or-less complete engines and

Paul Poberezny and Steve Kretsinger enjoy a few moments with one of the J-2
Cubs Paul flew as a young man. Steve brought the restored airplane to EAA
AirVenture from California.

As Steve told the stor y, N19252s original owner was the

Brown Deer Flying Club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While doing the
restoration, I was talking to Tim about the history of the aircraft,
and he said, You know, Paul Poberezny grew up in the Milwaukee
area, you ought to see if he flew your airplane. I e-mailed the EAA,
and they forwarded my letter to Paul. He responded that he did fly
out of the Brown Deer airport, and said he flew several J-2s.
Fast forward to AirVenture 2010; while we were in Oshkosh, we
were asked to bring the airplane to the Vintage Interview Circle to
display the airplane and conduct an interview. Unbeknownst to me
the staff had made arrangements for Paul to appear during our interview. As Ray Johnson was conducting the interview with me, he
said, Steve, Id like you to meet someone; turn around!
To my complete surprise and amazement it was Paul Poberezny! They handed Paul the microphone, and he told some stories
about flying in Milwaukee in the 30s, and as he pointed to my airplane, he said, As a young lad, I flew this airplane. The interview
was followed by handshakes and photographs. This was like icing
on the cake. Here I was in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, over 2,000 miles
away from home, displaying my airplane at the greatest fly-in in the
world, and I get to meet the man who started it all in front of an
airplane he learned to fly in!

two baskets full of parts that were

supposed to contain an engine each.
I did some research on the A-40s and
found we had a choice of building it
as a -2, -3, -4, or a dual-ignition -5.
Since this particular ship was originally equipped with the -4 model,
we decided to build it as a -4 because
of the higher rpm and our parts
seemed to lend themselves better to
that particular model. And there was
that originality thing.
Rather than do the engine ourselves, I had Al Holloway, of Holloway Engineering, in Quincy,
California, do it. A-40s are pretty
basic, but they are also pretty old,
so I wanted it done right.
Sensenich did the prop pretty
much the way we wanted it. I got a
hold of Clyde Smith, the recognized
old Piper expert, and he said the tip
fabric would have been yellow, so
thats the way we did it. Tim had
some old Sensenich stickers, but
we didnt have to use them because
Sensenich asked us which stickers
we wanted, since they knew wed
probably want the Lititz, Pennsylvania, address on them to be correct to the period. That all turned
out to be very easy.
When it comes to covering and
painting low-power airplanes like a
Taylor Cub, its always advisable to
keep the weight down so the poor
little engine doesnt have to fight
gravity quite so hard. And thats exactly what they did.
Tim had a roll of 1.7-ounce Dacron with the PMA stamp intact,
which was important, since this is
a certified airplane. We painted it

with Poly-Tone and hand rubbed it.

Poly-Fiber was one of my contributors, and their material was easy to
work with, but there was a learning
process in which Tim had to work
to get a consistent shine. We didnt
want it to be glossy, but we didnt
want it to be totally dull either.
One problem that often plagues
projects that change hands so often has nothing to do with the airplane itself but is still the key to
airworthiness: the paperwork. So
often the airplane changes hands
as piles of junk, so the individuals forget that the FAA paperwork
has to be correct, but as Steve was
to find, the word correct is open
to some interpretation.
My uncle had no bill of sale,
and none had been recorded. So
technically, it wasnt his airplane,
and we couldnt register and fly it
until that was sorted out. I backtracked and was lucky enough to
find the widow of the last registered owner, so we got our bill of
sale and were legal. The only problem was, however, that it was registered as a 1945 Piper J-2 Cub, which
had been built in 1944, which, of
course, had never existed. The Taylor J-2 Cub was long out of production by 1945, and I didnt want my
airplane having the wrong birth
date on its birth certificate.
The various factions within
the FAA couldnt get together and
correct the dates, as that was a
change, and they couldnt change
paperwork without more paperwork. Neither side would give in.
So, I hired a DAR who called reg-

istration. They told him the same

thing, so he asked for the supervisors name. The two of them got on
the phone and figured out a way
to make it happen. Plus, there was
a letter on Taylors letterhead saying that they had built aircraft No.
1652 in 1937, so that gave everyone the proof they needed to justify correcting my paperwork.
We were really trying to get it
to Oshkosh, but we flew it for the
first time on July 3 and couldnt get
enough flying time on it to break
it in or prove its reliability, which
we knew was marginal in the best of
situations. The truth is that even if
we had left that day for AirVenture,
the airplane is so slow, we still might
not have made it. We got five hours
on it, took the wings off, put it on
a trailer, and took it to Wautoma,
about 30 miles from Oshkosh. We
put it together there, flew it a little
more, then struck out for Oshkosh.
I cant adequately tell people
what it means to me to be flying
an airplane like this and arrive at
Oshkosh. When I taxied it into position in the Vintage area and shut
it down, I just sat there for a minute or two savoring the moment. I
so clearly remembered the airplane
as a rusty pile of parts, yet here I
was sitting in the grass at Oshkosh
with that same pile of parts. It was
almost a surreal feeling. And every single bit of the effort involved
in getting there was worth it. At
that moment I understood why so
many people do projects like this.
The emotional payoff is huge.
Yeah. What he said!


12 APRIL 2011

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The Skys the Limit

40th Anniversary of the National Stearman Fly-In

his year marks the

40th anniversary of
the National Stearman Fly-In held each
September in Galesburg, Illinois. Special
activities are planned for both the
public and the 150 or so Boeing
Kaydets who will be attending. You
may want to mark the week of September 5-10, 2011, on your calendar to come to Galesburg and enjoy
the sights and sounds of Stearmans
flying almost around the clock!
Check out the websites and www.Stearman.
net for more information.
Of lesser fame but just as impor-

14 APRIL 2011


tant are the efforts of a few pilots

and volunteers who have contributed to the educational experience of grade-school children and
spread the aviation message for
the past 17 years.
If you drive by Nielson Elementary School in Galesburg, you will
notice inside the front windows
a bright blue bulletin board that
says The Skys the Limit in puffs
of smoke coming out of a Stearman airplane.
You can see it, hear it, and feel
it when you enter Nielson. The
front bulletin board is painted
with a giant Army Stearman airplane surrounded by cornfields

and sunshine. T-shirts, sweatshirts,

folders, school magnets, and stationery sport the phrase The Skys
the Limit as well. You hear it from
teachers and students alike during
the school year while reaching for
understanding. Most importantly,
at this school the air and the spirit
are charged with the thought that
anything is possible if you learn,
work hard, and never give up.
It was a casual inquiry by Celia Godsil, a teacher, of pilot Tom
Forys at the 1993 National Stearman Fly-In that really started the
prop spinning. Tom responded Of
course! to the request to fly over
the school so the kids could see

Left: Bob Matthews (left) Terr y

Bolger show the kids how to
spread their wings as they line
up to visit the flightline during the
Stearman Fly-In.

It was a
casual inquiry by

the airplanes, and he added, Why

dont we visit the school, too, and
talk to the kids?
So Tom organized a group of pilots, and they took it upon themselves to become special mentors
to the students at Nielson. After
spending time in the classrooms
with the children, sharing his love
of flying and the need to overcome
obstacles, pilot Tom would exit the
room saying, The skys the limit,
and you can do whatever you set
your mind to do! Thus began the
spirit that has become the school
motto and theme and helps to cement the teachers, students, and
families together as a community.
And so it began.
It will begin again this September on Thursday morning at 8:30.

Celia Godsil, a
teacher, of pilot
Tom Forys at the
1993 National
Stearman Fly-In
that really started
the prop spinning.

A group of six pilots and their Stearmans will taxi out and park on
the grass area along the runway. As
they wait for the four or five school
buses to arrive, they will wipe the
oil off the airplanes, open up the
cowling to expose the fuselage,
grab their helmets and goggles, and
place the American flag in place.
Finally, the children will arrive
at the airport to see the planes during the Stearman fly-in week. Each
class has the undivided attention
of one pilot and his airplane. The
function of the airplane and flying is patiently explained to the
children. They may try on the helmet and goggles or peek into the
cockpit. Everyone is excitedthe
pilots, the teachers, and most of
all the studentsand even those
standing by and watching something special happening. The questions just keep coming from the
kids, even toward the end of the
session as they take a short tour
to see the rest of the aircraft. By
now some of the children might
be holding a pilots hand or tug-

Author Ed McKeown briefs the kids

from the Nielson Elementary school in
Galesburg, Illinois,
on the actions of
the tail surfaces on
his Stearman.

Wayne Witt takes time to answer a few questions from the excited youngsters during his class.

Thanks to an inquiry by founding Nielson Elementary schoolteacher Celia Godsil (photo left) to Tom Forys now deceased;
(his widow, also a founding volunteer, Joanne Forys, is in the
center), youngsters attending the school have been learning
about science and aviation from the pilots and volunteers
of the Stearman Fly-In. Founding volunteer Wally Falardeau
(right) has been with the program since it began in 1993.
16 APRIL 2011

The kids and their teacher are happily distracted by a fly-by while visiting with American Airlines captain Bob Matthews and his 450-hp Stearman.
ging on a pilots pants. A yellow biplane flies by, and they jump and
point with joy.
Terry Bolger, one of the original pilot volunteers, says, Without question the day with the
kids is the highlight of Stearman
week. They are so enthusiastic,
happy, and excited; its just an
awesome experience.
The following day, the teachers who won the school Stearman
ride lottery will return to the airport for a ride with the six pilots
with the mission to make several
passes over the school. All the staff
and students will gather outside to
wave and cheer. To date, more than
74 staff and teachers have gone on
rides, and they always have a huge
smile on their face when climbing
out of the plane.
This is the start of a new school
year for the students. Teacher Celia Godsil says, All of these aviation activities start off the school

year for the Nielson community

and send the message that we are
here to work and succeed. During the school year you may hear
children and staff urging each
other on, saying, Hey, all you
have to do is try because the skys
the limit! This statement is extremely powerful when spoken
from one child to another.
Today, it is apparent and obvious that the willingness of one person to share his gifts has impacted
others. More than 2,000 students
have made the airport visit during
Galesburg Stearman week. Eighteen years later, the Stearman is
still the school logo, a song has
been written, all the classrooms
have been repainted in aviation
themes, and the spirit lives on.
Good stories dont always end
the way you want; in aviation vernacular, Tom Forys flew west in
2001 due to a medical issue. He is
still missed, but his spirit is alive

a n d w e l l . H i s w i n g m a n Wa l l y
Falardeau taxied into position to
carry on Toms legacy. Asked about
his efforts, Wally says, It has been
a great experience that has given
me many incredible memories.
Maybe some day Ill meet a pilot who went to Nielson School.
Toms wife, Joanne, is still involved and provides each student
with a Stearman pin as a remembrance of their visit to the airport.
Many other pilots and volunteers
have stepped forward to carry on.
And now its a tradition, and
it demonstrates another power
of the airplane to motivate, captivate, and make people smile.
One persons passion for flying becomes the vehicle to help others
strive for more.
The fly-in founders, Tom Lowe
and Jim Lehy, probably had no
idea of what good would come
from their efforts to just bring the
guys together to fly.


Adventures of a teenage barnstormer





Ray on the day he soloed the OX-5-powered Waco.

18 APRIL 2011

he anniversary of
powered flight, a
historic event that
had been introduced
by a pair of bicyclebuilding brothers
from Ohio, was already 10 years
old when I was born in 1913. As I
grew older, so did aviation. I was
a toddler in Wisconsin when the
knights of the air jousted one
another with airplanes instead of
horses and quickly turned them
into killing machines during the
war to end all wars. Unfortunately, wars between nations never
ended, and airplanes just became
deadlier fighting machines. But between the great wars, I participated
in aviations golden years, where I,
along with fellow aerial adventurers, flew for the pure joy of flight
and a few bucks in our coveralls.
In the summer of 1927, just weeks
after Charles Lindbergh made his
lengthy takeoff from New York and
his landing in Paris, I, too, began
my aviation journey. My destination
was a lot shorter than his, but nevertheless just as adventuresome to a
wide-eyed and carefree 14-year-old
boy like me. I hopped on my bicycle
and rode the 2 miles to the George
A. Whiting Airport in Appleton, Wisconsin [now part of the city of Menasha], where I waited and watched for
an airplane to take off or land.
In those days the airfields were
all fenced off to keep livestock, deer,
dogs, and nosy little kids like me

from running onto the grass strip. I

used to make such a pest out of myself as I hung out on the fence for
hours at a time. One of the pilots at
the airport, Jack Frenzel, had an old
Curtiss Jenny on the field. Well, it
wasnt so old back then, but it sure
would be today! Anyway, Jack must
have felt sorry for me standing by
the fence, drooling all over myself
every time an airplane took off and
landed, and it appeared he finally
had enough of me.
I was kind of nervous when he
approached me, and I thought he
was going to yell at me. Instead he
smiled, raised his hand, and motioned for me to come over on the
other side of the fence. I was a nave teenager who thought only pilots, royalty, and the very wealthy
could walk on that sacred ground,
but suddenly all that meant nothing
as I clamored over the fence and hit
the ground running! I was handed
a pail of water and a rag, and I was
allowed to lay my hands on a real
airplane and help wash it. I was tickled to death!
That summer seemed to fly by in
record time as I became acquainted
with the Jenny. It was officially
called an OX-5 Curtiss JN-4D Jenny.
Its N-number was NC292C, and for
a long time this was the last licensed
Jenny in the United States. Later,
the newly formed CAA would not
re-license it because of its wooden
fuselage. None of that mattered to
me at the time, as I became infected
with an incurable disease.
Jack saw that I was terminally
ill, too, himself having been bitten by the aviation bug. With no
known cure, theres only one thing
left to do. He took me up for my first
airplane ride. Sitting in that front
cockpit, right behind the big liquidcooled 90-hp OX-5, with my short
little body and scrawny neck barely
able to look outside of the cockpit
was like a dream come true.
Jack opened the throttle and the
Jenny hopped, skipped, and jumped
over the bumpy grass as we became
airborne. With the wind in my face,
we flew over the town I lived in and

Jack Frenzel (right) and his Jenny on a cold day in Wisconsin.

the entire world suddenly looked
different to me. The thing I would
never forget is how the wires would
sing as we flew straight and level
and made shallow turns, dives, and
climbs over the curious onlookers
below. The sound the Jenny made
was like an out-of-tune piano. With
so many wires bracing the double
wings, crisscrossing one another, the
notes changed their tune each time
the Jenny changed direction.
When the Jennys power was
pulled back and Jack pointed the
nose toward the ground to land,
those round cable wires, which were
not very streamlined, began to wail
in a harmonious tune. The slower
we became, the softer the wires
would sing. There were only small
glances from side to side as Jack kept
his head out of the cockpit, watching the runway ahead. He taught
me how to make a good landing
by listening to the sounds the wires
made and feeling for the ground. I
dont even remember landing as I
sat and smiled to myself listening
to the engine hiss and moan as the
propeller slowly stopped turning.
Another year went by and I became an airport bum, just hanging
out washing airplanes and learning
what made them tick. I got to know
the Jenny pretty good, and I was
promoted to aircraft idler. Back then
we used 50 weight oil, so the engines
would have to warm up for about 15
minutes before the first flight of the
day. As the oil circulated through
the OX-5, I sat in the Jennys rear
cockpit like some big-shot pilot
ready to go into the wild blue yonder. It made me want to learn how
to fly that much more, and only one

thing stood in my way: money, or

lack thereof.
In the late 1920s or early 1930s
the only way an airport operator
could make money was by barnstorming. A lot of the pilots in
Wisconsin, and there werent that
many of them in 1930, stormed the
nearest farmers field, looking for a
paying crowd of people. There were
199 pilots and 175 licensed aircraft
flying in Wisconsin at that time. I
was allowed to fly with two different
operators as I alternated between
the West brothers and the Larson
brothers, barnstorming around the
state. I sold tickets, loaded passengers, gassed and oiled the airplanes,
and washed them down when the
day was done.
Every open field was a new airport
as I spent my summers at county
fairs, church picnics, weddings, and
wherever a large group of people
gathered. We flew Waco 9s and Waco
10s, which carried two paying customers in the front seat. When it was
all said and done, for a weekend of
flying, I received 10 percent of the
gross, which was darn good money
back then. Sometimes, though, all
the profits had to be put right back
into fixing the airplanes, and in one
case buying a whole new one.
I was with Jack one weekend in
his Waco 10. He had sold his Jenny
and upgraded to a newer, faster airplane. The Waco 10 could carry two
people up front, affording them the
wonderful sights from the air. The
going rate at that time was between
three and five bucks per person, but
flying through white, puffy clouds
that dotted the blue sky would of
course be extra. A county fair would


Looking north-northwest over the top of George A Whiting Airport, located at the corner of Airport Road and
Appleton Road (Hwy 47) in Appleton, Wisconsin. Founded by the owner of a local paper company in Menasha
(which, in 2011, remains one of the few privately owned paper producers still in business), the airport was a hotbed of activity before the creation of the first Outagamie County Regional Airport further to the north. Even today
the curved roof hangar in the lower right can still be seen at the corner of the intersectionits long been the
home of a local hardware store, Kitz & Pfeil.
be our next adventure.
Jack and I were expecting big returns as we overflew the Seymour
County fairgrounds. A large gathering
of people dotted the grounds as we
set up shop nearby. The Seymour Fair
had been made famous back in 1885
when Charlie Nagreen created the
first hamburger there. But now with

the country in a full-blown depression, people had little money to shell

out for such extras. Money was scarce
and hard to come by, but the groundbound people were starved for a little
excitement in their life. Somehow, an
airplane ride seemed justified to help
forget about lifes problems, even if it
was for only 15 minutes.

An interesting mix of aircraft are poised for flight at the Larson Airport,
about 9 miles west of Neenah, Wisconsin. The airport opened in 1922.
From left to right, the Waco 9 soloed by Ray Goss, a Thomas Morse
Scout, and a Standard J-1. Now a private strip, Larson Airport was the first
airport registered with the state in Winnebago County, and one of the first
in the state outside of the Milwaukee area. The airport is registered as a
Historic Place with the National Park Service.
20 APRIL 2011

Business was good as the locals

lined up to fly. Jack flew as I sold
tickets, kept the Waco gassed and
oiled, loaded and unloaded passengers, and shoved the growing wad of
money into my pocket. On the last
flight of the day, I wish I had used
a bathroom scale to weigh the paying load. It seemed that these two
people had enough money to fly
and to over-enjoy some of the tasty
hamburgers and other food at the
fair: The Waco 10 was overloaded.
Jack shoved the throttle to the
stops as the Waco lurched forward,
hesitated, and began to stagger
through the field. He was on the
ground for a long time until his
wheels finally became airborne
that is, when he crossed the ditch
line. Unfortunately, the ditch
wasnt very wide and the Waco
sunk back down on the other side
as he plowed through the ditch
wall. No one was hurt, the passengers got their money back, but it
was the end of a fine airplane and a
great day of flying.
Although it was an unfortunate
event, I soon learned three differ-

Ray soloed this Waco 9 from the Larson Airport.

ent things. The first thing I learned
was how to rebuild and re-cover airplanes. The second thing I learned
was the proper way to fix a temperamental OX-5 engine. Instead of
whacking it with a hammer or mallet right away, I was taught how to
dismantle it and figure out the problem. If the engine still didnt run
right after that, a gentle, persuasive
tap from the hammer usually got it
to run smoothly! The third and final

thing I learned was how to fly.

I had saved up enough money
from my summers of gypsy living
with the barnstormers to buy five
hours of flight time. I began to take
lessons in the fall of 1931, and my
flight instructor was Leonard Larson. Leonard was a seasoned barnstormer, and he along with his
brothers labored, created, and built
by hand one of the first airports in
Wisconsin. Although it was no more

than a large, grass strip cut through

a farm field with a few outbuildings that doubled as hangars, it was
nonetheless a very active airport.
The field housed Standard J-1s,
a Thomas Morse Scout of World
War I vintage, Curtiss Jennys, Waco
10s, and the Waco 9 I learned to
fly in. The Waco 9 I flew, NC2574,
was powered by the same massproduced Curtiss OX-5 engine that
had been bolted to countless Jennys
like the one I took my first ride in.
The fuselage on the Waco 9 was
welded steel tubing, and the wings
were all-wood structure. The fuselage, tail group, and wings were
completely fabric-covered. The
Waco 9 had a dual cockpit with a
single seat in the back for the pilot and a bench seat up front that
could hold two passengers quite
snugly. The Waco 9 was a solidly
built airplane for its time and was
used by quite a few barnstormers
and racers. It was a good roughfield airplane, too, something I ex-


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Ray in Miss P.

In Support Of Aviation Since 1920.


Miss Pittsburgh was restored by Merle Zuelke and Ray in the late 1950s.
It can be seen today on display as it hangs from the ceiling of the Landside Terminal of the Pittsburgh International Airport.
perienced right before I soloed.
On October 23, 1931, as I sat in
the cockpit, warming the OX-5 for
another flight, Leonard climbed in
front, turned around, and yelled,
Give me a good takeoff and landing
and Ill solo you. This was the big
day. Something I had dreamed about
for a long time. I lined the Waco up
on the center of the runway and
eased the throttle forward as my feet
danced on the rudders, keeping the
nose centered as the tail came up.
The engine was like a thoroughbred
as I climbed to pattern altitude.
As I circled the airport and came
up on the downwind leg, the throaty
engine noise changed to complete
silence, as everything became very
quiet. The engine just up and quit! I
was still 10 seconds behind Leonard
as he instinctively grabbed the stick
and pointed the nose down. Glancing from side to side, all I saw was a
cow pasture dead ahead, and it was
full of cows! Leonard tried to slow it
down the best he could as we skipped
and skidded through the herd and
sloshed around on fresh cow pies.
The cows were spared from becoming the main course at the Seymour
Fair as we slid to a stop. Leonard
hopped out and found the problem
right away: The fuel line had been
broken. The cows kept their distance
as the airport mechanic rushed over
and quickly fixed the problem. I
hand-propped the engine, and Leonard flew it out of the pasture as we
made our way back to the real airport.
There was no discussion between
Leonard and me; heck, there wasnt

22 APRIL 2011

any time to think about what could

have happened to us as Leonard
hopped out of the back seat and I
hopped in as Leonard patted me on
the shoulder and said, Okay, its all
yours. Go solo. I slid my goggles
down over my eyes, tightened the
chin strap on my leather helmet,
and prepared to go it alone. Leonard
leaned his head into the cockpit and
gave me one last piece of advice:
Oh, by the way. Stay away from
the cows! I half-smiled as Leonard
turned and walked away, and I said
a little prayer to myself.
I made a couple of landings in
front of Leonards watchful eye,
and he signaled me to come in and
land. With almost four and a half
hours of flight time under my belt, I
was now baptized a new pilot. That
was the last time I took instruction.
That was the way flying was in those
days. No license, no rules, no regulations, no nothing. There was only
one thing left to do, and that was to
buy me an airplane.
I found one for sale nearby that
had the same OX-5 engine I had
become accustomed to and a set of
brand new, factory-fresh wings on
it. The plane was officially called
the H-10 Pheasant and sold new for
$2,895. That was way out of reach for
a guy like me trying to make a living
with a depression going on, so I settled for a used one that set me back
$250. It was now time to venture out
on my own and barnstorm the state.
I had a lot of experience hawking customers, so all I had to do
was look for a family gathering like

a wedding or a picnic and overfly

them. To get their attention, I roared
the Pheasant over their heads at low
level, and with an overabundance
of farm fields to pick from I sat the
Pheasant down and set up shop.
Back then the farmers welcomed
us with our flying machines, and
soon crowds would gather to see who
the darn fool was in that aeroplane
that almost crashed into the line of
trees. Most of the people were just
curious, and it usually took a dare or
challenge from two elbowing friends
to see who would risk their life first.
Back then, life was worth $3 bucks as
the first victim hopped into the front
seat. When the crowd saw that I returned this brave soul back to mother
earth, most relaxed and stood in line
to await their turn. And that was, for
a couple of years, the way flying was
for me until the war clouds in Europe
erupted and the CAA got a lot stricter.
After the CAA officially licensed
me, I helped train Navy pilots in
the Civilian Pilot Training Program
(CPTP), instructing them in N3Ns.
After the war I flew bushplanes in
Minnesota and Canada for six years
and then went into crop dusting in
the Midwest. I had 20,000 hours of
flight time in my logbook when I
stopped counting and probably had
more than 25,000 hours total.
In the late 1950s I even restored
the same Waco 9 I soloed in for
Capital Airlines 30th anniversary. It
turned out that this aircraft, named
Miss Pittsburgh, was one of the three
original planes that Capital Airlines
started out flying with in the 1920s
before being sold to Leonard Larson.
I flew it back home to Pittsburgh on
Easter Sunday, 1957, and took one
of the original pilots, Merle Moltars,
back up on his original mail run from
Pittsburgh to Youngstown, Ohio.
But the flight I will always remember was my first, when the
Jennys wires sang to me, encouraging me to fly. That was a tune I will
never forget.

Well have more on the Pheasant

H-10 biplane in next months issue of Vintage Airplane.

A familiar sight in the Midwest is Travel Air NC606K with smoke on and Nick Rezich doing his stuff before a
crowd of people admiring his skills as an air show pilot.

My Friend

Frank Rezich
Part VII



Nearing the end of his career

in aerospace, Frank was not really happy with jumping around
to various jobs, mostly to troubleshoot some type of manufacturing
flaw. Frank recalled, I went back
to Rocketdyne on the engine boost
program for the shuttle. Then I
went to Sunstrand for the B-1B program. Sundstrand built the wing
swing mechanics, and it was not
working well under load. I also had

the slats/flaps program run by my

good friend Dick Spencer. He was
building the slat and flap actuators. He later got hired to become
the vice president of Sundstrand.
So I went there, and we got that
straightened out.
Frank jumped from one job to
another. He was assigned to the
Air Research Corporation in Phoenix to consult on an F-16 auxiliary
power unit (APU). It had the sec-

ondary power package; it built the

turbine APU and Sunstrand built
the generator.
Then Frank recalled this story
that may be one for the books.
One day, it was July 4 but I dont
remember what year. I just got to
Chicago, and I am getting on the
airplane, and the agent comes
over paging, Frank Rezich, Frank
Rezich. You have a phone call here
to get your luggage off the airplane


A young Frank stands beside

NC8115 at the Chicago Municipal
Airport ready for flightcigar and all.
Note the coveralls of The Mechanic
of the Rezich family. The year was
1942, and the ship was immediately
put into the shop as required by the
government at the start of WWII.
When one thinks about these old
airplanes, it can be humbling. The
606K was built in 1929; by 1950 it
had 21 years of service on the airframe and engine. It was time for a
restoration, so owners sold these
types of airplanes at a low price because they did not want to pay to
have the airplane rebuilt. That was
an ideal situation for the Rezich
boys, particularly money man Mike.

NC606K when the ship was purchased by Mike in 1950. It is parked at

the old Howell Airport in Blue Island, Illinois, just 8 miles straight south of
Chicago Muni on Cicero Avenue. It still had the 30-5 wheels and a Wright
E2 engine. Frank converted it to the 7.50-10 air wheels shortly after Mike
bought it and Nick flew it back to Chicago.

An accomplished pilot
and mechanic with a
background in
manufacturing and a
self-taught engineer of
the highest quality . . .
because you are going in another
The boss says, We want you to
turn around and go to Lima, Ohio.
We have a qualification test that
has to be done this weekend, and
theyll be expecting you. The general manager will meet you at the

24 APRIL 2011

Frank at his Paso Robles hangar with nephew Jim, conducting an inspection on the Culver Cadet that Jim had purchased. The ship passed with
flying colors, and Jim flew it cross-country back to his home base at Rockford, Illinois. Jim recalled, The Culver Cadet I purchased was the same
one my dad [Nick] bought new in 1942. The registration number has been
changed, but its still the same airplane. It was terrific to be able to have
Frank go and look at the airplane for me, and get it ready to bring home,
where it is based at the Greater Rockford Airport, now listed as the Chicago-Rockford International Airport. The trip home took two and a half
days, 20 hours of flying, 107 gallons of fuel, and covered 2,450 miles!

airport. Get yourself up to Lima,

whatever wayrent a car, go by air,
whatever the heck you want.
I had a blank check for travel!
Okay, I get off the airplane, get a
little airplane, go to Dayton, rent a
car, and go to the place. Go in there
and meet the general manager and
the Air Force rep. Where is our inspector? [I] couldnt find our rep,
so we proceeded. Air Force, are you
satisfied we got the test set up correctly? Yes. Westinghouse, you
okay? Yup! Okay, Ill represent
Rockwell, the customer. Lets go.
We run the test around the
clock; we finally got it all done. The
unit is acceptableflight ready
ship it. Well, we need a Rockwell
inspector to sign the acceptance paperwork. Where the heck is he? I
dont know; we tried to find him.
Okay, the heck with it, Ill sign it!
They shipped the thing, and it goes
to the assembly floor at Rockwell.
The receiving inspector looks at the
paperwork and says who in the h--l
is Frank Rezich? He calls his boss
and says, We got the alternator
for the engine, but we have Frank
Rezich as the inspector; hes not on
our list. About six to 10 hours later
the phone rings and a voice says,
Hey, Frank, howre you doing?
Whats going on? We want to talk
to you about shipping the alternator out of Westinghouse. What
about it? It passed the test and is
perfectly good. Who else you got
in the room there? He said, Only
a few people, like the director of
quality control. I said, Oh, hiya,
Bill! He said, Frank, what the h--l
are you doing? I said, Im shipping hardware.
He says, Oh, what happened?
I said, We went to test and tried
to find your man; we couldnt find
him anywhere. I wasnt going to
stop when I had the Air Force and
the manufacturerwere running.
He said, Frank, did you ever think
of calling me at home? I could hear
my boss chuckle in the background
with the guy from manufacturing.
Later on my boss was describing
me and said, When the going gets

Frank with daughter Kathy flanked by brother Nicks

son, Jim (right), and Jims son, Nick (left). Jim is a
30-plus-year veteran in aircraft maintenance and is
second generation, while Nick is a third-generation
maintenance professional. The Rezich name is deeply
woven into aviation history, having owned Travel Air
airplanes from 1936 to the present. Not many families can top this.
tough, the tough get going.
This lengthy story pretty well
sums up Franks brilliant career in
aerospace manufacturing. His favorite proverbYou dont ask

for permission; you take it!

One rarely considers qualification testing, one of the things in
the background of building an airplane for the government. Each

Stop worrying, Fred! I had the map printed on

Poly-Fiber. What could possibly go wrong?

OK, were not saying that really

happened or that it would have
changed history... but it makes
you wonder. On the other hand,
you never have to wonder
whether youll get a beautiful
long-lasting covering job using
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instructions very clear and
downright fun, and the process
is practically foolproof. Youll
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Friendliest manual around

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A regular air show visitor, Frank displays a trophy awarded at a West

Coast event. He was always at the Friday-evening early bird gathering at
Merced, where he drew a crowd when telling his flying and mechanic stories from the past.

N8115 and N606K at the San Miguel strip just below Franks Flying R
Ranch. These Travel Air ships have been in the Rezich family for many
years. The house can be seen atop the bluff overlooking the strip.
NC8115 was sold and now resides in England.
component built under contract,
no matter how small or large, how
simple or intricate, must undergo
strict qualification testing before
it can be installed on the aircraft
by the manufacturer. Frank dealt
with many suppliers, like Sundstrand, GE, Westinghouse, Air Research, Vickers Pump, and many
more. His approach always was
getting the job done correctly and
to specification.

26 APRIL 2011

Now retired, Frank shares time

with his constant companion, Ruth
Elvin, and his daughter, Kathy,
who resides in West Hills, California, close to the old family home in
Woodland Hills. Kathy, now a private pilot, is checked out in Franks
Cessna 182 so they can fly together.
Frank Rezich has enjoyed an action-packed career in the aviation
business. An accomplished pilot
and mechanic with a background

in manufacturing and a self-taught

engineer of the highest quality, he
is recognized wherever he travels. I
know firsthand because Frank and
Kathy flew with me on the 2003
National Air Tour and the 2006
American Barnstormers Tour.
Now it is time to share a few
more stories and pictures from
Frank. Enjoy!
Mike Rezich purchased a Travel
Air D4D from Andy Stinis in
1950 because he wanted a betterperforming airplane than the
Wright J-5-powered ships. It was a
sister ship to the Pepsi Skywriter,
NC434N. NC606K was to become
famous as brother Nick flew the airplane on the air show circuit and
at EAA Rockford and Oshkosh.
Nick was the voice of EAA during the air show events and much
has been written about his exploits
(Reminiscing With Big Nick). He
operated a tavern near the Old Chicago Municipal Airport, now Chicago Midway, where he, Mike, and
Frank grew up and began their aviation careers. Just think, at one time,
there could have been the three
Rezich boys working together, but
not directly in aviation. There was
Mike, who owned a beer distributorship; Nick, who owned the Pylon Club tavern; and Frank, who
was driving the delivery truck
bringing Blatz beer to stores in the
local area. You wonder if the three
beer-related careers ever crossed
During this time Mike wanted to
advertise his beer-distributing company and Blatz beer, so he had a decal made to put on the side of the
fuselage, since 606K was really his
airplane. Nicks son Jim recalled,
There are two photos of NC606K
with the Blatz beer emblem on the
side. One was taken in the 1950s
when the airplane was blue with a
yellow stripe. The other was taken
when Frank first got 606K to California, but I believe the beer business was over or very close to it,
and Mike was now divorced.
Next, Frank on the 2003 National Air Tour and the 2006 American Barnstormers Tour.


BY Steve Krog, CFI

Its a new season for flying

are you ready?
Heres the scenario. You are en route to a fly-in
several hundred miles from home. Your trusty airplane is running like a Swiss watch, the GPS indicates youre exactly on course, the air is smooth, and
visibility is approximately 8 miles with haze. Can
life get much better?
Then you notice a wisp of a cloud rapidly slide
under your left wing, then another, and another. No
problem, thoughthe GPS indicates that you are still
on course. Just after completing another scan of the
engine instruments and the GPS and settling back into
your seat, the wispy clouds become more pronounced.
The wisps have become scattered clouds for as far as
the eye can see. This certainly wasnt in the computer
briefing you reviewed at home two hours prior to takeoff and one hour into your flight.
You begin to think, What did that briefing really
tell me? not recalling any mention of possible bad
weather developing. It was supposed to be a clear,
sunny day, perfect for taking your grandson along to his
first real fly-in.
A few more minutes pass. The scattered clouds begin to thicken, becoming broken. Although you feel a
hint of alarm, and a small pit in your stomach makes
its presence known, you think to yourself, This really shouldnt be a problem. After all, youre only
another 40 miles from destination. And you can still
see the ground through the broken layer of clouds.
Following another quick scan of all instruments determining that all is fine, you take a deep breath and
settle back in the seat. Then the GPS screen goes
blank, and you quickly determine it is inoperable.
Now what are you going to do?
Has this or a similar situation ever happened to you? Its
quite easy to become complacent with the introduction and
use of the GPS. It is never wrong, and as long as you stay on
the course line, youll end up over the top of your destination airport, right?
Naturally, as a good, safe pilot, you took a deep
breath, scanned the current Sectional Chart on your
lap, determined approximately where you were located, assured yourself that you were near neither obstructions nor controlled airspace, found a comfort-

able break in the clouds, and then descended below

the developing cloud layer.
But you arent a completely safe pilot today.
Taking the GPS for granted, you never bothered to
find your current Sectional Chart and place it near you
for this flight. Trying to act nonchalant and comfortably in command, you quietly begin looking around
the cockpit. There must be a Sectional Chart in here
somewhere. Unable to locate the map, you ask your
grandson to hop over the seat and get the map from
the seat-back pocket behind you. Youre certain that is
where you last saw it.
The descent through the hole in the clouds is uneventful. Your grandson was in awe as he watched the
building clouds flash by the right wingtip. This is really fun, Gramps. Ive never flown in clouds before,
he tells you.
After breaking out of the clouds, reality strikes; visibility is only an estimated 4 miles with haze. Now
you ask yourself, Should I continue the flight or
turn around and head for home? But a quick glance
over your left shoulder tells you a 180-degree turn
may no longer be an option. The horizon is dark with
rapidly building cumulonimbus clouds. Where did
they come from? you think to yourself, not recalling
anything in the forecast for scattered thunderstorms.
Its then that you realize you really didnt get a good
weather briefing at all. Wanting badly to make the
flight with your grandson, you were concerned only
with seeing VFR and light surface winds in the computer forecast you viewed.
Now what are you going to do?
How many of you keep a current Sectional Chart
in your airplane? Do you have it out, readily available, and follow along, even on short, simple flights?
Even when completely relying on the GPS? Be honest with yourself!
Virtually all who fly antique airplanes closely follow the Sectional Chart even when supplemented by a
good handheld battery-operated GPS. Classic airplane
pilots usually do the same. But contemporary aircraft
pilots, at least many that I fly with, rely heavily on the
GPS. Remember though, anything mechanical or elec-


trical can and will fail at some point, usually when the
use of same is most critical.
All of us, during the course of flight training and
regular flight reviews, have been trained to read a Sectional Chart. Unless youve thoroughly studied the
new charts, however, youll find there are many numeric and symbol changes.
Lets assume you were the pilot in the above example. After a quick look at the Sectional Chart locating
your approximate position, your altimeter indicates
2,200 feet MSL, but you notice this symbol: 24.
What is it telling you?
Should you be concerned?
Are you safe to continue your
route of flight at 2,200 feet?
The numerical symbol is
known as the maximum
elevation figure (MEF)
and represents the highest
elevation, including terrain
and other vertical obstacles
(towers, trees, etc.), within
a quadrant.
In the determination of MEFs, extreme care is exercised to calculate the values based on the existing elevation data shown on source material. When a manmade obstacle is more than 200 feet above the highest
terrain within the quadrant, determining the MEF is
done by the following procedure:
Determine the elevation of the top of the obstacle
above MSL.
Add the possible vertical error of 100 feet to the
source material of the above figure.
Round the resultant figure up to the next higher
hundred-foot level.
EXAMPLE: Elevation of obstacle top (MSL) = 2,245 feet
Possible vertical error = +100 feet

28 APRIL 2011

Equals 2,345 feet

Raise to the following 100-foot level = 2,400 feet
Maximum Elevation Figure (MEF) = 24
When a natural terrain feature or natural vertical
obstacle such as a tree or peak is the highest feature
within the quadrangle:
Determine the elevation of the feature.
Add the possible vertical error of 100 feet to the
source of the above feature.
Add a 200-foot allowance.
Round the resultant figure up to the next higher
hundred-foot level.
EXAMPLE: Elevation of obstacle top (MSL) = 2,245 feet
Possible vertical error = +100 feet
Equals 2,345 feet
Raise to the following 200-foot level = 2,400 feet
Maximum Elevation Figure (MEF) = 25
Pilots should be aware that while the MEF is based
on the best information available, the figures are not
verified by field surveys.
The current Chicago Sectional Chart, the map covering the area where I do most of my flying, states
that the effective date began on October 21, 2010 and
expires on May 5, 2011. In many respects the chart is
already obsolete on the day of effectiveness. The data
contained in the map was compiled approximately 60
days before the chart was issued. As fast as windmills
and telephone towers can be erected today, there is always a chance of encountering a new obstruction not
yet added to the Sectional Chart.
When was the last time you were headed for home
in low, overcast, marginal-visibility conditions depending on an altimeter that has probably not been
checked for accuracy in years to keep you from colliding with obstructions?
Another symbol that has begun to appear on a lot of
Sectional Charts is this:

This group, indicating multiple obstructions of less

than 1,000 feet AGL, denotes a windmill farm. Located
near the blue symbols is a rectangular blue box.

The information contained within the box provides

you with the elevation of the highest of the windmills
within the cluster. However, if the letters UC are
contained within the box as shown in this example,
it is telling you that the height is unverified. Use caution and give them wide berth when flying near a
windmill farm.
The examples Ive provided are just a few of the
chart symbols, and in some cases changes and, yes,
even chart misinterpretations, that Ive recently encountered when conducting a flight review. I highly
recommend that everyone who uses, or should be using, a VFR Sectional Chart visit the FAA website and
download a copy of a publication titled Aeronautical
Chart Users Guide, 9th Edition. You can easily find it by
visiting the website address below:
Once youve opened this site, download the following two documents. Both are available in a PDF format.
Just click on PDF, and let your computer do the rest. Be
sure to save both documents for review whenever you
have time.
Introduction to VFR Symbols (2.3 MB) . . . . PDF
VFR Chart Symbols (10.2 MB) . . . . . . . . . . . . .PDF
As pilots we represent less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the U.S. population. Consequently, we all have
a responsibility to conduct every flight as safely as possible. Every aircraft incident/accident reported by the
local media is generally blown far out of proportion,
drawing a lot of negative attention. Have fun on every
flight, but remember to fly safely, protecting the pleasure of flight for others.





Vibrations, Part I
Vibration is a constant nemesis
for aircraft, particularly for the
older ships that have little or no
means of damping such vibrations.
Vibrations are associated with both
the airframe and powerplant, but
it is the propeller, powerplant, and
accessories that cause much of the
vibration levels mechanics must
troubleshoot and remedy.
Learning how to identify and
deal with vibration is a highly technical subject. Unless the mechanic
can operate or fly in the airplane
to witness a vibration problem, it
is very difficult to solve problems
based on a pilots description.
Before entering into my discussion, I would be remiss not to
provide a description of a most extensive investigation of vibration
between two aerospace vehicles I
have ever seen. Before NASA began
to flight-test the space shuttle Enterprise, the shuttle was mated atop
NASA 905, a highly modified Boeing 747-200 obtained from American Airlines.
In the largest hangar at Edwards
Air Force Base in California, the 747
was placed on jacks while various
modes of vibration were introduced
into the structures. Everything was
monitored to see what vibration
would be transferred to the shuttle and what vibrations the shuttle
would transfer back to the 747.
It was a magnificent display of
the science of vibration, and one of
the most memorable experiences of

30 APRIL 2011


The first air launch of space shuttle Enterprise from NASA 905, a highly modified Boeing 747-200, over Edwards AFB on Californias Mojave Deser t. The
pilot was Fitz Fulton, the copilot was Tom McMurtry, and the flight engineer was
Don Malic.
my aviation career. I was at Edwards
to view the first captive flight and
landing of the 747 with shuttle attached. Later I went back to witness
the first air launch of Enterprise, as
seen in the photo above.
The most common terms used
in the discussion of vibrations are
outlined below.
Simple harmonic motion: An example of a simple harmonic motion
is the swing of a clock pendulum.
Aircraft components that rotate all
have one or more harmonic vibration frequencies.
Fr equency: The frequency of
motion is the number of cycles or
complete oscillations occurring in

any definite period of time. This

is usually given in terms of per
minute or per second. Common
reference will be low frequency,
medium frequency, and high frequency. The common unit for
frequency measurement is hertz.
One hertz equals one cycle.
Period: The time for one complete oscillation to occur, usually
expressed in terms of per second
or fractions of a second.
Amplitude: The length or width
of one complete oscillation cycle.
Amplitude can be the severity of the
vibration, such as low, medium, or
high amplitude. Amplitude is measured in inches per second by ac-

celerometers and is expressed using

the IPS scale. Zero is perfect balance, while large numbers (such as
0.7 to 1.0) express high amplitude.
Exciting force or deflecting force:
Any unbalanced force that can produce vibrations is an exciting or deflecting force.
Natural frequency: The natural
frequency of any body or structure
is the frequency at which the amplitude of vibration or the body or
structure is at maximum.
Node: The point or points in a
vibrating body free from vibration
are the nodes. For example, a cable
that is vibrating may have one or
more points that have no appreciable motion.
Resonance: Vibration produced
in a body or structure by a periodic force having the same period
as the natural period of the body
or structure is called resonance. An
example of resonance is that of a
simple swing. A succession of light
pushes exerted upon a person in a
swing will, when properly timed,
cause the swing to move through
an increasingly larger arc. If an
equal number of pushes were exerted upon the person in a swing at
random intervals, the result would
be very little motion.
Normal vibration: Rotating parts
in the airframe or powerplant have
patterns of vibration that are normal to their operation and cannot
be removed by balancing.
Sympathetic vibration: Vibration
of a component, either airframe or
powerplant, caused by another part
in physical contact. Frequencies

must be close to the same.

Illustration 2 shows a rotating
pendulum that scribes a sine wave
of vibration. The time required
to complete one cycle is called
the period. The number of complete cycles occurring per second
is called the frequency (hertz).
The distance from the midpoint to
maximum displacement is called
the amplitude (Y and Y). The
distance of the vibrating point
from the midpoint at any particular time is called displacement
(p is point a).
I taught rotary wing subjects at
the college for many years using
a Bell H-13G, a Bell 206B3, and a
Hughes 269A. All rotary wing craft
have vibratory problems, particularly the older ships. Modern helicopters have incredible vibration
damping and isolation qualities.
But all vibrations were termed low,
medium, and high frequency, and
the source could be isolated, particularly with the older Chadwick system, and more recently, the digital
electronic system such as Vibrex.
In general, exciting forces of low
frequency cause greater vibration.
Vibrations of low frequency are
most noticed by pilots and may be
reported as roughness. Vibrations
of high frequency may be defined
as vibrations, the source of which
is multiples of the engine, propeller
speed, or a problem accessory.
They exist at twice and up to
10 times engine crankshaft speed.
They are not extremely serious if
their amplitude is low, but if their
amplitude is high, excessive stresses

may be set up in component parts

of the engine, propeller, accessories, and aircraft structure.
It is this type of vibration that
causes breakage of control rods,
loosening of nuts and fasteners,
excessive wear in accessories, and
under extreme conditions, breakage of components. The principle
sources of high-frequency vibrations
are inaccuracies in propeller balance, track, and pitch (particularly
with direct-drive engines), reacting
of propeller blade frequency on the
airplane structure through the slip
stream, engine first- and second-order unbalance, engine cylinder firing frequency, and engine first-order
torsional reaction due to inequali-



ties of ignition and fuel distribution.

Perhaps the easiest set of vibration modes to understand is that
of the propeller. At overhaul the
propeller is statically balanced both
spanwise and chordwise. Static balancing of a propeller is completed
on a balancing stand and is done
by adding weight to blade shanks
or by removal of a small amount of
metal from the heavy blade. Wood
props are balanced by adding more
varnish to the light blade to bring
the prop into spanwise balance. Illustrations 3 and 4 detail the horizontal and vertical balancing of a
ground-adjustable propeller.
Illustrations 3 and 4 are obtained
from the Hamilton Standard Propeller handbook, dated 1930. The
method of prop balancing has not
changed appreciably since the earliest days of propeller manufacturing. The closer a technician gets to
perfect balance, the lower the vibration level produced by the propeller. The propeller manual states,
If the propeller is out of balance,
the light blade is removed from the
hub and a small amount of heavy
metal is placed into the bore of the
blade end. Note that every time
weight is added to the blade end,
the hub must be disassembled.
Further, the manual states, Perfect balance with the blades in the
vertical position can be secured
by adjusting the clamping rings.
The eccentric weight of the bolts
is sufficient to correct the unbalance, when the rings are shifted to
one side. The bolt always should
be moved toward the light side of
the propeller until perfect balance
is secured.
Dynamic balancing assumes
the propeller is operating on the
engine. There is a substantial difference between static and dynamic balance. Dynamic propeller
balance can only be achieved using special balancing equipment,
which is rarely done on an old ship
with a radial engine.
Illustration 5 shows a schematic
of a three-blade propeller that is
statically and dynamically out

32 APRIL 2011

of balance. In the schematic the

numbers show the out-of-balance
condition of the vertical blade. A
digital dynamic balancer using accelerometers would show a similar scenario. Ten would represent 1
inch per second (IPS) of vibration.
A reading of zero on the IPS scale
would be perfect balance, which
is almost impossible to achieve,
therefore the lowest possible IPS
number (0.02) would represent the
best balance possible. As weight is
removed from the heavy blade(s)
and is added to the light blade, the
circle will move to coincide with
centerline of the hub and therefore
the crankshaft.
If one could see the crankshaft
rotation with an out-of-balance
propeller, it would resemble a circle that is off-center from the hub.
This is what is introduced into an
engine crankshaft when a propeller is not balanced correctly. The
crankshaft tries to wobble, setting up a vibration that is transferred from the crankshaft to the
engine case, to the engine mount
and into the airframe.
This same concept happens in a
helicopter main rotor, except that
compared to a radial engine, the
main rotor turns slowly. Main ro-

tor rpm may be as low as 290-320

for a Bell 47 and would be classified
as a low-frequency vibration (on a
two-blade rotor system it would be
one cycle per revolution or 290-320
cycles per minute, the vibration being felt in the cyclic stick and a sideto-side movement in the fuselage.
Tail rotor rpm is 1920, and an out-ofbalance condition would be classified
as a high-frequency vibration (on a
two-blade rotor system it would be
1920 cycles per minute or 32 cycles
per second), the vibration being felt
in the tail rotor control pedals.
In rotorcraft, abnormal vibrations fall into three ranges: low
frequency (100 to 400 cycles per
minute), medium frequency (1,000
to 2,000 cycles per minute), and
high frequency (2,000 cycles per
minute and higher).
Assuming that a radial engine
would be operating at 1800 rpm, an
out-of-balance condition would cause
a one-beat-per-revolution vibration
(vibration would be 1800 cycles per
minute or 30 cycles per second). The
greater the amplitude the greater the
vibration felt in the airframe. Propeller out of balance is always rpm
sensitive; increase the rpm and the
vibration increases, while reducing
rpm reduces the vibration.


I remember a vivid example of
the art of static-balancing a propeller. Peter Precissi in Lodi, California,
balanced his McCauley propellers
used on the Precissi Brothers Travel
Air 4000 dusters, powered by Continental W-670 radial engines.
I f l e w m y Tr a v e l A i r 4 0 0 0 ,
NR3670, from Lodi to Selma, California, behind one of Peters Continental engines and McCauley
props. It was the smoothest combination Ive ever flown. Peter would
static-balance his props by slowly
adding steel wool to a blade shank,
and then would get the last bit of
balancing by adding one or more
coats of paint to the light blade. His
props were impeccably balanced,
the mark of a true craftsman.
Illustration 6 shows setting
blade pitch using a propeller
bench specifically designed for this
task. The propeller setting is usually specified as the blade angle at
a point 42 inches (known as the
42-inch station) from the centerline of the rotating axis. This rule
cannot be applied for very small or
very large propellers.
Interestingly, Hamilton Standard
Propeller states, When it is desirable to change the rpm of the engine at full throttle by adjusting
the pitch of a ground adjustable

or variable pitch
propeller, the following general
rule may be applied. The engine
will slow down
60 rpm for each
degree of increase
in pitch and will
speed up 60 rpm
for each degree of
decreased pitch.
This step, plus
exact balancing, will give the
smoothest propeller operation.
The final step
will be to install
the propeller on
the aircraft and
check its track.
Here, Hamilton Standard Propeller
states, The running, or dynamic
balance of the propeller is ordinarily roughly checked by testing the
track of the propeller. The propeller is mounted on the engine
or in a suitable mandrel, and the
blades are swung through an arc
of 180 degrees. Both blades should
pass through exactly the same
patch, and the amount by which
they fail to do so is the error in
track. Hamilton Standard propellers are set very accurately at the
factory, the two opposite blades
being set to correspond to within
1/10 of 1 degree. It is not always
possible to set these blades accurately in the field, but it is recommended that an effort be made to
keep the angle of the two blades
alike within 2/10 of 1 degree.
FAA AC43.13-2A recommends a
maximum out-of-track condition
of 1/16 inch (plus or minus) from
the opposite blades track.
One last thought regarding propeller vibration is contained in FAA
AC20-66A. It states, One of the
worst operating environments for
a propeller is on the ground when
the airplane is not moving and
the wind is blowing from the side
to behind the propeller disc. This
type operation is known as ground

crosswind operation. Under this

type of condition the flow into the
propeller is constantly changing
and many excitation orders occur:
1P, 2P, 3P, 4P, etc.
Engine vibrations transferred to
the airframe can be caused by several factors. Radial engines of three-,
five-, and seven-cylinder design
have power lag. Power lag means
that there is a lag between the firing of each cylinder, which causes
natural roughness of the engine.
Nine-cylinder engines have power
overlap, which means that there
is always a cylinder firing; therefore
nine-cylinder radial engines tend to
operate more smoothly than sevencylinder radial engines. When making a run-up check, if spark plug(s)
are not firing properly, the indication will be a vibration with impulses one-half engine rpm.
To conclude our preliminary discussion of vibrations, the propeller
blade frequency can and will react
on the airplane structure through
the slipstream. This type of vibration can be introduced into the
aft fuselage, particularly the horizontal and vertical tail surfaces,
which produce some very strange
vibration. In some cases these vibrations can be of relatively high
amplitude, enough to cause discomfort and concern.
Early designers did not understand this phenomenon because
there was no wind tunnel data to
show possible vibration modes. In
most cases this type of vibration
cannot be removed, and if it persists, maintenance personnel should
conduct close examination of attachment points on the horizontal
and vertical stabilizers and also attachment points of elevators and
rudder at regular intervals. Illustration 7 depicts propeller slipstream.
I have flown several different
types of aircraft, and they all vibrate and all differently. A biplane
will show ground vibrations that
are transferred into the flying and
landing wires, mostly at rpms from
idle up to magneto check speed.
Each ship will have strange vibra-


tory modes during engine warm-up.
Vibratory modes can be caused
by airflow over the aircraft surfaces.
Buffeting has been defined as an irregular oscillation of a part of an airplane caused by the eddying wake
from some other member. A predominate eddy frequency does exist, and the resonant effects may be
experienced by the tail surfaces from
the wake of the wing. Unlike flutter,
buffeting is not always a destructive
phenomenon. Its occurrence on tail
surfaces, however, may prove to be
a decided nuisance and a source of
structural fatigue and wear.
More on vibrations in a future

Elements of Technical Aeronautics, 1942. New York National Aeronautics Council, (Figure 6)
Hamilton Standard Propellers, 1930. Hamilton Standard Propeller Corporation (Figure 2, 3 and 5)
Airplane Maintenance, 1940. Hubert G. Lesley, Maintenance Engineer,
Eastern Air Lines (Figure 4)
Basic Science for Aerospace Vehicles, 1972. James L. McKinley and
Ralph D. Bent (Figure 1)

Have a comment or question for Bob Lock, the Vintage Mechanic?

Drop us an e-mail at, or you can mail your
question to Vintage Airplane, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903.

What Our Members

Are Restoring

Are you nearing completion of a restoration? Or is it done

and youre busy flying and showing it off? If so, wed like to hear
from you. Send us a 4-by-6-inch print from a commercial source
(no home printers, pleasethose prints just dont scan well) or a
4-by-6-inch, 300-dpi digital photo. A JPG from your 2.5-megapixel
(or higher) digital camera is fine. You can burn photos to a CD, or
if youre on a high-speed Internet connection, you can e-mail them
along with a text-only or Word document describing your airplane. (If
your e-mail program asks if youd like to make the photos smaller,
say no.) For more tips on creating photos we can publish, visit
VAAs website at Check the News page for
a hyperlink to Want To Send Us A Photograph?
For more information, you can also e-mail us at or call us at 920-426-4825.

34 APRIL 2011

Upcoming Major
AERO Friedrichshafen

Messe Friedrichshafen, Friedrichshafen, Germany

April 13-16, 2011
Virginia Regional Festival of Flight

Suffolk Executive Airport (SFQ)

Suffolk, Virginia
April 30-May 1, 2011
Golden West Regional Fly-In
and Air Show

Yuba County Airport (MYV)

Marysville, California
June 10-12, 2011

Theres plenty more
Arlington Fly-In

Arlington Municipal Airport (AWO)

Arlington, Washington
July 6-10, 2011

and other goodies at
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

Wittman Regional Airport (OSH)

Oshkosh, Wisconsin
July 25-31, 2011
Colorado Sport International Air Show
and Rocky Mountain Regional Fly-In

Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (BJC)

Denver, Colorado
August 27-28, 2011
Mid-Eastern Regional Fly-In

Grimes Field Airport (I74)

Urbana, Ohio
September 10-11, 2011
Copperstate Fly-In

Casa Grande Municipal Airport (CGZ)

Casa Grande, Arizona
October 20-22, 2011

S o m e t h i n g t o b u y, s e l l , o r t r a d e ?

Classified Word Ads: $5.50 per 10 words, 180 words maximum, with boldface lead-in on
first line.
Classified Display Ads: One column wide (2.167 inches) by 1, 2, or 3 inches high at $20 per
inch. Black and white only, and no frequency discounts.
Advertising Closing Dates: 10th of second month prior to desired issue date (i.e., January 10 is
the closing date for the March issue). VAA reserves the right to reject any advertising in conflict with its
policies. Rates cover one insertion per issue. Classified ads are not accepted via phone. Payment must
accompany order. Word ads may be sent via fax (920-426-4828) or e-mail ( using
credit card payment (all cards accepted). Include name on card, complete address, type of card, card
number, and expiration date. Make checks payable to EAA. Address advertising correspondence to EAA
Publications Classified Ad Manager, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086.

MISCELLANEOUS, Aviations Leading
Retractable Tiedown Plans. Hand
prop, get in plane, release and
retract tiedown and store it in plane.

Southeast Regional Fly-In

Middleton Field Airport (GZH)

Evergreen, Alabama
October 21-23, 2011
For details on hundreds of upcoming aviation happenings, including EAA chapter fly-ins,
Young Eagles rallies, and other local aviation
events, visit the EAA Calendar of Events located at

Always Flying Aircraft Restoration,
LLC: Annual Inspections, Airframe
recovering, fabric repairs and
complete restorations. Wayne A.
Forshey A&P & I.A. 740-472-1481
Ohio and bordering states.

Biplane Builder Ltd. Restoration, fabric,

paint, fabrications, paperwork with 53
completed projects, Wacos, Moths,
Champs, Pitts etc. Test flights and
delivery. Indiana 812-343-8879, www.
Bully Aeroplane Works and
A i r s h o w s p ro v i d e s c o m p l e t e
airman estate and aviation
collection services without the
hassle and invasiveness of on-site
auctions. We specialize in antique,
aerobatic, and experimental aircraft
and parts. References available.
Contact Eric Minnis at 336-2638558 or



This months Mystery Plane comes from David Nixon.
It is of foreign manufacture.

Send your answer to EAA,

Vintage Airplane, P.O. Box 3086,
Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Your
answer needs to be in no later
than May 15 for inclusion in the

July 2011 issue of Vintage Airplane.

You can also send your response
via e-mail. Send your answer to Be sure to include your name plus your city and

state in the body of your note and

put (Month) Mystery Plane in the
subject line.


We enjoy your suggestions for
Mystery Planesin fact, more than
half of our subjects are sent to us by

members, often via e-mail. Please

remember that if you want to scan
the photo for use in Mystery Plane,

it must be at a resolution of 300 dpi

or greater. You may send a lowerresolution version to us for our review, but the final version has to be
at that level of detail or it will not
print properly. Also, please let us
know where the photo came from;
we dont want to willfully violate
someones copyright.
Our January Mystery Plane came
to us via Wes Smith of Springfield,
Illinois. Our first answer submitted
was from Hillis Cunliffe of Millbrook, Alabama: The January Mys-

36 APRIL 2011

tery Plane is the SAL KZ IV designed

specifically for use by the Danish
Air Ambulance Service.
Via e-mail we received this reply
from Lars Gleitsmann of Anchorage, Alaska:
This wonderful little twin is the
Danish Kramme and Zeuthen KZ
IV, a really nice, good flying STOL
medevac bird; one is still airworthy!
Steel tube fuselage, wooden wings
and tails, fabric all overnote the
Danish flag under the wing and on
the vertical tail/rudder. The flying
museum that owns the survivor
is in Stauning, on Jutlands North
Sea coastwhere Dansk Veteranflysamling (The Danish Collection of
Vintage Aircraft) runs a great show!
Very nice people. Links about it
Skandinavisk_Aero_Industri and
All the KZ planes were great wellflying and well-built airplanes; two
thumbs way up on them!
Jack Erickson, adds:
The subject is the Skandinavisk
Aero Industri A/S (SAI) KZ IV registered OY-DIZ. It was designed and
built in Sluseholmen, Sydhavnen, Copenhagen, Denmark. My information
is from Janes All the Worlds Aircraft
for 1947, which includes the same
photo which Wes Smith provided for
Vintage Airplane. Quoting from Janes:
The KZ IV was built during the
German occupation of Denmark to
the designs of K.G. Zeuthen. It was
produced originally to the requirements of the Zone-Redningskorp, the
Danish first aid organization, as an
ambulance, but it is also convertible
to a passenger and cargo aircraft. The
KZ IV is not in series production.
The twin four-cylinder inverted
inline engines are 130-hp de Havilland Gipsy Majors. The aircraft structure was, of strategic necessity, wood,
covered with plywood, except for
fabric on the tail control surfaces.
As an ambulance, the crew was a pilot, co-pilot, two stretchers (above
and below each other with an attendant for each). The ZONEN on the
nose in the photo apparently is an
abbreviation for Danish first aid.

There is extensive coverage of the

KZ IV on various websites. OY-DIZ
had construction number (c/n) 43
and has been restored along with
a second KZ IV, c/n 70, OY-DZU
built in 1949. Viggo Kramme was
a designer along with Karl Gustav
Zeuthen, and the designation KZ
includes both. Both aircraft had illustrious careers, especially the first
which made a mercy flight to Berlin carrying Folke Bernadotte, the
distinguished Swedish count who
negotiated with Heinrich Himmler
for the safe release of all Danish

prisoners in Germany during the

latter days of World War II.
There are also several excellent
color photos on the Internet of both
restored KZ IV aircraft. Folke Bernadotte is painted on the nose of
OY-DIZ in honor of his humanity
and his flight on the aircraft. Other
correct answers were received from
Toby Gursanscky, Sydney, Australia;
Wayne Muxlow, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and, of course, Vintage Airplanes longtime expert on the aircraft
from Denmark, our own Norm Petersen of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The Superman plastic travel mug keeps

drinks warm and fits nicely into most
car beverage holders. Holds 16 oz.
Travel Mug PLU 5265833800000


Telephone Orders: 800-843-3612

From US and Canada (All Others Call 920-426-5912)

Or send to: EAA Mail Orders, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086
Limited supplies available.
*Shipping and handling NOT included. Major credit cards accepted. WI residents add 5% sales tax.


Womens Web Belts


Choose from an array of bright colors with

a silver tone buckle which has the VAA
logo lasered on the front.
52651252 Navy
52651254 Olive
52651255 Red

Plush Planes


These darling 11 inch plush toys have several features.

Just squeeze the button in the hand and the propeller spins,
lights up, and the song is played!
5265753300000 Love Letters bear sings Top of the World.
5265753400000 Hare Mail bunny sings Here comes Peter Cottontail.

Ladies Stone-Color Polo


100% Peruvian Pima cotton with rib knit cus,

this polo has a feminine t. Collar is a delicate
y-collar with a two-button placket.

Starts, Stripes and VAA

Great for the cooler night outtings this
casual fun long sleeve shirt is made of
cotton. Comes in red or blue.
SM Red
MD Red
LG Red
SM Blue
MD Blue
LG Blue



38 APRIL 2011

52651256 Fucia
52651257 Yellow
52651258 Green
52651259 Grey

Sleep Shirt Cover-up

Three choices for color, this soft cotton night shirt is
roomy and comfortable. One size ts most.



Picnic Set for Two

Enjoy the outdoors. Get in the plane and stop
for lunch with this simple to go picnic set for
two. Includes thermos, cups, napkins, utensils and more. Great gift for weddings and


Tagless Youth Tee
Screened print t-shirt with DC-3 anniversary
image in navy is a youth t-shirt that will be
great for summer.

Opal Blue Izod Shirt

Perfect for warmer weather ying.
Classy, casual combed cotton shirt is
pill resistant. Small VAA logo is displayed on the left sleeve.

Telephone Orders: 800-843-3612
From US and Canada (All Others Call 920-426-5912)
*Shipping and handling NOT included. Major credit cards accepted.
WI residents add 5% sales tax.


Geoff Robison
1521 E. MacGregor Dr.
New Haven, IN 46774

George Daubner
N57W34837 Pondview Ln
Oconomowoc, WI 53066

Steve Nesse
2009 Highland Ave.
Albert Lea, MN 56007

Dan Knutson
106 Tena Marie Circle
Lodi, WI 53555


Steve Bender
85 Brush Hill Road
Sherborn, MA 01770

Dale A. Gustafson
7724 Shady Hills Dr.
Indianapolis, IN 46278

David Bennett
375 Killdeer Ct
Lincoln, CA 95648

Jeannie Hill
P.O. Box 328
Harvard, IL 60033-0328

Jerry Brown
4605 Hickory Wood Row
Greenwood, IN 46143
Dave Clark
635 Vestal Lane
Plainfield, IN 46168
John S. Copeland
1A Deacon Street
Northborough, MA 01532
Phil Coulson
28415 Springbrook Dr.
Lawton, MI 49065

Espie Butch Joyce

704 N. Regional Rd.
Greensboro, NC 27409
Steve Krog
1002 Heather Ln.
Hartford, WI 53027
Robert D. Bob Lumley
1265 South 124th St.
Brookfield, WI 53005
S.H. Wes Schmid
2359 Lefeber Avenue
Wauwatosa, WI 53213

Robert C. Brauer
9345 S. Hoyne
Chicago, IL 60643

Charlie Harris
PO Box 470350
Tulsa, OK 74147

Gene Chase
2159 Carlton Rd.
Oshkosh, WI 54904

E.E. Buck Hilbert

8102 Leech Rd.
Union, IL 60180

Ronald C. Fritz
15401 Sparta Ave.
Kent City, MI 49330

Gene Morris
5936 Steve Court
Roanoke, TX 76262

John Turgyan
PO Box 219
New Egypt, NJ 08533


Membership Services Directory

Enjoy the many benefits of EAA and
EAAs Vintage Aircraft Association


EAA Aviation Center, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh WI 54903-3086

Phone (920) 426-4800

Fax (920) 426-4873

Web Sites:,, E-Mail:

EAA and Division Membership Services (8:00 AM6:00 PM

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Use this toll-free number for: information about AirVenture Oshkosh; aeromedical and technical aviation questions;
chapters; and Young Eagles. Please have your membership number ready when calling.
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membership is an additional $10 annually. All
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required Foreign Postage amount for each


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magazine and one year membership in the EAA
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year (SPORT AVIATION magazine not included).

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EAA Membership, WARBIRDS magazine and one year membership in the
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Current EAA members may join the

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Copyright 2011 by the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association, All rights reserved.
VINTAGE AIRPLANE (USPS 062-750; ISSN 0091-6943) is published and owned exclusively by the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association of the Experimental Aircraft Association and is published monthly at EAA Aviation Center, 3000 Poberezny Rd., PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54903-3086, e-mail: Membership to Vintage Aircraft Association, which includes 12 issues of Vintage Airplane magazine,
is $36 per year for EAA members and $46 for non-EAA members. Periodicals Postage paid at Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901 and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Vintage Airplane,
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the contributor. No remuneration is made. Material should be sent to: Editor, VINTAGE AIRPLANE, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Phone 920-426-4800.
EAA and EAA SPORT AVIATION, the EAA Logo and Aeronautica are registered trademarks, trademarks, and service marks of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. The use of these trademarks and
service marks without the permission of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. is strictly prohibited.

40 APRIL 2011

re trg/ticke
e e.o
AirV ntur

our at AirV
one now
Sa onlin

Make your
plans now
to celebrate
July the 59th.
Back in 1953 we started getting
together each year with a few of
our y-in friends. Now its AirVenture,
the Worlds Greatest Aviation
Celebration. Its gonna be a big
day. And night. All week long.
Monday July, 25
Opening Day Concert featuring
REO Speedwagon presented by
Ford Motor Company

Tuesday, July 26
Bob Hoover Day: Tribute to a
War Hero, Innovator, & Legend

Wednesday, July 27
Navy Day celebrating the
100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation

Thursday, July 28
Burt Rutan Day: Saluting an Aviation Icon

Friday, July 29
Salute to Veterans Day and
Gary Sinise & Lt. Dan Band Concert

Saturday, July 30
Super Saturday with Night Air Show
& Daher-Socata Fireworks

Sunday, July 31
Military Scramble; Family Day

Advance tickets made possible by