Flight Jacket Winner!

01 Jun

The winner of the U.S. Wings B-15 Leather Flight Jacket is Sandie Bradley from Mahoning county, Ohio.  Congratulations Sandie!  Thanks to all who entered and helped to support the flight.

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Raffle Tickets Closed

31 May

The sale of raffle tickets for the U.S. Wings leather flight jacket has closed.  We will be drawing a name on June 2!  Thank you to everyone who helped to sponsor the flight, and good luck!  We’ll announce the winner on the blog, stay tuned.

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Shirts Ship Today

31 May

The last official Lost In Oscar Hotel T-Shirts arrived yesterday and we are shipping today.  Depending on where you live, you should receive in 2-3 days.  Thanks again to everyone who bought a shirt and helped to sponsor the flight.

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Quick stats on the flight

24 May

We flew to all of Ohio’s 88 counties.  It took us nine days.  (Thanks to some amazing weather!) We flew 1,809 nautical miles and spent 36 hours and 6 minutes aloft for an average ground speed of about 50 MPH!  Not particularly efficient– but more fun than I can possibly describe at the moment.  Thanks to all for asking.


T-shirts sold out. Raffle continues.

24 May

Thanks to everyone who became a flight sponsor by purchasing T-shirts and raffle tickets.  I ordered the last batch yesterday and will be shipping the shirts out to you as soon as they arrive (probably by the end of the month.)  We extended the sale of raffle tickets to June 1st to allow more people to get into the drawing.  We’ll draw a name on June 2 and post the winner here.  Stay tuned…

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We made it.

24 May

Well, we made it to Dayton Wright Brothers Airport and received a terrific reception from  the Wright B Flyer Museum and the folks at Commander Aero. We were met with warm handshakes by all and a genuine interest in the flight that continues to be humbling.

Weather prolonged our stay in Clinton County the day before, while we waited for a band of thunderstorms that bloomed like some kind of viral rash fueled by the heat of the day.  The winds picked up, and we tied the Cubs down fully expecting to get doused by rain.  The storms circled around Wilmington and as the afternoon wore on, we watched the blotch of weather on radar that lay across our route to MorningStar North Airport in Preble County slowly shrink in size.  We saw an opportunity to make a dash to Preble County and waved goodbye to our new friend Bob and his giant German Shepherd Buddy at Clinton County.  As the Cubs launched northwest,  I could feel the air cooling enroute and it was getting dark when we arrived at Morningstar North.  Mike was there to meet us along with Peggy and Jerry Chabrian, caretakers of one of the nicest grass airfields I’ve ever seen and headquarters to Women in Aviation International.

There were a few surprises in store for us at Dayton–a local aviation photographer, Michael Williams presented us with a custom painting he created of the Cubs flying along our route in Ohio, and the museum fired up their custom Wright B Flyer and took us for a short flight over Runway 02.  Ron and I each flew in the right seat and I intend to tell everyone I know that I now have 12 seconds of stick time in a Wright B.  They presented a certificate of flight to each of us– complete with a toothpick to remove any bugs.  You can’t fly in the Wright B without smiling.  Thanks to all!  Ron and are grateful beyond words.

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Thar She Blows

21 May

Well, we just went out to the ramp to batten down the hatches.  If you look at the image to the left you will see us looking up at you.  We are in the center.  There is an expression in flying–“It is better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air, than the other way around.”

The wind is getting pretty stiff–but no rain yet. The flag on the pole overhead is flapping hard.  Morning Star North is only about a half hour flight from Clinton County.

The Cubs are tied down with some sturdy rope, and luckily they are anchored into the pavement–so Ron and I did not have to hammer in any stakes.

I had some spare electrical tape (my brother is an Eagle Scout) so we taped around each of the fuel sticks to help keep any water from running into the gas tank. A flying farmer friend told us a few days ago that we ought to stop by a tractor dealer and buy a solid gas cap for days like this.  I am planning on doing just that.

We are still hopeful if this front passes over that we might make it to the beautiful green pasture of a runway that is Morning Star North.  Did I mention that I left my raincoat in some other county?  At least the Cubs will get a good wash before we arrive in Dayton tomorrow.


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Cooling Our Heels in Clinton County

21 May

This morning we reversed our route to the last nine counties to accommodate some sky diving and thunderstorms.  We made it as far as Clinton County.  We have one more stop before calling it a day.  We are presently sitting in the FBO waiting for some thunderstorm cells to pass through our route from Clinton County to Morning Star North Airport in Preble County.

We haven’t gotten wet yet–but it may happen soon.  Mike is already in the hotel in West Alexandria waiting for us. The forecast for Dayton looks flyable in the morning so we still hope to arrive at the Wright B Flyer Museum around 10 AM.  Stay tuned…

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Ticks on a Plane!

20 May

One of the consequences of flying low and slow, landing in the grass and weeds, is that pilots and airplanes are introduced to bugs.  Lots of them.  Some of the bugs make colorful splotches on the windscreen and prop–mostly green, yellow, red and black.  I saw some purple once, but  I suspect it was from some unfortunate mixing of bugs upon impact with the airframe.  Because there are no windshield wipers on Piper Cubs–a vigorous analog debugging of the windscreen, when on the ground, is one of the many rituals of flying these old airplanes.  What I had not expected, was the large number of bugs eager to fly along with me– perhaps to visit relatives in a neighboring county.

A variety of flies have stowed away in a nook or cranny along the instrument panel for takeoff, only to emerge in flight in the middle of the windscreen.  Strangely, while I am doing the flying, the flies prefer to walk.  They walk on the side windows.  They walk on the front windscreen. They walk on the instruments.

Because I fly the Cub from the back seat, I keep a 24-inch stick overhead that I use to adjust the altimeter and carburetor heat in flight.  I can’t reach either with my shoulder harnesses on, so the stick is a simple solution.

I have been using the stick to encourage the stowaways–bees, moths, flies, grasshoppers, to exit the airplane–out the open door and window.  You would think the volume of air rushing into the airplane would have the same effect, but it doesn’t. The bugs are oblivious to it.  They squat on things inside the cockpit and clean their antennae, wiggle their legs and do other buggy things.  When I departed Ashland County a few days ago, I noticed a single gossamer thread stretching from one of the the right side fuselage tubes to the throttle knob on the left.  A spider was building a web while we blasted through the atmosphere at 65 MPH.

I discovered the tick as I looked for Ron out of the rear side window.  I stealthily tried to reach up and squash it with my stick– but I missed, and it jumped. I think I’ll let the spider stay for a while.  There is more to tell you, but it will have to wait.  It is time to go fly again.  We are just a few days from Dayton.



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Arrived Monroe County 4G5!

18 May

Arrived Monroe County 4G5!

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