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Mike G

Dude steals a plane

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Not sure how political this is...but sad that he was in such a bad place in his life...

 

 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, hobot said:

 

He got his joyride and bye bye, At least he didn't fly it into a population center and try to take a few with him like the one with guns.

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There was a military jet ghosting around behind him, my first thought was what if he crashes the plane in the Safeco Field with Pearl Jam playing there tonight.

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Anyone can fly a plane, but it takes a pilot to land it.

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43 minutes ago, chum said:

Anyone can fly  drive a plane, but it takes a pilot to land it fly them

Fixed

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45 minutes ago, Timo42 said:

6.6, didn't stick the landing...

Damn, The East German judge is such a bitch.  

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Any landing you can walk away from is a good..................oh wait.....................never mind.

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They scramble jets out of Portland to protect Seattle 150 miles away. Really? Seattle cannot defend itself? The Canadians could attack Seattle and return to BC before our fighters could even arrive!

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Tray table not in its full upright position and the seat back was NOT forward.  Actions have consequences.  

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All he wanted was a Pepsi.

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Pretty sad. After watching a little more, I think he may have been able to land it. The bottom of his damn loop over the water looked to be about 100 ft asl. He obviously had some ms flight sim time or something similair. He was just a 3 year bag smasher but he managed to light the fires and take off. 

Too bad he chose to end it that way. Aside from taking the aircraft, which probably could have been called  joy riding, the penalty is actually pretty low, or used to be.  The fine for flying without was liscense 500 bucks. For a pilot to fly without a current medical is a $10,000 fine though, go figure.

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23 hours ago, daddle said:

They scramble jets out of Portland to protect Seattle 150 miles away. Really? Seattle cannot defend itself? The Canadians could attack Seattle and return to BC before our fighters could even arrive!

Yeah, but they still wouldn't be able to bring the Cup back with them.

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On 8/11/2018 at 10:42 AM, daddle said:

They scramble jets out of Portland to protect Seattle 150 miles away. Really? Seattle cannot defend itself? The Canadians could attack Seattle and return to BC before our fighters could even arrive!

Google Joint base Lewis-McChord. 

 If they did scramble something out of Portland it may have been as a back-up to the fighters they dragged out of JBLM. They had no idea if this was a one-off or part of a multiple deal like 9/11, and they have to assume the worst in that first half hour or so...at least. 

 There might have been an issue of fuel for the fighters as well. High performance jets typically get terrible gas mileage at low altitude, and commuter aircraft don't. There may have been a concern the local guys might have to break off for fuel...piss break, or whatever. 150 miles for those babies is what? 15 minutes? Right next door. 

 

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1 hour ago, Mark K said:

Google Joint base Lewis-McChord. 

 If they did scramble something out of Portland it may have been as a back-up to the fighters they dragged out of JBLM. They had no idea if this was a one-off or part of a multiple deal like 9/11, and they have to assume the worst in that first half hour or so...at least. 

 There might have been an issue of fuel for the fighters as well. High performance jets typically get terrible gas mileage at low altitude, and commuter aircraft don't. There may have been a concern the local guys might have to break off for fuel...piss break, or whatever. 150 miles for those babies is what? 15 minutes? Right next door. 

 

I think it is just a MAC Air base....  Surprised there was nothing out of NAS Whidbey Island...  

 

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Isn't Whidbey just recon and electronic warfare - Growlers, Orions & the like? I can't recall ever seeing fighters around there.

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1 hour ago, Mark K said:

150 miles for those babies is what? 15 minutes? Right next door. 

 

I’m no fighter jock but if they kick it in the ass I think it’s more like 10. Don’t they top out around 1500? Maybe one of our fighter friends can give us a expert estimate. 

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I read (somewhere) the interception was scrambled out of Portland. From the alarm to wheels up is 10 minutes or more. Plus posting it on Facebook. That is assuming the aircraft and ground crew are actually ready. Like not downstairs by the Coke machine in underwear with headphones blasting. There are scrambles on YouTube and the quickness is far from the Hollywood interpretation. So ten to wheels up and another 15 enroute gives the goofball, who is already well on his way to the target, plenty of time for hijinks.

It will be interesting to see the actual timeline...like the embarrassment on 9/11 that supposedly caused readiness to be re-evaluated. Haha.

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I feel bad for the company that lost it's 20 million dollar aircraft 

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You feel bad for an insurance company?

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How did Dude learn to fly? Thats a story.

Feel sorry for his family especially once Alex Jones gets onto it 

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Just now, Gutterblack said:

How did Dude learn to fly? Thats a story.

Feel sorry for his family especially once Alex Jones gets onto it 

Our local news interviewed their aviation expert who confirmed the news report that he learned to start, takeoff and fly the thing using a computer flight game simulator. The "expert" said that there is a simulator "game" available for most aircraft, commercial and otherwise, that are extremely detailed and very accurate.

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10 minutes ago, Point Break said:

Our local news interviewed their aviation expert who confirmed the news report that he learned to start, takeoff and fly the thing using a computer flight game simulator. The "expert" said that there is a simulator "game" available for most aircraft, commercial and otherwise, that are extremely detailed and very accurate.

Yup. 

But there aren't too many software simulations for driving a race boat non-stop round the planet, solo.  Probably why there are fewer than 100 people who have ever done it.

Back to the topic..... 

Sad story, so many mistakes. 

"Hey, I'm just pushing this thing back and getting it ready for departure.  Oh, one moment, I need to do a cockpit check.  Wait one"

 

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18 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

You feel bad for an insurance company?

Insurance is gonna try to dance its way out of paying for this one.

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3 minutes ago, Sailing My Cubicle said:

Insurance is gonna try to dance its way out of paying for this one.

All insurance companies try to dance away from paying anything..........that’s a given. The bigger the ticket, the more enthusiastic the dance.......

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I'm gonna armchair quarterback this one and call it for the insurance company. The dude was a company employee with authority to access the plane. AAG will have an uphill fight to win this claim.

I also think the new SOP will be to lock the cockpit door by default. Rampers shouldn't have the code and if maintenance needs in, the code should be changed after the service action.

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1 hour ago, IStream said:

I'm gonna armchair quarterback this one and call it for the insurance company. The dude was a company employee with authority to access the plane. AAG will have an uphill fight to win this claim.

I also think the new SOP will be to lock the cockpit door by default. Rampers shouldn't have the code and if maintenance needs in, the code should be changed after the service action.

Ramp and ops personnel routinely start APUs, brake ride for towing and mechanics conduct engine maintenance runs. They may restrict the cockpit access, but it’s hard to lock it down during servicing. 

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on the small scale it would be like the washboy at the GM dealership.  Hes doing his thing washing new cars  detailing others and then someone brings in a lingenfelter vette for service.

Washboy is supposed to be on site  Washboy routinely drives cars around the lot to wash detail, ect So washboy has access to keys and has the knowledge for basic vehicle operation. No one bats and eye at him getting keys and moving car.   Only today he decided to go on a joy ride.

The dealership(dealerships insurance company) would pay for the loss of the car.   Unless plane insurance is different or the company is self insured.  why would horizons insurance company not pay out.  Its a catastrophic loss.

Tough situation all the way around.  I feel sorry for the worker.  I'm not happy that he decided to auger in.  but the fact that he did so on a deserted island off shore is a blessing.  It could have gone much much worse.

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2 hours ago, Point Break said:

All insurance companies try to dance away from paying anything..........that’s a given. The bigger the ticket, the more enthusiastic the dance.......

Any insurance tends to be a pipeline from all over the country to CT, with a very effective check valve to prevent the flow from reversing. 

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On 8/11/2018 at 1:42 PM, daddle said:

They scramble jets out of Portland to protect Seattle 150 miles away. Really? Seattle cannot defend itself? The Canadians could attack Seattle and return to BC before our fighters could even arrive!

...with what, hockey sticks? 

Sorry for the dude, obviously didn't want or didn't get the help that he needed. Wonder if you can be a ramper and on happy pills? Not sure how far down the line the FAA's rules go.

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1. dude had his 15 minutes of fame

2. made quite an impression on that island.

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22 hours ago, daddle said:

I read (somewhere) the interception was scrambled out of Portland. From the alarm to wheels up is 10 minutes or more. Plus posting it on Facebook. That is assuming the aircraft and ground crew are actually ready. Like not downstairs by the Coke machine in underwear with headphones blasting. There are scrambles on YouTube and the quickness is far from the Hollywood interpretation. So ten to wheels up and another 15 enroute gives the goofball, who is already well on his way to the target, plenty of time for hijinks.

It will be interesting to see the actual timeline...like the embarrassment on 9/11 that supposedly caused readiness to be re-evaluated. Haha.

Just can’t see how you’re ever going to guard against this in one way or another. Just too many people have access onto planes in the civil industry........ let alone the private fields etc........unless you want to turn every airport into a military base? 

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21 hours ago, Point Break said:

Our local news interviewed their aviation expert who confirmed the news report that he learned to start, takeoff and fly the thing using a computer flight game simulator. The "expert" said that there is a simulator "game" available for most aircraft, commercial and otherwise, that are extremely detailed and very accurate.

Heard that a few years ago, the genie is well and truly out of the bottle with regards to securing against random.

need inspiration and training? check the internet for ideas and training manuals. 

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I can't believe that there have been no connections make to Colton Harris-Moore.

 

"Fly Colton Fly!"   What do they put in the water out there in the PNW that makes these guys think that they can fly a plane? Must be growing up in the shadow of Boeing!

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/baby-faced-barefoot-bandit-faces-parole-now-he-wants-to-be-the-next-steve-jobs/2016/08/30/0288fd5e-60b2-11e6-9d2f-b1a3564181a1_story.html?utm_term=.a30c4deaa5fa

 

http://mynorthwest.com/500049/colton-harris-moore-longform-interview/?

 

 

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21 hours ago, P_Wop said:

Yup. 

But there aren't too many software simulations for driving a race boat non-stop round the planet, solo.  Probably why there are fewer than 100 people who have ever done it.

Back to the topic..... 

Sad story, so many mistakes. 

"Hey, I'm just pushing this thing back and getting it ready for departure.  Oh, one moment, I need to do a cockpit check.  Wait one"

 

There’s a reason why less than 100 have ever done it.  It doesn’t even appeal to the nutters. 

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34 minutes ago, mad said:

There’s a reason why less than 100 have ever done it.  It doesn’t even appeal to the nutters. 

Well, that and no one will scramble a Navy Destroyer if you steal a measly sailboat and "sail" off to nowhere. . .

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On 8/12/2018 at 1:23 PM, SloopJonB said:

Isn't Whidbey just recon and electronic warfare - Growlers, Orions & the like? I can't recall ever seeing fighters around there.

An F-18 is an F-18.... seeing one of those off my left wing....  I think the Growler can carry an "AMM RAM"  air to air missile for "self protection"

Regardless can't see the harm on getting a set of eyes on the situation....

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Keeps getting weirder. Guy gets arrested for domestic abuse, bails out and gets in plane and flys it into his OWN house trying to kill his wife! 

HEVVGDU7III6RI65FIMZD4DV2U.jpg

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/reports-small-plane-crashes-into-utah-house-killing-pilot/2018/08/13/306e585e-9ef4-11e8-a3dd-2a1991f075d5_story.html?utm_term=.7121a5192959

 

Missed it by THAT much!

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3 hours ago, Rasputin22 said:

 

"Fly Colton Fly!"   What do they put in the water out there in the PNW that makes these guys think that they can fly a plane? Must be growing up in the shadow of Boeing!

Well, they did both have the flying part down pretty good, barrel rolling a Q400 and all.

The landing part, not so much.

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Colton did pretty good with most of his landings. Putting in down on the salt flats in the Bahamian mangroves was tougher. I doubt Capt Scully could have done any better. Colton is out on parole now I think and trying to raise the $130,000 that he owes the folks who he stole from, on GoFundMe. Parole officers squashed that plan though. Seems he is trying to raise funds so he can go to flight school. Brad Pitt is backing a movie based on his exploits! Brad would probably give the kid a job flying Angelina around about now. 

 

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Maybe now that Colton is a free man the Feds could put him in charge of tightening up the holes in security that led to the baggage handler just jumping in the twin turbo and going for a one way joyride. He claims his obsession has moderated a bit! 

 

    Kind of like all the hackers that have gone from 'Black Hat' to 'White Hat' and help foil their successors.

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4.2, just can't seem to impress the East German judge.

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1 hour ago, See Level said:

Well, they did both have the flying part down pretty good, barrel rolling a Q400 and all.

Wouldn't be the first time someone did a barrel rolled a passenger jet...  but this guy was in control of his facilities.. 

 

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Loved the Boeing guy's comment after Tex explained what and why (I'm selling airplanes) - 'let's not do that again'.  classic.  They just don't make em like that anymore. 

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7 hours ago, mustang__1 said:

...with what, hockey sticks?

Probably with the F-18's they won the Top Gun competition with. :P:D

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3 hours ago, Rasputin22 said:

Keeps getting weirder. Guy gets arrested for domestic abuse, bails out and gets in plane and flys it into his OWN house trying to kill his wife! 

HEVVGDU7III6RI65FIMZD4DV2U.jpg

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/reports-small-plane-crashes-into-utah-house-killing-pilot/2018/08/13/306e585e-9ef4-11e8-a3dd-2a1991f075d5_story.html?utm_term=.7121a5192959

 

Missed it by THAT much!

He totally nailed it - just too big to get through that front door.

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1 hour ago, nacradriver said:

Wouldn't be the first time someone did a barrel rolled a passenger jet...  but this guy was in control of his facilities.. 

 

“I never uncovered the pumps”.

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All the pilots are staying mum (as I would if I still owned a plane), but it's easier to steal a small airplane than a car.  

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Little known fact: The “Magic Key Ring” at your local FBO only has about 75 keys.

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5 minutes ago, chum said:

Little known fact: The “Magic Key Ring” at your local FBO only has about 75 keys.

You don't need keys.  

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Of course. But the point is a Cessna key will open and start every 10th Cessna, for instance. :) 

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4 minutes ago, chum said:

Of course. But the point is a Cessna key will open and start every 10th Cessna. :)

Cut the p-wires yank the door open and worst case, you have to hand prop.  Am I wrong?

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If that’s what you’re in to.. :)

jk of course, but yes, if you want to steal any airplane, gain some rudimentary mechanical skills in the case of a light plane with keys, or MS flight sim time in the case of anything else, and go fer it.

I knew a guy who bought a second hand homebuild and flew it daily (W/O his ticket) out of the mountains in NorCal down to Ukiah to work under a repairman cert on op’s planes. Nuts.

 

 

 

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34 minutes ago, chum said:

Of course. But the point is a Carver Yacht key will open and start every 10th Carver Yacht, for instance. :) 

altered.

;)

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Properly utilized a screwdriver and visegrips will start anything a key would........

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And when half the boats in the marina are Carvers, it’s a piece o cake!

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Point Break said:

Properly utilized a screwdriver and visegrips will start anything a key would........

Vicegrips to cut the P wire? 

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9 hours ago, Cal20sailor said:

Cut the p-wires yank the door open and worst case, you have to hand prop.  Am I wrong?

Many airports now a days are fenced and you need a card key or  a code to get in...  Recently we have added a throttle/mixture lock to the planes...  it was an insurance requirement.  It is a major county airport with security and fences... and we're right next door the the County Sheriff Aviation Unit..  Go figure!!!

Back in the day it wasn't uncommon for a Cherokee 6/Dakota or a Cessna 205/206/210 to go a missing from a Southern California Airport...  

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, nacradriver said:

Many airports now a days are fenced and you need a card key or  a code to get in...  Recently we have added a throttle/mixture lock to the planes...  it was an insurance requirement.  It is a major county airport with security and fences... and we're right next door the the County Sheriff Aviation Unit..  Go figure!!!

Back in the day it wasn't uncommon for a Cherokee 6/Dakota or a Cessna 205/206/210 to go a missing from a Southern California Airport...  

 

 

 

yeah but most of those fences are a joke... Like LOM, there's a high fance with barged wire in one section, no fence about twenty feet away, then a 3ft high fence. The 3ft high fence has a man-gate that's usually locked and i have to hop the fence. I've complained to management a couple times, either make a proper fence or just leave the fucking thing unlocked - it sucks having to hop the fence when it's all wet. 

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1 hour ago, nacradriver said:

Many airports now a days are fenced and you need a card key or  a code to get in...  Recently we have added a throttle/mixture lock to the planes...  it was an insurance requirement.  It is a major county airport with security and fences... and we're right next door the the County Sheriff Aviation Unit..  Go figure!!!

Back in the day it wasn't uncommon for a Cherokee 6/Dakota or a Cessna 205/206/210 to go a missing from a Southern California Airport...  

 

 

 

Things really got tighter post 9/11 at our local airport. When I worked the crash Battalion, I couldn't get onto the field or into the crash station without my ID badge........even if I was in uniform and in my marked vehicle. There is a pretty substantial fuel farm within the perimeter and folks figured that would be an appealing target. I remember the old days as well when every once in a while, a plane would go missing from the tie down area. That has not happened in a long time.

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     An old chum (with a bottle of rum) that I met in New Orleans but later raised hell in the Caribbean got the urge to fly and would look through the Sunday papers when people still listed things in the classifieds. He had inadvertently found himself serving as a door gunner in a Huey in Vietnam and after a couple times getting shot down and crashing he swore he would never get in another helicopter but still wanted to learn to fly a fixed wing. He and his older brother had gotten the urge for flying when as kids they bought a surplus army airborne parachute from the Army-Navy store and brought it with them on the family annual pilgrimage to Daytona Beach for the big race. Their Dad was a legendary Minnesota mechanic who loved driving his big Cadillac on the beach at Daytona and they talked him into letting them ties 500' of line to the rear bumper and launch the parachute with taking turns riding aloft well to the north of the main beach access toward a big power plant. But that is another story...

     Bert finally spotted a nice Ercoupe in the paper as he ate breakfast and downed his coffee and headed out to look at it without saying anything to his bride about his mission. The Ercoupe was unique among light GA aircraft in that most did NOT have foot pedals to deal with. The inventor believed that by linking the rudder functioning to the steering yoke rotation that usually only actuates the ailerons then coordinated turns would be accomplished without the re-training that three axis controls require. The idea that flying the Aercoupe would be as similar to driving a car with the only additional input us the fore and aft motion of the yoke for pitch control. Keep in mind that Bert had not flight training but such trivial details as that had never stopped him from doing what he put his mind to.

    Bert had done his homework and somehow come up with and old operators manual for the type (Army-Navy store?) and had the lingo and the walk and talk when he met the seller at the small airport. His Dad and the Marines had made a pretty damned good mechanic out of him so he looked under the hood and kicked the tires and wiggled the control surfaces on a pretty convincing pre-flight and the seller asked if if he wanted to go for a flight. Bert said 'Hell yeah!' with his big cowboy grin and the seller asked if he had ever flown an Ercoupe and Bert said no. That led to the seller sitting in the left side seat and saying that he better do the takeoff since it was a bit different procedure than a conventional craft with foot pedals. Bert said fine, lets go.

     Once they were in the air Bert got a chance to put the little plane through its paces and to his surprise the seller let him do the landing. Piece of cake. They taxied back to the apron and sat in the cabin and haggled a bit on the price until Bert asked if the guy would take a check. He pulled his checkbook out of his overall bib pocket and handed over the personal check and asked the guy if he could wait until Monday or Tuesday to deposit it because he needed to 'check his balance' on the account. The happy seller climbed out and told Bert to slide over to the left side and take a flight in his new plane. Bert was always a quick study and the Ercoupe was designed to be as docile handling as possible and Bert figured if he screwed up he would never have to make that bank transfer...

    Bert flew that little bucket of tin all over the Wilds of the North and even a few forays down to the even wilder environs of S Fla with no incidents for years and was never asked to show a pilots license. Then one cold winter day in Minnesota after taking off with a fresh layer of snow on the field, he flew out over the lake and spotted his Dad's ice fishing shack with smoke curling out of the chimney. He did a high speed buzz (for an Ercoupe...) and nearly took a the flue off the chimney and his Dad came out to give him the finger on his next slow pass. Dad held up his steaming coffee mug indicating that there was a fresh pot on the stove and Bert made a slow approach to land and warm up while visiting dear old Dad. I asked if his plane was fitted with skis but he said those didn't work as well on a tricycle gear aircraft as well as they did on a taildragger like a Cub. He said that the fat balloon tires did just fine if you kept things lined up. That work fine with a few inches over the tarmac back at his small homefield but he didn't take into the double or triple fresh snow out on the ice from the lake effect blizzards that area is so famous for. He slowed down to just over stall speed a couple feet in the air and plopped her down gently but the deep snow flipped the plane over on its back into a snow drift. He shut down the electrics as his Dad ambled over and put down the coffee mug just outside the side vent in the canopy and told his son to enjoy and he would be right back with a snow shovel and dig him out. 

     The neighboring ice fishermen soon gathered around and they soon had enough hands to flip the plane back upright and Bert's dad had called back to the fish camp for some buddies who he built racing snowmobiles to find and old truck hood and tow out to haul the little Ercoupe off the lake. Plane was pretty much undamaged and there weren't even any signs of prop strike as the snow bank kept the tips from hitting hard ice but Dad wanted to go over things carefully and wouldn't let Bert try and fly out. Three racing snowmobiles hitched up to the plane on the truck hood and Bert rode in the plane to try and keep some down force with the controls. He said that the abused Ercoupe had never flown as fast as it did that day being towed by the boozed up snowmobile racing goofs who were having a blast. 

 

Image result for Aercoupe

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1312E3CC-7FC4-41C1-88E6-2BB9B36B0137.thumb.jpeg.9677057c033aadc938ba9699703ced39.jpeg

 

Our old Coupe at the Doolittle Raiders reunion one year. Many good times, and some terror, in that little thing.

I maintained one for a guy who lost the use of his leg in WW2 in Europe. He would hobble up and lift his leg into the cockpit and slide in. 

 

 

 

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One comments on the Ercoupe only with extreme caution, for the owners of the marque are a vociferous lot and prone to aggressive defense of their mounts. They will tell you how it was designed, prior to World War II, without rudder pedals, as a spin-proof airplane by the genius Fred Weick, who went on to many more successes in aviation — notably the Piper Cherokee line. They will accurately recount that it is nearly viceless in handling, can land at any speed from 60 to 110 mph, was the first tricycle-gear airplane to be manufactured in quantity, was the first general aviation airplane to have a completely cowled engine, and is the source of great fun. For it is, overall, a most satisfactory airplane, one to make a knowledgeable pilot happy and an owner proud. Yet, for the uninformed, snide comments seem to come easily: "Who would fly an airplane that was designed to be safe, for crying out loud? We, pilots, are risk takers, not wimps. It's OK for those who can't face up to aviation." And worse. Fortunately, those sentiments are overly simplistic, and uttering them simply brands the speaker as ignorant of the complexities of the Ercoupe.

So how did this unique flying machine develop? In the 1930s, Fred Weick, of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), designed the W1, which won a competition for a stall- and spin-proof airplane. He associated with Engineering Research Company (ERCO) and changed his design to a low-wing model that became the Ercoupe. First flight was in 1937, with production following immediately. The 75-horsepower machines sold well, for they were inexpensive and a step above virtually everything else on the market. As the Depression waned, 112 were built, but production was stopped by World War II. With the end of the war, Ercoupe joined the boom and bust of 1946 to 1948. Five thousand subtly varying models with horsepower from 75 to 90 were rolled out of the factory in the two years before things collapsed. The type certificate changed hands a number of times after that and a total of about 400 more airplanes were made under the Aircoupe, Alon, and Mooney names, but only those made by ERCO were Ercoupes.

Prior to flying an Ercoupe it is wise to learn the peculiarities of the airplane for the simple reason that it is different enough from everything you have flown that what you do not know can do you in. Despite being spin-proof, it will develop a very high sink rate at low speeds. By the same token, it has a fairly flat climb gradient, so one must be wary operating where obstructions are present.

Enough of the gloom and doom. The essence of this airplane must be discovered. Walk out to where it sits, kind of stubby, trying to be businesslike on its tricycle gear with its airliner twin tails, and be reminded of the child who is doing his best to be serious about things but cannot seem to avoid giggling.

To figure out part of the mystique and see how the aileron/rudder interconnect works, turn the control wheel completely upside down, walk behind the airplane, and look forward. The full-span ailerons deflect a long ways, the up aileron more than the one going down, reducing adverse aileron yaw. The twin tail clearly places the rudders outside the slipstream of the propeller, helping to reduce the left-turning tendency. Only the rudder on the inside of the turn deflects noticeably. To allow the airplane to be landed at almost any speed does require one extra preflight item. The nose strut must be inflated so that the top of the tails is exactly six feet three inches above the ground. This gives a nearly zero angle of attack at rest. It means that you must rotate on takeoff, but also means that once you put the airplane on the ground and lower the nose, it is pretty well finished flying.

It is time to strap in and have at it. Turn on the fuel (there is no mixture control) figure out where the master switch is (most are on the shelf behind the passenger), and turn it on; give the engine a few shots of prime, turn on the mags, and hit the starter. The small Continentals, when in good shape, seem to light off quickly, then just sort of hush the propeller around at idle. With the canopy open, the breeze through your hair is a good indication that this little beast is going to be fun.

Taxiing is just plain different. Don't bother fighting the urge to laugh out loud as you steer the airplane, using the control wheel. You think of the years of hearing the most pejorative reference to lousy pilots as "driving" their airplanes rather than flying, and of the horrible advertisements of bygone days promising "drive it up, drive it down" and wonder to what depths you have sunk. But, as my wife points out, the airplane is so funky that you quit worrying about what anyone is going to think and just enjoy yourself. So, hang your elbow over the canopy rail as you taxi, because what matters is that this collection of parts will rise off the ground and fly.

Rotate at about 65 mph. If you are on a short field with obstructions, there is the nearly overwhelming feeling that you are tearing toward destruction (you are) and a desire to raise the nose too soon (resist it). Climb at about 75 mph, which will generate about 500 feet per minute. If you climb too slowly, the left-turning tendency will mean that you must hold a lot of right wheel, causing significant drag from displaced control surfaces and a loss of lift because the climb takes place with the right wing low, which does not help your climb rate a bit. An Ercoupe climbs poorly below about 70 mph. Most Ercoupe pilots have had experience watching things off the end of the runway get larger rather than smaller. This distressing state of affairs is only aggravated by raising the nose and ruining what leisurely climb is available.

It soon becomes apparent that the roll and pitch controls are remarkably well harmonized for an airplane of this vintage. One of the reasons the airplane is so loved is that it flies nicely. It fits in that small envelope between overly responsive and overly stable. In turbulence it bounces about, as do all airplanes with light wing-loading; challenges you to hold your altitude; and wallows due to adverse aileron yaw when making small control inputs. Yet, leveled off in smooth air, it more or less stays where you put it and seems, at all times, to be eager to respond should you desire to toss it about a bit. When you ask for it, roll rate is brisk. Interestingly, a faster roll input on the control wheel keeps the ball in the center of the race more effectively than do slower roll commands.

The canopy provides superb visibility, so travel by Ercoupe is to enjoy the countryside in slow motion. The Ercoupe moves along at about 100 mph, burning a bit over 5 gallons per hour, which is most acceptable for going places without spending the family fortune.

Roll into a steep turn and try to stall the airplane. You will not succeed if the elevator is rigged correctly. Beyond a certain bank angle, you discover, it is impossible to hold altitude. Full up elevator travel is reached, the ball will be in the center, and you will be descending. At altitude the descent may not be easily detected without reference to the altimeter. However, it can become quite significant and get a pilot into trouble close to the ground. The solution is easy, and virtually instantaneous — reduce the angle of bank, though it may be necessary to fly level for a while to gain enough speed to climb.

Landings in an Ercoupe are experiences to be shared. They can be performed in many different ways. Should you be so inclined, and if the nose strut is correctly inflated, you may touch down at cruise speed. Yes, it is a design feature of the airplane. When the aircraft is rolling on all three wheels, the angle of attack of the wing is nearly zero, so the airplane will remain on the ground. Every owner seems to go out and confirm that the story is true, which it is, although such a landing has to be handled gingerly until you have slowed. Remember the wipeouts you had as a child on your tricycle? It is not a wise way to handle a crosswind. Far more pleasant is to approach at about 80 miles per hour, slowing to about 70 over the fence, but no slower or you may not be able to flare without power.

Touchdown on the trailing beam gear can be one of those "are we down?" affairs, for the gear travel is some 12 inches. Mr. Weick was among the first to discover the benefits of trailing-beam main gear, something the rest of the industry did not place into large scale production until the 1970s. Yes, Virginia, you will touch down in a crab in a crosswind. No, the gear does not cas-ter, the trailing beam design simply turns the airplane to point in the direction in which it is traveling, although with a bit of a sideways jerk to the occupants. Famed Boeing test pilot Tex Johnston put his pilots into Ercoupes to teach them how to land in a crab so that they would not hit the pods of the prototype 707 and 717 (KC-135) on the ground in crosswinds. The design also means that you must be prepared to fight the tendency to weathervane by turning the wheel away from the wind, contrary to everything you learned in three-control airplanes. Otherwise, you will join the ranks of the embarrassed who have departed the upwind side of a runway while negotiating a crosswind in an Ercoupe. (The three-control airplanes are usually found in heaps on the downwind sides of runways after mishandling, a primitive form of segregation, perhaps.) At first it requires conscious thought, but then something clicks and it seems perfectly normal when in an Ercoupe, but never in any other airplane. By the same token, as you turn downwind while taxiing, the upwind wing will often try to rise. The cure, which emotionally seems to make no sense but works perfectly, is to apply a little brake. The wing will drop and you may complete the rollout with a minimum of fuss.

Taxi in, then shut it down with the magneto switch. No mixture, remember? As the engine makes those pleasant cooling-off noises, realize that you have come to understand the quirks, discovered the fun, and now know exactly why Ercoupe pilots have that Mona Lisa smile.

See the original article:

Ercoupe Pilots Smile a Lot

Rick Durden, AOPA Pilot, November 1998

 
 
 
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4 hours ago, Point Break said:

Things really got tighter post 9/11 at our local airport. When I worked the crash Battalion, I couldn't get onto the field or into the crash station without my ID badge........even if I was in uniform and in my marked vehicle. There is a pretty substantial fuel farm within the perimeter and folks figured that would be an appealing target. I remember the old days as well when every once in a while, a plane would go missing from the tie down area. That has not happened in a long time.

depends if the field has TSA people on it or not. TSA fields are somewhat legitimately locked down from passerbys. 

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1 hour ago, mustang__1 said:

depends if the field has TSA people on it or not. TSA fields are somewhat legitimately locked down from passerbys. 

Yeah, this is an international airport......lotsa TSA, County sheriffs for law enforcement. But it’s strict. There is a gate RIGHT NEXT TO our crash station on the GA side of the field. I’m at the gate in my rig, in uniform but forgot my airport security badge. “Sorry sir but without a badge you cannot come onto the field”. I called the crash crew and they came out and said “yep, that’s the Chief”. Sorry......no tickee no laundry. Seriously......

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17 hours ago, Cal20sailor said:

You don't need keys.  

Depends. Some airplanes have keys. I have enough in my flight bag to start about any airplane.

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22 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Depends. Some airplanes have keys. I have enough in my flight bag to start about any airplane.

shit the whole key assembly is usually pretty accessible anyway, and most door locks can be opened with a flat head... 

EDIT: 

ever been locked -in- an airplane?? I once went down to grab the nav charts or something out of the 530, and the door shut as i got in. When i went to open it... it wouldn't open... The fucking key was still in the door and it must have rotated just slightly so as to not allow the fucking door to open. Sat there dumbfounded for probably thirty seconds before calling up the FBO and asking them to come help me out. "Why?" "never mind why, just come down here.... please...."

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A long time ago as a n00b at Piedmont, after being subjected to the "get the keys for the 727" joke, I asked why there weren't any keys. Response was "Well you can fly off with it for sure, but you can't sell it, can't even sell the parts, and it's too big to hide" :rolleyes:

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7 minutes ago, mustang__1 said:

shit the whole key assembly is usually pretty accessible anyway, and most door locks can be opened with a flat head... 

EDIT: 

ever been locked -in- an airplane?? I once went down to grab the nav charts or something out of the 530, and the door shut as i got in. When i went to open it... it wouldn't open... The fucking key was still in the door and it must have rotated just slightly so as to not allow the fucking door to open. Sat there dumbfounded for probably thirty seconds before calling up the FBO and asking them to come help me out. "Why?" "never mind why, just come down here.... please...."

:lol:

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4 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

A long time ago as a n00b at Piedmont, after being subjected to the "get the keys for the 727" joke, I asked why there weren't any keys. Response was "Well you can fly off with it for sure, but you can't sell it, can't even sell the parts, and it's too big to hide" :rolleyes:

Fire engines and trucks do not have keys......we did have a guy steal one of our engines once when it was sitting outside someone’s house on a medical aid. Guy just got in, started it and drove off. Crew came out of the house and it was.....gone. Guy took it on a code 3 joyride down PCH with a whole line of cop cars in tow. Pretty funny really......if they didn’t cost $ 3/4 million! They finally used a spike strip to stop him in one of the coastal cities........jacked up the rig though.......

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17 hours ago, chum said:

Vicegrips to cut the P wire? 

Call it “increased leverage”.......:P

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3 hours ago, mustang__1 said:

depends if the field has TSA people on it or not. TSA fields are somewhat legitimately locked down from passerbys. 

From what I understand, any airport looking for FAA grant money for improvements must include a perimeter barrier if not already in place...

At Santa Paula you can just about walk on the field... but you'll be getting some cross-eyed looks and a few "can I help you" if you not one of the regulars...    except for the first Sunday of the month when they open hangers as sort of an aviation museum.. 

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1 hour ago, Point Break said:

Fire engines and trucks do not have keys......we did have a guy steal one of our engines once when it was sitting outside someone’s house on a medical aid. Guy just got in, started it and drove off. Crew came out of the house and it was.....gone. Guy took it on a code 3 joyride down PCH with a whole line of cop cars in tow. Pretty funny really......if they didn’t cost $ 3/4 million! They finally used a spike strip to stop him in one of the coastal cities........jacked up the rig though.......

Worked for a building supply company that had a surplus WWII 2.5 ton truck... was mainly used to move stuff from the warehouse yard to the retail yard... was never registered...  no key, just a toggle switch on the dash and a push pedal gizmo (kind of like the high/low beam switch) for the starter...  And the clutch....  took about 100 LBS of pressure to push that pedal...

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9 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

A long time ago as a n00b at Piedmont, after being subjected to the "get the keys for the 727" joke, I asked why there weren't any keys. Response was "Well you can fly off with it for sure, but you can't sell it, can't even sell the parts, and it's too big to hide" :rolleyes:

Except at DFG. 

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On ‎8‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 2:50 PM, hobot said:

All he wanted was a Pepsi.

 

Reminds me of my first solo to Poughkeepsie and back, in a Cessna 150.  I brought a "Pepsi from Poughkeepsie" back for my daughter!!   I just had to complete a 2 stop solo, then get proficient for the check ride to get my Private license.  Before I could do that, I came down with Guillian-Barre Syndrome, that laid me out, for about 6 months, and I never finished up....

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6 hours ago, hobot said:

:ph34r:

 

FB_IMG_1534319439668.jpg

Too soon.

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^^^^^ Oh I don't know..................that's pretty well done..........

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In my defense....it is post #83 in the thread!

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14 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

Too soon.

Nope

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Apparently not.

But this is a tough crowd.

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