Mar 17

Aircraft & Airshows #4

The SR-71 Blackbird may have been the most amazing aircraft ever conceived and built! If I were to pick my top bucket list items, seeing this aircraft takeoff, fly and land would be up there! Could there be one out there that could still be flown?

SR-71 Blackbird

The Blackbird was capable of cruising at speeds in excess of Mach 3.2 or in excess of 2,455 miles per hour. This amazing aircraft was built by Lockheed’s advanced development group known as the Skunk Works. It took its first flight on April 30th, 1962.

There are many sources for information and video on this incredible jet but one of the most amazing stories I have come across is an article from Plane and Pilot Magazine written by Brian Shul, a former SR-71 pilot.

Someone, at a keynote presentation Brian was making, asked him what the slowest speed was he had ever flown the SR-71. Check out the link below for his amazing story!

Feb 17

Aircraft & Airshows #3

There is so much to learn about aviation and so many different types of aircraft! I took the photo of this radial engine biplane thinking it was a Pitcairn. 

The tail reveals a different aircraft. 

The wonders of the Internet and Google! The tail number and a Google search provide detail of the origin of this aircraft. 

This aircraft is a 1929 Travel Air E-4000. The Travel Air Company was formed in January 1925 in Wichita, Kansas. They started with a 900 square foot factory and six employees growing to 650 employees and a state-of-the-art aircraft production facility.

The first owner of this Travel Air was Bill Shank, one of America’s first civilian airmail pilots. This aircraft is in regular flight service at the EAA’s Pioneer Airport for those wanting a special treat.

About 1,800 Travel Airs were built in less than 5 years. This aircraft is owned by the EAA Aviation Museum (well worth the visit if you find yourself in beautiful Wisconsin).

Jan 13

Katie Gets Engaged

Our daughter Katie Anne got engaged to Darien Robinson on New Years Eve. We welcome Darien to the family!

Darien is a graduate of WSU (go Cougs) and currently in the Army attending BOLC (Basic Officer Leaders Course) at Fort Benning in Georgia. 

Darien and Katie met at WSU on a blind date back in September of 2014. 

Darien likes the Seahawks, Star Wars, and all things outdoors. His first tentative assignment, after completing BOLC, will be at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. Katie plans a move to El Paso and will work towards teacher certification in either New Mexico or Texas.

Jan 12

Aircraft & Airshows #2

A-10 Thunderbolt

The A-10 Thunderbolt, known as the Warthog, is an amazing military aircraft. It was designed for close air support of friendly ground troops, with the A-10 entering into service in 1976.

Several Warthogs have been to the Tri-Cities over the years, featured in airshows. 

A-10 at Tri-Cities Air Show

I first encountered the A-10 while going to college at the University of Arizona. They flew out of the Davis-Monthan AFB and routinely flew over the UA campus.

They say, when it comes to aviation, there are two types of people; those that look up when they hear an aircraft and those that do not. I definitely look up!

One day, while we were in our apartment near the UA campus, we heard military aircraft pass by. Shortly after the aircraft passed overhead we heard a loud, quick explosion. We ran outside and could immediately see rising dark smoke near campus.

I always thought the aircraft that crashed was an A-10, until doing a little research for writing this blog post. We saw the A-10 almost every day. The aircraft that crashed was actually an A-70 Corsair II. (You can be so sure of something and still be wrong.)

The A-70 crashed after experiencing engine compression failure. The pilot guided the coasting aircraft to a street that was empty at the time narrowly missing a junior high school full of kids. Unfortunately, a few cars turned onto the street at about the same time he crashed. The pilot ejected from the jet shortly prior to the crash.


Dec 19

Aircraft & Airshows #1

I have had a long-term interest in photography (45+ years) and also always loved aviation.

In high school, I had a close friend (Jim Eerkes) who obtained his pilot’s license when he was 16 or 17. We used to go flying together in a V-tail Bonanza. It was great!

I have taken a number of photos of aircraft and will share some of these photos over the next year or so, in a series of posts entitled Aircraft & Airshows. This is post #1 of 13.

This photo of the amazing Canadian Forces Snowbirds was taken at the Abbotsford Air Show. This airshow will be held August 9, 10 & 11, 2019. It is truly a great airshow held in British Columbia since 1966.

The Snowbirds have actually come to the Tri-Cities and put on a great show. 

There is a lot to see at the Abbotsford International Airshow and I would highly encourage you to take this show in! We took chairs and sat in the Runway Seating. Make sure to get your tickets early and take your camera!