Copiah County Fly-in 2016

Beautiful Saturday to Fly…   Just a short post to show the video we made while at the Copiah County, MS Fly-In a few weeks ago.  We had a GREAT turn out with some really nice planes!  Good food, FAA Wings credit, cheap gas, and I found someone to buy my old magnetos… perfect day!

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Building a Piper Cub!

Where do I start…   It’s been a while since we last made a post on the blog.  What can I say, we’ve been busy.  Lot’s of things have happened in our lives, some good and some not so good.  But, we are still here and have been flying, fishing and building as much as life allows.

Why a Piper Cub…  Well, we finished the RV9A over 5 years ago and have enjoyed every minute in the air with it (over 700 hours!).  But, on those rainy Saturdays for the first couple of years after building the RV, we would walk into the garage and wish we still had a project to work on, so the research began. We had the perfect long distance, fuel efficient and reliable plane with the RV, so why not “low & J3.gifslow”.   We didn’t want one of the main stream kit planes, mainly because they are fairly easy and quick to build and cost too much money.  We went plans / scratch built so that we could spread the minimal build cost over several years allowing us to take as long as needed to afford to build.  The Cub was the perfect plane for the mission, an inexpensive, “low & slow”, Sunday afternoon flyer!

Slow Progress…  We started work on the project a little over 3 years ago.  I have focused on the tubing and welding of the fuselage & tail feathers and Beth has been building the wood ribs.  We have collectively spent just over 400 hours on the project… contrast that with the 3,000+ hours we worked on the RV in just under three years and you can see why this is the perfect project for the rainy Saturdays🙂

Really Neat Video…  After working on smaller components of the tail feathers for a while, I decided to do some time lapse photography of the fuselage build…  It turned out pretty good!  The video below represents about 14 months worth of work.  I have since made a good bit more progress, but have not prepared a video of the results yet.  The time lapse below has been compressed into about 8 minutes, so go fix yourself a glass of wine and come back!

So There You Have It…  who knows, it may be another two years before we post again, but I hope not!  In the mean time, please follow us on Facebook or “the” Twitter and keep the shiny side up!

Oshkosh 2013, Recap

Overall… our trip to Oshkosh & Airventure 2013 went very well.  The weather could NOT HAVE BEEN BETTER!  Morning temps in the 50’s and mid afternoon highs in the 70’s made it really easy to sleep in the tent.  We had very little rain and only one big gust of wind…  No tents were harmed in the making of this adventure!

Attendance… seemed on par with last year and was confirmed this week by EAA.  Over 10,000 planes made it to Oshkosh for the week.  RV’s were well represented in homebuilt camping as you can see by the panoramic photo below… this was taken from the wing of our RV9A (click for larger view).

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Show Changes and Cool Stuff… I think were, for the most part, good.  I liked the new airshow format, the $2 water everywhere, the new food vendors with a much larger variety and TWO night airshows.  The biggest thing missing this year was ALL military aircraft.  We had no C-17’s or A-10’s on static display or the usual daily flybys from F-18 Hornets or F-22 Raptors.  Thank goodness there is one person alive that can afford to privately own and operate a Harrier Jump Jet so that we can get our fill of noise on the flightline every afternoon!

Flying Car and a Jet Man…  One of the neatest things we saw was the Terrafugia Transition (flying car) do its thing in public for the first time.  It rolled out on its own power, unfolded the wings and took off to do a nice aerial display… then it landed, folded up its wings and drove off… pretty cool!  The “Jet Man”, Yves Rossy, was interesting enough, but watching something 6,000 feet over your head that didn’t even make much noise left a lot to be desired.  One of the “sleeper” displays of the week was the SubSonex single person V-tailed jet by Sonex Aircraft.  I’m not sure how you would insure it, but with a $10,000 deposit you could reserve a production slot on this $125,000+ single seater to be delivered next year.

Shower House RANT… It wouldn’t be the EAA if we didn’t have something to complain about now would it?  When you go to take a shower at home you expect to leave the bathroom cleaner than when you came in… not necessarily so if you shower at homebuilt camping.  Try putting on fresh clothes with water ankle deep in dirty bath water… wet cloths & shoes, ain’t no fun!    I know it costs money, but HBC could really benefit from a permanent structure like they now have on the North 40 with flush toilets and private bath stalls.  I know we didn’t spend as much money on our homebuilt planes as the Bonanza Bums & Station Airheads that camp the North 40, but we are part of the reason over a half a million people show up every July. (OK, lots of my friends drive Bonanza’s and 206’s… just laugh, OK)

20130728_112144IA, New State… On the trip up to Oshkosh, we made a fuel stop in Dubuque, IA (KDBQ) and parked next to a familiar P-51 Mustang and our friend from home, Dan Fordice.  Dan offered us lunch with the T-6 group that had been training there all week as he fired up “Charlotte’s Chariot” to beat the weather into KOSH.  After a quick bite and some fuel we managed to get out in front of the long line of T-6’s as they formed up and headed north.  After looking at my log when we returned, I realized that Iowa was a new state for our “land in all states adventure” – number 17 – a long way from all 49, but we are getting there!

Next Year?… you bet, we plan to be there.  Where else can you spend a week in a tent with 10’s of thousands of propheads like ourselves that traveled across this beautiful country of ours to the aviation Mecca, OSHKOSH!

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Oshkosh Day Three, Corn Roast!

The weather couldn’t be any better here this week, highs in the mid 70s and no real rain yet. We have walked  a lot and still only covered a portion of the show. The pedometer on my phone has me at over 20,000 steps Per Day since we have been here. We partied with the warbird group last night at SwampFest, thanks to Dan Fordice and crew and just finished some great roasted corn at homebuilt camping (only in Wisconsin).  At 8:00 tonight is the mid week night airshow… Probably the best event here!
Half way through Airventure and all things are well in Oshkosh!

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Oshkosh Day One – Best Porta-Potti Day!

Waked up to reveille
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from the nearby warbird  camping at 0630.  Temperatures are in the mid 50s and the Porta-Pottis are in the best shape they will be all week! With the smell of coffee in the air at the homebuilt camping area, we stopped for a cup and headed to see the powered parachutes at the ultralight area before the winds pick up. The P51s are cranked and the Aeroshell T-6s are in the air, let the show begin!

The Big BS Theory

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By Beth Hardy Duff

I think the highlight of my day today was when Paul began to explain how the bumble bee was responsible for the invention of Velcro! And that it was NASA that did the study! This all stemmed from a story on the radio (live radio, I might add – during the Trading Post segment. The Trading Post which died away everywhere else at least 30 years ago is alive and well in Arkansas). We don’t miss it when we’re here. Anyhow…when one guy explained to the other that the bumble bee was actually covered with hair. Not just his legs, but his “rear end” – as the polite Arkansan stated on the radio. I looked at Paul and said,”Ah, the unknown virtues of the hairy butted bumble bee”. If you know Paul, this is all it took as the blossoming and weaving of the story of the discovery and invention of Velcro by NASA using the bumble bee grew to enormous proportions. I looked over at my husband of 31 years to declare “bulls**t magnifique” and he could hardly contain his laughter. I told him he got an A+ for effort as it has been a long while since he had taken the time and effort to create the total bs explanation! This is one reason life has been so interesting for 31 years and absolutely why I will go to Oshkosh, WI for s 7th time and spend an entire week sleeping on the ground in a tent beside our airplane for a week. It’s because after that long, we still sincerely enjoy each others’ company and enjoy the same things in life in the same manner. I truly would wish this part of my life on everyone I know! It’s been a wild and wonderful ride and I can’t wait to see what’s around the next bend!!

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Sunset Cruise / Oshkosh via Arkansas

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Our original plan… was to start our Oshkosh trip on Friday afternoon by heading to the camper in Arkansas for a couple of days, but the weather forecast for for Friday didn’t look very good. With this front coming in it could have delayed us several days, so we decided to get out in front of the weather and get to Arkansas Thursday night.

You wanna do what?… My phone call to Beth on the way home from work Thursday was interesting. “I think we can be packed and on the way to the airport in an hour” I said… I detected a hint of skepticism in her voice… “So you want to pack and leave tonight?” “Yep”, I said, “If we hurry, we can be on the ground by 9:00 pm in Flippin”. Beth has never been one to back down from a challenge, so by the time I got home she was ready and all I had to do was throw 10 days worth of t-shirts and tighty-whitys in my stuff sack and we were on our way!

Perfect Flight – See photo above… this was a great sunset flight. We touched down at KFLP at about 9:05, cranked “Jane” and headed to the camper to get the AC turned on. Sure enough, as forecast, the weather moved into north Arkansas about 9 am and by the time we would have left Friday it was a real mess, see photo below…

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Fixed the Hooter Valve… Since we were a late arrival in Flippin, we decided to go to the airport and put the plane in a hangar before the weather came through Friday. After this was done, we took Jane back to the repair shop to have her defective “hooter valve” replaced… Long story, but she now runs much quieter!

As we drove by Dally’s fly shop, we saw our buddy Ron’s truck and stopped by to visit. After an hour of catching up and buying a few flys and tying supplies we had a plan to fish in the am. So, our plan now is to visit the Norfork in the morning to fish and head to Oshkosh on Sunday, the weather looks great there and we can’t wait!

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Packing for Oshkosh 2013 & Where have we been?

By: Beth Hardy Duff

FIRST DAY OF THE BRITISH OPEN… (okay, sooo…)  It is Thursday, late afternoon on July 18th.  We are sitting in front of the TV watching the recap of the first day of the British Open.  The weather there looks to have been pretty good for the first round.  Exceptionally good… as opposed to our own weather in Madison which was host to the Sanderson Farms Championship.  It treated our entrants and spectators to a spectacular display of Mississippi weather in July at its finest.

EARLIER IN THE DAY…  When I finally crawled out of bed this morning and went outside to complete a long put-off chore of cleaning out the gutters on the back of the house, it was as oppressive and humid as Junior Samples’ shorts!  I got the ladder up and dug out all sorts of dirt, leaves, shingle dust and the occasional displaced skinks.  All finished, I swept off the 50 pounds (or so it appeared) of stuff I had pulled out of the gutter and sacked it up for the “garbage fairies” to haul off.  Garbage Fairies are my term for the garbage men who come to my house on Mondays & Thursdays and magically make my garbage disappear…. I LOVE them!

Shortly thereafter, it began to thunder, then it rained, then it poured.  I LOVED the fact that the deck was getting a freebie wash-job and that the gutters were operating correctly and getting a great hosing out.  As I turned my back, a bolt of lightning plunged into the ground somewhere very close and I ducked and almost ran for cover.  This continued on long after the rain ended providing a special viewing of Mississippi lightning in July in the daytime.  Those imported spectators visiting our area were now fully versed in the bizarre weather Mississippi can sport and probably headed straight to Wal-Mart to replace their now soiled undies!

So after that, I went back to the TV… I planned to watch the day’s recap of the Sanderson Farm Championship, however, there wasn’t much to show as the rain and lightning scared off everyone including the Golf Gods and forced not just a “rain delay”, but a “rain postponement til the next day”.  Better luck tomorrow, guys.

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Miaow helping Paul with weather planning…

WHERE ‘YA BEEN?  You haven’t heard much from us in a long time and it’s not because we have forgotten about you or have abandoned the blog.  Frankly, we had no idea that anybody really REAALLLY paid that much attention to us….but we found out differently!  Recently, everywhere Paul and I have been, one or both of us have been politely chastised for being so delinquent in our writings.  If we didn’t run into you telling us this, we actually got emails from you!  What a boon to our egos!  You like us!  YOU REALLY DO LIKE US!!  (Move over, Sallie Field, we’re good too!)  So, we will try to do better.  We have both endured our fair (and very unfair) share of family sicknesses and woes over the past several months and that does a lot to kill the flow from the writer’s fingers.  It just doesn’t flow at all.  A couple of weeks ago, Paul mentioned that he intended to sit down & write a few things for the blog and that he sat at his computer, fingers poised and nothing….just nothing happened.  Nothing except Miaow hopping into his lap and loving on him as she has learned to do when I’m gone.  She has quickly become Paul’s cat as I am no longer her favorite.  She’s Daddy’s girl and she knows it and plays it to the hilt.  Perhaps she has forgotten who feeds her, changes her litter, bought her the $30 S-Curve upholstered cat recliner and a zillion dollars’ worth of assorted toys.  When I do come home, she twines around my ankles until I pick her up and then she bites me in a somewhat playful and somewhat Freddy Kruege-like manner.  Somehow, Ialways forgive her.

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Where are ya’ll going now??

PACKING FOR OSHKOSH…  While I was at my parents’ house, tending to them, I asked Paul if he would start getting out stuff for OSH and just put it on the dining room table.  He said he’d be glad to.  In fact, it was exciting to think of packing up for our annual fun cross-country trip and would help get his mind off things too.  When I finally got home, dead on my feet, I expected to come in to a view of the tent, sleeping bags and other assorted stuff piled high in the middle of the dining room table.  Instead, I caught sight of the paperback Notam and a single sheet report from AV Lab of our oil analysis and that was all…except cat hair and dust.  I asked what happened and I never got a real precise answer other than, “I wasn’t sure where the tent and sleeping bags were”, “Uh, I never got a good start on it”, “Uh, well, I needed your help.”  For all you other married pilots out there, number three is the proper answer.  After 31 years of marriage, floundering around until you cough up, “Uh….I needed your help” or something related to this greatly aids your case immensely.  All is instantly forgiven and packing immediately gets underway.

More to come as we continue to pack this week.

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Off To Houma, LA

Track us today… to the Cajun Fly-in in Houma, LA. Details are here: http://www.eaa.org/calendar/eventdetail.aspx?id=12383

Click here to track or the “Track Us”  link at the top of the page.  We hope to have some photos later in the week.

Plan B… No, Make it Plan C

Plan A… Yesterday we had signed up for the civilian fly-in at the Columbus Air Force Base.  We had our standard government paperwork filed to land at CAFB and we were excited about spending the day around the jets on base and spending some time in the simulators. The weather was looking good until we arrived at the Raymond Airport to depart… heavy fog.  We waited as long as we could for it to clear, but no luck and our time ran out.  In order to land at CAFB, we had a designated slot time for arrivals and if we were not “wheels up” by 0715 from Raymond, we would not make the slot.  At this point we threw up our hands and drove to Starbucks for coffee and a muffin and to come up with Plan B.

Plan B…  One of the things you learn as a pilot is to always have an alternate plan.  Our Plan B, was to go to the fly-in and camp out down at Pineville, LA (2L0) and check out the planes and eat lunch.  We have been to Pineville for their monthly breakfast several times, but not to the fall fly-in.  I started looking at the weather south of here only to see that it was still socked in near Pineville.  1/2 mile visability and 200 foot ceilings still  plagued south Louisiana, so we decided to rub on the plane for a while until the weather broke at our destination.  2 hours later and a call to the automated weather system at Alexandria confirmed the poor computer reports… It’s still low IFR.  Now we are getting stir crazy and ready to go somewhere.

Plan C…  We had been invited to fly to Starkville with some friends to watch Mississippi State play Tennessee, but had decided that flying home after an 8:00 game was not for me.   But, this is the south and 90% of the fun of college football is the pre-game campus environment.  So, Plan C turned out to be flying to Starkville, MS (KSTF), eat lunch at our old favorite place, Oby’s, and walk campus before the game.  This was perfect, after a great lunch, we spent some time shopping in the book store, visiting the Student Union, watching other college games on various TV’s and tailgating with friends.  After walking miles and covering the beautiful MSU campus we flew home to just in time to catch our Bulldogs on ESPN.

#HAILSTATE…  After waking up at 0500, this had been a long day… We were tired, but wide awake in front of the TV until 2330 when our beloved MSU Bulldogs defeated The Tennessee Volunteers 41 to 31.  Our now 15th ranked Bulldogs are 6 & 0 for the first time in many years and should be 7 & 0 when they roll into Tuscaloosa on the 27th of October to play the #1 ranked Crimson Tide of Alabama – GO DAWGS!

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