Chuck and Shannon Avon attended the 2015 Blakesburg Fly-In. When Chuck came across Sparky Barnes Sargent’s story on the fly-in on the General Aviation News website, he called me to buy a copy of the print edition with that story. His Stinson 108 was in the “sunset” photo at the end of the online story. Sadly, we didn’t have space in the print edition for the photo he was interested in.
All was not lost though. Chuck proceeded to tell me about the Stinson 108 in the photo, how they found it, rebuilt and flew it to Blakesburg for the fly-in.
“The story begins with getting laid off for the winter,” started Chuck. They wanted a project to keep them from boredom. Both he and his wife Shannon are pilots and both like old planes. “We already had a two-place 1940 Taylorcraft so a four-place made sense to us,” continued Chuck. “We also wanted a taildragger, so the 108 Stinsons were on the top of the list.”
N8713K showed up on Trade-A-Plane. After a few calls a tentative price was agreed on. On Jan. 17, 2014, Chuck and a friend, Roeland De Koning, headed to Chillicothe, Ohio, to pick up the airplane and trailer it home.
“On the way up we hit a snowstorm, but still made it by noon on the 17th,” he recalled. “After seeing the airplane we re-negotiated the price.”
Cold temperatures made disassembly tough. But the pair arrived safely back home to Hohenwald, Tenn., around 2:30 am on Jan. 19.
“Once we got the Stinson unloaded and put in the garage, we started the year-long project of bringing it back to a flying airplane,” said Chuck. “One year to the day of bringing it home, N8713K taxied under her own power for the first time in over 23 years. She flew again for the first time the following weekend.”
“Everything, except the engine, needed something done to it,” said Chuck. “The 150-hp Franklin has just 230-something hours on it. We have put about 35 hours on it, including the trip to AAA in Blakesburg Iowa.”
In fact, the engine used just 1/2 quart of oil in 1,100 miles on the AAA fly-in excursion.
DISCOVERY AND DISASSEMBLY
CLEANING AND PREP WORK
INTERIOR AND PARTS
Chuck was quick to point out the Stinson 108 isn’t a showplane.
“We are leaving for Arizona in February in the Stinson,” he said.
It’s a flyer. And safe to say, boredom has yet to set in.