Who is William Wynne?

Above, A photo taken at Sun n Fun 2006. My wife Grace Ellen and myself, in front of the first Corvair powered Zenith, our own N-1777W. The plane was the first XL model with conventional gear.  Grace is a skilled pilot in her own right. She has been a pilot longer than I have, holds more advanced ratings and owns two aircraft. As a point of ethics, we do not promote, advocate nor sell things we have not personally flown behind.

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Who is William Wynne?

Modern consumer sales logic dictates that that business should ‘de-personalize’ themselves so consumers find nothing objectionable about the provider while they are spending money.  That model may work elsewhere, and even have advocates experimental aviation, but I don’t buy it.  I contend that Aviation is a different arena, and who you are dealing with, and their ethics, experience and perspective matters.

Building a plane or an engine is a marriage of sorts between the builder and his airframe or engine company. I believe that it is best if everyone goes into it well informed with their eyes wide open. I am always surprised how few people even Google the name of a person they are thinking of working with. You don’t need to see eye to eye with them on every point nor even love them, but the relationship must absolutely have trust and respect operating in both directions. In 25 years I have seen many builders try to justify buying a product from a provider they didn’t really trust. It never works out. It doesn’t matter how good it looks, what it costs or how great it is supposed to work, if it is from a bad guy, it isn’t worth buying.

I could write a quick paragraph about how I am a pilot, a 22 year A&P mechanic, and that I hold both an AS degree in Maintenance and a BS in Professional Aeronautics (accident investigation) From the worlds #1 aeronautical university, Embry-Riddle , but I don’t think that any of that explains my commitment to builders nearly as well as the flying planes of our builders and things we have accomplished. Henry Ford said “A man can not base his reputation on what he says he will do; only what he has done.”

I am plain spoken. to understand why, read the ‘Effective Risk Management’ story below. I have many friends who are experienced aviators who value plain talk. This type of speech also tends to offend people who dabble in aviation and would rather read polite things that align with their pet opinions. I am in aviation to share experience builders need to know, not say things people want to hear. Below are a selection of stories, some humorous, but all with a point, that give people a better understanding of who I am. From there you can decide if you choose to work with me as your engine mentor.

a) Fixing America is going to cost each of us $1.69

b) Greatest Book on Flying Ever Written, (Is your life worth $16?)

c) In defense of plain speaking……

d) Turtles and Cell Phones, 6/24/13.

e) A thought on Easter….

f) Happy Father’s Day William E. Wynne Sr.

g) Effective Risk Management – 2,903 words

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Corvair Thermal Image Testing

Builders

Here is a quick look at a tool that Corvair/Panther builder Paul Salter, Dan Weseman and myself employ to collect data. It is a HD thermal imaging video camera which Paul has linked to store the images and video for analysis. The tests shown below on Paul’s  3,000 cc Panther engine were just to calibrate the equipment and evaluate using the scissors lift as a stable platform for an overhead view of the running engine. This is just a quick look to demonstrate another tool we use here. The long term plan is to integrate the camera into my run stand, so we can look at sustained high power runs, and Paul as a cable set up he can feed through his oil door in the cowl to connect the 1″ camera to a tablet in his cockpit.

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Above, when you want something stable that will not blow around, the scissors lift in Paul’s hangar does the trick, it has racks of batteries in the bottom and weighs thousands of pounds. Paul is using a ratchet strap to secure the tripod.

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Above, this is what the arrangement looked like from the lift. We had just finished a short run, and the video camera was still looking at the engine. KEEP IN MIND: this isn’t a new engine, it has 200 hours on it. A new engine should never be run without a cowl or airbox even for 1 minute. I tried to upload a 1 minute film to demonstrate how fast the engine, even a broken in one, heats up without a cowl, but the data file is excessively large. Take my word for it, without a cowl, the temp comes up much faster than you would think, and the thermal camera confirmed that without a cowl top or airbox, very little air flows through the engine. In the image it is very easy to see how cool the welded on intake pipes stay on the heads (because they have cool air and evaporating gas flowing through them) The camera can pick up temp differences down to 1 degree.

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Above, we live and work in the total aviation immersion environment. I looked up for a moment to shoot our neighbors Piper taking off. Paul’s hangar is at mid-field, Mine is 600′ south, and Dan and Rachel’s place is another 1,200′ south on the overrun. Our little grass airstrip has about 50 hangars and 100 aircraft. All the work on the airstrip, from mowing the grass, fixing the tractor, keeping the irrigation and drainage up, filing the paperwork, maintaining the lights, etc,  is  100% done by neighborhood volunteers. We all contribute $25 a month to the airport fund, and believe it or not, we run a large budget surplus in a typical year. As you can tell by the tractors and trucks in yards, and the stories of shooting .50BMG rifles, it is not your typical rule burdened airport. Dirt bikes are more common than golf carts here. For a look at the flying environment here, get a look at this story: 5 years ago today.

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Above, a slightly closer look at the camera. The image is a lot better than this photo captures. We were later blowing it up to look at individual cylinder fins. Even in this picture you can see the cooler plug wires and the bolt heads on the top cover. Notice the dip stick can be seen as a cool spot. The scale on the color range is on the bottom of the screen.

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You can look at Paul’s plane at this link: Paul’s Panther. He is an aerospace engineer for the US Navy, a 15 year specialist on the EA-6B program. Paul’s education is a Masters degree from Americas oldest aviation university, Parks. If you would like some insight into Dan Weseman’s background look at this: Panther Roll out. Mesh those two with my grease monkey story: Who is William Wynne? and you get an overview of how we stay ahead of technical topics here. One of our strengths is that we like to argue. We don’t think the same, and none of our approaches nor backgrounds overlap a lot. This is a big asset, even if it doesn’t always sound that way to spectators. The one thing we have in common is a trust of testing over discussion, and a respect for letting the facts have the last word.  I have long found that “guru’s” who work alone, never have their pet theories challenged, but it took me 20 years of working in aviation to fully understand that many of these same people specifically chose to work alone, because they don’t like listening to others, nor even conceding that others may be right.

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Conversely,  since day one, I have lived by the motto “I reserve the right to get smarter”, and this is done by listening to others and getting past the idea that you have all the right answers. Next time you are reading a website, look for the part where they guy tells you what he learned from others. I’m not speaking of a guy citing sources from ‘experts’ to prove how right he was all along, I am speaking about actual mechanical humility. It isn’t common enough,  If it is missing, you have an important insight into the person’s handicap: They have a learning disability, specifically  the inability to learn from others. -ww.

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Father’s Day memory

Builders:

On Father’s Day, a memory of a fine afternoon;

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Above my Father, the real William Wynne,  and I standing in front of my Pietenpol, at Brodhead WI, 2000.

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Hoping every one of you is enjoying the day with family or friends, giving time to consider the men who gave us a free world, a home in that world and their enduring example of devotion to family, country and duty.

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From: Patriotism has no Party :

“He is from a generation of men who’s love of country and family were strong enough to never need the acknowledgement of others, far less praise nor reward. They were motivated solely by belief and love.”

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-WWjr.

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Happy Easter

Builders,

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May this Easter bring you a peaceful day, with time to reflect on the many blessings of our lives.  Best wishes for a good day with friends and family.

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Grace, William and ScoobE.

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Something worth reading: A thought on Easter….

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Thought for the Day: “My Dreams” The only belief that I will always openly champion, the belief that is at the central core of the story above, is my unshakeable faith in the goodness of common, decent people.

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Thought for the Day: What are you thankful for? “The secret I would like to share with anyone who at times feels the same way, is that I have a sanctuary where I am insulated from much of my self-criticism, and a have a front, where at 50, I am much better on than I thought possible in my youth.”

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-ww.

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Thought for the Day: Columbus Day, 1925.

Builders;

170 years ago, half my DNA lived in Germany, the other half in Ireland.  The first element of the Irish half came to America in the form of a 12 year old girl who walked 90 miles to a port, took 4th class steerage to Castle Garden immigration station, and began 8 years of work as an indentured servant in a wealthy home in New Jersey.

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She had a number of sons, almost all of whom became police officers, among them my Grandfather Michael Wynne and his older brother William Wynne. Starting before WWI, they worked as patrolmen for the Passaic and Clifton departments respectively.

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On Columbus day 1925, my great uncle was on duty for the parade in Clifton. He observed the marchers in the lead holding the Italian flag up high, while intentionally holding the United States flag dipped beneath it. He was not one to tolerate such intentional disrespect, and he stepped off the curb and grabbed the pole of the Italian flag.  When a number of the marchers moved on him, he drew his revolver to make it clear he would not be assaulted without cost.

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The mayor was pressured to fire him, but there was a public outcry, exemplified by the poem in the paper shown below, written by a woman who’s father was a civil war veteran. William Wynne kept his job, but in the long run paid a price for it. He advanced through the ranks, but not at the pace he deserved or one that matched the success of his brothers. If he ever regretted his actions that day, he never mentioned a single word of it to anyone. He put his loyalty to the ideals of this country above all else.

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My Grandfather and his siblings were aware of their heritage, but were not attached to it; They considered themselves 100% American. In their formative years, Teddy Roosevelt was the outspoken president of the United States. One of the things TR spoke against was anyone identifying themselves as a “Hyphenated American.”  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyphenated_American ) . Roosevelt was absolutely clear that he considered any naturalized citizen just as good as one who was born here, but he had no tolerance for people who were unsure of their loyalty. To some of todays ears, this is terrible, but my grandfather and his siblings understood it without reservation. A century later, I confess to feeling the same way.

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We have all seen the commercial for DNA testing where some person feels their life is changed because they discover that 300 years ago their ancestors lived in a Slavic country, not Spain. I find the very premise laughable, because that person could have traveled to both Slovenia and Spain, and they would really know nothing of the customs, far less the mindset, yet the new results bring them some “identity”.

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Conversely, I have no confusion on these issues: for better or worse, I am an American, period, end of sentence. I have known many Germans, worked with them and have been to Germany; in spite of the fact 50% of my DNA is from there, I feel no attachment to the culture, it isn’t mine to claim. In Munich I was simply a tourist just as I have always been in other countries. I suspect the peoples of those lands would prefer Americans didn’t harbor the fantasy their DNA tests qualify them to understand what it means to be a native of those places.

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Unlike most Americans, I am particularly well read on our history, including its lowest points. I was born 72 years to the day after the US 7th Cavalry killed several hundred people, mostly women and children, at a cold desolate place called Wounded Knee, South Dakota.  This was considered the very last ‘battle’ fought between Native Americans and all the people who had come since Columbus.  398 years of warfare came to an end that day, not with just peace, nor even a fair fight.  On a day where most people are somehow blindly celebrating a man who ushered in the Europeans, you can set yourself apart by reading the story of Wounded Knee, including the really ugly parts where women with infants who ran miles from the battle where run down and executed by US soldiers. There were less that 500 soldiers there, but 22 of them were awarded the Medal of Honor for their ‘heroic’ actions.

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The awareness of my countries failings doesn’t condone or justify weak loyalty. The awareness just requires my vigilance against further mistakes during the ‘watch’ of my adult years as a citizen. There will be national failings, such as this: Political Reality Check , but they should not be cynically accepted as inevitable. It is beyond me why many people believe that our mistakes are made by the other party, my personal feelings are expressed here: Patriotism has no Party .

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Worth reading:   What the 4th of July means to me.

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Your Aviation Connection: Just as I believe that a person can choose to be an American, and make the conscious choice to live within our laws and values, I also believe that anyone, can choose to be an Aviator, and abide by and enjoy the equal protection of the laws of physics chemistry and gravity.  It has been my long experience that the rewards of being an aviator go to the people who give it the ‘loyalty’ of their best efforts, not those who dabble in it with half hearted interest, a hyphenated loyalty where the casual retain the customs of lands outside the airport fence where “It should be alright” is a national moto.

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Read: Risk Management – Human factors ” The evidence that fools present for the existence of luck is vague and anecdotal at best.  Hard, proven and factual evidence for the existence
of Physics, Gravity and Chemistry can be found at any crash site.”

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When I was little, maybe 9, my Father took us to The Jefferson Memorial. There he explained to us that The United States of America was neither a business nor a playground, it is a set of ideals, which made it the last best hope of mankind. The dream that mankind had moved past kings and dictators, past theocrats and oppressors, to a world where individuals governed themselves as equals. We could look at the ceiling and read Jefferson’s words plainly:

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“I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

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 From there we went to Arlington, where my father explained that the nation had set aside an eternal resting place for the citizens who had laid down their lives for the ideals of this country, and if he were ever to take a place among them, we should not weep, as it would only mean that he had lived for something greater than himself.

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Thought for the Day: Adam Smith, capitalism in a theoretical vacuum

Disclaimer: No technical information follows, just food for thought, a nutrition that zealots have no taste for.

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Builders:

Last week I wrote the story: Made in America – data plates – obituaries to US manufacturing jobs . The basic premise of the story was pointing out what we lost as a country when we turned to buying cheap products from overseas.

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Above, a 2,850 cc Corvair. The only used parts in this engine are the case halves, the head castings, the oil case casting, the distributor body and some misc. hardware. The rest, including the cylinders, pistons rods, crank, and all conversion parts are brand new, made in the United States of America.

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Ironically, a Wall Street Journal writer, Bret Stephens wrote an editorial the same day, part of which extolled the virtues of buying cheap products from overseas. Because Stevens’s biography says went straight from the University of Chicago to the London school of economics to being a New York City resident and editor of the WSJ at the ripe old age of 24, I am going go out on a limb and guess that Stephens doesn’t know much about manufacturing that made America, nor the lives of the people who built the country he lives in.

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Many journalists with a masters degree in economics want to justify their love of Lexuses and perhaps their embarrassment for their parents blue collar jobs, turns to the same paragraph in “The wealth of Nations” written by Adam Smith in 1776, as justification for avoiding buying anything made in America:

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“It is the maxim of every prudent master of a family, never to attempt to make at home what it will cost him more to make than to buy. If a foreign country can supply us with a commodity cheaper than we ourselves can make it, better to buy it of them.”

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OK, econ. 101 refresher course: Western Civilization is allegedly based on Judeo-Christian thought, but unfortunately it is mostly based on the worship of money, not God; Most faiths have an ancient text and a prophet, and the worship of capitalism has the book “The Wealth of Nations” and a prophet in the form of a peculiar Scotsman named Adam Smith. Like other malicious worshipers, the truly greedy benefit from selective reading of their good book and conveniently ignoring unholy elements of their prophet.

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Before getting to why the quote above is ludicrous when applied to both families and countries, a few words about Smith are in order. First, he wasn’t as most people believe, an American, nor in favor of our countries existence; He never made anything other than two books; he was considered by his contemporaries as somewhere between totally absent minded and seriously mentally ill; in spite of his family analogies, he expressed no interest in women, was never married, had no children, and lived with his mother until he was 61.  As a Scotsman, he was required to be a cross dresser, and wear women’s skirts and knee socks. ( I don’t judge them for this, but does everything have to be plaid?)

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Here is why “The Wealth of Nations” is a distorted view of capitalism:  In Smiths world it was ‘normal’ and legal for people to own slaves. Great Britain took this concept to the national level, where they owned other countries (like us). If you can own people, labor has no value, and if you have colonies that have to buy your products at gunpoint, the term market value doesn’t exist. Lets gloss over ideas like 9 year olds working in coal mines because 14 year olds want too much money, and slaves are too valuable for that kind of work. These were ‘normal’ in the world of the prophet of pure capitalism. He also didn’t take into account, corruption, lobbyists, currency manipulation, the eventual rise of imaginary financial instruments like credit default swaps, legislatures for sale, countries bent on war over trade, or any of the other factors that exist outside the vacuum of Smiths imagination. Just maybe, people should be a little more reluctant to draw random quotes from the good book of greed.

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He is an easy (and true) example of why Smiths quote above is national suicide for profit: I have an old friend who is a citizen of an extremely wealthy middle eastern oil country. He tells me that his country is in deep trouble; They have never made anything domestically, they just followed Adam Smiths quote above, and paid for it with oil revenue.  They also came to believe that nearly everything in the country, including pumping the oil, could be done by paid foreigners. Every semi-skilled task is done by Palestinians on open work visas. Even the security forces are staffed with mercenaries. Now the problem: Every day, the world is figuring out how to use less oil, and he finds himself living in a country with fellow citizens who are several generations into having no have no idea how to make anything, while having the work ethic of a millennial addicted to video games. He ends all these conversations with the same exhaled sentence: “We are so screwed”.

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What has that got to do with the good old USA? Follow this idea: We don’t have oil to buy everything with, so we made up something called the ‘national debt,’ spent 20 trillion dollars on that credit card, and the overseas banker got all the money to loan us buy moving our jobs to his place and selling us ‘cheap’ stuff he made in big box stores. This made 1% of America astoundingly rich, and most of us just got stuck with Craftsman tools that are now made in China, and a pile of personal debt. Now the problem: Just as people are figuring out how to use less oil, so are they figuring out that they may no longer need loan us money for our debt. We buy defense critical items from people who hate us and sell uranium to the Russians. Now go back to my old friends quote about his country, and think to yourself “We are so…….”

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OK, before you walk across the street and torch your neighbors Volkswagen that still has the “Gore 2000” sticker in the back window, realize we can still turn this around. We are only one generation into blowing this, and we still have a giant percentage of people who know how to make stuff in this country. We are well educated, and we have a legacy from our parents and grandparents of actual hard work. The key thing is to cut way back or stop buying imported things that we should be making here. Adam Smiths example is stupid, unless you are the kind of parent that says “I can just work all the time if I hire a minimum wage babysitter to raise my kids.” In reality, your country is your family and buying things made here is an investment in your family, which is a lot cheaper in the long run if they learn productive trades rather than you paying kids in families on the other side of town to learn productive trades. Think it over next time someone tells you they bought the imported one because they thought it was “Cheap” or they said they bought it because they support “Free Trade.” Both of these are very surface goals when pitted against the survival of our country.

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Hey William, why are you picking on Al Gore? The reason why I dislike old Al is because he was the single most outspoken champion of making it profitable and easy to ship manufacturing jobs out of this country, NAFTA. One of the great things about YouTube is that you can go and look at how Gore predicted it was actually going to bring waves of new jobs to this country. Right next to him was Ross Perot, who famously said that if NAFTA was passed there would be a “Giant Sucking Sound” until jobs in Mexico went up to $6 an hour, and Jobs in the US came down to the same wage.  He wasn’t exactly right, the people in the US who would have had jobs in manufacturing actually work for $7.25 an hour, but a lot of them have no job today.

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-ww.

Real moral power: HRH, the King of Thailand passes from this life

Builders:

News channels in the US will be occupied with pathetic stories of moral corruption today, and there can be no greater leadership contrast today than looking at the nation of Thailand, where their beloved king who has ruled for 70 years, has passed from this life.  Most of my friends know that I spent my childhood living in Thailand. While it has become an ever more popular tourist destination since we were there in the 1970s, few westerners ever took the time to understand that the King of Thailand was an incredible life-long example of real moral power.

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Above, my father speaking with HRH, the King of Thailand, in 1974. Being born in Massachusetts and educated in Switzerland, The king understood both western and eastern worlds. 

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During the cold war, our nation ‘befriended’ a number of terrible despots like Chang Kai-shek, Ferdinand Marcos and the Shaw of Iran. In complete contrast, Thailand shared our vision of a world without communist totalitarians, while being lead by a man whom we could be very proud to consider as an ally. If half our allies in the cold war had been people of his morality, the world would have been a much better place today.

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In the western world, we think of “Kings” in the European tradition, where they pronounce their powers as God’s will, declare themselves infallible, write their own law, have their enemies put in dungeons, behead their ex-wives and declare war on their colonies, all while sitting on vast wealth and great estates, tended by subjects that are beneath them. They declare themselves to have “absolute power” but in reality, they are weak because they lack one critical element: Moral Power. 

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The King of Thailand was the worlds longest serving ruler, having been king for 70 years. Contrary to western monarchy, he was not the head of the faith, nor was he leader of the armed forces; he didn’t derive power from legislation nor from wealth; he took no direct role in politics, and he directly spoke against the concept of infallibility, calling it an insult.   Yet for seven decades he remained the most respected and powerful man in a country of 65 million people. His entire life was a single example of ethical and moral behavior, one that was revered by the people of his nation, and in times of crisis, his leadership by example of ethical behavior, was a compass needle his nation chose to follow.

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Today, in our country, we have two people fighting to be in a position of leadership. I can say without the slightest hesitation, that even though one of them will be ‘elected’, there was never any chance that either one of them would be our nations ‘Leader’, because each of them, a long time ago, did things which permanently crippled any moral power they might ever have. Moral and ethical understanding of life is the critical element without which, no good can come. I would offer my condolences to the people of Thailand, but at this hour, it seems we might be the country who is suffering

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-ww.

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From the 2013 story: Happy Father’s Day William E. Wynne Sr. :

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“Thailand is a constitutional monarchy like England, but the Thais hold the deepest reverent respect for their royal family. The King is the longest serving ruler in the world, and is widely understood as a very positive force in a part of the world that knew very little peace or freedom. He was educated in the United States and knew that his country was on the front lines of the Cold War.

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The location of the photo was a construction site on Doi Inthanon, the tallest mountain in SE Asia. From 1971-74, my father was the OICC (Officer in Charge of Construction) in Thailand. This included numerous military and civilian infrastructure projects in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, and places as distant as Diego Garcia. My father worked equally hard on building hospitals and roads as he did building airbases. While all of Thailand’s neighbors, Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, fell into savage rule by communist totalitarian regimes that ran from repressive police states to genocide, the Thai people were spared this trip to hell. My father remains very proud of the role he played in preventing their enslavement.

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As a show of respect for our Thai hosts, we lived in a typical Thai home, went to regular schools, learned the language, ate the food and always were deeply respectful of the people, customs and beliefs of our host nation. My father drilled into us that any shortcoming on our part would be tantamount to sabotaging the work that he and many other Americans were doing to ensure excellent relations between the two countries.  Today, 42 years later, I have no patience for any American who goes abroad and forgets what the word “guest” means.  At the conclusion of our time there, the Thai Secretary of Defense presented the Order of the White Elephant to my father. It is the medal on the ribbon around his neck in his official photo above.”

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Values of my Father

Builders;

On the eve of my Father’s 91st birthday, a story to share some of the values my Father instilled in us.

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Above, Sun ‘N Fun 2006,  My Father and I, in front of a Grumman F8F Bearcat, a serious piece of hardware from my father’s era of Naval aviation. My father entered the U.S. Navy in 1943 and is USNA Class of 1949. He served on active duty for 33 years.

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I was walking among rows of warbirds with my Father at Sn n Fun 2006. An acquaintance from EAA chapter 288, the Spruce Creek FL. chapter approached my father and introduced himself. The chapter likely has the most affluent membership in the EAA.  I was president of 288 from 2000-2003, and was jokingly called “Our token poor guy.”

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The man wanted to speak with my Father about just one thing: He wanted to say how much he admired that I refused to engage in any legal activity or sue anyone after my accident in 2001. I was not PIC, and on the day of the accident, I went back to the wreckage to extract the pilot who had been knocked unconscious. When the plane caught on fire, it lit my gasoline soaked clothes, and I ended up seriously burned on 40% of my body.  The FAA made the pilot take a check ride afterwards, indicating they had questions about his performance. I had a number of fellow chapter members tell me that I was being foolish to not sue the PIC. Some people when as far as suggesting their lawyer. I was never going to do this, because my Father raised us to understand there were such things as honest mistakes, and I understood the risks before I got in the plane. The PIC had apologized, even traveled to my parents home in NJ to express this to them in person. In my fathers world, and by extension mine, the matter was over.

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The acquaintance at Sun n Fun knew this part of the story, and only wanted to tell my Father how much he admired my decision to drop the matter, even when many people openly said I was “an idiot” for not “cashing in.”  My father listened until the man was finished, and then in a cool tone simply said “My son doesn’t need your, nor anyone’s praise for merely behaving as everyone should.”

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The man was not expecting this, and I hope he latter understood that it was precisely my Father’s unambiguous code of ethics, one that dictated that ethical behavior was done simply because it was right, and any expectation of reward, even as small as public praise, reduced the action to a child’s understanding of right and wrong. My Fathers code didn’t care if everyone else was doing it and even if society was rewarding them, it was still wrong.  We were to be individuals, and as such, we were not to look to the herd to see what could be gotten away with, nor were we to expect the smallest of rewards for better actions.

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By the time I was in junior high school, it was readily apparent that most of the world didn’t have the same code as my father, the Naval officer with a sign on his desk that said “When principle is involved, be deaf to expediency”.  There were a great number of times in my childhood that I longed for a little more flexibility that might find an easier path. It was only as an adult that I came to appreciate the fact that you can have most things taken away in life, but the things that matter, to lose these, you have to give them away or sell them, and if you did, you would really have nothing left.

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If I have ever come across as inflexible or harsh, I ask only that the person first consider if it is a matter of principle, such as safety in aviation. In those cases, many people might like a different answer, but they will not get one from me. They don’t realize they are asking me to go against my father’s values.  Such people frequently suspect that I am judgmental about people who live differently, but I’m not. If I was, it would be an indication that I had the expectation of society’s approval, which in itself is a reward, and if people need a reward for doing the right things, then it really doesn’t count as ethical.

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To understand more about my father, a 2014 story: 

William Wynne Sr. Turns 89 today

and

Patriotism has no Party

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-ww.

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Thought for the Day: Learning vs. Labeling

Builders:

A few days ago I made a two sentence public comment expressing “disappointment’ at a single position taken by a public servant. This provoked a verbal attack from a person who felt his hero was to be followed dogmatically. The verbal attack was trying to label me with names of groups which he is emotionally driven to dismiss without any consideration of argument nor logic.

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We live in the ‘information age’ but ironically, a great number of people much prefer labeling people to learning anything from them; These people prefer the mindlessly shouted slogan to any consideration of opposing thought.  These people have long been conditioned, the first thing to do when encountering a different thought is Label it with a pre-provided name, so it can be dismissed without any further consideration.

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This is the stock and trade of political parties and the 24hr media, and it works like magic to generate rabidly loyal fans of their home team, standing on their sidelines shouting at the other side, which they have long been told to label, dismiss and hate. They do this while seeking the cocoon of comfort provided by social and media sources that always affirm their every preconception.  It is pointless to speak with a person who must label everyone who doesn’t agree a “liberal.” It is an equal waste to speak with the numerous people who have accusingly labeled me just the opposite. Both of them are afraid to think and consider, and have to come to the conclusion I am an American who doesn’t need to agree with them. They are much like a 12 year old boy in an Islamabad madrasa, conditioned to dismiss and hate anything that is labeled ‘infidel.’  The only difference being the boy has no choice, and adults in this Country have to willfully chose the path of lazy ignorance.

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Your Aviation Connection:

I have written a number of very frank stories, like this one: ERAU – models of integrity #2, that explain why every aviator has a moral and ethical responsibility to learn everything he can from any knowledgeable source, not just ones he ‘likes’ or hold the same social opinions as he does. This is not a small point. Aviation is far too serious a task, and it has no room for people who’s knee jerk emotional reaction when encountering different experiences and perspectives is to label and dismiss them.

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The branch of aviation which this most applies to his homebuilding. Building your own plane and learning how to fly it requires so much learning that is preposterous for anyone to expect success while dismissing opportunities to learn.  I was 27 years old when I came to understand this, and I have been willing to devote my entire working like to this subject. If the average age of a new homebuilder is 55, and he works outside aviation, he must decide now, to consider and learn, as the time line is not in his favor, and this task doesn’t generate second chances. If he is building a plane with a passenger seat, he has a moral and ethical obligation to put away the lesser parts of his ego and get on with the task of becoming a better, more thinking aviator.

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 Sadly there are many people in aviation who will not learn from, or even listen to sources of information they can dismiss by labeling. Your best defense against them is to give them a very wide berth….and make damn sure you resist the human weakness to prefer the company of people that just reinforce perspectives and opinions you acquired without inspection or consideration. Be open minded to learning from any source, like your life depends on it….. because it does.

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I have no issue nor conflict with any person who thinks differently than I do, I operate under the assumption that most people do. The only conflict I have is with people who somehow feel that not thinking at all, just living in an artificial world of labels, slogans and judgments is better than considering each person they meet as an individual, each with the right to see things differently. -ww.

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“The representatives of predatory wealth are guilty of all forms of iniquity from the oppression of wage workers to defrauding the public.”

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If you told the general public that a candidate for the presidency made the above statement, I am sure that 90% of them would guess the words above would be from social progressive Bernie Sanders, and dismiss them. In reality, these were actually said by Teddy Roosevelt in the 1904 election, and he was very proud of calling himself a social progressive. For those who need to label and dismiss, finding out an American hero on Mount Rushmore doesn’t fit in a neatly labeled box causes stress. To the open minded, it is a chance to expand one’s understanding.

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Above Teddy Roosevelt and Booker T Washington.  People who like their history to fit with neat labels will have a very hard time reconciling Roosevelt to their mythology.  TR was never supposed to be president, the power brokers of the day recognized his popularity, and hoped to benignly store him in the Vice Presidency. A single 6 gram bullet from a pathetically weak .32 S&W was just enough to change the course of American history.  Within weeks of being sworn in, TR began a long series of radical reforms and actions, starting with having Booker T Washington to dinner, an act that outraged southerners. He went on to draw the hatred of the wealthy and powerful, the connected and corrupt, and every other group that thought they were more important than the American people.  He was far more of a political radical than any candidate running today, including Sanders.

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Anyone who has been to our home can tell you that it is lined with floor to celling bookshelves, that even extend onto the porch. Much of it is very old, like my great aunt’s period collection on the Spanish American war. I spent 11 years in college including earning a degree in political science because I like learning. I have never bought a TV set in my life, for the same reason. One shelf in the living room has 4 feet of books just on TR, maybe 20,000 pages, I have read it all. Perhaps saying this might dissuade the next Fox tv news viewer who hasn’t read a book in years from trying to label me an “Ignorant Liberal” just because I will not blindly kowtow to his or anyone else’s dogma, but I doubt it. Neither will writing stories like Thinking of Mike Holey, an Aviator and a friend. have msnbc viewers change their views on ‘guns.’ You can’t communicate with people who have labeled and dismissed you, only people who are willing to read, think and consider. This also happens to be the people who get something out of building and flying.

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Harry S Truman - NARA - 530677 (2).jpg

People comforted by labeling all Democrats weak on defense have to conveniently ignore that the only person in history to order the use of nuclear weapons in combat was Harry Truman. He did so without hesitation. When at the conference table at Yalta, he was told project Trinity had worked. From that moment forward there was no question he would use the bomb, as it might remove the need to give concessions to the USSR in Europe to gain their participation against Japan.

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Dwight D. Eisenhower, official photo portrait, May 29, 1959.jpg

People comforted by labeling all Republicans warmongers have to conveniently ignore Eisenhower’s open and bold warning against the “Rise of the military-industrial complex”  in his 1960 speech to the nation. The impact of these words from a president who was also a 5 star general can not be overstated;

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

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“If a man, holding a belief which he was taught in childhood or persuaded of afterwards, keeps down and pushes away any doubts which arise about it in his mind, purposely avoids the reading of books and the company of men that call into question or discuss it, and regards as impious those questions which cannot easily be asked without disturbing it–the life of that man is one long sin against mankind.”

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William Clifford, The Ethics of Belief – 1877.

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-ww.

December Schedule Notes

Builders,

Today I am in New Jersey for my Fathers’ 90th birthday.  I will be returning to the shop in Florida the week after Christmas. While here, I answer some email, but stay primarily focused on family. To refresh your perspective on 2016 operations, get a look at this series of links:  Outlook 2016 – Reference page.

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We had originally planned to open the sign up for the first three colleges of 2016 this week. However, most people are focused on family at this time of the year, and we have chosen to open the sign ups the second week of January instead. Review the links below, as the dates and locations for the colleges are firm:

Outlook 2016, College #36 and Western building tour

Outlook 2016, Corvair College #37 Chino CA, 4/22/16

Outlook 2016, Corvair College #38, Cloverdale CA, 5/6/16

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Above, my father’s official USN photo circa 1975. Although he is a 1949 USNA graduate, and served as an officer in both Korea and Vietnam, Father was also an enlisted man in WWII. In the closing months of that war, Congress opened the Naval Academy academic applications to enlisted men in the fleet, and waived the age limits. This resulted in the class of ’49 being 92% former enlisted, giving them a different perspective on leadership that followed them through their service.

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His service remains the centerpiece of his life’s work. Please take a minute to read: William Edward Wynne Sr. –  Father’s Day Notes; it is a story I wrote about father on his 84th birthday. If you have ever wondered why I am intolerant of police states without human rights like China, the story will be illuminating.

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Over the years, I have written a number of stories about my father. It is my hope that everyone understands that I have shared these to explain my great respect and affection for my father, and have wished the stories might spark many thoughts and memories of all the men who made us who we are.

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Dad would be the first person to say that he was no one special, he was just a man of his generation, doing his duty for his country, living in a manner he hoped would make his father proud. My Father, born this day in 1925, was the only son his father had, the recipient of all the hopes and expectations a man could have for his only son. In a quiet hour today, my father shared a story of how he has strived to live his life by a code his own father would understand and admire. My father was 35 years old when his father passed from this earth in 1960. As I listened to Dad speak of trying to keep the respect of a man who has been past for 55 years, I thought this might be the best explanation of the bond between fathers and their sons.

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Further reading: Thought for The Day – Have we squandered the great gift?

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-ww.

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:)