Nostalgia

The 2023 Wickenburg
Fly-In and Car Show

Damsel and I attended the Fly-In on Saturday morning (01/21/23). This event Changed from October to January for unknown reasons, but regardless there were lots of people in attendance. There was so much traffic and cars that we wound up parked in the boonies several hundred yards out and had to walk into the airport proper.

There were hundreds of old and special cars and dozens of fly-in aircraft. Damsel and I took a lot of photos, but only four of the more interesting ones appear below. Click on any of the photos to enlarge.

1947 Consolidated Vultee L-13

This was the most interesting fly-in of the day. It is a 1947 Consolidated Vultee (now Convair) model L-13 fixed wing single engine. The Engine is a LYCOMING R680 Reciprocating Radial producing 215 Horsepower. The Weight is Less than 12,500lbs and the cruising speed is 92mph. As you can see from the photo above (courtesy Damsel), it was a very popular exhibit.

Shelby GT 500 KR

Shelby GT 500 KR. Some references to this muscle car show that these could produce 900 horsepower. That is a lot. This one was nice with blue racing stripes over light gray. Photo Courtesy Damsel.

Medevac Air Ambulance

This helicopter usually parks at the helipad next to our local Wickenburg Community Hospital. We often see it flying in and out of the area since our house is less than a mile south of the helipad. It is a 2004 Eurocopter (formerly AĆ©rospatiale) AS-350B-3 single engine air ambulance configured helicopter. I spoke with one of the pilots who said they are “keeping busy” with routine and emergency transports.

1954 Chevrolet Bel Air Coupe

And finally, this very clean 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air Coupe was nostalgically reminiscent of the borrowed Bel Convertible I used to fetch my date to the Senior Prom in high school days (1961).

Damsel and I both had fun with our outing this year in spite of the crowds and parking situation. Our next outing will be “Gold Rush Days” in February. Stay tuned.

Annual Charity Car Show

We had less than the best weather for the annual “Cops Who Care” and “Remember When Cruise Association” Toyz for Totz Car Show Event. Still, we got up and out to the Civic Center to drop off our unwrapped toys for the local Christmas presents to the under privileged kids. The weather was drizzly and like a wet fog more than rain, but we wore our foul weather gear and attended the show in spite of the conditions.

Normally, the cars that would show up for this event would be nearly overwhelming, but the funky weather seemed to keep about 90% of the usual attendees home. I guess I can’t blame them. I’m sure that their toys for the admission to the show will make it to the Cops in time for the Holiday toy distribution.

Meanwhile, Damsel and I were able to see a few of the classics that did show up today:

Classic Pontiac Le Mans

Classic Studebaker

Classic Roadster with Checkered Engine Compartment

Spooky Hot Wheels Mustang

There were a lot more than these above. but not as many as would have been had the weather cooperated. Click on the images above to enlarge.

Kingman Express — Engine 3759

I took several images of Engine 3759 in Locomotive Park, across US Route 66 from the Kingman (Arizona) Powerhouse in December of 2009. I later combined two of the images to produce the anaglyph image above (clickable).

From Locomotive Wiki:

Santa Fe No. 3759 is a 4-8-4 “Northern” type steam locomotive built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1928 for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway (AT&SF).

This locomotive hauled passenger trains on the AT&SF. It was retired in the late 1950s when diesels replaced steam.

In February 1955, 3759 was brought out of retirement at the request of the Railway Club of Southern California for a special excursion run, dubbed “Farewell to Steam.” This special ran on February 6th, a round trip between Los Angeles Union Station and Barstow, CA with stops in Pasadena and San Bernardino and was the last Santa Fe revenue steam train to leave Los Angeles and to traverse Cajon Pass.

Santa Fe donated the locomotive to the city of Kingman in 1957. As of today, 3759 remains on static display at Locomotive Park in Kingman, AZ.

New Blog Category

Introducing the new Anaglyph Imagery category. It has been a long time interest of mine to view and later, produce, anaglyphic stereo imagery that requires red/cyan color filtered glasses to view.

If you don’t have a pair of red/cyan or red/blue 3D glasses, you can view the 2D image of Engine 3759 here. If you need a pair of 3D glasses, I recommend Rainbow Symphony. They only sell paper glasses in quantities of 50 and up unless you buy plastic glasses which you can get in a 2-pack. I see 3D glasses available on Amazon, but I don’t recommend them since I could not find origin sellers other than from China.

A New Route 66 Neon Sign

Damsel and I hung up this classic “Historic Route 66” neon sign in the garage today. This is the second one of these to hang in the garage. When the previous sign exhibited a “failure to function,” we recycled it and ordered a new one since the garage is quite dark and a “night light” of sorts is a good thing to have in there. Before we had the first Route 66 sign, we had a little Route 66 clock with a neon tube around it. I forget what happened to that one.

Speaking of classics, Damsel snapped the (clickable) photo below of a very nicely restored 1951 Chevrolet Panel Sedan. We were on our way home from delivering some dog food to the Humane Society, when we saw this nice ride coming toward us on Wickenburg Way.

Sixty Years Ago Today

The (clickable) image above is the beginning page of my first Pilot Log Book. The page entries include my first flight lesson on December 16, 1961 and my first SOLO flight on January 9, 1962. I was just 18 years old then and managed to get my Private Pilot Certificate the following April, well before my 19th birthday in July.

When I first started flying lessons back then at the Santa Monica (CA) Municipal Airport (SMO), the cost of renting a Cessna 150 (high-wing, two-seat, tricycle gear, 100 HP) was $12/hour (including AvGas!). The Instructors fee was $5/hour for a total of $17/hour. In contrast, today the average cost per hour seems to be about ten times that, with Instructors fees upwards of $50 and airplane rental nearly $120 per hour, depending on local rates and circumstances.

In my early flying days, I checked out in a Cessna 172 (high wing, four-seat, tricycle gear, 150 HP) and puttered around locally with friends and family until it was time for me to go on active duty in the US Navy (I joined the Naval Reserve when still in high school). While at Avionics school in Millington, TN, I checked out in a Piper Tri-Pacer (high-wing) and a Piper Cherokee (low-wing) and did some local puttering around the Memphis area along the Mississippi River. After School, I reported to the US Naval Air Station, Point Mugu, CA, which was only 45 miles from the airport where I learned to fly, so I resumed flying out of SMO for the rest of the time I was on active duty.

After I mustered out of the Navy, I continued flying now and then for leisure and travel. Shortly after I began working at my aerospace job, I found out that I was eligible for advanced flight training through the Veterans Affairs G.I. Bill. Their program financed most of my advanced training for Commercial Pilot Certificate, Instrument Rating, Multi-Engine Rating, Instructor Pilot Certificate and Instrument Instructor Pilot Certificate. Yet, there was More! Rotorcraft Helicopter Rating and Rotorcraft Instructor Pilot Certificate. I was busy with these upgrades for a few years afterwards and finally was able to earn my Airline Transport Pilot Certificate, hence the Cap’n designation at the top of the page.

I stayed in Aerospace as my primary occupation, but flew quite a bit as an instructor and charter pilot as a sideline. I have over five thousand hours of instruction given in all types of aircraft and ratings for which I am certified.

Ultimately, in the year 2000 or so, I became ineligible for an Airman Medical Certificate because of a prescription medication I take, which supposedly causes dizziness, a symptom which I have never experienced. Rather than fighting through the bureaucracy of the FAA’s AirMed Branch in Oklahoma City to get a waiver, I decided to hang up the flying for good because my life priorities had changed now that Damsel and I were married.

A few of my more memorable experiences:

  • I ferried a brand-new Cherokee Arrow from the Piper Factory in Vero Beach, FL to Santa Monica, CA.
  • I ferried two brand-new Beechcraft Sierras from Liberal, KS to SMO
  • I earned a “Gold Seal” Instructors Certificate while instructing at SMO, based on the number of recommendations and passing ratio of my student pilots.
  • I taught a famous movie star’s son to fly at SMO. (You know who – he played the penultimate movie “Moses.”)
  • I ferried a Piper Super Cub from SMO to Opryland in Nashville, TN to a crew member working there. I met up with a lot of Country Stars plus got to watch the show live before catching an airliner back home.
  • I ferried that same Super Cub to Crescent City where my friend was filming the Star Wars “Forest Moon of Endor” sequences. I met a lot of Storm Troopers and Ewoks, but not Luke, Leah or Han.
  • I co-piloted a Cessna 410 twin engine from SMO to Jacksonville, FL and drove a rented car from there to Charleston, SC to visit with my Naval Officer Brother who was stationed there at the time. I flew back home on Delta.
  • I ferried a Hughes 300C helicopter from Long Beach, CA to New Orleans, LA. It took me three days to get across Texas from EL Paso to Beaumont-Port Arthur.
  • I qualified for Class A, B and C Helicopter External Load Certification while instructing in Sacramento, CA
  • Et Cetera – there are just too many wonderful experiences to list them all here.

I am proud of my aviation career but I am at a point in my lifetime that I don’t miss the flying. Besides, I have a lot of “Hangar Flying” memories and experiences that I can pass along to anyone who wants to listen.

Classic 1928 Ford Model A

I took my pickup truck in for service last Wednesday and decided to wait for it to be completed. When I got into the waiting area, I discovered the dealer had this very nice and new-looking 1928 Ford Model A on display in there. This classic was parked where we previously saw another classic Ford Stake Bed Truck parked in the same area.

The Model A looked as if it was fresh off the showroom floor, having been beautifully restored including the interior, the convertible top, rumble seat upholstery and all. The trunk (an actual trunk) looked new as well.

The truck I mentioned in the link in the first paragraph was also in pristine condition. My guess is that Mr. Jones, the local (Ford, Jeep, whatever) dealer, has quite the collection of vintage cars and trucks since we saw another old classic at their other location a few years back. I’m quite sure that Damsel took a photo of that one, but I couldn’t find it among the thousands of photos that we have in the archives.