Vintage Aircraft Online
Issue 4   2009

The long winter season is knocking at the hangar door, and even with some unseasonably warm weather this November, those of us who live in the northern half of the United States know what will be happening within a month or two. Snow! Cold! Wind! (Those of you who live down south are forgiven for smirking right now.)

H.G. Frautschy
H.G. Frautschy

No matter where you live, it's just the right time to get to work on a little rebuilding project; or complete some shop work on an addition to your airplane. Here in Vintage Aircraft Online and in the pages of Vintage Airplane magazine, we'll be doing our best to keep you informed of the latest news regarding airworthiness directives (AD) that may impact your aircraft. There are plenty of Cessna 150 owners in our ranks who will be interested in the information in this issue. If you own an airplane that has a float-type carburetor, you'll want to be sure and read the FAA's latest Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB). Did you know you can subscribe to SAIBs issued by the FAA? You can subscribe to the service right here.

In fact, you can subscribe to a number of FAA-issued documents. Of particular interest to most VAA members are ADs, which can be found here. You can also subscribe to ADs from that same web page.

As the world of aviation evolves, the amount of information being disseminated via electronic means is only becoming larger. Graphic depictions of TFRs, downloadable copies of advisory circulars and other airman and maintenance related information is all available on the FAA's newly revised website at On one of those cold winter evenings when you've got a few minutes to surf the web, visit their website. There is a lot of information there that we can access to maintain and fly our aircraft in as safe a manner as possible. Until our next edition, here's wishing you a safe and enjoyable holiday season!

H.G. Frautschy Editor, Vintage Aircraft Online
Editor, Vintage Airplane magazine
Executive Director, VAA

Hall of Fame - Steve Pitcairn
The late Stephen Pitcairn was inducted into the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association Hall of Fame on October 16, 2009. Mike Posey, of the aircraft restoration firm Posey Brothers, accepted the Hall of Fame honors on behalf of the Pitcairn family. Posey described Pitcairn as a man "guided by the highest standards of personal integrity. He felt a duty to shed light on his father's accomplishments that were more extensive than his contributions to aviation." Read more Hall of Fame Trophy
Pitcairn PA-18
The November issue of Vintage Airplane was chock full of something we rarely see in the vintage community - vintage rotorcraft! Not surprisingly, we didn't have room for all the great photos we would have loved to have published, so we've compiled a slideshow of nearly two dozen photos of the restoration and the completed rotorcraft. You can view it here. Pitcairn Autogiro

There's often other material we use for reference when we are writing an article, and we never get a chance to share it with our members. With the addition of our online resources, now we can! One of the greatest assets at EAA is our archive, overseen by EAA's librarian extraordinaire, Sue Lurvey, and her equally helpful and dedicated co-worker Ron Twellman, our collections curator. They helped point us towards a fascinating donation, a multi-color brochure entitled "It Lands in the Length of its Own Shadow" from Pitcairn Aircraft, which we've scanned as a PDF and are making available to you here. We hope you find it interesting!

While we were composing the November issue, Mike Posey of Posey Brothers Aviation, the folks who maintained the Pitcairn PCA-2 autogiro Miss Champion for so many years, sent along the text of an article published by Champion Spark Plug Company. A typical public relations piece from the 1930s, it gives you a glimpse into what the public perception of the amazing autogiro was during the Golden Age of Aviation. You can read it here.

Technical Tidbits
FAA Issues SAIB on Carburetors
Ever since the engine builders at the turn of the previous century moved away from the evaporative plate as a way to introduce fuel vapor into an engine, the float-type carburetor has been the one of the two main methods of choice. (the other being fuel injection) But reliance on the carburetor has not been without flaws. Even the simplest of carburetors can be plagued with the most basic of mechanical gremlins, a leaky needle and seat or a float that is compromised.

To highlight this issue once again, the FAA has issued Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) NE-10-05, Fuel Control/Reciprocating Engines -Float-Type Carburetors. Over the past 20 years, a number of service bulletins and service information letters have been issued by manufacturers to deal with problems related to poor idle cut-off and fuel leakage after engine shutdown. Three years ago, the FAA issued SAIB CE-06-33R1 to highlight their concerns. Still, those problems persist; so the FAA has issued the new SAIB to give more in-depth recommended actions. You can read it here.

Cessna 150 Rudder Stop AD Issued
With an effective date of December 11, 2009, the FAA has issued an airworthiness directive AD 2009-10-09R1 to revise AD 2009-10-09, which applies to Cessna Aircraft Company (Cessna) 150 and 152 series airplanes. AD 2009-10-09R1 requires either installing a placard prohibiting spins and other acrobatic maneuvers in the airplane or replacing the rudder stop, the rudder stop bumper, and the attachment hardware with a new rudder stop modification kit and replacing the safety wire with jamnuts. The FAA decided the AD was necessary after an accident investigation revealed that a crash was caused by a rudder that traveled past the normal travel limit. Operation in this non-certificated control position is unacceptable and could cause undesirable consequences, such as contact between the rudder and the elevator. You can read or download the AD here.
Folding Seat AD Issued for American Champion Citabria, Decathlon, Scout
The FAA has issued an airworthiness directive (AD 2009-22-02) for American Champion Aircraft Corp. Models 7ECA, 7GCAA, 7GCBC, 7KCAB, 8KCAB, and 8GCBC manufactured prior to 1989, commonly known as the Citabria, Decathlon, and Scout airplanes. The AD is the follow-up to the notice of proposed rulemaking published on August 13, 2009, which proposed to require inspection of the rear-seat back hinge areas for cracking and excessive elongation of the rear seat hinge bolt hole. (Read the AD here.) Read the story
Ice Pilots Reality Show on The History Channel
A 13-part reality cable television series taped in the Canadian Northwest Territories shows what it's like to work for Buffalo Airways. Flying DC-3 and Curtiss C-46 Commandos, among other vintage workhorses, the crews struggle against bone-chilling cold and mechanical failures to bring essential supplies to the far-flung outposts of northern Canada. Ice Pilots NYT is broadcast on The History Channel at 10 p.m., EST. You can read more about it at
Great Web Links
We run across great links regularly as we surf the web. Here are a few websites we’ve enjoyed in the past month or so:
Great Web Links

Every wonder just how a rotary engine works? How about a Stirling engine? What exactly is going on inside a steam locomotive or radial engine? The rotating and reciprocating innards of those engines and a number of others are illustrated in animated form on this website:

For many smaller organizations, the expense of printing and publishing a print edition of their club or association newsletters has proven to be too much to bear. But some folks have been unwilling to give up on the dream. Recognizing that the need for information and camaraderie is still strong; the folks at World War I Aero Inc. decided that for the organization to survive, they had to suspend the printing of their publications World War I Aero and Skyways. The organization plans to continue offering their publications online through an electronic subscription. Visit their website here: They recently posted their most recent issue of Skyways as a free 23 megabyte PDF download; you can view and download it here.

Most of us recall the 1960s' World War I movie The Blue Max, which starred George Peppard, James Mason, and Ursula Andress. But how many of us can recall the name of the author who penned the novel on which the movie was based? I couldn't off the top of my head, and until I ran across it in the latest edition of Skyways (see above), I really didn't know anything about Jack Hunter, the author of The Blue Max. At age 87 he passed away this past spring, but his blog and website make fascinating reading, and if you didn't know of him while he was here on Earth, I'd heartily recommend his website to learn more about this exceptionally erudite man.

One more interesting website; the internet has provided a fantastic way to share old family photo collections in far more detail and to a wider audience than could ever be imagined in the "old days." Here is a nice little collection of both civilian and a few military aircraft in the northeast United States in the decades before World War II.

Why not share your web find with your fellow Vintage Aircrafters? Just drop us an e-mail at with the link, and we’ll get it in the next Vintage Aircraft Online!
Timeless Voices
EAA's efforts to compile an oral history of aviation's pioneers and those who have helped make aviation such a fascinating part of our nation's history has culminated in EAA's Timeless Voices project. Clayton Scott
Hundreds of videos are now archived at EAA Headquarters. We continue to create online versions of those videos so that members and others who have an interest in aviation can watch and learn from those who have come before us. This month's featured interview is Clayton Scott..

Clayton "Scotty" Scott (1905-2006) had his first airplane ride in 1922 in an OX-5 powered Jenny. He soloed in 1927 after only 3 hours and 40 minutes of dual instruction, and before long had private pilot certificate #2155. While on a trip to British Columbia in 1932, Scotty met Boeing Aircraft Co. founder William Boeing Sr. while refueling his amphibian at a marina. (Boeing was refueling his yacht.) The two became fast friends and Boeing later hired Scotty as a pilot for United Air Transport and for two years he flew B-247s from Seattle to Salt Lake City. Shortly thereafter Scotty became Boeing's personal pilot. In 1940 he was hired as the chief production test pilot for Boeing Aircraft Co., a position he held for 25 years. In 1954 Scotty founded the Jobmaster Company specializing in aircraft float modifications. When Scotty passed away in 2006 at the age of 101, he still had an office at the Renton, Washington, airport that a year earlier was renamed in his honor (Clayton L. Scott Field). Watch the video.

Hints for Restorers
Timm Bogenhagen, EAA's senior aviation specialist in our aviation services department (and the only staff member to have won a Bronze Lindy award during EAA AirVenture, which he won for his construction of his Mini-Max lightplane) shows us a quick handy way to create a jig for drilling tubing or round stock on a drill press. Watch it here. Hints for Restorers
From the Archives
Really antique airplanes such as World War I fighters have long been the Holy Grail of antique aircraft restoration. There was a time when many of the men who knew of the aircraft firsthand were still with us, and were able to lend a hand in their restoration. From the archives
Read about such a project in England during the 1960s and '70s by reading this EAA Sport Aviation article from May 1975. You can view the article here.
Oshkosh365 - The Red Barn
Post of the Month

Oshkosh365 is continuing to expand and become one of aviation's online hot spots, and its special interest communities continue to grow as well. The Red Barn, VAA's online forum within Oshkosh365, is a great place to chat about old airplanes, share photos and videos, and learn more about operating vintage aircraft from your fellow members. Here's a posting on the Red Barn about the two men who are building a full-size flying replica of the Bugatti racer, complete with a video. Log in and view it here.

Question of the Month

Q. How much flying do you do in the winter (December-March)?

Respond Now!

EAA Radio Archives
Jane Healy, Author of The Wrights' European Odyssey, talks to EAA Radio's Digital Dave and Fast Eddie during EAA AirVenture 2009 about the Wright Brothers' travels in Europe and how they were received overseas versus their home country. EAA Radio
Interview with author Jane Healy

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