Back in formation

Jordan 7

By RaeAnn Slaybaugh

A retired military and TWA pilot trades in the big jets for his own vintage Chinese training aircraft — and rediscovers a 41-year-old passion for deceptively challenging formation flying.

If you’ve ever attended the annual COPPERSTATE Fly-In & Aviation Expo, held every October at the municipal airport in Casa Grande, Ariz., the sight of pilot Derwin “Dee” Grimm in his green 1969 Nanchang CJ-6 training aircraft, with its red-and-yellow Chinese markings, is a familiar sight on Saturday afternoon.

On those days, Grimm is joined by as many as 17 other warbird-aircraft pilots for a multi-point fly-over. For aviation enthusiasts, it’s incredible to see all those CJ-6s, T-34s, T-38s, T-6s, Yak-52s and more flying in formation — but this spectacle isn’t nearly as effortless as it appears.

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Technically speaking…

BenVisser

The quest to find some answers at Oshkosh

In my last post, I had the gall to be less than positive about things at the Oshkosh airshow. I was surprised at the positive feedback about similar experiences. However, our publisher, Ben Sclair commented that to see Oshkosh through the eyes of a new aviation enthusiast is like a kid on Christmas morning — it is one of the greatest experiences ever (A suggestion for keeping the magic of AirVenture alive) And he is absolutely 100% correct.

But where are they going to find 500,000 new aviation enthusiasts every year? Since they are not available, they are going to have to depend on repeat visitors. And why do pilots return to Oshkosh, pay for their transportation, fight large crowds, and pay $250 dollars for a small hotel room? Well, most of us do it to learn what is new and to get answers to our many technical questions.

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The power of purple

MaryWithPlane

“I’ve never seen one that color before!” That’s what people usually say when they first set eyes on the Cessna 152 owned by Mary Rosenblum of Troutdale, Ore.

Unlike so many airplanes that are predominantly white with an accent color, in the sunlight Rosenblum’s aircraft appears purple, as in Barney the Dinosaur was the painter. The airplane attracted a lot of attention during the Arlington Fly-in and Sport Convention held at Arlington Municipal Airport (AWO) north of Seattle in July.

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My last day at Oshkosh

Kate with her cousin Nate Sova under the Brown Arch on the AirVenture
grounds. This was Nate’s first time at AirVenture, Kate’s 12th.

By KATE FERRARI

As the rush of fear set upon me, I froze. The propeller was so close, whirring around at an unbelievable pace. I could feel the rush of wind it was emitting, coasting over my neck.

“Katie, come on!” My whole body jolted into action as I snapped back into reality. I ran around to the other side of the SR20 and pushed the scalding, sun-beaten wing with all my might, slowly steering the plane towards the runway. The crew and I were last in line. [Read more…]