Jim Waters; Why did it have to be Snakes?


If you were fortunate enough to attend some of the early Corvair Colleges between #6 and #20, there is a good chance you met the Corvair/601XL builder pictured with me,  Jim Waters, a very illustrious character from Philadelphia. 



An unexpected, but very welcome visitor.  I had not seen Jim in 5 or 6 years. If the name rings a bell, he is easily remembered as a wiry guy with a gravely voice and a relentlessly positive attitude. He rode his Harley to most of the early Colleges he attended. He is recently retired, and is forming a plan to do a lot more flying and seeing friends, particularly those he met in the Corvair world. The picture above is in front of my hangar with its newly installed door beam.


Jim is a very mechanical guy, First thing in the morning was a trip to our local greasy spoon diner, and second Jim was up on a ladder putting the hanging door tracks back up on my hangar. The outer one glides like it is on magnetic levitation, but the inner one seems to have an inexplicable jam. Not hard and mechanical, actually kind of spongy and draggy. We kneel down to study the ground tracks as the likely source of trouble…….


….right over your heads slithers out 3′ snake from the door tracks, the same tracks we were just on ladders installing.  It is mad, but mortally wounded, a victim of it’s poor choice of hiding spots and my pulling on the door.  This is a near identical  repeat of an event from my childhood in Thailand, which have me nightmares for months. The first thing I thought of was the line Indiana Jones asked; “Why did it have to be snakes?


Hope to see many of you later this week at sun n fun.  I’m not planning on bringing any snakes, but I seem to be having some difficulty keeping them out of my day.




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.

5 Responses to Jim Waters; Why did it have to be Snakes?

  1. David Latour says:

    Still better than snakes in a plane

  2. Ronald Beitel says:

    I am so glad I can get your writings in my email in box. You have a great way with words. I will try to meet you at one of these shows soon. Now I am going to go off topic here a little more. How could I put a 120 HP Corvair aircraft engine on my Cessna 150? I think it would be one great replacement for the O200.

  3. James R. Pool says:

    Remember Jim Waters well from CC20, Jim was always helping someone.

  4. Stuart snow says:

    ASP…very dangerous…you go first.

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