Visits to the Past

I flew a number of wonderful airplanes in World War II, the A-36A, P-40F, P-47D and the UC-78.

I flew 94 missions in Italy, Corsica and Southern France in the three fighters.

And I flew eight trips in the UC-78 from Naples to the Anzio Beachead and back as a courier service.

On the first trip, after only about 90 minutes in the airplane, I picked up General Mark Clark, Commander in the Theater, at an advance base and flew him the The Anzio Beachhead.

      I flew other marvelous planes in the States, the P-40E, F, K, L, M and N and the P-51D25.

If you would like to do this, contact them at:

I recommend it heartily. You will enjoy it, I'm sure.

I most certainly did!

Here I am at "Warbird Adventures" in Kissimmee Florida,
21 March 2006.
I'm ready for my "Adventure", stepping back 62 years into my past!

And now I'm in the "Office".

I'm taxiing out to the runway.
As you can see, the engine blocks the forward view.
So one has to "S" turn to see where one is going.

I started out with "S" turns, a coordination exercise,
to see if I could keep the "ball" in the middle.

Chuck Gardner is the "Instructor" in the back seat, keeping me out of trouble.

One is upside down when halfway through a barrel roll.
The maneuver is done is such a way that one feels firmly seated all the way around.

You can tell we're upside down because we and the rudder are in the shade!
And there is a bright spot of sunlight on the lower surface of the stabilizer at the rear of the plane.
Also the bottom of the engine cowl is in sunlight.

I took a half hour "Indoctrination" flight. I probably did about half the flying.
I experienced the usual first time problem, PIO. This stands for Pilot Induced Oscillation.
Simply put it means that you are swinging from the upper rotor and the stick is extraordinarily sensitive and one finds it difficult to avoid overcontrolling it.

This is a bit closer.
My instructor is Tom Richard.

And this is about as close as we can get!

I learned what I was after.
My feet are on the controls that adjust the pitch of the rear rotor, making the chopper pivot right and left.
You can't see the one down by my left hand that makes it go up and down and controls its speed.
The stick makes it go forward, back and to the sides. When one overcorrects you start swinging.
I learned the controls and their operation and got a bit of a feeling for the bird!