Sunday, October 25, 2009

Airsho - Midland 2009

The annual Airsho in Midland is the largest CAF gathering in the country. Wings and Squadrons from all over bring their aircraft in and have what basically is a big CAF party! The aircraft on display and museum are all open to the public and visited by a huge crowd.
(Photos Thanks to Jerry Hahn)

Larry Mullaly's Award

Larry Mullaly was awarded the Distinguished Service Award (our highest award) by the Wing for his constant dedication to the Minnesota Wing. Larry has been a pilot with the wing since very early on, and has flown everything that we have. He's trained a number of our pilots and has always been a knowledgeable, humble and hard working member of the wing. Larry has contracted Lou Gehrig's Disease and is no longer able to fly, but has still made himself available to teach our ground school. He was not able to attend our awards banquet, so we brought him out to our General Membership Meeting to present the award.
(Photos Thanks to Earl Teporten)

(Roby Bybee, who is one of Larry's long time friends, wrote and presented a speed about Larry's service to the Wing)

(Roby presents the award to Larry)

(Larry and Doug Olson discuss the past, present and future of the Wing)

(Congratulations Larry! You've certainly earned this. Thank you from everyone for your dedication to the Wing!)

(Thank you also Roby for presenting the award so well!)

(The award presented to Larry Mullaly)

Clean and Prep

It was time to prep the BT-13 for the maintenance season. The crew got together and cleaned off the seasons grime.
(Photos Thanks to Brian Strom)

(Bob Koelbl cleans off the tail of the BT-13)

(Bob Wright works on the windows)

(Every little bit helps! If you're interested in helping with our maintenance operations, stop in!)

Annual Craft Fair and Chili Feed

This years chili feed had a variety of art and craft items, as well as different types of chili (all delicious!). Not only that, we had live music to round out the event. It was a very fun event, with great food and great people!
(Select Photos Thanks to Earl Teporten)

(Music was performed by Crankshaft, a rythm and blues artist. Liked it? - Check out

(Laurie Minkle, Bob Koelbl and Tucker Goodwin serve chili and refreshments)

(The crafters setting up in the morning)

(Thank you to everyone who made the event a success!)

Weekly Update - 16October to 25October

Good Afternoon Everyone!
Last weekend the wing held the annual Craft Fair and Chili Feed! A number of you helped with the event and helped make a batch of home-made chili! It went fast, and made the wing some great income. There were about 30 crafters with all sorts of items for sale. If you haven't checked it out, for the crafts or the chili, keep an eye out this time next year for info on the next one!
We've attended the last airshow of the season, Midland's Airsho. The crews were forced to find different ways home (commercial aircraft or drive a van back). The crews all made it back, and yesterday, two weeks later, Kurt Koukkari, Jim Gilmore and Mark Erickson picked up Miss Mitchell and brought the aircraft back home. Thank you guys for using your own resources to accomplish this!
Locally the weather has changed dramatically. We're clearly heading into winter, and that means switching modes to maintenance. That means cleaning and prepping the aircraft, so that parts can be easily inspected. If you wish to help clean or maintain the aircraft, come down and lend a hand!
Be sure to stop in Friday the 30th for the Charity Halloween Party! It's $10 at the door, or $5 if you come in costume... so be sure to dress up! It should be a great time, so swing by to help out, or to party! It starts at 6:00 pm.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Running the PT-22

This is all we have for you, but it's great fun. The PT-22 needed some testing, and we were the only people available to do it. We did two runs, and found the Tachometer needs repair. It will be sent out and repaired once again. We expect the aircraft to fly early next year so keep an eye to the sky!
(Select Photos Thanks to Earl Teporten)

(Roger Ruhland stands by as Tim Gunter checks over the engine.)

(Doug Olson secures miscellaneous cockpit items as Tim attaches cowling)

(Doug is the crew chief on the PT-22 and has done a great job of managing the project)

(Doug performs the final look over)

(Ok who wants to hand prop this thing?)

(Earl Teporten takes a shot at propping the engine)

(This is the only way of starting the engine at this point. It's tiring, and requires a lot of attention. A cold engine takes awhile to start.)

(Earl did a great job, but it's a lot of work. While he takes a break, Jeff Quesenberry gives it a shot)

(Jeff gives it another shot while Roger, Dick Leighninger, Bob Wright and Tim watch)

(After about a dozen tries, the PT-22 breathes to life)

(Doug checks over the instruments and runs her up)

(This is about the time we found that the Tachometer was not working)

(Tim, Bob and Roger make their way over to see what the issue is)

(With the issues vetted, the aircraft gets put back into the warm hangar)

Click play to watch the video of the PT-22 running below!

Weekly Update - 09October to 15October

Good Afternoon Everyone!
Getting back on track, I have a small update for all of you, with a very singular focus. Before we get to that, I'd like to talk about about events at the hangar in the next few weeks. We have our annual Craft Fair and Chili Feed this Saturday. Stop in, see the crafts and enjoy some home made chili! The weekend of the 24th we have a rental, and then comes Friday the 30th. The 30th will be our Holloween party! Come in costume, enjoy the fun, and see how the hangar can be a little spooky.
On to the update. This week was very quiet. The B-25, the P-51 and the Harvard made their way to Midland for Airsho. The weather was less than favorable, and thus the aircraft are still stuck there. At the same time, the temps were falling in Minnesota, and it made for a fairly cold day outside. We did our best to stay in, but ended up having to run the PT-22. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Albatross Arrival

Member Tim Jackson has flown many aircraft for the CAF. He is an FAA check pilot on almost every warbird out there. Recently he has gotten the job of flying an Albatross out of the Anoka airport. It is the much more versatile form of a buisness jet, considering it is a flying boat. Tim brought it by Fleming Field to say hi!
(Photos Thanks to Earl Teporten)

(The Albatross is quite large, very much like it's namesake. It uses radial engine, and is thus very likely to attract a crowd with its roar)

(Tim Jackson exits the Albatross)

(It is a quite interesting looking aircraft, and can even handle being on the ocean)

(Tim takes off for another adventure)

(It looks large, but the big wing and radials get it off the ground quickly)

P-51 Maintenance

The P-51 Tuskegee Airmen was due for its 25 hour inspection. Mark Tisler from Tri-State Aviation came down to help out, and the guys finished it in less than 2 days). Great work guys!

(John Beyl opens up the engine compartment in preparation)

(Steve Kaminson takes the job of opening up the left side of the engine compartment)

(John begins removing the valve cover of the engine. This inspection requires retorquing the heads which can loosen even after 25 hours of flight)

(John, Steve and Mark Tisler delve into the left engine bank)

(The inspection does not involve much, but is very important to keep this extremely high performance aircraft in top notch condition.)

Around the Hangar

As usual, work around the hangar made for a great day. There were new members visiting this particular day and the weather was so beautiful it was perfect for some flying.
(Photos Thanks to Earl Teporten)

(Tim Gunter rides brakes and Bob Wright watches for obstacles while pushing out the BT-13)

(Janaka Buldoc rides the wings latest restoration, a WWII bicycle. It was restored by Cadet Matt Stone and his Grandfather)

(Doug Rozendaal performs a checkout for a member of the Memphis Wing of the CAF)

(Craig Rodberg and Larry Utter go flying in the L-5)

(Brad Lang sits in the P-51 and discusses upcoming flights with John Beyl and Kurt Koukkari)

(Kurt, Big Dave, Bill Atchison and Glenn Franke discuss the world)

(New member Lindsay checks out the P-51 while Amy Lauria and Alan Miller talk about the benefits of being a CAF member)

(Dick Leighninger fire guards the B-25 engine start)

(The roar of the B-25 always attracts attention... Dick discusses this with an Officer of South St. Paul)

(A great shot of the B-25 at the end of the day.)