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World War II Bomber Pilot Flies the Kiwi



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 16th 06, 05:13 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Jay Honeck
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Posts: 3,573
Default World War II Bomber Pilot Flies the Kiwi

Today a family arrived at the inn for mid-term university graduation.
This is a much smaller affair than the more traditional spring
graduation, but it's a happy event nonetheless, with lots of extended
family joining in the graduation celebration.

This family brought Grandpa along, a fine old gentleman of 84 years.
While checking in, his son told me that he had been in instructor pilot
in Martin B-26 Marauders -- the infamous "widow-maker" -- back in World
War II, but had not flown in 63 years.

You see, he was an only son, of an only son -- and they had a family
farm to run. Duty called after the war, and, while his colleagues went
on to illustrious careers at Pan Am and TWA, Grandpa went home to help
his folks run the farm. He got married, kids came along, and soon
decades had passed, and he never got the chance to fly again...

Until today. His son spotted the Kiwi (which was "idling" in the
theater, after the last guy had flown it), and inquired about it.
This, of course, was all I needed to abandon all thought of doing any
real work, and I was soon showing them the ins and outs of our new toy.


Mounting the "Kiwi" (our full-sized flight simulator -- see it he
http://alexisparkinn.com/the_kiwi_is_born.htm ) wasn't going to be easy
for Grandpa, and I knew getting out was going to be even harder -- but
after seeing the images of flight projected so realistically on the big
screen while I demonstrated a quick trip around the patch -- he was as
eager as a school boy.

Setting him up in a Maule (on tundra tires, of course) in a
back-country Idaho strip, I let him go. He had a helluva time keeping
things straight, at first, but soon got the hang of the controls again.
After buzzing around the mountains for a while, I transferred him to
his home strip in a Mooney -- and he took to the air like he'd never
left.

His family watched in awe as Grandpa -- who had apparently talked about
flying all of his life -- tranformed back into that 21-year old
hot-shot instructor pilot. They snapped pictures, and whooped and
hollered as his plane rocked and rolled through the skies -- and you
could tell that Grandpa didn't ever want it to end.

At last he crashed, with a great big laugh, and his son and I hoisted
him out of the chair so they could head off to dinner with their new
graduate. Having received more than I could ever hope to give, I shook
his hand and thanked him for coming to our little hotel.

With a smile, Grandpa said "This thing sure beats hell out of those
damned Link trainers we had to fly back in the war.", and he toddled
off with his wife on his arm, a few inches taller.
--
Jay Honeck
Iowa City, IA
Pathfinder N56993
www.AlexisParkInn.com
"Your Aviation Destination"

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  #2  
Old December 16th 06, 08:27 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Jack Allison[_1_]
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Posts: 188
Default World War II Bomber Pilot Flies the Kiwi

Very cool story Jay. Sounds like you (and the Kiwi) made Grandpa's day.
Nice.


--
Jack Allison
PP-ASEL-Instrument Airplane

"To become a Jedi knight, you must master a single force. To become
a private pilot you must strive to master four of them"
- Rod Machado

(Remove the obvious from address to reply via e-mail)
  #3  
Old December 16th 06, 02:45 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Jay Honeck
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Posts: 3,573
Default World War II Bomber Pilot Flies the Kiwi

Very cool story Jay. Sounds like you (and the Kiwi) made Grandpa's day.
Nice.


I'm hoping we can set him up in the Lockheed Constellation before he
leaves today.

:-)

(BTW: If you've got MS Flight Sim, the Connie is a free download, and
is VERY cool. Google around for it -- it's a neat addition to the
program...)
--
Jay Honeck
Iowa City, IA
Pathfinder N56993
www.AlexisParkInn.com
"Your Aviation Destination"

  #4  
Old December 16th 06, 03:31 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
john smith
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Posts: 1,446
Default World War II Bomber Pilot Flies the Kiwi

Not just Grandpa, it sounds like the whole family had a great day.

Jack Allison wrote:

Very cool story Jay. Sounds like you (and the Kiwi) made Grandpa's
day. Nice.



  #5  
Old December 16th 06, 03:40 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Jay Honeck
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Posts: 3,573
Default World War II Bomber Pilot Flies the Kiwi

Not just Grandpa, it sounds like the whole family had a great day.

I got the impression that the son was eager to learn more about his
dad's experiences during the war, and the Kiwi was the catalyst he was
looking for. I suspect the poor graduate was irked after he
discovered that the topic of dinner conversation wasn't him... ;-)

I made sure to tell the daughter just how lucky she was to have Grandpa
with them, still.
--
Jay Honeck
Iowa City, IA
Pathfinder N56993
www.AlexisParkInn.com
"Your Aviation Destination"

  #6  
Old December 16th 06, 03:57 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Jim Burns[_1_]
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Posts: 329
Default World War II Bomber Pilot Flies the Kiwi

Hey Jay,
Jump over to rec.aviation.owning.
There's a post over there by a guy that has received gifts as appreciation
for what he's contributed to that and other news-groups as well as to
general aviation. He seems amazed by this, but I think it pales in
comparison to what he gives to guys like Grandpa. Although some of us try,
many of us simply do not have the opportunities to give back as much as we
would like, so we try to support those who do.

Thanks for making Grandpa's day and for rekindling some of his memories of
long ago. I pray that some day, many years from now, there will be someone
that will do the same for my old bones.

Jim



  #7  
Old December 16th 06, 04:39 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Jack Allison[_1_]
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Posts: 188
Default World War II Bomber Pilot Flies the Kiwi

Well said Jim.


--
Jack Allison
PP-ASEL-Instrument Airplane

"To become a Jedi knight, you must master a single force. To become
a private pilot you must strive to master four of them"
- Rod Machado

(Remove the obvious from address to reply via e-mail)
  #8  
Old December 16th 06, 09:25 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Jay Beckman
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 353
Default World War II Bomber Pilot Flies the Kiwi

"Jay Honeck" wrote in message
oups.com...
Very cool story Jay. Sounds like you (and the Kiwi) made Grandpa's day.
Nice.


I'm hoping we can set him up in the Lockheed Constellation before he
leaves today.

:-)

(BTW: If you've got MS Flight Sim, the Connie is a free download, and
is VERY cool. Google around for it -- it's a neat addition to the
program...)
--
Jay Honeck


Jay H,

You need to add the B25 model that is sanctioned/produced by the Mid
Atlantic Air Museum...MAAM.

http://www.maam.org/flightsim/PACKAGES/PACKAGES.htm

Just an FYI.

Jay B



  #9  
Old December 19th 06, 02:26 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Danny Deger
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Posts: 347
Default World War II Bomber Pilot Flies the Kiwi


"Jay Honeck" wrote in message
oups.com...
snip

With a smile, Grandpa said "This thing sure beats hell out of those
damned Link trainers we had to fly back in the war."...
--


From looking at your site, I am sure this statement is very true. I am old
enough to have flown a link simulator.

Danny Deger



 




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