Pietenpol Weight and Balance article source


I spoke with Doc Mosher last week. As all of you Piet and Grega builders know, Doc and his wife Dee Just finished a six year run at producing the Brodhead Pietenpol Newsletter. It was an outstanding effort that brought back the whole community spirit around Pietenpol building and flying.


Doc is not a guy to blow his own horn, but I have known him for long enough that he will forgive me if I do it for him. We all understand that newsletters are often covered by the guy in the club who has free time, is good with word processing, and let me put this politely, doesn’t have the strongest of flying nor building backgrounds. It often produces a newsletter with good graphics, but very weak technical and editorial content. Although well intentioned, many editors don’t have a lot of broad based flight experience.


I hold that the last 6 years of the BPN is the ‘gold standard’ of the history of the publication, and newsletters in general, because Doc is the antithesis of the typical newsletter writer.  Lets start here: He has the ultimately rare distinction of holding both of the FAA’s highest awards, The Master Pilot rating and the Charles Taylor Award.  Get this: just to apply for these, you have to be an active, accident free pilot for 50 years, and for the Taylor award you have to be a working A&P for 50 years. (I just figured out that I can’t even get my application in until 2041!) Doc is a very modest guy and I knew him for several years before I discovered he had the Charles Taylor award. He used to politely listen to me, letting me believe I had something to teach him about engines.


I used to think that you could measure writers and editors by their written content. Doc taught me by example that you also have to consider what the really good choose not to include. This judgment only comes with a depth of knowledge of the subject and a insightful understanding of people and their actions. If you have been around Pietenpols for 5 years this might not grab you, but if you have been around a long time, Doc’s judgment and choices are easily appreciated.


I have been fortunate to know people with encyclopedic knowledge of the history of aviation, but when you listen to Doc speak of  Dee Howard, Ed Swearingen and Schweizer brothers, he isn’t speaking of historical figures, he is speaking of friends. His first hand experience through some of the most interesting periods in flight is captivating. He is a very keen observer of the human condition. His stories are always seen through the eyes of humanist who sought out the good in people, forgiving their frailties if they were real characters.


Conversational topics with Doc are unpredictable; he might comment on being James Brown’s corporate pilot, having Thelonious Monk as a neighbor or Hunter S. Thompson as a regular in the bar Doc owned. Or he is just as likely to spend the evening speaking about a plane that is the creation of a builder he just met today. Memories are cared for but not worshipped, what can be done next always a better topic that what has passed.


In a previous story: Pietenpol Weight and Balance project I covered a description of doing the 5 part series on Weight and Balance on Ford, Continental and Corvair powered Pietenpols.  It was a project I had thought about doing for a long time,  but I would like to be publicly clear that it is my immense respect of Doc and the quality of the newsletter that he and Dee were producing that motivated me to do the work and make a lasting contribution that might measure up to his standards. Few builders know it, but Doc has painstakingly collected and carefully authenticated an incredible collection of original plans data on Pietenpols. It is called “the Packet” and it fills a 2.5″ thick 3 ring binder.  I wanted to produce something that might add a few pages to this historical record.


Doc did not amass this information to occupy a dusty shelf in the EAA’s reference library. He put it together to be a useful tool to today’s builder; to make the next generation of Pietenpols  a little better than the last. To make the specific Weight and Balance data articles accessible to builders, Doc has offered them in a single package to builders. If you would like a set, stick a $5 in an envelope and mail it to Doc’s address below. If you wish to make it a little easier, send $12 and perhaps he can send it to you in a flat rate priority mail envelope.


While your at it, you can include a thank you note to Doc and Dee for their years of work on the newsletter. They don’t need the praise, but you will feel better about yourself knowing you expressed gratitude for being the beneficiary of an excellent newsletter.


Doc and Dee Mosher

1071 Meadow Lane

Neenah, WI 54956-3936


Blast from the past, summer of 2000: Doc (in the beard) and I in my hangar at spruce Creek for Corvair college #1.


To read a little more about Doc’s background in aviation, get a look at this story Ed Leinweber wrote about Doc last year:




About William Wynne
I have been continuously building, testing and flying Corvair engines since 1989. Information, parts and components that we developed and tested are now flying on several hundred Corvair powered aircraft. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics and an A&P license from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and have a proven 20 year track record of effectively teaching homebuilders how to create and fly their own Corvair powered planes. Much of this is chronicled at www.FlyCorvair.com and in more than 50 magazine articles.

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