Last October, the Flint Michigan Flight Standards District Office of the FAA honored me and three other matured pilots with an award known as the Master Pilot Award. It’s really an award for being OCD about flying and safely maintaining that interest for fifty years.
Some people get airsick. I become ground sick. The thought of being all winter with no flying makes me ill. So, today I visited with old friends at the Tampa Bay Soaring Society. I may reinstate my membership.
This is my oldest existing childhood model aircraft. With too a high wing loading from it’s wire frame construction it never flew. The silk wing and tail coverings are now threadbare fragile. It hangs daily above our kitchen table in Florida. The model carries the current USAF wing roundel that was adapted in 1947.
In January 1947 red bars were added within the existing white bars on both USN and USAAF aircraft. In September of the same year, the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) became an independent service and was renamed the United States Air Force (USAF).
Earlier, during WWII, some Kellog cereal boxes contained thin pine wooden silhouette glider models of military airplanes. Occasionally they flew well.
I first flew a Globe Swift in 1961. It was a 125Hp beauty that Inga and I rented and flew from Charleston, WV to New Jersey and New York. Our baby son KJ slept behind us on the hat shelf above the baggage compartment. I was a young pilot with less than 100 hours logged. All worked out fine until the windscreen was covered in oil on departure from Syracuse. A turn back to the field and emergency declaration followed. The engine froze as we taxied off the runway. The owner wasn’t upset when told his plane was AOG Syracuse. He said he had a new engine on hand and was planning on the change. Whew!
Almost 3,000 flight hours later I went to the 2008 EAA Airventure. There was a row of smiling swift cowls, and the bug bit hard. I searched for four months and found N141PW in the hands of Pat Waters of Mt. Plesant, SC. N78314 was it’s original factory registration number. It has been a wonderful airplane and has received many upgrades since it arrived in our hangar. Unfortunately I must now sell the plane.