William E. Wynne Sr. 1925-2017

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Above, my father’s official USN photo circa 1975. He was 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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Do not feel sorrow for my father, for he had a long life, conducted with complete fidelity to the ideals of this country and his family. Since swearing in to the U.S. Navy on 3 July 1943, he never faltered from his Moral Purpose, to play a role in securing a Free World, and live in this world with his family.

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Do not feel sorrow for my family, For my Mother had the unwavering love and support of a husband of 67 years. My father was sterling example of fatherhood, a gift I appreciated more with each year. The children in our family have always understood our unspeakably good fortune to have been born to our parents, a blessing beyond the possibility of overstatement.

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If there is anything to be somber over let it be this: Decency, courage and sacrifice to a greater purpose than self, the values of the generation of men who provided the world we live in, have tragically fallen from the common currency of men, to something considered rare and perhaps antiquated.  My father and men of his times understood an example of an honorable and decent life, bequeathed far greater riches than lives that worshiped lesser purposes. Shipmates of my father, even ones who gave their lives very young, had lives of meaning because they considered it their privilege to have served a cause greater than self.

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-wewjr.

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New Mailing Address: Please print and save

Builders:

This week marks one year since Dan and Rachel Weseman at SPA Panther have taken on the sales and distribution of our FlyCorvair products and information. It has worked out even better than either of us suspected, with builders being the prime beneficiaries of the new system. Here is a look at the story that launched the change: Outlook 2016, New order page and distribution method.

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I have had the same shipping address for 11 years, but in order to further integrate shipping and record keeping at a single location, I am asking builders to utilize the SPA address below for all things they wish to send to me, from liability statements to cores, it should all be sent to the address below:

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WW/FlyCorvair – C/O 

Sport Performance Aviation LLC,  1528 Virgils Way, Suite 8

Green Cove Springs,  Florida 32043

904 626 7777.

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Above, a front quarter view of the Corvair engine. This particular engine began flying in 2016, read: 2,850cc Corvair Bearhawk LSA – now flying.

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-ww.

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Choosing less ‘information’.

Builders,

While society places a lot of value on ‘staying engaged’, I will confess to slowly drifting away from that idea, and over time I have become convinced that being much more selective about ‘information’ I am exposed to is the right answer for myself.

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I stopped watching TV a long time ago, and after last years election, I decided my life might be just fine if I went a few years or a decade or two without ever hearing a ‘news’ report on politics again. A year ago I wrote this story about radio: Thought for the Day: Idiocy on the airwaves.  in which concluded that listening to Conservative talk and NPR had corrosive effects: “Imagine what drinking whisky and eating amphetamines might do to one’s mind”. Now I find it hard to listen to any commercial radio because the ads bother me, and even without commercials, most newer music is formulaic and processed sounding.

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In the last year, I stopped reading most magazines, because I kept reading stories that pushed a product so brazenly I kept looking for the fine print that should have said “special advertising section” or something. As an EAA member since 1989, I can recall reading every word of Sport Aviation the day I got it, but I will confess to rarely reading any of it now. I just read an article about a modified Aircam where the article essentially slammed a very proven design in favor of some very questionable modifications, without offering any numerical data, all while touting a $120K twin as ‘affordable to operate’.  That isn’t my reality, and I am better off not looking inside, because I don’t want to give away my afternoon to being annoyed about something that really will make no difference in my life. It is all part of my gradual move toward being more selective about information I ingest. I essentially am done with the junk food of information.

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If someone really wanted to learn something about designing a metal wing, that article offers nothing. They would be vastly better off just buying a copy of Chris Heintz’s book and really committing to study it. That isn’t junk food, it is informational nutrition.

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I fully understand this isn’t the national norm. Even 15 years ago, word went out to all aviation writers that the new limit on the length of a story should be 1,000 words maximum, because data showed that people didn’t have the attention span to read anything longer. I countered that we needed to write more informative articles, not entertaining ones, and personally, if people didn’t like learning, I wasn’t in favor of ‘dumbing down’ aviation to make it more palatable for their abbreviated attention span. This wasn’t a convincing argument, and I freely admit I was wrong about what the general public really wanted.

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I am 54 now, and I have been in aviation a long time, and I have a pretty sharp definition of what I would like to learn, build and fly in the next 10 years. The journey of getting there is something I am looking forward to. There will be a lot to learn and practice, but the information I will need will in-depth and timeless. I will not have the hours to toss away on ‘junk food info-tainment’ writing and media. The other benefit to being selective about the information I choose to take in is avoiding things that annoy or depress me, because I am never productive under either of those conditions. I am not perfect about this stuff, but it is a process I am refining year by year, and I am committed to having a more peaceful and productive year than seasons past.

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-ww.

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Three takes on a carbine: Top to bottom: AR-15 in 5.56 w/M-4 barrel (It has a welded flash suppressor to be legal length) , A Ruger Mini-14 in .300 Blackout, set for twilight hog work,  and an CAR-15 in .223, shade over 6 pounds empty. These are all legal to own in Florida, but contrary to media myth, they require a serious State background check.  A friend who works with this woman: Thought for the Day: Feminism in Rural Florida at the local NAPA store came over at the end of the day and we spent the last 20 minutes of daylight on the short range in my yard. The CORSA magazine is for scale.

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My choice to be more selective on ingesting ‘information’ doesn’t just apply to aviation. It carries over to all machines I am interested in, including firearms. 30 years ago I read gun magazines and spoke to ‘experts’ at the range and stores. later came the web, were just like aviation, everyone with a mystery email name is an expert. Today, I am just as involved, but I learn a lot more, because I am much more selective about the information I read and accept. I have not read a magazine in years, never read websites where the people don’t have real names, and I don’t engage local ‘experts’.  For an example of what you can learn from a really well researched person on the history, ideas, designers, manufacturing  patents and operations of firearms, check out Ian McCullum’s  http://www.forgottenweapons.com/ .  His corresponding YouTube channel has 415,000 subscribers, and 100 million views, which says many people actually want to learn, and are not satisfied with ‘info-tainment’,  truisms and  old wives tales. It would be very nice to find a comparably popular aviation education site, but I haven’t seen it yet.

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Critical Understanding #10 – Carb Ice

Builders:

About 10 years ago, a builder completed a magnificent Zenith 601XL and readied it for it’s first flight. He chose a man who presented himself as an experienced pilot to do the first flight. Although every manual I have sold in the last 15 years contains the Carb Ice story below, the pilot didn’t believe it. I know this because he said it directly after he wrecked the plane on the first flight. He flew away from the airport, and elected to fly at low altitude and low power for some reason, never using carb heat. The probable cause of resulting forced landing was ruled carb ice. I am quite sure almost all the people who watched the events blamed the Corvair, in spite of the fact the carb was identical to the one used on an O-200, and had the plane been equipped with a Continental, it would have had the exact same forced landing, because Physics doesn’t make exceptions for idiots who debate its existence.

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Carb Ice is a topic that everyone who flies light planes should understand, but unfortunately, the percentage of people who have taken the time to learn this critical part of operating light aircraft is dropping. This is partially tied to the demise of the traditional, career flight instructor, and partially due to an ever increasing percentage of people who approach all learning opportunities with the question “Will this be on the test?”

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Funny thing; the subject of carb ice isn’t prominently featured in FAA tests, but it is a very real part of the tests run by flying’s oldest law firm P,C & G.*  and before you fail one of their tests, I’d like to point out they have never had a case overturned on appeal.

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Take some time to read and understand this story: http://flycorvair.com/carbice.html It was written by Grace in 2001, and it is the most reprinted story we have ever put out. It has appeared in magazines all over the world, but idiots have a certain kind of coating, that you can pour information on them, but evidently it beads right up and rolls off without sinking in. Don’t be one of those people.

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Armed with the information above, now go back and review the information below in CU #9.  As a general rule, anytime your engine is operating below 75% power, you should use carb heat. Critical Understanding #9 -Percent of Power and fuel flow.

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There will be people who tell you some aircraft are immune to carb ice. This is a very foolish myth. Fuel injected aircraft have alternative air doors for a reason. Training with Rotax 912s have provided a generation of pilots who don’t understand carb heat, because Rotaxes have full time carb heat. Ellison carbs are often said to be immune, but “Carb Heat Required” is cast right into the body of the carb. There are variations in how susceptible some installations are, but this is nothing you would bet your life on. As a Corvair guy, you will know how to operate any aircraft, and not be restricted to operating a control-less Rotax 912 after driving a Prius with an automatic transmission and automatic braking to the airport. The reward for understanding is being able to operate all types of planes and engines, real machines, not just appliances which have allegedly been ‘idiot proofed.’

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I don’t care what temperature it is outside, or if the plane has a Lycoming Continental or a Corvair, when I pull the power back, I put the carb heat on. I am sure that 90% of the time, the conditions in Florida preclude needing carb heat, but I use it anyway. I am sure that I could drive through red lights 90% of the time and not have an accident, but I don’t because there is a certain penalty associated with being wrong, and there is no reward for guessing when you might not need Carb heat.  If a conversation starts up about carb ice, and the first thing out of someone’s mouth is that you don’t really need it, nod politely, and give that person a wide berth. I could fill an entire evening with stories of collateral damage done to people by idiots in aviation. A wide berth means you never get in a plane with them, you don’t fly in the pattern when they are out, and you don’t listen to their opinions nor advice. If that sounds harsh, come find me after hours at Oshkosh and I will share how Phil Schacht, the aviator who was an irreplaceable element is Grace’s development as a pilot, was killed by an idiot. Come with an empty stomach, because the story includes him burning to death in his plane, while the idiot responsible escaped to flee our country with his worthless life.

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What carburetor ice looks like; get a glance at the intake manifold tube above the carburetor in this photo of Jim Barbour’s running at Barnwell 2011. Despite the engine being quite warm, the solid white that you see is pure ice that is frozen on the outside of the test stand’s intake manifold. You don’t need x-ray vision to understand that there is matching ice on the inside of the manifold also. Although it was cold, the main effect of icing is caused by the evaporation of the fuel coming out of the carburetor. Look at the sunlight and shadows and understand it was a clear blue day out, so all people who say it has to be overcast to ice are idiots.  The fact this is a Corvair has no bearing, this is a Continental O-200 carb, and it would look exactly the same running on an O-200.

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-ww.

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flying’s oldest law firm P,C & G.*  = The laws of Physics Chemistry and Gravity. 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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Note Book Section:

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Make line 10.1 in your Hand book a hand written entry, stating  “As a general rule, anytime your engine is operating below 75% power, you should use carb heat” and “Cab heat is to be used as Anti-ice, not De-ice.”

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Make line 10.2 in your Hand book a note showing the RPM drop from applying carb heat at idle. Note both RPMs and the OAT. The minimum acceptable RPM drop when the engine is warmed up, is 125 RPM.

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Make line 10.3 in your Hand book a list of procedures when the pilot will use carb heat, other than power reduction. They would typically include, but not be limited to,  inadvertently flying into rain,  Engine running rough in flight, etc.  

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Make line 10.4 in your Hand Book a notation on the effect of automotive fuels being more prone to ice than aircraft fuels.

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Make line 10.5 in your Hand Book a series of sample conditions where the rpm and MAP would indicate less than 75% power and therefore require the use of carb heat.

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Bob Helt’s CORSA article

Builders,

Bob Helt, one of the most respected and prolific historians and writers in the world of land based Corvairs, came to Corvair College #37 in Chino California last year, to capture the story of what we flying Corvair fans are up to, with the intention of getting this published in the national Corvair Society of America (CORSA) magazine. His goal was to build a bridge between the two communities, giving the land based people a look at our efforts.

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Above, the January/February 2017 CORSA Communique cover. Bob’s story is inside. This magazine has been published for 45 years, and it is a look into how fan’s of the Corvair cars are devoted to the history, engineering restoration and driving of the vehicles. Subscriptions are available through the CORSA website: https://www.corvair.org/

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Gratuitous dog photo: Bob brought his little dog “Rocky” to CC#27.

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A look into the article, which has a very favorable slant on our activities. The next time you are out shopping for a core engine, the person selling it to you probably will have a much more friendly attitude based on the effort Bob has made to get this story covered, written and published.

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Above, Dan Weseman who flew out to California with me,  (see: “Old hairy guy” and Ford Man deploy to the west coast  ) in Steve Glovers Hangar at Chino, speaking with builders.

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Hats off to Bob Helt, for an excellent article that will have long lasting benefits in our community.

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-ww.

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“Your number is up” – Rodgers,’93

Builders,

Twenty four years ago, I was at a small Florida outdoor art exhibit in Daytona. I came across this painting, and was really arrested by it, in a way that other modern paintings had not matched. The original was about 3 x 5 feet. The artist was friendly, and the asking price was $3,500. If I had the money, or could have borrowed it, I would have bought it. The 8×10″picture below has hung in my shop ever since. There is something captivating about it which has never faded.

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Above, The painting. The watch shows 5 minutes to midnight, the sand is running out of the fist; Bettie Page is eternally youthful and the ticket says “Your number is up”. Most people find it disturbingly morbid, but I don’t.

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Ever since I was in my mid twenties, the first thought I have upon waking is a variation on this: “How did I let yesterday get away? “  Hardly any day can be passed without me asking why I didn’t get something more out of it? This is asking why I didn’t create, or read more, travel further, pick a further goal or refuse to have the same conversation again. Plenty of people are workaholics, toiling because they are afraid to stop and find out how little is there; that isn’t me, I spend a great deal of any day living in the moment, I can enjoy any hour without obsessing about other places, but when the day comes to a close, it was hardly ever enough of the important moments. The painting above expresses one of the most pervasive feelings of my life.

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To many airplane builders, I am a guy who is willing to share some skills they would like to learn, and that is great, it is the foundation of a very good working relationship. If none of the comments I make in the philosophy section grab them, that is perfectly fine, I trust they are not offended.  For the smaller group for whom some of the stuff resonates with, good, I hope it puts a few more moments of meaning in a day that will invariably escape both of us.

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-ww.

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‘I’ve always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can’t afford it.’ What these men can’t afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of ‘security.’ And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine – and before we know it our lives are gone. What does a man need – really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all – in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by, the dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?”

-From the story: Sterling Hayden – Philosophy

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Evolution of a Pietenpol pt. 2

Builders,

A few more old pictures, a 2nd part to this story: Evolution of a Pietenpol

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Above, Working on the plane in the original Edgewater hangar. The original blowerfan Corvair with 140 heads has been replaced by my ‘modern’ conversion. If you look at the black prop hub, it has drive lugs in it, it was hub #1. It was made for me by a good friend, Judith Saber. It is the exact same hub that is on the top of this trophy: The Cherry Grove Trophy, 2014. The tapered white items on the right are Lancair IVP wing spars. This was the hangar were I sold my soul to professional aircraft building: 2,500 words about levels of aircraft finish……

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Above, a later picture with new gear, another mount, fresh finish work and metal, the front seat lowered 4″, hydraulic drum brakes,  and the center section off to be converted to a 17 gallon wet wing. Fuselage on it’s nose was an Aeronca Chief I had.

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Above, after a move 15 miles back to the Spruce Creek Fly-in. Notice I am back in a T-hangar, this is after the end of Lancair building I speak about in the finishing story link above. Engine is still a front starter. The only time I had a rear starter was 24 months of 1999-2001, every other bit of my work with Corvairs has been front starters. It was all about being willing to test and evaluate anything, and being willing to go back if the results suggested that was the right path.

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Above, rear starter has arrived, and this mount is actually different than the one pictured above. Rear starter necessitates oil filter moving to the firewall and lots of lines. The real issue is the firewall end of the crank is ill suited to transmitting the cranking power, and particular poorly set for  a starter kick-back. This was the only rear starter installation I did, and I didn’t sell parts for it. It flew a couple of hundred hours, making trips as far west as Kansas and north to Oshkosh. PS, don’t run engines without cooling systems, like I am doing here. This is also a good view of the 6×6 Cleveland hydraulic drum brakes off a Tri-pacer. They are very aerodynamically clean compared to discs.

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If you would like a prime example of the limitations of my ability to encourage people to build better planes, look at the shiny aluminum hard lines coming off the molded fuel rail on the underside of the tank. In my crash on 7/14/01, nearly everything in the plane was broken, but the wet center section didn’t rupture, the aluminum lines coming off that rail failed when the small diagonal cabanes folded. I have written very plainly about this:  Pietenpol Fuel lines and Cabanes, about how I remain ‘morally thankful’ that it was myself who was lit on fire by this building error I made, and not anyone else who flew in the plane. Yet here is a reality check: 15 years of speaking about this later, I still see new pietenpols being built all the time with hard lines connecting the wing tanks to the fuselage and weak diagonal cabanes.

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If you think you can communicate to people, it is a humbling experience to find out that even when you share what just one a day in the burn ward is like, that the two bandage changes will produce vast greater pain than you have ever felt, and bring the toughest of people to a nervous breakdown,  most people are still going to build a ‘chittty chitty bang-bang’ style plane with copper lines because they think it looks cooler than braided steel ones.

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A friend who is close to the fatal Jenny accident of Ron Alexander, a great guy, said it will come out that it was survivable, but for broken hard fuel lines. He predicted that this will finally get more people to listen to my point about fuel lines. I told him my honest opinion that it will have little or no effect at all. I have come to the conclusion that the majority of people in experimental aviation have a greater attachment to paint jobs, things that look ‘cool’, following popular people, and saving pennies than they do their own safety or that of their passengers.

 

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Above, the business end. Two blade 66″ Warp Drive, best all around prop for a 2700 Corvair, even on a slow plane. Notice the short Nose bowl, is rounded, not flat. It was a 3″ thick piece of blue foam, glued on a 1/8″ sheet of plywood, screwed to the table and shaped in 5 minutes with a hand held bet sander. Glassed over in an hour and done. The spinner was 11″ in diameter. Being aluminum, it cracked, a lot.

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 People who have never tested a shorter prop will always repeat the myth that ’72” props are the minimum for efficiency’ This is complete bull shit. Fact: Maximum legal diameter for a Cessna 150 prop on an O-200 is 69.5″ That plane is not know as a great climber. If there was an extra 200′ per minute, or even 100′ per minute available by going to a 72″ prop, don’t you think that Cessna would have jumped at the chance to improve the performance of 10,000 150’s?  Larger props only make sense on engines like A-65’s which have weak metallurgy and low 2,375 rpm red lines, and engines that have much higher HP than typical light planes.

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Above, Loading passengers at Brodhead 2000. Francis Sanders, who was the organizer that year, said that he wanted every engine shut off while people were getting in our out of planes. A very good rule, but particularly so in a Pietenpol, which is not only harder to get in the front seat, but also commonly has a throttle there. In 2000, about 15 Piets were at Brodhead, and about 10 of us gave rides. It was very easy for us to give the most because we were the only electric start plane doing so, and restarting the engine after loading was a button push away. The last ride of that day is told in this story: Ralph Carlson and Conversion Manual #1.

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