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My Day With a PT-13 Stearman :: Archived
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Power User

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Joined: Jan 05, 2005
Posts: 1115
Location: Odessa, Texas
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 6:59 pm
Post subject: My Day With a PT-13 Stearman

Well for the second Saturday morning out at the Desert Squadrons Hanger (C.A.F.) I was spraying Mesquite bushes trying to kill the darn things. It isn't as bad as it sounds because there was quite a bit of air traffic at Schleymeyer field (KODO). This morning including the squadrons PT-26 and Pt-13 flying doing currency training. About 12:30PM I had Sprayed as many as I could. The temp was already into the mid 90s and my neck was already sunburned. Yep I'm a redneck. Anyway there was a couple of the guys there (pilots) and one asked me what I was doing tomorrow. My reply was go to church and then mow the grass.
He said that one of the pilots , a fellow named Kermit, Was taking the Stearman over to Pecos to the flyin Breakfast and he had an open hole in the plane, Which means a cockpit not being used, and he wanted to know if I would be interested. Well heck no why would I want to do something stupid like that..........NOT Really. I tried to be calm and cool but I said yes almost before the question was finished. After signing the paper that says flying old airplanes can be dangerous and you could die and your family will not sue thingy I was good to go.
Nowhow to explain to the wifey....... Just say it. and she said OK, because she knew I would go anyway.
So this morning a 7am sharp we briefed ( Hi Bobby have you ever flown before? Yes. Good. You know how to buckle a 5 point harness? Yes. Do you have a jacket? Yes. OK lets go), pulled the Stearman out of the hanger. loaded up Strapped in. Bobby better turn your hat around.. If the wind gets under the bill I will blow away. Thumbs up
"Prop Clear?" OH Yeah the sound of a Radial comming to life. Starter turning Pumping the throttle, A Big Burst of smoke and noise Vibrating the whole plane then settling down into the unmistakable sound that I have only heard from a distance, never from inside an open cockpit Bi-Plane. Ok we taxi down to the other end of the airport to runway 16. There is a Luscomb in front of us going to Pecos too. After a short conversation between the two planes they line up and takeoff. We did our Mag check and lined up for takeoff... Throttle forward.....the radial roared to life coughed once (as they usually do) and before you knew it there was air between me and the ground again............Yep it is a good feeling......
We clinbed out over Odessa headed to I-20 to follow it to Pecos. We climbed up to about 4000' MSL. Once we got there we turned west and were on our way. The air was smooth and the noise was great. Engine sounds, propwash noise, wind blowing across the struts and wires.....Looking out acroos those two yellow wings.... Beautiful! I tell ya people BEAUTIFUL!! Pretty soon a tap on the shoulder....Look up in the mirror. Ok I see Kermit back there and he motions me to take her....OK I did this last night on my flight simulator. Just maintain altitude and course
Wow This plane is so light on the controls that it really suprised me. Very little movement of the stick to keep it level and a little rudder every so often. I'm Dreaming........I flew over the Rattlesnake Bomber Base in Pyote, TX. It was a WW 2 B-17 Training Base. The Ramp is still there and the walls of an old hanger. You can see that from the highway, but from the air the runways are still there too! They are overgrown with weeds but you can still make them out. How cool! I got to fly about 30 minutes total
Ok here are some pics. Now they aren't the greatest because I couldn't get the camera out into the slipstream. I could have lost it. Wouldn't be good. Enjoy!

this is west out of Odessa over I-10

This is looking South West towards the Davis Mountians.

A Rainbow over Barstow.

Base for 14 at Pecos Mun.

Final 14

The Flight Line at Pecos

Breakfast is served. The truck with a trailer is loaded with Pecos Cantalopes. Yep I got some Yummy. They also had a Contest....Cantalope Bombing. We didn't get to do it but several pilots did. You fly over the field and try to drop a cantalope in a wading pool. You can really tell when they hit it LOL

Leaving Pecos headed home

Over the Pecos River

Turning final for 16 Schleymeyer. If you look down in the culdesac our good friends live where the black car is in the street with the round pool in the backyard
Also in about the middle of the picture there is a large hanger. I worked my first job there. Odessa Soaring ran by Roy Schleymeyer. I ran wings and cleaned planes for flight time from him (sailplane) Mr Schleymeyer was about 80 then and his flying license was # 5000 something. He flew Fokker Tri Motors for the Airlines. He had some wonderful stories. We towed saillanes off just in front of the hanger there beside the paved runway. It has grown over a lot since then (1973-74)

Life is good boys and girls!


You've never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3
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Aircraft Demolition Expert

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Joined: Nov 28, 2004
Posts: 4369
Location: Blaricum, The Netherlands ~GMT+1
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 7:20 pm
Post subject: Re: My Day With a PT-13 Stearman


beeing a lil green of envi here Laughing

Thank you for the pic's and the story !!

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Power User

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Joined: Jan 10, 2005
Posts: 583
Location: vernon BC
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 8:04 pm
Post subject: Re: My Day With a PT-13 Stearman

awesome Bullet,,,,,,,just awesome,,,,I'll leave this short and sweet cause I dunno what to say...........AWSOME...



Many thing's in life are dirt cheap.........
is not one of them.....
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Power User

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Joined: Nov 19, 2004
Posts: 449

PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 8:09 pm
Post subject: Re: My Day With a PT-13 Stearman

you lucky SoB..man that is so cool dude..thx for the pics and excellent story man!
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Joined: Jan 21, 2005
Posts: 6989
Location: Central Illinois, USA
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 8:15 pm
Post subject: Re: My Day With a PT-13 Stearman

I'm droolin' now...lol

Great stuff Bullet!!!
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Power User

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Joined: Mar 13, 2005
Posts: 1529
Location: Los Angeles
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 10:08 pm
Post subject: Re: My Day With a PT-13 Stearman

Awesome pics Bullet, thanks for sharing.

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Power User

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Joined: Jan 26, 2005
Posts: 484
Location: Burlinton Ont
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 7:41 pm
Post subject: Re: My Day With a PT-13 Stearman

Great story Bullet,I had a big smile on while reading it,next time try to bring a few cantaloups with you that way you will have a real mission


eagles may soar but a weasel won't get sucked into a jet engine
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Resident Scooter Tramp

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Joined: May 21, 2006
Posts: 67
Location: West of KEWB
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:08 pm
Post subject: Re: My Day With a PT-13 Stearman

Awesome pics, Bullet!!


We're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.
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Power User

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Joined: Jan 05, 2005
Posts: 1115
Location: Odessa, Texas
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:37 pm
Post subject: Re: My Day With a PT-13 Stearman

Thanks everyone for your comments. Hopefully there will be some more flights in the future.
Dan They actually provide the cantalopes for you. In Pecos,TX thats the main crop. Don't tell me you've never heard of the World Famous Pecos Cantalopes?


You've never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3
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