Saturday, August 27, 2016

Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing

Saturday was once again time for the Bowman field Fly-in , so we made our annual trek to Livermore Falls and arrived just in time to see folks running in a mad dash up the field .
Not a good sign .
Once we made it to the runway we saw what the commotion was about .
A gorgeous vintage Cessna 195 on its back . Seems the brakes were a bit touchy and they grabbed more than expected on landing . Thankfully no one was hurt seriously . A passenger had a nasty scrape on his head but that was the worst of it . As they say ; Any landing you can  walk away from is a good landing . You get bonus points if you don't break the airplane . Sadly no bonus points for this one .
Note the damage to the tail cone and vertical stabilizer .
The rescue guys were there in no time and they all pitched in . Of course this meant the runway was closed for the duration . No movements in or out of the field . The pilot is the guy on the far left side of the photo in the grey shirt, and the passenger with the bump on his noggin was the fellow in the lime green shirt next to him.
Someone made a call to the local man with the excavator, and within 40 minutes he was at the scene
Took a bit of brainstorming on the best strategy to get it back upright without doing more damage to it . They removed the wheel-pants, cowling and the spinner cone .
Some tires were arranged to protect the engine and prop , and guy lines were tied off at all ends .
In a minute it was hanging from the tail wheel . Top skin of the wing appears undamaged .
They wound up having to add another length of line to the tail guy line and tied it off to a vehicle to help steady it .
And they started to let it back down the right side up . Note the crinkled skin on the horizontal stabilizer .
And back on  its own feet again . The left wing tip was crushed during the accident .
It was towed up the runway .
And parked it on the sideline . It might be a while to get it straightened out , but it will fly again .
Well now that the excitement is over, it is time to walk the flight line and see who was there . This one a Home-Built BearHawk
And  new very expensive Carbon Cub
Another Carbon Cub on amphibian floats
An Aviat Husky
A 1940's Aeronca Chief
A hot-rod RV
A Taylorcraft from the 1940s
A Piper PA-12 with a fat belly pod keeps a J-3 Cub company
A nice Supercub
And a home-built Wag-Aero 2+2 Sportsman that got new wings and a new paint job last winter .
A 1930s Aeronca Defender
And another Super-cub with fat tires

And the gorgeous Travelair departs . . .

I almost forgot, the antique engine club was there as always with their Huff-and-Chuff motors

Including an old engine powered washing machine like the one I will be buying for Annie when we move off the grid .


  1. Replies
    1. Yes, Annie said she would too. I might even do the laundry if we had one. LOL

  2. If the coffee didn't make your heart pound, that would. Glad everyone was okay. I really want a steam engine. I'm not even sure why, but I do.

    1. Yes, breaking a nice vintage 1940s plane like that one is a big heart break. Can't imagine what it felt like to go ass over teakettle like that, just when you thought you had the landing made. Must have been one heck of an adrenalin hit. That one is not going to be cheap to fix either. Hopefully the insurance will cover most of it.
      The huf-and-chuff engines are always a hoot to watch though I don't think any of the ones there were steam engines. Idling like they do at the show they will fire only once every ten to fifteen revolutions, but if you put a load on them the regulator will slow enough to open the throttle and then it will be a steady chuf chuff chuff. Most of them there are well over a hundred years old.

  3. Hi Mike, great photos, they are fun get togethers and seeing the past. I like them all, especially the J-3 cub and the washing machine. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yea, its just a shame when someone breaks a nice antique airplane, but it does happen occasionally. In all the years I have been attending these events this is the first incident of this kind I have seen.

  4. That's a real shame. When I saw your post title, and knowing that you go to places where tail draggers still exist, I thought someone must have ground looped.

    In the early 60's, there used to be a fly in near Donaldsonville, Ga. My dad would take me. You could see all sorts of aircraft from the 20's, 30's, and 40's back then. Lots of warbirds. Guess those days are over.

    1. There are still quite a few fly ins all around the country. Generally they are put on by the local EAA chapters. But you have to be connected to aviation circles to hear about them. And even then you have to make an effort to keep in touch with folks who make these events happen to know about them. Other than the big sponsor events with performers like Blue Angels and The Thunderbirds, they just don't make the regular news so most regular pedestrians outside the locals are unaware of them. No airshow involved in these small events as insurance cost would be prohibitive. Its just a fly-in, get together, hang out, chat with friends, and have some food. An excuse to go flying on a weekend. A different take on the 100 dollar hamburger. They are generally geared to the flyers anyhow. Quite few old planes and homebuilts as well.
      The warbird scene is totally different. It takes big money to keep those going. As they are retired military iron and never certified for civilian operations, they fly on an Experimental Exhibition category only, and that limits their allowable use without really any wiggle room. And the FAA keeps a close eye on them. So they only move when there is a really big sponsored event. As you know they gulp hundreds of gallons of av-gas at a time, so those are generally not seen outside of the Reno Air Races, Oskosh or Sun-and-Fun where big sponsors put up the cash to have them show up.

    2. that was meant to read ; - Experimental Exhibition Certificate -

  5. A lot of nice old planes here in France. We often see groups of old warbirds flying past; I suppose there must be annual meetings somewhere nearby. Shame about the Cessna, but it doesn't look too bad.

    1. Hi Cro, The old Cessna will take a bit of work and a lot of money to make it right but it will fly again. These things do happen occasionally. In France there is a big organization that sport pilots and amateur airplane builders belong to. As a Club I believe they actually have some regulatory function and they oversee and approve the construction of amateur built experimental aircraft. They do have "rassemblements" quite often. Events and gatherings should be listed under Agenda on their web page.