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 Post subject: Jeff Ethell Stories
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:28 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2005 1:33 pm
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Location: Beautiful Downtown Natick, MA
Tom Roberts on another thread reminded me that it has been 10 years since Jeff Ethell went West. I did not know him personally, but I bet many of you did and have some good stories to share to honor Jeff. I would like to hear them.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:47 am 
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I met him years ago. I sure miss his videos and his overall knowledge of aircraft. I cannot beleive it has been 10 years already.


RIP JEFF!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:50 pm 
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My story will have to wait a week. I'm leaving for Sacramento in the morning to work their air show.
Jerry

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 3:55 pm 
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He and Ed Shipley passed through Midland during an airshow many years ago and I gave him a ride to the CAF HQ, great guy, very down to earth...

Lynn


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:41 am 
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Back when the Spence’s were holding airshows in Muirkirk, Ontario I had the pleasure of riding the crew bus to the airfield one morning with Jeff. We then chatted for about an hour on a dew soaked picnic bench while we ate bacon and eggs freshly cooked on a barbecue. We were both chilled sitting there but it is one of my fondest airshow memories.

Eric

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:00 am 
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Location: Midland, Texas
Jeff was a good friend and after his death, I wrote an article about how we met. A copy is here http://rwebs.net/dispatch/output.asp?ArticleID=52 if you are interested. He is missed by his friends.

Randy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 8:32 am
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Location: Battle Creek, MI
Never met the man, but I've got several books of his photos. His efforts to save and publish color photos of WWII aircraft are most appreciated!

SN


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:32 am 
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Location: Greeley, CO
Jeff was a world class guy and as nice as can be....he was a regular contributor to a newsletter I put out back in the day and we talked by phone frequently...we met in Midland about '96 when he was flying Nervous Energy 5 at the show and impressed the heck out of my photographic partner Denise by actually seeking her out to meet her, which blew her away....I still have a pic of him on the wall at home leaning on the tail of the P-51 at Midland.....he is sorely missed. I never DID really here what the cause of the P-38 crash was, so if anyone would care to elaborate a bit....

Mark

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:44 am 
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"Nose Art in Color" is one of my favorite books on the subject.


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 Post subject: ??
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:51 am 
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Location: Salem, Oregon
Quote:
what the cause of the P-38 crash was, so if anyone would care to elaborate a bit....

Pilot Error
[b]The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows: failure of the pilot to maintain minimum control speed (VMC), after loss of power in one engine, which resulted in a loss of aircraft control and collision with terrain. Related factors were: the pilot's improper fuel management and failure to change the fuel selector position before a fuel tank had emptied, which led to fuel starvation and loss of power in one engine; and the pilot's lack of familiarity with the aircraft, relative to single-engine minimum airspeeds.
/b]
Jeff was not legal to fly the a/c and lawsuits followed. :(

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:02 am 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
I'll be damned. I had not previously read the accident report or any articles on the accident - mainly because I didn't want to. A man that I had met and respected was dead and that was all that mattered at that time. I guess we all eventually have those moments where we do something completely against our nature - and training.

I met Jeff about 20 years ago when he spent the weekend with us for the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association's annual meeting. We spent some time discussing the fact that we had both written books about the Harvard/AT-6 clan, but the thing I remember most was the day before, during a photo op flight. His first words to me were "Number 3! Close that canopy!"

Doug 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:41 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2005 8:45 pm
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Location: CNY
If you "google it" you can get the whole report. I read it once and can not believe that Jeff would fly any plane he was not completely familiar with.
IMHO he was the safest pilot I ever met. Always checking the plane and re-reading the pilot's manual. This accident has been kicked around by a lot of so called pundits who found fault with his experience in this aircraft.
The simple fact is we lost a gentlemen who did so much for the Warbird community and enriched everyone life he came in contact with.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 1:50 pm 
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We talked several times on the phone. We discussed the history of the Collings A-26 44-35696 and exchanged pictures. He was always availible and friendly, never sounded like he was rushed to get off the phone. He seemed to be a truly nice guy, I was saddened when I heard what happened.


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 Post subject: Jeff
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:52 pm 
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Location: Aspen, CO
Of all the people I have met in the quarter century in Warbirds, Jeff would rank up there with anyone. He was a good pilot, but much more than that, at least as far as I knew him, something all too rare a decent person. He was devoutly religeous, but in a positive way, not in a "thou shall not" sense. He had a sense of humor, a great smile, I can stiil see him laughing at Osh when I use to rib him about wearing those biblical type sandals with his flight suit.

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Bill Greenwood
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 03, 2004 3:07 am
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Location: Whittier CA USA, 25 miles east of Los Angeles
Seems hard to believe this could happen, in the way it did, about ten years ago to the minute as I write. I met Jeff once at the Mustang Gathering at Santa Maria in 1990 and he was as nice, approchable and a real gracious person as is mentioned here. It was a thrill to meet him as I was freelancing for several publications at the time so he was certainly a personal idol. It was a huge blow to the warbird community to lose him. I feel sorry too for Bruce Pruett, who'd stored those airplanes for so many years, only to lose one of them so soon after it was flying. What a waste of life, Jeff was so prolific he left several articles and books behind waiting to be published in the months after his death.

John


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