Where to start.....
I'm 65 years old, born and raised in Bucks County, Penna, USA. Family legend has my first flight in a J-3 on floats at the age of 2. Grew up watching Corsairs fly out of Johnsville Naval Air Development Center - rumor was that the red ones were radio-controlled. Typical interest in anything that flies - warbirds are just so impressive you can't miss them,
Started flying in 1965 I after I got off National Guard active duty (PA Army National Guard, Jan 1964 - May 1971, Inf, 0-2). Private Pilot's certificate (SEL) in 1966, never got any advanced ratings; didn't want to fly in clouds because I like to look at the scenery, couldn't afford 2 engines...
Bought a 150 hp Citabria in '76, flew it for 14 years, mostly out of Van Sant airport (grass strip on top of a hill; sailplanes, antiques and homebuilts).
Had a mid-life crises in the 1980's - joined the PA Air Guard as a Radio Operator Maintainence and Driver (ROMAD) with the 103 TASS out of Willow Grove NAS, they were flying OA-37B's at the time, now the OA-10A,
A ROMAD was part of the Tactical Air Control Party, an enlisted type that takes care of the pilot on the ground. We also trained as E-FACs (enlisted ground foward air controllers). Since we worked directly with the pilots, seat time in the OA-37B was authorized, which allows me to claim 20 minutes of stick time in said airplane. Went on some great deployments in support of active and reserve Army units.
I also had 3 flights with the 'Sky Warriors' simulated air combat organization before their tragic loss of a T-34 due to structural failure resulting in 2 fatalities. Interesting note on that subject - after my first flight an old time WWII P-51 pilot expressed concerns to me that the constant stresses of air combat manuvering wasn't a good thing in those old airplanes.
Been attending airshows since the late '70s - Harlingen in '83 (oops - was 1980!), Titusville in '84, have tons of pictures, most just average in qualtiy but I hope to post the better and/or more interesting as I have time.
Got bitten by the cancer bug in 2005 (Rectal - I advise everyone to get a colonoscopy when your Dr. recommends it!!!!) but I'm darn near back to normal now. I don't have a current medical, but since I've never been turned down I'm still OK for Light Sport Aircraft. Looking for a Cub or a Champ for rent so I can get back in the air this summer.
Last edited by Dave Downs
on Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.