WBreeze : Aviation and Aerobatics : Stories

Santa Paula, September 2009

In Santa Paula, CA we celebrated Vicki Cruse.

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June 2009. First Contest in Advanced, Wildwoods Acroblast

First contest in Advanced against Scott Francis, Sergey Prolagayev, Ron Chadwick, Charlie Schwenker, and Rob Marsicano. Goal was to do better than 70% on the known. Did that. Made fewer mistakes than some of the others and took second place as well. Great weekend at Wildwoods.

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July 2008. First Contest in the Giles

We brought the Giles to the Green Mountain Aerobatic Contest in Springfield, VT. I had a lot to learn about flying this airplane. My partner did better as his approach is different. My approach is go straight to the limit. His approach is go slow and easy. Slow and easy prevailed. John made third. How about that! I was down near the bottom. We had lots of fun among the green Vermont hills, with great weather and great company.

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June 2008. Partners

It's a practically a brand new Giles 200 single seat aerobatic monoplane. This is a sweetheart made with carbon fiber composite, clean lines, and big control surfaces. My good friend John found it and suggested we buy it together. It took me about six milliseconds to say yes. The first flight was June 9, 2008 and it was everything hoped for. This plane flies precisely the way an airplane should fly. It's perfect in every way.

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April 2008. Pitts To Go

My beautiful Pitts S1T that gave me my serious start in competition aerobatics, that flew fourteen contests, dozens of aerobatic club outings, and about six hundred flights over four and a half years is gone. I put it up for adoption in February and it found a new home in Sweden, where it will surely be a star.

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We make America fly

This image appeared as a two-page spread on the table of contents (pages 2-3) of the FAA Flight Plan, linked from the FAA home page (www.faa.gov December 5, 2007) as "Strategic Flight Plan."

The title says, "We make America fly" over text, "The FAA provides the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world. We set our sights on safe and efficient transportation, spreading the net of safety to the four corners of the globe. This is our strategy to make it happen."

September 2006 Warrenton, VA

Was fortunate to fly four different airplanes in the Month of September-- A Maule, Bücker, Pitts S2B, and Technoavia SP-91. My own plane was out for maintenance of a brake pedal and cylinder. The Bücker was at the contest in Warrenton, Virginia and belongs to Greg Stringer.

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August 2006 St. Hayacinthe, Quebec

Arrived at a beautiful little strip East of Montreal, St. Hyacinthe, with fields of corn, fields of wild flowers, a man-made rectangular pond used for landing seaplanes, huge hangers with small residences attached, and a restaurant at the end of the field. What could be better? Airplane heaven.

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July 2006 Kathy Jaffe Challenge

We had fifteen competitors and I finished next to last. The reason for the low ranking is I had to zero my entire free performance. We have a rule in IAC that, if the majority of judges independently note on your scoresheet that you are "low-low," then your flight is disqualified and scored a zero. Too low in this case is less than one thousand feet above the ground. I went too low on my free and got caught.

I redeemed the zero on the free with a second place performance on the unknown.

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June 2006 Contest at Marysville, Ohio

My first contest as an Intermediate competitor came all of the way out in Ohio. The known was flown before my arrival Friday evening. They consented to let me fly the known at the beginning of the flight of the Intermediate unknown on Saturday, then fly the unknown at the end. I flew the known, landed, unloaded my brain, loaded the unknown, then flew again. We flew the free in the afternoon. That made three different sequences in one day, and no zeros!

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June 2005 Contest at Maytown

It was the worst of times; it was the best of times. Flew to Maytown and came home empty-handed. Got to fly twice, finishing last and first on the two flights, right in the middle overall. Learned a lot from my two mistakes on the first flight. Experience is the best teacher.

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April 2005 Contest at Orange

Finally, one year later, another contest! Placed third out of seventeen in the Sportsman category. Bringing home the wood! My plane won the "Burns" prize for most pampered airplane. It looked great!

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Remnants of Ivan wash-out the 2004 Kathy Jaffe Challenge

Grey weather and lots of rain prevented us from flying a contest; but, with good people around, nothing's ever a total wash...

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Pitts gets a new engine

With nothing else much better to do Memorial Day Weekend, in 2004, I stopped by Air Haven airport to scout it as a potential site for club practice and critique. I struck the prop during landing. That meant getting a new propeller and having the engine crank case opened for inspection. I elected to get a new engine to go with the new propeller.

The job was not finished until after Labor Day weekend. So I had to sit-out the whole summer. On the bright side, my Pitts got a new engine and propeller out of the deal.

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April 2004 Contest at Orange

This was my first contest in the Sportsman category. I didn't win the coveted "Best first time Sportsman" award; I didn't place; but, I did show sixth out of a field of eighteen. Here is a photo essay from the contest.

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Practice at BLM

We've been working hard this Spring getting the Sportsman sequence altogether nicely flown for contest season. A few of us joined at Monmouth Executive in northern New Jersey to critique and sharpen our sequences before the first contest coming up at the end of April, 2004.

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Pitts Wing

The Pitts didn't get out of the maintainance hanger with just a little fuel tank work. In December it dropped a wing.

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Pitts Pieces

On October 31 I flew my Pitts for the last time in 2003. Like any good relationship, she takes work, and sometimes things fall apart. This one's worth putting back together, not least because of the large initial investment. Talk about a commitment!

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Doug's Dream: Pitts Special N627DP

On August 9, 2003 I flew a single-seat Pitts Special Aerobatics biplane for the first time. There's nothing like it, and since there's only one seat, there's no-one to help fly.

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Centennial of Flight

December 17, 2003 marked the 100th anniversary of Wilbur and Orville Wright's first flight of a powered, heavier-than-air machine.

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World Aerobatics Championships 2003

This year the World Aerobatics Championships were held in the United States during the week before Independence Day at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, Florida. The United States has hosted this event only two times before: Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1980 and Oklahoma City in 1996.

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