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Flabob Fly-In by Dennis Hicklin

Posted in Members | October 14, 2013

Dennis Hicklin, a resident of Seattle and longtime fly-in aficionado, attended the recent Flabob Fly-in:

This was going to be a unique and a bittersweet affair as I took off to Flabob this year for the second gathering of the flying circus and "canceled cavalcade of the air" , but the picture of the monkey on the pilots back on the Flabob web site pretty much told the tale of the future at this little time machine of a airport. I found my way to the airport and it was sundown on Thursday evening. The gates were open, there were a few planes already there on the ramp, about 20 of them and the big DC-3 that lives there as well.

Even though there wasn't anybody around at that time, it was still worth a walk around the field to see if any of the planes were having late evening conversations under their canopy covers that only the other planes could hear. All quiet, the radials that had powered them there, were cooled down, so no ticky ticky sound of metal shrinking back into shape.

Ahhh the feel of the warm summer breeze that never seems to go away, down here, the temperature is lovely, and the rustle of dead palm fronds high above my head provide a gentle sound of ghost's that linger at that height.

Up at the crack of dawn. I went right out to the ramp, and it was evident that there was going to be a breeze today, we will see how that goes for the lighter aircraft. After I had texted my friends to see where they were, the boss of that crew said, check the cafe, and sure enough, the father and son team of Eric Presten and son Ben were at a table with sleepy eyes waiting for their small parade of eggs and toast to march across their table. I sat down and the familiar old conversation picked right up where it had left off many times over. "airplanes, people, places, faces, births, deaths, hey didja hear, no I didn't, you don't say, yeah, it never changes" - I never tire of that.

For a Friday, even though the winds kept a few planes from landing, those that knew what this weekend was, and if they were fortunate to get away early on this Friday, there was a steady stream of people coming to the airport to see the planes that would congregate there. With the advent of the web and word of mouth through the aviation community, those that could be there would be there. The temperature rose and the shade was at a premium on the tarmac. I had made a few rounds earlier to get good shots of the various planes and shapes that caught my eye. I knew a good thing when it was presented to me, one of the spare chairs under the wing of the Bleriot was prime real estate, and to move as the shade spot responded to the sun arcing over head was a small price to pay, as I listened to the various stories that Eric would tell to various people that either knew him or just wanted to know about the plane.

Pretty much for the remainder of Friday, it was very comfortable to just lounge in the chair under the Bleriot wing. Before you know it, the red Volkswagen ramp car was wheeling by telling us it was time to come down to the big hangar of EAA chapter #1 to enjoy beer and pizza and Friday night films, the features this evening was "Skyking" and "Dambusters." As people found their way into the hangar, it didn't take long to get the big swamp coolers going to give some relief from the heat outside. Sitting next to me was a gentleman named Peter Swarez who owned a very nice red and white WACO PYT, we had met earlier that day and had swapped stories about all things mechanical. Another gentleman wandered over to sit at our table and it was retired General Pat Halloran, whom I had met years before at Oshkosh when he flew the Comet replica there to show it, that was when I met Motorcycle Mike as well that year. It was fascinating to hear the questions that Peter had posed to him about his years in the U2 and the SR71, living history indeed. It was also very cool to sit next to a man that had flown those planes and was also enjoying watching Skyking as well.

The next morning I was determined to get up very early and get out to the field just before the sun rose over Mt. Rubidoux , I was out the door in Costa Mesa, at 5:45 AM and was on the field at about 6:30 AM, perfect timing, no one was out there and the wind didn't exist. I knew there would be a great chance to see Eric fly the Bleriot.

After the starting ritual that required the support of the Presten family, with dust a-flying, and the run up completed, Eric throttled back and proceeded to taxi to the end of the grass and get her turned around - ready to make a hop the length of the field, over the grass. Just not prudent to take her around the patch if she quits, with no place to really set her down safely, but this would have to do, to see her fly at least, and it was damn well worth it to see such a cool piece of history in the form of a replica being graceful in the air.

As the day progressed along, the weather was perfect, it allowed a lot of other fine flying machines to come to Flabob and participate in the "non cavalcade". It was cool enough to see a lot of beautiful planes just fly around the patch. I was surprised to see old friends of mine I had known for years show up in a freshly restored 1929 Travel Air biplane that they had owned since 74, and it was now flying. I was fortunate enough to get a ride in it as well, so did Eric's wife. I shot a picture of her as she got out of the Travel Air known as "old countdown," N4321, you could see the expression on Deb's face, as it was obvious that she really did enjoy her flight with Stewart.

As this little short story comes to a close, I felt fortunate to have been there for this second gathering at Flabob for the flying circus and history in the air "cavalcade", even though it was slightly hampered by the powers that be, it came off nicely. As the sun set I got a last look at the racers all together as they sat proudly before they were put away, and I got one last shot of the sunset as it depicted the Wright Flyer out in the parking lot. All to quickly, I would have to be back on the jet on Sunday to fly home to Seattle to the rain and overcast and leave the endless summer of the dust and palm trees of Jurupa valley behind.

Tim Linn's Stearman Flies

Posted in Members | October 14, 2013

Tim Linn in Montana has gotten his Stearman into the air!

Stearman 87TL flew successfully for the 1st time since the late '40's or early '50's on Sunday October 6, 2013. That is Sixty plus years! It had been 36 years & nine days since Tim's dream started (The project was purchased September 26, 1977) which he never gave up on.

87TL first taxied July 29th. The original Bendix brakes were very marginal. Also the Bendix Eclipse 444-3 inertia electric starter drive seal weeped, allowing engine oil into the dry clutch in the starter. The engine oil had to be drained, the oil tank removed to get the starter off the engine to send it back to the overhaulers. More big nickels.

After visiting with friends in the Stearman world, I ordered the Red Line modern disc brake assemblies which included new master cylinders. It took 5 1/2 weeks to get them, but they work beautifully and have close to the same feel & pressure as required on the C195 Cleveland brakes!

Tim was asked a number of times who would test fly the Stearman? It was also my dream to test fly the Stearman.

Friends had suggested I fly off the Grass Runway at Bozeman for the initial test flights, but with recent snow & rain the grass runways was closed with standing water. With a high speed taxi on the main runway to mid-field, then a full power check, 87TL flew off Runway 12 and made a successful wheel landing on the pavement.

I was asked how did it fly many times? With a smile I've answered "Beautifully." Once at altitude and trimmed out with the turn coordinator ball centered and a high power setting, the Stearman flew with hands off the control stick! The many hours of learning how to rig a biplane, adjusting the controls to spec, and double checking them - it flies beautifully.

Wish'n for many sun shiny days and warm temperatures until Thanksgiving!
87TL & Tim

Fly-in 2013 Photos by Jonathan Apfelbaum

Posted in Members | October 14, 2013

Click for the full gallery.

2013 Blakesburg Photos by Jonathan Apfelbaum

Luscombe at the Beach

Posted in Members | October 14, 2013

Andy Bradford, of Renton, WA, flew out to Copalis Beach State Airport, which is a unique experience:

I have to confess, I might have committed a polished airplane sin and landed near salt water, but the view and the experience of landing on a beach was very fun and rewarding. Not to worry, the Luscombe was thoroughly washed afterwards.

Copalis State Airport (S16) was a joy to land on; with the combination of big tires, sand and wind straight down the beach made for an easy short field landing on the 4,000ft runway. After talking with another pilot who happened to be there, he informed me it was opening day for clamming, which explained the pedestrian 'traffic' in the area. He offered to leave his clamming gear behind with me but I didn't have a license.

The beach is a staggering one foot in elevation and with the combination of a freshly overhauled C-85 and being light on fuel, the Luscombe's performance was impressive, similar to a Supercub on takeoff. The flight out and back was uneventful, a slight tailwind pushed the ground speed into the triple digits. After takeoff, I flew the beach south to ocean shores and saw thousands of beach-goers digging for clams!

Last weekend was absolutely amazing weather-wise for the Puget Sound area, you could have almost been sun burned in October. I ended up logging 7.5hrs without any issues. Both oil consumption and fuel burn have plateaued and I am back to enjoying aircraft ownership. Looking forward to more adventures, seeing friends and meeting new ones along the way.


Fly-In Announcement: Chili Bowl Contest and Fly-In at Excelsior Springs October 26

Posted in Chapter News | October 14, 2013

The Northwest Missouri Chapter invites everyone to the 2nd Annual Chili Bowl Chili Contest and Fly-In coming on October 26th, 2013. Here's the flyer as a PDF. We hope to see you all there!

Thank You to 2013 Fly-In Volunteers

Posted in News | October 08, 2013

The AAA/APM Fly-in takes a massive effort yearly to prepare for and execute. It would be impossible for our small full time staff of four people to accomplish this task. Fortunately we have a loyal and growing number of volunteers who spend their time, talents and money to help make the AAA/APM Fly-in happen. Without their help and dedication the AAA/APM Fly-in is simply not possible.

So with apologies in advance to anyone I may have missed, if you enjoyed our 60th Anniversary event, make certain to "Thank" the following 103 individuals & 3 service organizations for their hard work and dedication in making the 2013 AAA/APM Fly-in a safe and fun event for all participants.

Field Preparations

  • Ken Marth
  • Luke Pieper
  • Mike & Doris Gretz
  • Steve & Debbie Black
  • Mark & Teri Lancaster
  • Harve Applegate
  • Dave Coop
  • Larry Cofer
  • Steve Hendryx
  • Jim Jones
  • Mark Robotti
  • Scott Anderson
  • Dan & Dakota Quinn
  • Aaron Klugherz
  • Marcy Taylor
  • Dan Brinegar
  • Eric & Ryan Fritz
  • Peggy Bates
  • Steve Butler
  • Gary Van Farowe
  • Nick & Diane Hildreth
  • Rick Gritters
  • Gary Lust
  • Dan Kirkpatrick
  • Steve and Kirk Adkisson
  • Mike Hargrove
  • Don Parks
  • Al McReynolds
  • Schuyler Black
  • Gary & Toby Hanson
  • Jen Cichy
  • Wyatt Hatz
  • Les Gaskill
  • Tim & John Verhoeven
  • Audie & Cora Hollon

Flight Line (Aircraft Parking)

  • Aaron, Tom & Rich Klugherz
  • Bryan DeWitt
  • Kevin Chitwood
  • Nathan, Shannon & Debra Frost
  • John Verhoeven
  • John Bates


  • Cindy Reis
  • Marcy Taylor
  • Linda Morgan
  • Anne Fichera

Pilot's Pub

  • Mark, Teri & Tanner Lancaster
  • Luke Pieper
  • Eric, Jane, Tyler & Ryan Fritz
  • Natalie Alexander
  • Eric Moe
  • Jeff & Sheila Lancaster
  • Ken Marth
  • Steve Adkisson
  • Craig Shorten

APM Fly Market

  • Harman Dickerson
  • Don Miles
  • Bob Edgington
  • Darrell Williams
  • Nick & Dianne Hildreth

Movies & Sound

  • Aaron Klugherz
  • Steve & Debbie Black
  • Mike Gretz
  • Bryan DeWitt
  • Kevin Chitwood


  • Denny Whitson
  • Ottumwa VFW post # 775

Air Traffic Control (Flagmen)

  • Tom Gehman
  • Mark Robotti
  • Henry Mast
  • Dallas Grimm
  • Toby Hanson
  • Steve Butler
  • David Lamb
  • Ben Taylor

Field Maintenance & Cleanup

  • Gary Hanson
  • Tim & John Verhoeven
  • Les Gaskill
  • Audie & Cora Hollon
  • Harve Applegate
  • Erik Edgren
  • Dan & Dakota Quinn

Memorial Service

  • Jim Jones
  • Justin Niemyjski
  • Cliff Hatz
  • Ottumwa VFW Post # 775

Emergency Aircraft Repairs

  • Steve Adkisson
  • Barry Taylor


  • Paul Berge
  • Mike Gretz
  • Steve & Debbie Black
  • Shalyn Applegate

APM Gift Shop

  • Doris Gretz
  • Barb Weibe
  • Barb Frost
  • Gloria Robotti

Coffee House

  • Rosie Duckworth
  • JoAnn Denkema
  • Gary & Carol Van Farowe
  • Michigan Chapter AAA

Emergency Services

  • Blakesburg Volunteer Fire Department

People Puller

  • Bud Playter
  • Harold Strieber
  • Jim Jones
  • Carl Shemwell


  • Brian Bloodsworth
  • Frank Cox


  • Russell Williams (website)
  • Dan Kirkpatrick (RV parking)
  • Snooks Bouska, Arah Montagne & Jen Cichy (ice cream)
  • Peggy Bates & Mike Gretz (T-shirts)
  • Ottumwa Flying Service (aircraft fueling)
  • Debbie, Jim & Tyler Dowd, Jim Cain (Hy-Vee)
  • Joe Champagne, Brett Gerber
  • Shelia Orr, Judd Eifealdt

QED Flight Update

Posted in Members | October 08, 2013

Many have heard of the QED reproduction built by the late Jim Moss. Rich Aldredge of the team of volunteers building and flying the QED sent this update on flights over the past weekend. Photos by James Polivka and Liz Matzelle.

Yesterday was another banner day for the QED. Carter was able to get in 2 flights each about 30 minutes in length. On the first flight we explored further the low speed flight regime only this time with some flap extensions. Found it takes a Herculean strength arm to extend the flaps past the first notch but at 1 notch everything was nominal for airspeeds from 80 to 135 kts. Also gave the beauty a bit more rein....saw climb rates over 1200 fpm at 135 kts with only 30 inches of manifold pressure. Also got up to airspeeds slightly over 180 kts during Flight 3. The beautiful beast really wants to get up and go.

Before the second flight (Flight 4) we adjusted the aileron trim tab and Carter then took her back up to get a better feel for flight stability. He seemed to be having such a good time banking, climbing and cruising we on the ground were afraid at one point he had left the area for parts unknown. He landed to report that the trim tab adjustment had made it a hands off flying beauty but there was now a problem with the turn and bank indicator. He said every time he changed power settings the little ball on the bottom seemed to bang back and forth from one side to the other. For all you flight control engineers I think we need to do some work on the lead/lag filters in our rudder control loop although I suspect this may be a self-correcting phenomenon.

Many of the QED Team were able to make it down for these flights and it was really great to see them get to enjoy the beauty of the beast in flight. It was also great to have so many helping hands when it came to moving her around and wiping a bit of exhaust/oil off the beauty.

A couple of Carter's friends from Heritage Flight Foundation, James Polivka and Liz Matzelle, were also present and took some really great photos. Attached are a few of their shots. I do ask that you not share these photos with any publications, businesses or organizations without first getting approval.

Next flight(s) may happen sometime next week...schedules and weather permitting. Will keep you informed.


Reminder: Texas Chapter Fly-In This Weekend!

Posted in Chapter News | October 08, 2013

Bucker Flies at Felts Field

Posted in Members | October 08, 2013

Addison Pemberton at Felts Field, Spokane WA has updated us on the first flight of the Bucker that Ryan Pemberton has been restoring:

After 2 years of effort my son Ryan has finished the Bucker project for Mark Schafhausen. This was Mira Slovak's original airplane that was then sold to Ernie Gann. I remember this airplane flying air shows in San Diego's Mission Bay in the early 1970's between hydroplane heat races.

Ryan Pemberton did a beautiful job on the Krybis 180 Lycoming engine conversion and bringing the airplane up to modern standards. Ryan is also doing the test flights with the airplane and is falling in love with the Bucker. As we all know the Bucker has remarkable flying as characteristics. The airplane flew tried and true with killer performance. The airplane in the bright sunlight is truly stunning.

Arrow Sport Biplane Flies in Minot

Posted in Members | October 08, 2013

Larry Linrud has just finished the restoration of an Arrow Sport biplane for the Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot. The airplane has been test flown and museum board member Warren Pietsch promises some shots of it flying soon.