Tag Archives: Jerry Dixon

FASF-Daedalians Bid Farewell to Flight Captain, Roger Nichols

The speaker scheduled for this last Spring meeting fell ill and couldn’t make the luncheon, so the El Paso General “Nick” Nichols’ Flight 24 simply turned its focus back on its own members, and towards making sure its most recent past Flight Captain, Roger Nichols (General Nichols’ son), had a proper send-off.

Roger will soon leave to be near his children and grandchildren in Oklahoma.  Because the Flight had some extra time, because of the absence of the scheduled speaker, it turned its attention towards gaining a more detailed insight into each of the member’s individual careers, both in the service, and in their later civilian lives. Here, below, are the photos of today’s event – and of each member sharing some of their unique personal history.

Today’s luncheon was also one to which the member’s wives and/or guests were invited.  Because Flight Captain, Colonel Mario Campos, was out of state, Vice Captain, Ric Lambart presided.  He shared a group of photos which were taken over the weekend during the regular annual “Dining Out” celebration held at New Mexico State University (NMSU) by the local Air Force ROTC Detachment 505.  Many years ago, flight Provost Marshall, Alan Fisher, had actually commanded that same AFROTC unit.

Both Mario and Ric had been invited to attend AFROTC event.  Colonel Campos, once an AFROTC cadet himself, was the featured speaker.  He shared what the cadets might expect during their own upcoming USAF assignments based on his own experiences.

(All of the below photos may be seen full-size and in High Resolution, by clicking on them)

L to R: Mayre Sue Overstreet and Julie Pitt.

L to R: Col. Norm Rice and Roger Nichols.

L to R: Mary Barnes arrives with Flight Chaplain, Roger Springstead.

L to R: Bob Pitt, Virg Hemphill, Pete Brandon, Mary Barnes and Roger Springstead. Col. Norm Rice‘s  is seated in the foreground.

L to R: Mayre Sue Overstreet, Mary Barnes, and Julie Pitt

L to R: Mayre Sue Overstreet, Melissa Fisher and Mary Barnes, speaking with Julie Pitt (back of head to camera)

L to R: Flight Adjutant, Colonel Bob Pitt, engrossed in conversation with past Flilght Captain, Roger Nichols

L to R: Alan Fisher speaking with Virg Hemphill. Ulla Rice is in the foreground

L to R: Roger Springstead and Ric Lambart give a thumbs up to photographer, Jerry Dixon

L to R: Virg Hemphill, Mary Barnes, Pete Brandon, Alan and Melissa Fisher, Norm and Ulla Rice, with Charlie and Mayre Sue Overstreet just off camera to the right.

L to R: Jerry Dixon describes his USMC pilot experience as Virg Hemphill and Roger Springstead look on.

L to R: Virg Hemphill listens as Roger Springstead shares his Naval Aviator career, while his friend, Mary Barnes listens

L to R: Mary Barnes listens as Pete Brandon describes his extensive USAF and Northrup-Grumman careers

L to R: Virg Hemphill talks about his USAF Fighter Pilot and Airline experiences as Roger Springstead and Mary Barnes listen

Alan Fisher shares his own USAF experiences along with his current active engagements as a pilot with the Civil Air Patrol

L to R: Melissa Fisher talks about her own USAF career as both a RN and her later teaching years

L to R: Colonel Norm Rice relates his own Fighter Pilot experiences in the Air Force – and how he and his wife, Ulla, met, when he was stationed in Great Britain

                                        Larry Spradlin tells of his own USAF aviator experiences

L to R: Charlie Overstreet describes some humorous experiences as both an Air Force Pilot and also during his later 2nd career, piloting for the DEA, as his wife Mayre Sue enjoys the memories.  Julie Pitt is at the right.

L to R: Julie Pitt listens and her husband, Colonel Bob Pitt, tells of his experiences over Viet Nam, flying both the F-101 and F-4 fighters, while Roger Nichols take it all in

           Ric Lambart describes some of the photos taken at this past weekend’s AFROTC “Dining-Out” event at NMSU

L to R: Ric Lambart, Roger Nichols, and Bob Pitt pose, after Roger was presented with a special going-away gift from the Flight

 

Dockendorf Briefs Daedalians About War Eagles Air Museum

Honored guest speaker at this month’s Daedalian meeting in downtown El Paso, Texas, was Bob Dockendorf, long time member of the FASF and Executive Director of the War Eagles Air Museum (WEAM) at nearby Doña Ana County International Jetport.

Any of the following photographs may be seen in full high resolution by simply clicking on them.

                                                  Bob Dockendorf describes the history of the WEAM

Bob described the museum’s history and how it was started by fellow El Pasoans,  John and Betty MacGuire, both of whom were avid aviators, 32 years ago.

L to R: Roger Springstead, Charlie Overstreet, and Col. Bob Pitt.

Earlier this year Bob was elected to the El Paso Aviation Hall of fame in recognition of his many years of outstanding service to the local aviation community since taking command of the WEAM.

L to R at right: Bob Dockendorf, Col. Mario Campos, Larry Spradlin, Virg Hemphill, Roger Nichols, and USAF ROTC Cadet and Daedalian Flight Training Scholarship Awardee, Ammber Valverde.

His historical operation had 17,000 visitors this past year, guests who came to enjoy and learn from the museum’s exhibit of some 36 WWII, Korean and Vietnam era “war birds,” many of which are still in flying condition.

L to R: Alan Fisher, Roger Springstead, Charlie Overstreet, Bob Pitt, Scott Drake, Bob Dockendorf, Mario Campos (Flight Captain), Larry Spradlin, Virg Hemphill, and Roger Nichols, past Flight Captain.

In addition to the display of these vintage aircraft, this native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, oversees a colorful collection of over 50 antique automobiles and motorcycles.  Bob has been an enthusiastic car collector for many years, and has also been both a student of aviation and history since he was a young man growing up in the Midwest.

                            Dave Ginn, who just returned from a quick tour to Iraq, describes his experience.

The WEAM also boasts an intriguing climate-controlled library consisting of thousands of books, periodicals, photographs and other documents, mostly related to aviation, automobiles and history.

Flight Captain, Colonel Mario Campos conducting flight business.  To his right, above (left to you) is his guest, former Army aviator and test pilot, Scott Drake.

The War Eagles keeps its admission prices low in order to expose the greatest number of people its educational exhibits and materials.  Students are admitted free of charge and veterans, seniors and military personnel are welcomed with a discounted admission price.

                                    Dave Ginn and Alan Fisher listen to Mr. Dockendorf

While the museum was initially the singular philanthropic enterprise of its founders, the MacGuires, Bob has recently begun to transition the institution from a privately funded non-profit educational enterprise, to one of a more self-supporting and public nature.  Although John MacGuire passed away in 2001, his wife Betty maintains almost daily contact with the Executive Director of her beloved museum.

                                   Colonel Norm Rice enjoys his desert while his wife, Ulla, looks on.

The assembled Daedalians, all members of the FASF, and who all also  know Bob well, expressed their enthusiastic appreciaton for his presentation. his fourth to this Daedalian Flight since becoming the museum’s CEO.

L to R: Dave Ginn and Alan Fisher

Mr. Dockendorf additionally explained his initiative for a new organization, The Rio Grande Aviation Council. The new group will be devoted to area aviation interests and development, and which will be composed of leaders from area aviation interests such as the CAP, EAA, Daedalians, The Quiet Birdmen, Amigo Airsho – – – and, yes, even the FASF.

                         L to R: Mario Campos and Jerry Dixon, and (sitting) Virg Hemphill and Roger Nichols

                                              L to R: Virg Hemphill, Roger Nichols, and Ammber Valverde

                                                    Roger Nichols and Ammber Valverde

                                            L to R: Scott Drake, Larry Spradlin, and Bob Dockendorf

                                                               Ammber Valverde and Virg Hemphill

                         L to R:  Ammber Valverde, Jerry Dixon, Virg Hemphill and Roger Nichols

                                                      Ammber Valverde and Alan Fisher

               L to R: Scott Drake, Roger Nichols, Virg Hemphill, Larry Spradlin, and Colonel Mario Campos

CAP Squadron Commander, Natalie Franc, Briefs Daedalians

Major Natalie Franc, a native of Glenhrothes, Scotland, is the current commanding officer of the El Paso, TX Civil Air Patrol (CAP) “Composite” Squadron. As distinguished from a regular squadron, a Composite Squadron includes a CAP Cadet Corps, along with its Senior Members.

Natalie began her career with the CAP when living in Hawaii after having been in the Royal Air Force (RAF), in which she enlisted when 18 years old, after having first served, since she was 13, in the Air Training Corps of Great Britain.  In the RAF she was assigned to Intelligence, where she used her skills as a linguist with a fluency in the Russian Language.

When on active duty with the RAF she met and married her husband, Michael, who was also in the Intelligence branch of the U. S. Army.  When he was transferred back to the U.S. in 2002, she moved there with him.  Before finally settling in El Paso, Texas, Natalie had lived in Maryland, Hawaii, Arizona, and Germany.  As a civilian, in addition to her work with the CAP, she has worked in various capacities in Emergency Services and has been a volunteer with Army Family Programs and has also been an Armed Forces Caseworker.  Natalie now runs her own business in El Paso.

The Major showed a custom prepared Power Point slide show to the Daedalian Flight members, who are also members of the FASF.  The following photographs of this event are all in high-resolution, and can be seen full-size by simply clicking on them as they appear below.

L to R: Major Natalie Franc, Colonels Mario Campos and Bob Pitt.

L to R: FASF Aviation News Scout, Virgil Hemphill, Colonels Norman Rice (back to camera) and Alan Fisher. Colonel Fisher is also an active volunteer pilot for the Las Cruces, NM Squadron of the CAP.

L to R: Mark Pfluger, Active Duty Army Rotary Wing Pilot from Ft. Bliss’ Biggs Army Airfield, and his mentor, Flight Captain, Roger Nichols.

L to R: Maj. Franc, Col. Campos and his wife, Judy, Julie and Col. Bob Pitt, Retired USAF Colonels, Melissa and Alan Fisher, Virg Hemphill and Roger Springstead (USNR Ret.) Anselmo Rocha, Assistant to Col. Norman and Mrs. Ulla Rice, Jerry Dixon (USMC), Dave Ginn, Charlie Overstreet,  Jim Brandon, Col. Pete Brandon’s visiting brother, and just out of camera range to Pete’s left is his guest Skip Orrell.

Major Franc adjusts computer projector . . . as she explains that the CAP has the largest single-engined fleet of Cessna Aircraft in the world.  The powered aircraft total is about 560, and she reported that the CAP also owns 47 glider-sailplanes, which are used to train Cadet members, along with several Hot Air Balloons, which select Cadets are also taught to operate and fly.

The Major explains the National CAP organization’s composition . . . which inlcudes the Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

In this set of slides, Major Franc gives some examples of the CAP role in Search and Rescue Operatrions (“SAR” Ops).

L to R: Melissa and Alan Fisher and Virg Hemphill listen to Maj. Franc explaining her El Paso TX CAP operation . . .

Here the CAP Commander explains the role of the CAP in disaster Relief Operations, noting her own squadron’s heavy involvement in Hurricane Harvey, which struck East Texas, in particular, the Houston area.

In this slide the Major explains that the CAP mission also includes other roles in addition to Search and Rescue and Disater Relief . . . pointing out that her squadron plays an important role in Border and National Air Space Security.

Here Natalie describes the numerouis mission qualifications in which CAP members work throughout the Squadrons.

And here she shows the Daedalians and their guests how the CAP stays in constant radio contact with its mission personnel and aircraft during operations . . .

Major Franc sums up her presentation and takes questions from the audience . . .

L to R: Major Franc and Flight Captain Roger Nichols study one of the slides shown during the presentation.

L to R: Col. Bob Pitt, Major Natalie Franc, Flight Captain Roger Nichols, and Colonel Campos, who invited the Major to make the presentation . . .

L to R: Flght Captain Nichols and newly inducted Daedalian, Dave Ginn, and Colonel Bob Pitt.

Why Are Those Coveted Navy Pilot’s Shoes Brown, Not Black?

   Jerry Dixon in Columbus 2018

Ever wonder why, unlike all other U. S. Navy Officers, Naval aviators always wear brown, rather than the normal black shoes?  Well, FASF Aviation News Scout, and former U.S. Marine Corps Pilot, Jerry Dixon, (at Left) once again discovered another intriguing piece of U. S. Navy historical trivia.

The piece Jerry discovered was found on a U.S. Navy Aviation Blog site, appropriately enough called “The Brown Shoes Project!”  This story, which is indirectly, also a peek into U.S. Naval aviation itself, was written by retired USN Pilot, LCDR William Estes in his letter to Pat Francis:

“Naval aviation officially began 08 May 1911 with the first order of a “Flying Machine” from the Wright Brothers. (See the photo immediately below, of the U.S. Navy’s version of the Wright Flyer – Model B) This purchase also included aeronautical training of naval personnel who would become the first naval flight instructors who would be the founders in spearheading Naval aviation as we know it today.

Please keep in mind that our First Aero Squadron was also based here at Rockwell Field shortly before it moved back East to Texas, and then on to Columbus, NM, for its role in the Punitive Expedition.  The initial cadre of First Aero Squadron Pilots had been stationed at Rockwell field, as well.

Early photo of the U.S. Navy’s Model B of the Wright Flyer.

To train these future naval aviators in the new Wright Brother’s flying machine, Rockwell Army Airfield was commissioned to be the first U.S. Military Flying School.

Above is a 1914 aerial photograph of San Diego’s Rockwell Army Airfield, the nation’s first full-time Flight School. Although it is now called simply, North Island Naval Air Station, by its current sole occupant, the U.S. Navy.  You should notice that there are no runways in evidence.  This is because runways, as such, had not yet even been invented!

The new airfield was located on the northernmost island (see photo above) of the island chain in San Diego, California.  It was decided that it would be jointly shared with the Navy as the most suitable airfield site in the local area, an area chosen because the flying weather was some of the most consistently good flying weather to be found anywhere in the U.S.

In October 1935, the entire Rockwell Field facility was transferred to the Navy by presidential executive order of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The last Army units departed in 1939. Later, the Army Corps of Engineers was commissioned to dredge the channel immediately to its East, and to also fill in the island’s low areas, leveling the island chain’s surface. accordingly, the name “North Island” emerged as Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California.  See a current photo just below to see how it now appears.

2017: U.S. Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California.  This photo is taken looking to the South.  The Bay, which was dredged by the Army Corps of Engineers, is to the left above.  The current U.S. Navy Submarine Station San Diego, is immediately out of this picture’s bottom, across the channel’s inlet to the Pacific Ocean, the the right above.

                         Memorial Commemorative Plaque at Rockwell/North Island NAS, San Diego, CA

                     First Aero Squadron personnel with their Burgess Model H No. 26 at North Island in 1915

Now, quoting Commander Estes: “Six commission officers were selected from the surface fleet as the first student Naval aviation aviator trainees to be taught by these naval flight instructors.

These pioneer naval aviator trainees coming from the surface fleet wore uniform low quarter, square-toed, black rough out leather shoes which served best on the coal-burning ships, which commonly produced great quantities of black soot from the ship’s stacks.

Arriving for duty at the North Island Air Field for training flights, the six students experienced a foreign environment of brown dust on the soft surface air field.  They found themselves being constantly required to remove the dust from their black shoes, which was irritating enough to cause them to look for a better alternative to this shoe cleaning nuisance.

In the midst of their training, while often times funding their own petrol expenses, the six discussed alternatives to their problem, deciding that brown shoes might serve best to solve their problem with seniors who were putting what they felt was too much into uniform appearances.  With that, all six decided that brown high top shoes with brown leggings was their solution. On a Saturday morning, the six located a cobbler shop on 32nd Street in San Diego, California whom they commissioned to produce same at a time and price they could live with.

Upon taking custody of their prize a short time later, the test of practical use of their new Brown Shoes and acceptance from their senior cadre members became a function of time.

Within a few days, the practicality of the Shoes of Brown proved to be an acceptable solution to the student aviators. The six then met to discuss how to bring about change of the uniform regulation to include the Brown Shoes and high top leggings as distinctive part of the aviators permanent uniform.

With some discussion on how to approach their proposal, they concluded that a petition to bring about change for a distinctive aviators uniform would best serve their plight.

A few days later, they met to compose a petition which would later be approved and endorsed by their seniors and forwarded to the Navy Bureau for consideration.

On 13 November 1913, the Navy Bureau signed approval to the uniform regulations to include The Shoes of Brown with Brown high top leggings as part of the permanent uniform for Naval Aerial Aviators.

U.S. Navy officers with Black Shoes.

This change carried itself through World War II to 1944 while logistically, the brown shoes were not in production due to priority war efforts. However, in stock supply would be issued and the wearing of same was still authorized. At the end of the war in 1945, production of brown shoes was again continued and issued until July 1976.

Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, Jr., USN, was a two term CNO from 01 Jul 1970 to 01 Jul 1974. An Admiral from the surface navy (Black Shoe) had a desire for significant change within the Navy and its policies. With that, one of his initiatives was to end an era of Naval Aviation with the removal of the Brown Shoes from the Navy.

With the stage set, at midnight on July 1, 1976, the CNO (Chief of Naval Operations), by instruction to Naval Uniform Department of NMPC (Naval Military Personnel Command), ended an era in tradition of naval aviation distinction and pride. “A Naval Aviation tradition came to an end when Brown Shoes were stricken from the Officer’s and Chief’s uniforms. The tradition distinguished the Brown Shoe Navy of the Aviators from the Black Shoes of the Surface Officers.”

U. S. Naval Aviator, a Commander, in Khaki Uniform – but with an aviator’s traditikonal Brown Shoes

In September 1979, I was assigned to TRARON Ten as a T-2B/C “Buckeye” flight instructor (The Dirty 100) at NAS (Naval Air Station) Pensacola, Florida. With my keen interest in history, I began initiatives to resurrect The Shoes of Brown as part of the permanent uniform for Naval Aviation in the same spirit as those in lead who first set the initiative.

With several cross-country flights to the Naval Archives at NMPC in Washington DC, I researched for the original aviators petition in an effort to author, in kind, the same which would be reborn at Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, the Cradle of Naval Aviation.

Receptive and in support of the Brown Shoes initiatives, Captain Jude J. Lahr, USN, Commodore, Training Air Wing 6, gave the “Thumbs Up with a Sierra Hotel” for same.

With that, I drafted a petition which was headed by and reads: “RESURRECTION OF THE BROWN SHOES – WHEREAS, In the course of history of Naval Aviation, the “SHOES OF BROWN”, first adopted in November 1913, have held a position of revered, cherished esteem in the hearts of all those associated with Naval Air, second only to the “WINGS OF GOLD”, and – WHEREAS, in the course of human events it becomes necessary to recognize an overwhelming desire to return the esprit of heritage amongst the cadre of AIRDALES (The affectionate name Navy personnel use to describe their Pilots and aviation support crews), now – THEREFORE, let the feelings be known that we the undersigned, all duly designated NAVAL AVIATORS, NAVAL FLIGHT OFFICERS, FLIGHT SURGEONS and FLIGHT PHYSIOLOGIST, do hereby affix our signatures and designators to this petition calling for the immediate change to the Naval Uniform Regulations which would allow the “SHOES OF BROWN” to once again take their rightful position below the “WINGS OF GOLD.

The first and most fitting to sign was Captain Jude J. Lahr, USN followed by senior CNET cadre members to include Captain Robert L. Rasmussen, USN, parent Command­ing Officers (NASP, NASC, NAMI, NAMRL) and other command seniors, mid-grades and juniors alike and was unanimously received and signed as presented.

Numerous requests from commands throughout the United States, foreign ashore activities and carriers on the line requested the petition be sent them for signing via telephone, message and post mail.

Upon completion of my shore tour, I was then assigned to USS MIDWAY (CV-41). I continued initiatives with the Brown Shoes petition after receiving a “SH” approval from Commanding Officer, Captain Charles R. McGrail, Jr., USN.  After an overwhelming receptive Carrier Air Wing 5 and ships company cadre, Captain McGrail later signed out the petition in Red with “forwarded Most Strongly Recommending Approval” to the CNO/NMPC on commands letterhead stationery with a personal note.

LCDR William Estes, USN Retired Aviator and Resident of Salzburg, Austria, “Flew West” on October 12, 2013.  A memorial was held in his honor at Pensacola NAS, FL.

 Following my 2.5 year Midway tour, I returned to Training Air Wing 6 as a T-2C Buckeye flight instructor with TRARON Ten.  On the morning of 12 Sep 85, while airborne on a APM/Spin Hop with a student, I received a UHF radio call from the squadron duty officer (SDO) to “BUSTER” return to base with no explanation. On return to squadron spaces to meet with the SDO, the Skipper escorted me to his office where he moments later received a telephone call from SECNAV, The Honorable John F. Lehman, Jr. (a Tailhooker himself) who congratulated me as being the spearhead in Resurrecting the Brown Shoes back to the “AIRDALES” (affectionate name given by the Navy to its aviation crew members) of U. S. Naval Aviation.  SECNAV (Secretary of the Navy) Lehman informed me that he was going to announce that month, the return of the Brown Shoes at the 1985 TAILHOOK Convention and that he wanted to personally authorize me to be The First to wear the “Coveted Shoes of Brown” before his announcement.”

FASF/Daedalian Members Give Awards to New Fighter Pilots

Daedalian Flight 24 Captain, Roger Nichols, and Vice Captain, Ric Lambart, both long time active FASF members, once again had the privilege of presenting Leadership Awards to graduates of the Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon programs at Halloman Air Force Base (HAFB) near Alamagordo, NM, earlier this month.

Other Daedalian Flight members, all from El Paso, Texas, also attended the gala event, at which the principle guest speaker, Four Star General James M. Holmes, himself once a USAF Fighter Pilot, gave an inspiring address to the graduates, their instructors, parents and friends.

Other Daedalians at the event also included Colonel Mario Campos and his wife, Judy, Colonel Bob Pitt and wife, Julie, Virg Hemphill and wife, Jenine, Charlie Overstreet and wife, Mayre Sue, and Jerry Dixon.  Virtually all the Daeedalian Society members from the El Paso Flight are also long time FASF members.

For the first time, HAFB combined two fighter squadrons into one graduation ceremony, which was held in one of the Base’s large aircraft hangars.  Approximately 400 graduates and guests attended the ceremony, which included the 311th and 314 Fighter Squadrons.

Here are the photos taken during the event see any photo in hi-resolution by clicking on it:

Captain Coke Nolan, at left, one of the two MC’s for the event talking with Daedalian Flight Captain, Roger Nichols . .

L to R above: Jenine and Virg Hemphill, Mayre Sue and Charlie Overstreet.

L to R: Jerry Dixon, MJ Tucker of HAFB, who handled the graduation details, greeting Colonel Mario Campos, while Colonel Bob Pitt looks on.

L to R: FASF Aviation News Scouts and Daedalians, Virg Hemphill and Retired USMC Aviator, Jerry Dixon.

View of the stage and the two MC’s busily running through their smooth routine before the audience.

L to R: Judy Campos, Julie Pitt, Roger Nichols, Bob Pitt, Ric Lambart, Charlie Overstreet and Mario Campos.

Again, View of the stage and the two squadron MC’s animatedly running through their amusing routines before the audience.

One of the two Daedalian Tables with, L to R: Ret. USAF Fighter Pilot, Col. Miles “Cowboy” Crowell, Roger Nichols, Mario and Judy Campos, Charlie and Mayre Sue Overstreet.

The other Daedalian Table, with ((Clockwise from front Left: Jerry Dixon, Jenine and Virg Hemphill, Julie and Bob Pitt, newly retired fighter Pilot and his still active duty USAF Flight Nurse wife, and another Flight Nurse.

Graduates and guests begining to fill their plates for dinner.

L to R: Colonel Jeff “Tank” Patton congratuting the 311th Squadron’s winner of the “River Rat” award, and co-presenter, retired USAF Col. Cowboy Crowell.

L to R: Roger Nichols presents Daedalian Leadership Award to Capt. Foley Elliot, F-16 graduate from the 311th FS.

L to R: Ric Lambart congratulates the 314th Fighter Squadron’s Lt. “Banjo” Rutledge on his Leadership Award.

Daedalians all, Lto R: Bob Pitt, Jerry Dixon, Roger Nichols, Capt. Foley Elliot and Lt. Banjo Rutledge, Daedalian Awardees, with Ric Lambart, Charlie Overstreet, Mario Campos, and Virg Hemphill.

Daedalian, Colonel “Cowboy” Crowell describes the hiostory of the “River Rat” award, which has its roots back during the Vietnam conflilct.

L to R: Roger Nichols, General James M. Holmes, and Ric Lambart.

FASF Airfield Site Chairman Gives PP Show to Daedalians

Yesterday, at the El Paso Club in downtown El Paso, Texas, FASF Airfield Site Chairman, Bill Madden, of Las Cruces, NM, gave a special Power Point Presentation to the General Frank Nichols Daedalian Fight 24 monthly meeting. Almost 100% of the Flight are long time active FASF members.  Bill and his Airfield Site team have worked for years with their metal detectors and GPS gear scanning the Airfield in order to determine the correct place on the Field to erect our replicated 1916 Jenny Flight Line and its hangar facilities.  Without his team’s tireless efforts we’d have no idea of precisely where to locate the old Flight Line.  Click on any photo below to see it in full resolution/size.

Former US Military Pilots, L to R: Col. Norman Rice, Roger Springstead, Jerry Dixon, Col. Bob Pitt, and meeting’s Speaker, Bill Madden, FASF Airfield Site Chairman, choosing their meals for the luncheon event.

Bill Madden opens his presentation with a slide showing his motorized glider in front of his Las Cruces NM Hangar.

Screen has photo of (L to R) Mark Drexler, Bill Madden, and Fritz Wagoner, the 1916 Army Airfield Archeological Team, with their metal detecting gear in hand, posing right on the FAS 1916 historic Airfield.

Bill explains how the team has marked all of their findings on the Airfield Site’s Satellite Map. Artifacts are identified and color-coded based upon the type of remnant discovered.  The patterns will help determine the correct location for the replication of the old 1916 Airfield’s Flight Line (hangars and repair facilities).

Bill talks about the type of maintenance equipment the Army’s First Aero Squadron had to accomplish their work. The 4 wheel-drive truck shown has an engine hoist on its rear bed.  The FAS mechanics above are seen hoisting one of the Jenny’s Curtiss built OX-5 V-8 cylinder engines.

Bill wound up his presentation showing him airborne in his powered single seat glider.  He has owned and flown a number of general aviation class airplanes over the years and has actually personally built some of them.  Beside being a professional engineer, Bill is a licensed FAA Air-frame and Power Plant Mechanic.  Bill belongs to and has been an officer of the Las Cruces, NM EAA Chapter 555, and has also belonged to the famous EAA chapter 1, at the Flabob Airport in California.

After the meeting, Bill talked about his work with FASF Aviation News Scout and former USAF and Airline Pilot, Virg Hemphill at left.

Above, L to R, are Bill, Daedalians and FASF members, Ric Lambart, and Colonel Bob Pitt, who have just awarded Madden with his gift from the Flight, in appreciation for his having shared his time and expertise with them.

Watch The Test Launch of the SpaceX FALCON HEAVY Rocket

Thanks to our Aviation News Scout Jerry Dixon and SpaceX for this latest news release.

Following its first test launch, Falcon Heavy is now the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two. With the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb)—a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel–Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost.

Falcon Heavy draws upon the proven heritage and reliability of Falcon 9. Its first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft. Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit. Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.

The above launch video is 34:18 in length, so if you don’t have the time to watch the entire film, simply fast forward to about 21:00 minutes so see the actual lift off itself.  Notice the innovative way that the rockets are saved for further deployments by returning them safely back to earth on their own landing pads right at Cape Canaveral.  We are clearly now beginning to bear witness to the great cost savings to the taxpayers achieved by permitting private industry to compete – and run – these heretofore exclusively government run operations.