by LeRoy Cook
Proposed Banner: Strafing The Facility
May 15, 2023
The battle for clear airspace continued last week, as multiple low pressure centers and associated fronts lollygagged across the Midwest. It was difficult to find a forecast in the sequence that suited one’s schedule. Welcome rain, however, freshened up the crops and fostered grass growth around the airport.
Despite the on-and-off weather, some activity was seen . The Piper Twin Comanche visited again, a Piper Warrior and a Cessna Skylane came in, a nice 1960 Cessna 172 was over from Ottawa and we saw a Mooney fly through. Locally, Jim Ferguson practiced in his Cessna 182, Jon Laughlin was up in his Cherokee 180, Lance Dirks flew a Cessna 150, Landon Cook shot a couple of landings in the Skyhawk and Captain Les Gorden aviated in his Beech Bonanza F35.
Continuing from last week’s reporting, I was digging through some more old photos of Butler airport the other day and ran across one showing a Douglas DC-3 making a low pass before landing, circa 1963. Back 60 years ago, we had just transitioned from private ownership to municipal operation, and our pavement was brand-new, offering 2650 feet of “buckshot” bituminous instead of bare grass. The old Douglas Racer, for all its impressive size, didn’t require too much runway, capable of slowing to 80 mph across the fence, about like a Piper Cherokee. I believe the one in the picture belonged to Red Owl food stores, who owned our Foodtown supermarket at the time, stopping in for a managerial visit. It shows our twin fuel pumps, offering 80 and 100 octane gas, and our welcoming one-holer.
Nest Thursday and Friday, the 18th and 19th, Zenith Aircraft over in Mexico, MO, producers of homebuilt airplane kits, is hosting a workshop for builders and interested parties, so if you’re considering buying and building a Zenith, call (573) 581-9000 to reserve a slot. Also, on Saturday, June 3rd, Judy Fritts Reynolds invites all of us to fly down to Shell Knob’s Turkey Mountain airstrip for an “omelet in a bag” breakfast fly-in, always a fun stop.
The NOTAM for July’s Oshkosh airshow has been published, ready for distribution. If you’re an EAA member, call the services number on the back of your membership card and they’ll send you a copy of the document.
All is not bad news at Boeing Commercial Aircraft. It was announced last week that Irish cheapie airline RyanAir has ordered 150 737 Max 10 airliners, with options for another 150, worth $40 billion. That ought to keep the plant humming for a while.
Our weekly question was about the placard on the dashboard of Luscombe airplanes telling pilots to turn the carburetor heat on for takeoff; why? Yes, it slightly reduces horsepower, but that’s the point. Under full power, with low fuel level, the gas tank outlet is too low to properly feed the carb, so they certified it at reduced power, which meets the specs. For next time, our question is “what kind of tires were used on the Wright Brothers’ first airplane?” You can send your answers to email@example.com.