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Tales from the Log of the Ruptured Duck

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Kayak Jack, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. oldsparkey

    oldsparkey Well-Known Member

    " But, with the difficulties folks are reporting in posting pictures here, I doubt that I'll get any on here? "

    Jack correct me if I'm wrong .....I can't remember of ever seeing any pictures that you posted on the old forum. I remember pictures of your trips that others posted.
  2. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    You're right, Chuck. I never posted any pictures. But - others used to. I guess nobody can now? But, correct me if I'm wrong.
  3. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member


    Photo recce can get interesting. 35-45 miles N'ly of Mason, the Maple River meanders SW'ly. It's a scraggely little river, not one that any of us would ever seek out. Little, if any, of it is really canoeable. The last 10 miles of it, if kept trimmed, might be. But, certainly not for pleasure.

    Brush and weeds infest the river. It flows through flat, mucky land, so getting on and off the water is gurky and messy. But - it IS interesting to overfly. And there are nice airfields on both ends. It trickles nearby Owosso Field KRNP, and joins into the Grand River near Ionia Y70. And, both of those airfields have nice restaurants in walking distance. (I'm not just a pretty face, ya know.).

    Kevin and I can sharpen up our skills here, and then employ them in areas that are worthy of the time and gasoline.
  4. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Well, today we reviewed movies from two cameras. Underwhelming. The third camer didn't operate, for some reason. We had positioned them under the wings. The Duck is a high winged aircraft, so this position can provide a good view fore and aft, and sideways into the cockpit. We now have many views of us in the cockpit. So, we looked at the camera mounrs, and will next figure how to fix 2 of them to the wing pointing forward, with another 1 or 2 aiming aft.

    We looked at my routing for the Maple, Red Cedar, and Grand Rivers as future targets.
  5. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member


    We're on our way to Oshkosh Wisconsin. Part of flying, is the people involved. Another part is air shows. A gaggle of our friends will be coming to the world's largest air show. At Wittman Regional Airport KOSH this week, we'll be wading ar$e deep in planes and fliers.

    We just got word that Steve, my flight instructor, will be there too. He's flying in a friend's 1959 Cessna straight tail 172 to help sell it. His friend was diagnosed with cancer, and wants to sell a recently rehabbed bird. Steve himself is now an airline captain. It will be nice to see him again, a couple years ago, we had breakfast with him in Mesa AZ.

    Some of Julie's old friends (from high school) will be there too, working as volunteers. Plus many of our compadres from around the home field.

    Today, on the first part of our journey, we were driving along an inland sea. We crossed the Mackinaw Bridge connecting Michigan's lower and upper peninsulas. Lake Michigan on ghe left, and Lake Huron ln the right. We stopped in Mackinac City for lunch. (That is pronounced as MACK-i-naw.) about 120 yards away, Lake Huron's breakers were marchjng on shore. After lunch, we crossed the straits of Michigan on the Mighty Mack, and turned left (W'ly) on US-2.

    Driving along the northern coast of Lake Michigan, is moving slong through chapters of history. The straits were contested between Americans and the British in the 1700s and 1800s. The French were involved too. Whoever controlled that choke point, controlled much kf the commerce on the upper Great Lakes. Timber, iron ore, furs, and copper were some of the goods. Large cannons placed on both sides of the straits sunk ships thst "didn't belong". Finally, Americans won and so we now have the rights to use the land and waterways by right of conquest. See - guns have good uses!

    We're across the northern shore now, and will head S'ly into Wisconsin
  6. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    2nd installment

    Well, we're on our way home. Two days of the wild circus was enough. I enjoyed the aircraft related displays, planes, seminars, and vendors. But, people selling dresses, jewlery, sunglasses, begging money for a cancer victim, etc. are detractors.

    I was able to learn interesting things about my Tanis heater. This is a 4 square inch pad on the oil pan, AND heating plugs in each cylinder head (6 ea). I plug it in sometime in November, and unplug it in late May. Even in the dead of winter the engine is warm. It starts right up just as it does in the summer.

    There were 40-50,000 people there each day. Obviously, my disenchantment is not what the mass majority feels. They were ecstatic. If you get an opportunity to go to Oshkosh Airventure, I recommend that you go.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  7. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Reflections on Oshkosh. . . .

    We both feel the this is a worthwhile show. A tremendously complex endeavor to pull together. It has grown over the years. Frankly, it is time to trim the growth, and aim for maintaining a high quality endeavor.
  8. Wannabe

    Wannabe Well-Known Member

    That sounds like great fun, but that is a lot of people. What was the attendance this year?
  9. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    I haven't heard an official head count yet, sorry. That was from one of the volunteers. Way too many people for a sane gathering to be possible, or enjoyable.
  10. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member


    John Riske is a friend of mine. That really wasn't the name of his flight school. John used to manage the airfield at Marshall, Michigan KRMY. And, he did instruct student pilots there. Now, he lives elsewhere, has three healthy, rambunctious boys, and the large dog, Baron.

    I've written of Baron before. Standing about 30" at the shoulder, being well muscled, and of amiable demeanor - he was the perfect airport dog. HINT: when landing at a field - if greeted by a dog - make it your absolutely top priority to make friends with the dog! Even before chocking your bird, if necessary.

    Nowadays, Baron's primary job is both loving and guarding over his extended family - especially those three boy-rascals. His manservant, John, takes very good care of him. The boys can crawl all over the dog, and do things that adults would never be allowed to get away with. And, woe to any adult who would deign to make a threatening move towards any of those boys!

    Folks and familes like John's can be found in many places. I met him only because we're both in the aviation community. A good community - with expansive boundaries.
  11. Wannabe

    Wannabe Well-Known Member

    Sounds like the landing fee is a good petting. An easy price to pay.
  12. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    You're right, Bob. Rub old Baron behind his ears, ruffle his hair, and talk with him, and you're OK. And, when you get a cup of coffee and sit down to drink it, Baron the horse eases up onto your lap.
  13. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Mason Aviation Day

    On Saturday, 19 August, our Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 55 will again be hosting our annual Mason Aviation Day at Mason Jewett Field KTEW in Mason MI. It runs from 7:00am through 3:00pm, beginning with a pancake breakfast, working through steak or brat lunch, and on. Julie and I will again be cooking breakfasts on the first shift, 07:00-09:00. I cook eggs, teaming with a Marine who breaks 4 eggs at a time onto the griddle. I think he has long lines of chickens awaiting in line somewhere behind him!

    The Model T Club will be bringing 50-80 cars, and selling rides. Not many of us alive today have ridden in the original Tin Lizzy!

    This is a large, community celebration. The aviation community attracts many, interested people. Many come back every year; some are first-timers. We introduce some to aviation, and further the knowledge of others. And, have good food and fun along the way. Tough to beat that!
  14. Wannabe

    Wannabe Well-Known Member

    Sounds like it will be a fun day Jack. When I was a little feller we had a Model A. I hope all goes well for ya'll.
  15. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Bob. EAA does a lot to reach out and engage the public. Our chapter does too. This is our biggest soirée of the year. We enjoy a good partnership with Lansing Community College (LCC), who trains people to become aircraft mechanics right there on the field. In fact, the Director of this campus is on our board. So they will be a big part of this on the 19th.

    I hope to be able to pick up Kayla and bring her into it too. And, I've emailed a large gaggle of family and friends, inviting them. I wish you were closer. You would be back in your boyhood in about 3 minutes.
  16. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member


    The Ruptured Duck is painted white. And, even though there's a brown strip along the sides of the fuselage, it's actually hard to see in the sky. While I'm not too concerned about observers on the ground, I am very concerned about other pilots flying in the same chunk of sky with me. "See and be seen" requires both attentiveness on the part of pilots - the seekers, and also requires being highly obvious on the part of the Duck - in this case, the "seekee". To make the Duck easier to see, I've hired a young lady-type mechanic to do some painting.

    A couple of years ago, I had a Steen Aviation Sportsman Kit installed on the Duck. It consists of a brand new design for the leading edge of the wings. It sticks out about 3" further in front than originally, all along the entire wingspan. More importantly, it divides the airflow differently, so that almost all of the air now flies over the top. There are also new wing tips. The combination resulted in a 19 pound addition, and nearly twice the lift component over Cessna's original configuration. This is a "Short Take Off and Landing" (STOL) kit. But, it wasn't painted.

    Our plan is to paint the new, bare aluminum leading edges and grey wing tips a bright, eye-grabbing red. Then, a red sunburst design across wings (top & bottom), and horizontal stabilizer, (also top & bottom). Julie, Reychell (young lady painter), and Raychell's Mom (an artist) have charge of designing and approving the sunburst designs.

    Again, the idea here is high vizibility (hi viz) of the Duck to oncoming pilots. That's my plain, utilitarian point of view. Reychell will ensure touches of good looks to the paint job. It will let me feel a bit more comfortable. Three near misses were enough.
  17. oldsparkey

    oldsparkey Well-Known Member

    Are you sure it will not make someone want to come closer for a look ?????
    The way planes have been landing around here it might be a good idea for them to do the same , easier to see in the trees they keep landing in.
    Lately there is a new trend , last few have been upside down in lakes , even a single engine sea plane equipped with two pontoons. Only part of it you could see where the bottoms of both pontoons above water and glistening in the sunlight.
  18. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    If a plane with pontoons flipped inverted in a water landing, he most likely forgot to retract the wheels. Some pontoons are for water only, but amphibious ones have wheels that can be extended for landing on runways. I've read that if you land on water with those wheels extended, it's usually catastrophic.

    Planes with retractable landing gears are often better off landing gear up if they have a forced off-field landing. Around here, there are many, many farm fields with corn oats, wheat, soy beans, alfalfa, etc. growing in them. I thought, "BOY! There's a nice, cushy spot to use if I have to do a forced landing!" WRONG. My bird has a fixed landing gear - it hangs out there in the breeze all the time. Landing even in deep alfalfa can flip it upside down. Corn is even worse. But, I have a bit of an advantage.

    When I bought the bird, it had flown nearly 50 years with only lap belts. I had 3 point lap and shoulder harnesses installed, with inertial reels. So, I'm much more contained than the average general aviation (GA) pilot. But, I don't really want to test that.

    If there are planes going into the trees there, that's probably something altogether different. Unless they lost power, they probably had time to have found a better place to land. And, if power loss was due to fuel exhaustion, that's very difficult to explain away. Or, sometimes, pilots think it's smart to buzz. Flying low over their house, diving low and pulling up at the last second, chasing livestock, etc.

    The first aircraft crash I ever saw was a buzzing fatality. Very instructive to a 10 year old.
  19. oldsparkey

    oldsparkey Well-Known Member

    like you I thought the wheels were extended on the pontoons when they showed the pontoons, there were no wheels to be seen. The pictures were very clear and good pictures of the pontoons.
  20. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member


    Today is both National Aviation Day, and Mason Aviation Day. It started at 05:00, when three of our key people met with the Ingham County Health Inspector. Actually, it started last week when the city water supply passed inspection, we set up tables, chairs, and picnic shelters for tired geezers to sit and rest under. Julie and I stolled in at a leisurely 06:50. (I had successfully gotten her up at 05:30!! That's, a once a year occasion. sigh)

    On the early breakfast shift, our team (John, Tom, Warren, Julie, and your's truly) cooked about 5 million dozens of eggs, and maybe 3 million dozen pancakes. A bit after 09:00, our relief came on - Don and Deanna. And, Deanna is dressed like Rosie the Riveter! Neat. They probably did another few million.

    Julie and I started to wander the field to look at planes, see friends, and look over Model Ts. The Central Michigan Ts Club had a large rally in nearby Lansing, and about 50 tin Lizzies drove the 14 miles to Mason Jewett Field. We finagled a ride in a 1915 T. One of the most enjoyable miles I've ever had.

    If I had to guess, I'd say that somewhere between 45-65 aircraft were there. For a couple of hours, we were captives, chained to the grills. And, the grills are deep back inside the hangar. When we did get out, planes were taking off, flying around, and landing. So, things were in motion. Stearman trainers shooting low passes with smoke, Diamonds selling rides, two helicopters selling rides, and an old open-cockpit bi-winger selling rides. This last one is unique; the front cockpit is quite wide. It's more like a large, round tub. It was designed for passengers to hop into, squat down, and hang on. We watched all of this. Watched many, many families with kids from newbies in baskets, preschoolers on tethers, elementary school kids, etc. Aye god, that's a good sight to see.

    Then, we were summoned to help out Ernie, our 95 year old friend who flew a B-25 up Omaha Beach on D-Day. Ernie has a T in his hangar, and gets it out for special occasions. Yesterday, when he tried to start it, the engine wasn't all that cooperative. It chugged out of the hangar - and died. No tinkering would get it going again. A few guys that are experienced on those old four bangers rallied over to his hangar. Fuel level - check! Spark (here, they turned on the ignition, and slowly hand cranked the engine through each cylinder, lisrening for an ignition coil to "buzz". Yes - a separate coil for each cylinder. They passed muster.) - check! Some other checks etc.

    Using the electric starter, it slowly came to life, one belching cylinder at a time. Soon, Ernie was putting and popping around. As the engine warmed, it smoothed out. All right!

    We wanderd for another half hour, and then admitted that it was time to go home. What a day - friends, airplanes, more friends, eggs and pancakes, friends, century old cars, and more friends.

    Now, for some wine.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017 at 6:57 PM
    grandpa paddler likes this.

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