Friday, June 11, 2010

The Ryan PT-22

We received a great donation about 2 years ago, a Ryan PT-22. It was in great condition, but needed some repairs and an engine overhaul. It was worked on by a number of members, championed by Doug Olson, and although it had some paperwork difficulties, it was a great project! We had hoped to fly it on the 16th of this month, but had an opportunity arise last week. Chris Hughston, of the Rio Grande Valley Wing, had come up to train our L-5 pilots. He is also a PT-22 pilot, and offered his assistance. We accepted, and watched the PT-22 make a perfect first flight!
(Photos Thanks to Gary Chambers and Earl Teporten, Video Thanks to Earl Teporten)

(Chris Hughston checks the aircraft and paperwork over)

(Checking the systems before taxiing out)


(It looked very elegant as it lifted off)

(Chris and Doug Olson pose victorious)

The Hamilton Flies!

The Hamilton, previously owned by Gary Lysdale, has been sold, and is heading for Kirkland, Washington. It took off with quite a crowd watching. The best part, by far, was the low pass performed on its way out.
(Video Thanks to Brian Strom)

Nurses Get Pinned

One of the most interesting event this year has been the Nurses Pinning Ceremony that took place at the hangar. Nurses who have graduated from schooling have family or friends place a pin on them, signifying their completion of the program. Over 500 people were present for the ceremony, all fitting in the hangar on a rather cold day. It was a great event!
(Photos Thanks to Brian Strom)

(Setup was quick due to all the help we had!)

(Unbelievably there was open space even with all those people!)

(This is a great reminder of how large these hangars are)

Motor Pool Madness

A lot of work takes place next door to the hangar in a run down building that holds the boilers once used to heat the hangars during WWII. Now it houses our collection of WWII vehicles. The group in the Motor pool have done a great job of cleaning up the building, fixing up the vehicles, and are working on restoring and painting the vehicles, to make them pristine examples.
(Photos Thanks to Brian Strom)

(Bill Atchison repairs the 1941 Plymouth. It's door sills had rusted through, so Bill had to add some new metal)

(Bill also began re-painting the office area)

(Jim Nelson paints the new prop stand, built by Gary Stinar)

(Bill repaints the bed of the Burma Jeep)

(He also repainted the 1941 Willy's Jeep, which looks fantastic!)

A Trip to Honor

Recently the Honor Flight from Minneapolis to Washington D.C. took place. The Honor Flights are to take aging WWII Veterans to visit the WWII Memorial that was recently built. One of our members, Glenn Franke, acted as a chaperone for Mr. and Mrs. Brihn, both of whom are veterans of WWII. Glenn asked for people to write letters to the Brihns thanking them for their service. A group of local 5th and 6th graders participated, and a couple of their letters stand out.
(Photos Thanks to Glenn Franke)

(The Brihns read letters on the trip to Washington D.C.)

(The Brihns at the WWII Memorial)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dance Day!

As most of us are aware, Dance night is preceded by work, a LOT of work. Setting up the hangar, cooking the food, getting the band ready, and that is just what happens the day of, not the weeks and months prior to the event. The dance itself requires a lot of work as well; parking, counting money, working the gate and the bar are just a few of the jobs. And the end of the dance requires cleanup, which takes until about 2 a.m. Despite all this hard work, we all still manage to have a great time!
(Photos Thanks to Matt Holland, Earl Teporten and Brian Strom)

(A good kickoff to the day was a visit by WASP Liz Strohfus. It is always great to see her!)

(Not only can visitors dance, they can get up close and personal with weapons, vehicles and aircraft from WWII)

(Bob Koelbl directs traffic, there really is nothing else I can say....)

(Dancers enjoying the night)

(The Roseville Big Band played a fantastic set)

(It was a beautiful night for the dance)

(The pipe band always draws the crowd in)

(Honoring our Veterans is a hugely important part of the night)

(Gary Stinar and the girls from With A Twist served the drinks)

(People danced into the night, enjoyed themselves, and made our dance successful once again!)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Blog Update - 01May to 11June

Greetings Everyone!

A full month has passed since the last update... something I never wanted to let happen... I truly have no idea where the month of May disappeared to! At any rate, here we are in June, and the Minnesota Wing is in full swing!

The L-5, BT-13 and Harvard MK IV all participated in Memorial Weekend/Day Flyovers. The P-51 (Red Tail) was at an airshow in Missouri and returned on Monday. The B-25 stayed home and was great to have since we had a number of visitors

The Hangar Dance was a great success! We had around 700 visitors, and everyone seems to have had a great time. We had more members on hand to help set-up, work the dance, and tear-down than I have seen in a LONG time! Thank you everyone who helped!

The motor pool had an appearance and WWII Days in Farmington. A number of the vehicles were displayed and helped add to the flavor of the event! Between donations and giving people rides in the vehicles, the motor pool has begun to pay for the many repairs being performed on the vehicles, including new structure, engine overhauls, exhaust repairs, interior work and paint!

Amy Lauria presented our proposal to the Minnesota Historical Society Grant Committee a week ago. The presentation was for a steel mezzanine and storage equipment to more appropriately house our increasing collection of artifacts. This grant will cover most of the costs, save for work performed by the membership, which will include demolition. Feel free to talk with Amy or myself about the details. We are very excited about the possibilities to expand the museum, and to create a proper space for storage of our artifacts! We received a warm reception from the group who clearly was aware of our existence and our mission!

The L-5 ground school took place last Thursday, followed by a few solid days of training. The L-5 flew more hours in the three days of training than it has in the last two years! The interest level for that aircraft is fairly high, and I suspect we will see it operate a lot more.

Saturday was the MN Wing Awards Banquet! We had a fantastic group attend, and everyone had a great time. Ron Legg made sure the desert was extra special, and had a cake specially designed for the Wing.

One event that we all have been waiting for... the first flight of the PT-22. Chris Hughston, our L-5 trainer from Texas, has extensive PT-22 time, and offered to test fly it. We accepted, and Chris took to the air early on Saturday morning! He did a number of manuevers, making sure that everything was working as it should. When he landed, he stated that it was a very straight airplane, and a great flier! Congrats to Doug Olson (crew chief) and all the members who helped to get the aircraft back to flying condition!

Thank you all for your dedication to the CAF, it has been a great start to the season!