There’s not a lot of demand for a Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT type rating, given that only three of the 13,700-pound aircraft still fly, but nine pilots have completed the course since it was first offered at Arizona’s Grand Canyon Valle Airport in 2008.
Ford Tri-Motor N414H is owned by John Siebold, owner of the airport, who once owned Scenic Airlines and Grand Canyon Airlines. His other aircraft include a 1917 Standard J-1, the same aircraft type that landed at the bottom of the Grand Canyon in 1922; a 1928 Curtiss Robin Model 50; a 1929 Travel Air 6000A; a fleet of 1927 Stinsons; and a Stinson Reliant Gullwing. What’s going on? Siebold is determined to collect examples of cars and aircraft used to carry Grand Canyon tourists since 1927.
The youngest of the nine pilots is 20-year-old Foster W. Bachschmidt, who says his future in aviation lies in the past. The University of Texas senior completed the type rating in March 2009. Already the owner of an American Legend Cub, he was attracted to the Tri-Motor when he heard it flies like a big Cub. His ultimate goal is to own a Tri-Motor and give rides at airshows such as EAA AirVenture.
He doesn’t plan to stop with just a Tri-Motor type rating. He wants to be qualified in the Boeing B–17 bomber as well. “They’re running out of pilots to fly them,” he said. He wants to be one of a new generation of pilots to fly the old airplanes, no matter how small its numbers may be.
As a day job to support his goals, Bachschmidt will complete his civil engineering degree and work for his dad at DAB Constructors in Inglis, Florida. Chances are good that if you have ever driven in Florida, you have traveled on a DAB road or bridge.
Kevin Gould is the new president and chief executive officer of Piper Aircraft, replacing John Becker, who resigned and left the company.
Jeff Barger was named vice president of manufacturing operations. Dennis Olcott is the company’s new vice president of engineering. Derek Zimmerman will become vice president for supply chain and aftermarket development. Mary Messuti is Piper’s senior director in Asia, a newly formed position. The company also delayed the PiperJet’s delivery date to 2013. When the recession hit, Piper was forced to slow the PiperJet program. With a cash infusion from Imprimis, the jet program was ramped up once again. Piper lost a few jet orders because of the recession but also has gained a few, leaving the total at “…more than 200,” said Piper spokesman Mark Miller.
The Commemorative Air Force has lost its appeal of a court decision that returns its rare North American P–82 Twin Mustang to the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
The Midland, Texas-based group announced the decision November 11. In a judgment filed November 2, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled in favor of the U.S. Air Force. CAF officials said they are disappointed by the outcome.
“We had hoped that the de novo review would end in favor of the CAF,” said CAF President Stephan Brown. “After countless hours of dedication on behalf of the CAF, our member-volunteers and staff are disheartened by the decision of the court to place the P–82 in the hands of the [Air Force museum] permanently.”
The P–82 Twin Mustang joined the CAF Ghost Squadron in 1966 and was flown in support of the CAF’s mission to honor American military aviation for 20 years, before it was damaged in a 1987 accident. Since the aircraft’s accident, the CAF had been searching within its membership for someone willing to help restore the aircraft. It would have been the only flying Twin Mustang in the world had the CAF had the opportunity to proceed with restoration, the group said in a statement.
“Although the [U.S. Air Force Museum] does not support the CAF’s mission to ‘Keep ’em Flying,’ we are honored to support the mission of the U.S. Air Force,” said Brown. “We hope that they will come to see the benefit the CAF and all warbird organizations bring to their recruiting and preservation efforts.”
In the summer of 2009, following the judgment of the District Court, the P–82 was dismantled and shipped to the U.S. Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.
June D. Maule, owner and manager of Maule Air in Moultrie, Georgia, and widow of Maule founder B.D. Maule, died October 29 after a brief illness at age 92. The same day her son, Gary, 57, died from leukemia.
June, born in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, married her husband in 1934 and worked with him to develop and sell Maule aircraft. Her husband died in 1995. She remained involved with the factory until her death.
Including Gary, four of her children worked at the Maule factory along with two spouses of children and two grandchildren.
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