Taylorcraft Daze

The history, diary, thoughts, and opinions of an Iowa Taylocraft pilot. The postings will be heavy in the areas of flying Taylorcraft Aircraft, Formation Flying, Flights throughout the Great United States, and other flying activities.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Teen Commandments

1. Your parents brought you up; Don’t let them Down.
2. Choose your companions with care. You become what they are.
3. Be master of your habits or they will master you.
4. Treasure your time; Don’t spend it, invest it.
5. Stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.
6. Select only a date who would make a good mate.
7. See what you can do for others, not what they can do for you.
8. Guard your thoughts; what you think, you are.
9. Don’t fill up on this world’s crumbs; feed your soul on the Living Bread.
10.Give your all to Christ; He gave His all for you.

The End

Sugar, One Great Horse

Sugar was a palomino mare quarter horse that originally came from the “Sooner” state of Oklahoma. She was originally owned by my cousin on my mother’s side. His name was Kenneth the oldest of three boys whose father was my mother’s brother. Kenneth was getting married at the time and naturally needed some quick cash. My family just happened to be in the right place at the right time and so I ended up with a very beautiful and high spirited cowpony. Yes, she did like sugar.

Sugar had been well trained to cut and rope cattle on the open range in Oklahoma before coming to Iowa. Why did they allow such a fine horse to come to Iowa? Well you see, she had one bad habit that apparently no one was ever able to break her of. She would toss her head a great deal and to the point that if she had been working hard would throw phlegm up and over onto the rider which could be rather disgusting at times. It seemed to me that all of her other habits were very good indeed.

That Christmas I received a brand new single rig saddle. It was from the Sears Roebuck catalog with a basket weave design by J.C. Higgins. It rests on a saw horse in my den today as a memory of some of the best days gone by. I also have the large card board box it came in. It is in my hanger. Other tack items included a studded martingale, colorful wool saddle blanket, studded bridle with brown and white leather braided reins attached with metal beads to the bridle. I usually carried a white thirty foot three-strand nylon braided lasso with wire centers in the three braids. I always wanted saddle bags and recently purchased official Calvary saddle bags from Cabela’s. They are presently displayed on the living room divider to the stair case.

You could catch Sugar in the cow yard, jump on bare back with nothing on her head to guide her and you were ready to go get the cows sometimes a half mile away. Sugar knew exactly what had to be done and she did it quickly and thoroughly. No bossy strayed from the herd.

When you rode her in full dress with the saddle and all the tack she would be ready to run when you reached for the saddle horn. All you had to do was grip the horn firmly and her forward momentum would pull you rapidly forward and up into the saddle. No stirrups were necessary. This was a very efficient, rapid, and showy way to get aboard.

My own personal attire included the usual western hat, slim red neckerchief, colorful shirt, belt, buckle, Levis, brand name boots, and spurs that hang on the saddle horn today.

On one occasion we were practicing our roping while my dad was milking. There was a two-bottom pull type plow in the yard with two levers that made great targets to lasso. I no sooner draped my loop over one of those levers and Sugar immediately went into reverse. But before I could get her moving forward again the damage had been done. The lever on the plow was now bent at nearly a right angle and there was no way I was going to be able to bend it back, or was there. I walked Sugar around to the opposite side and this time with a loose dally around the saddle horn pulled the lever back to an up right position. Luckily for me the lever functioned properly. However, it did have a curious looking “S” twist to it. I often wondered if my dad ever knew what had happened. Nothing was ever said about the incident and I learned not to fasten my lariat fast to the saddle horn ever again.

Sugar and I really enjoyed our local Lamont Saddle Club trail rides that were an annual event. Her high spirit and competitive nature came through in fine style as she continually worked at being the lead horse in the trail procession. There was no holding her back. Sugar never had horseshoes. She seemed to be active enough to keep her hooves worn down and only needed an occasional trimming. Sugar was an intelligent horse and could open a wire gate loop with her nose if you did not do a through job of securing it.

My brother and I used our cowponies to herd the fine Holstein milking cows on the 187 highway to graze on the quality grass in the ditch. Again, Sugar was in her element keeping the cows from being hit by the occasional on coming traffic.

I especially enjoyed riding her to town to see the movies at the Local Theatre. It was a three mile trip one way and she could easily run at a rate of thirty miles per hour along side a neighbors automobile. I do have one regret. I never timed her in the quarter mile. I think the results would have been impressive. I would tie her up at my grandmother's garage / barn while I attended the movie. It always felt so good riding home at night in the moonlight with the cool evening breeze in your face. It was a special treat to hear her hoofs clattering loudly across the plank “Mad Dog” bridge east of town on the way home. You did have to rein her in or she would probably have run all the way home.

Sugar and I enjoyed the annual Saddle Club horse shows in the natural amphitheater in an arena east of towns with crowds of 2,000. They would even let school out on the weekend of the horseshow. Sugar was good in three events. Our favorite was the musical chair race as she was very quick on her feet and could stop just as fast. I fondly remember cantering around the nail kegs to the music of “On Top of Old Smoky.” When the music stopped, you had to find a nail key to sit upon. Of course, there were never enough and someone was eliminated. It could get pretty exciting racing someone around the circle to the last available keg. When you got down to the final three, six kegs were set up with three in a line at either end of the arena. The race started sitting on the keg at the near end racing around the keg at the far end of the arena, and then back to the first keg. First, Second, and Third place were determined by the seating order on the original kegs.

The second was the clover leaf race in which you followed a course around three barrels in the pattern of a clover leaf and at the completion found yourself at the far end of the arena with a fast sprint back to your starting point. Sugar could turn so sharply around a barrel that you could look down from the saddle and scarcely see the barrel as you spun around it. You made a right-hand turn around the first barrel and left-hand turns around the next two. Of course, if the barrel tipped over you were eliminated from the race. A stop watch was used and the best times determined the winners. Sugar was just naturally suited to these two events. Today, I think it is called the Barrel Race.

The third event was the men’s western pleasure class that was rather tame compared to the other two events. In this event, you were asked to walk, trot, and canter your mounts; stop, line up, and have your horses standing in the stretch position facing the crowd in a neat row across the arena, and when the judges came by for a close up look you were asked to have your horse back up. The judges also judged the rider and how well he handled his horse. This included how you sat in the saddle and held the reins. There was not much more to it than that.

One winter we had so much snow we were snowed in for several days. The county snow plow could not get through and we lived on the Buchanan / Delaware county line and therefore were usually plowed out last. A truck was needed to help push the plow through the extra huge drifts and to pull in out backwards if it got stuck in the snow bank. The groceries were getting a mite low. So my dad, Fred Bowden, decided to take Sugar to town to pick up the necessary items. It was an arduous journey for both man and horse. My dad had to lead Sugar much of the way as the drifts on the road were entirely too deep for Sugar with the weight of a rider. None the less the mission was accomplished.

After I had left home, my brother, enjoyed hitching Sugar to a buggy and traveling to all sorts of places. Sugar could hold a steady and fast pace while he and a guest rode rapidly in comfort on the buggy.

Sugar lived to a ripe old age for a horse. My brother, was kind enough to look after her in her old age, and he did his best to see that she had a good life in West Union. Later, she was kept at a relative’s farm near Winthrop. I went to see her there one last time. I did ride her a bit. It was a hard thing to do as her steps were not sure and the spirit was willing, but the once great horse was no more. I never went back to see her again. Sugar died in her thirties on that farm and was buried there. That was a fitting end to “One Great Horse” with so much pride.

The End

Summary

Sugar Served Us Well In Many Areas;

Helping bring in the cows for milking.
Herding the cows on the road to the Backbone State Park.
Participating in trail rides through Backbone State Park.
Participating in the Saddle Club annual horse shows.
Musical Chair Race.
Clover Leaf Race.
Men’s Western Pleasure Event.
Providing transportation to the movies in town.
Providing transportation to town for necessaries after the huge snow storm.
Providing transportation with the buggy.
Served as an example of what spirit, ability, and determination can accomplish.
Being a truly great friend and companion for many years.

The Saddle Club Experience:

My Saddle Club membership cards are dated 1949-1953 (age 11-15 prior to the 1951 Chevrolet Bel-Air, Power Glide) with uncle, Tracy’s signature as the president and relative Billy as president in 1952. Membership ran at nearly 100 members. Attendance at the annual horse shows was close to 2,000. Riders competed for a purse of over $300.

Participants Came From: Anamosa, Arlington, Aurora, Brandon, Cedar Falls, Cresco, Delhi, Dewar, Dundee, Dubuque, Dunkerton, Dyersville, Edgewood, Elkader, Evansville, Garnavillo, Greene, Hawkeye, Janesville, Lamont, Luana, Manchester, Maynard, Oelwein, Petersburg, Rowley, Ryan, Solon, Strawberry Point, Sumner, Waterloo, Waverly, Winthrop, and West Union for a total of 34 communities,

Excerpts From Random Newspaper Clippings:

Aurora Saddle Horse and Pony Show, August 14, 1949, Lee, (age 11), First Place, with “King”
“The Lamont Leader,” September 22, 1949, Pony Class, Lee, (age 11) Third Place, with “King”
Lamont Horse Show, Pony Class, Lee, Third Place, with “King”
Manchester Horse Show, Children Shetland Pony Class, Lee, Second Place, with “King”
June 29, 1952, Clover Leaf Race, Dale Dopp, First; Lee, (age 14) Fourth Prize, $1.00.
Lamont Horse Show, Labor Day, September 1, 1952, Junior Musical Chair Race, Lee, (age 14) First Place, $5.00, with “Sugar”
“The Lamont Leader,” September 11, 1953, Lamont Horse Show, Calf Scramble, Lee, (age 15) Second Place with self and calf
“The Lamont Leader,” Date not known, Lamont Saddle Club, Gay, Pony Class, Fourth Place, with “King”
Horsemanship Children under ten years, Gay, Fourth Place, with “King”
Lamont Horse Show, 50 young riders, Junior Horsemanship Contest, with “Sugar” Lee, Final Eight Photo, with “Sugar”
Winners in Lamont Junior Horse Show, Date not known, June 22, with 55 horses and ponies, Lee, “Sugar”

A Few of the Local Riders, Competitors, and Friends:

Harlan Adams (classmate), Marsha Allen (one year ahead), Fonda Bell, Dewar; Gay (brother), Lee, Franklin Brockmeyer, Don Clark, Merle Davidson (one year ahead), Dale Dopp (cousin and classmate), Delwyn Dopp (cousin), Kenneth Dopp (cousin), Neva Donaldson (aunt), Tracy Donaldson, (uncle) Dennis Estling, Dick Estling, James Estling, Jess Estling, Les Estling, Ray Estling, Ruth Estling, Mary Hamblin, Manchester; Larry Hines (classmate), Luella Hines, Ray Hines, Connie Pech, Rowley; Charles Popham, (neighbor) Colette Roudabush, Hugh Simpson, Bill Smith, Martin Smith, and Terry Smith, (31)

The End

Additional Notes: Per Gay, Sunday, August 20, 2006.
Celebrating Mother’s (Delma) 90th birthday at Monte’s in Cedar Falls, Iowa

Notice in the photos that Sugar always seems to have one ear cocked forward and one ear backward so as she will not miss out on anything. LCB
Neighbors clocked Sugar at 38 mph with a car.
She was a Type “A” personality.
Sugar was born in 1948 in Oklahoma, ten years younger than Lee.
Sugar was three years old when purchased from, first cousin, Kenneth in 1951. Lee was 12-13 years old.
Sugar was 31 when she died in the hard winter of 1979. Lee was 41 years old.
She died on the Chuck and Lois farm north of Winthrop.
She lived on this farm for several years.
Fran spilled the beans on Easter at Lee’s in Lamont.
Lee asked, “How’s Sugar?’
Fran said, “She’s dead!”
Gay said, “Oh, My God!” He had not found a way to tell of it.
Weeks had passed since Sugar’s death.
It was “stone cold” quiet.
Then, Lee and Grandpa (Fred) started crying, and others joined in.
So much for the Easter dinner.
Blind with poor teeth, Sugar followed the cows around.
The cows she once guided were now guiding her.
Got barbed wire in hock, infected, Don, first cousin, The Winthrop Vet, operated. Don had to put her out.
There was lots of deep snow in the winter of 1979.
Sugar died on the west side of the Buffalo Golf course.
Headed into the wind, across the fence to the north, and died in the snow.
Gay received the phone call by Chuck, “Lost and presumed dead.”
Later Sugar was found dead, “confirmed.”
Chuck used the back hoe and buried Sugar by the Buffalo Creek in the pasture.

The End

A COOL 14,000 FEET

By: Owner / Pilot
Independence Municipal Airport (IIB)

Years ago when I was young and bullet proof, I decided one fine day to fly my relatively new to me Taylorcraft, N39911, aloft to my personal limits. This would have been in the early 1960’s as I purchased my Taylorcraft on June 6, 1960. I remember circling and climbing over my hometown, the Lamont area, for a good twenty minutes. I was alone, and I am sure that I had only one tank with fuel in it so we were climbing lightweight. The Taylorcraft climbed steadily marching upward at 500 feet per minute for the first several minutes. However, as we gained altitude this rate of climb steadily diminished.

Also, it continued to get much colder as we made our way toward the heavens. For each 1,000 feet of gain in altitude you loose about three degrees in temperature. As I was going about 13,000 feet above the surface, I would loose about 39 degrees Fahrenheit. (13 X 3 = 39) It was a great view as the sky was dry and clear with the visibility unlimited. It was one of those days you could see forever. It was in the early morning when I decided upon this adventure and you could easily see the entire eastern border of the State of Iowa from North to South as a layer of fog and haze still remained over the Great Mississippi River Valley.

I knew that a person could pass out due to lack of oxygen and that is why I discontinued the assent even though my craft would have eagerly climbed higher though at a much reduced climb rate. The Taylorcraft has been known to climb as high as 17,000 feet. At the final stages of my climb we were probably only climbing at the rate of 200 feet-per-minute or less. I could no longer see the town of Lamont beneath me even when I banked the Taylorcraft steeply in the turns. I did check my fingernails by pressing on the ends of them to see if they turned blue. However, if I was going to pass out, I am sure this would not have given me a clue in time.

Well, I felt I had climbed as far as I dared. I was getting cold with just a light “Tee” shirt. The mission was accomplished, and it would take a while to descend so I started back down. Now a Taylorcraft is noted for its long wings that produce a great amount of lift. Therefore, the Taylorcraft was in no real hurry to get back to its cow pasture hanger where my father farmed. For every mile you are high you have about seven miles of gliding distance. So take 14,000 feet less the surface ground elevation of about 1,000 feet makes 13,000 feet. Then, divide the 13,000 feet by 5,280 feet in a mile and you get about 2.46 miles or about 2.5 miles high. My gliding distance therefore was seven times 2.5 miles high or a good 17 miles. As the crow flies, that would take me to either the Oelwein Municipal Airport or the Independence Municipal Airport even without an engine. However, I needed to keep my engine warm, as it is not good for them to get too cool on a long descent. So you see getting back down required a bit of time to do also. Coming down was even more fun as the speed was much greater and the view out the windshield was absolutely spectacular to me. Very gradually, I began to warm up again and felt very good about the whole mission.

I also did not use nearly as much fuel on the glide back down to the pasture landing field full of Holstein milk cows. They were so used to my flying over them that they were in no hurry to move down the field and out of the way. What could I do but enjoy more flying time before once again touching down on a 40 rod strip of good runway with another not as good 40 rods of overrun. As I flew by the tall cottonwood tree at the North end of the runway on final I thought once again, “You just cannot beat fun!”

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

SCOUT OATH OR PROMISE

On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
And to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.


SCOUT MOTTO
Be prepared


SCOUT SLOGAN
Do a good turn daily

SCOUT LAW

A SCOUT IS:

TRUSTWORTHY. A Scout tells the truth. He keeps his promises. Honesty is part of his code of conduct. People can depend on him.

LOYAL. A Scout is true to his family; Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.

HELPFUL. A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.

FRIENDLY. A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He seeks to understand others. He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.

COURTEOUS. A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.

KIND. A scout understands there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants be treated. He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.

OBEDIENT. A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly6 manner rather than disobey them.

CHEERFUL. A Scout looks for the bright side of things. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.

THRIFTY. A Scout works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for unforeseen needs. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.

BRAVE. A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.

CLEAN. A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals. He helps keep his home and community clean.
REVERENT. A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

NATIVE AMERICAN
10 Commandments


The Earth is our Mother,
Care for her

Honor all your relations

Open your heart and soul to the
Great Spirit

All life is sacred; treat all
Beings with respect

Take from the Earth what is
Needed and nothing more

Do what needs to be Done for
The good of all

Give constant thanks to the
Great Spirit for each new Day

Speak the truth; but only of
The good in others

Follow the rhythms of nature;
Rise and retire with the sun

Enjoy life’s journey, butLeave no tracks

THE DAY I PURCHASED N39911

By: Owner/Pilot
Independence Municipal Airport (IIB)

It was three days before my 22nd birthday. Taylorcraft, N39911, was to be delivered to the home farm of my father by my instructor, Johnny Fitzpatrick, on June 6, 1960. I was seven years older than the Taylorcraft when it was manufactured on November 26, 1945, in Alliance, Ohio. I guess that makes my birthday on June 9, 1938. The farm was located on the Buchanan/Delaware County Line in Delaware County three miles northeast of Lamont and just north of what was then highway 187 leading to the Backbone State Park where I worked during the summers.

Johnny’s arrival was awaited with a great deal of enthusiasm as he approached from the Oelwein Municipal Airport (OLZ) where the Taylorcraft was based. Johnny had purchased it from a flying club in Des Moines, Iowa. The aircraft had about ten owners scattered throughout the mid-west prior to finding its permanent home. Johnny knew how much I loved flying and flying another black and white Taylorcraft that was based on the field. So he purchased N39911 just to tease me. It certainly worked as I purchased it with $1,050 cold hard cash before my 22nd birthday by three days. Johnny said that he made $50 on the deal.

I had two fine grandmothers at the time. The one on my mother’s side gave me $50 toward the purchase. Needless to say, she received more than one airplane ride. My grandmother on my father’s side said, “If God had intended for you to fly, he would have given you wings.” Well, she did not get a ride, and so everyone ended up being pretty happy.

I started taking flying lessons after my 21st birthday while attending Upper Iowa University, Fayette, Iowa. I had my majority then, and figured no one was going to discourage me from flying. I just took a lesson one day, and went home and told my parents what I had done. My dad was always quite enthusiastic about flying, and wished that he could fly. My dad was my first passenger.

Back to the skies, Johnny was just a speck above the farm, but we all knew it was he. And, the Taylorcraft engine has a very distinctive sound. It was time for the grand arrival. He put on quite a show as he did stalls, loops, wingovers, chandelles, and many spins down from altitude. I wished that I had counted the number of spins before he pulled it out at pattern landing altitude. He made a beautiful short three-point landing in the unfamiliar cow pasture.

Johnny was a fun instructor to fly with. It was on my second lesson that I asked him if the Taylorcraft could fly upside down. No words were spoken, but we were suddenly diving and rapidly building up speed. Johnny hauled back on the yoke and straight up we went pulling G’s in the first half of a loop with the airspeed bleeding off rapidly. Inverted at the top he held us straight and level for a bit, and things began to happen fast. The seat belt started cutting into my waist, and I was grabbing for anything to hang on to. The fuel from the cowl tank located directly in front of the windshield was running “up” the windshield. Before the engine could quit from a gravity fed fuel system, Johnny pulled back on the yoke again, and we finished the final straight down half of the loop with old mother earth growing larger by the second. As the saying goes, “The cows are getting bigger.” I was happy, question answered, and I could hardly wait for my third lesson.

The field I intended to keep the Taylorcraft in was nothing but a cow pasture, with cow paths running right down the middle. It was eighty rods long and that was certainly enough. It did slant downward slightly to the left side toward the east, but that did not seem to matter a great deal. A thing of greater concern was a tile outlet and a spring with large boulders that was located right at the halfway point down the runway. The south one-half of the runway was much more narrow with bogs and a ditch on the right or west and huge rocks close to the fence line on the left or east. There was a fifty-foot high Cottonwood tree located at the north end of the runway just to the right or west of center. This was usually more helpful than not as it was very easy to judge how high you were on the final approach from the north. Several tall trees stood like sentinels guarding the south approach to the runway. There was a gap in the trees to the left that you could fly through nicely. My high school principal, a tall well-built man, went for a flight, and we took off to the south. The trees were getting bigger fast due to the extra weigh so I deftly side slipped the T-craft to the left, and headed for the gap. We did climb above the trees, and he was able to watch the leaves go by on his right. I often wondered if he thought everything was routine or if I was trying to give him a thrill for all the grief he had given me in freshman algebra class. I did enjoy geometry my sophomore year, and he enjoyed flying, and did go again. At the time of the flight, I was working for him as a business teacher in the Lamont High School.

Sometimes cows were on the runway right where I wanted to land. So I would have to wait for them to move. Often times if things did not seem to be just right, I would apply full power and go around for another try at the landing. I always felt that the field was a great training exercise.
I constructed a “cheap” hanger from discarded steel roofing left over from the tornado that wiped out the farm buildings in 1953. The hanger was closed on all sides except the front that faced the east. It kept the sun and any hail from the plane, and that was very important. It did leak some.

When the plane needed washing, I would land it in the cornfield next to the farm buildings so I did not have to carry the water so far. The corn was still short and I could straddle the rows with the main landing gear. I do not think I hurt any more corn than the tractor did turning on the end rows. I only landed in the cornfield when the ground was firm and packed prior to tiling.

It was great fun to go for a local flight after the chores were finished, and check up on the neighbors. I would fly by and wave at them as they were about their farm activities or working in the fields. I never seemed to bother them, and I think they actually enjoyed seeing the plane around. I always received a friendly wave back.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

TAYLORCRAFT HELD FOUR WORLD RECORDS

FIRST – HIGHER – WORLD’S ALTITUDE RECORD FOR LIGHT PLANES, 24,311 FEET SET BY GRACE HUNTINGTON AT LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, THE INTERNATIONAL RECORD FOR AIRPLANES OF SECOND CATEGORY

SECOND – FURTHER – 1,700 MILES IN 16 ½ HOURS, FLIGHT MADE BY MRS. EVELYN BURLESON FROM VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA TO TIA JUANA, MEXICO

THIRD – FASTER – SPEED RECORD FOR LIGHT PLANES, WINNER OF THE “FIRESTONE TROPHY” AT THE RACES HELD IN MIAMI, FLORIDA IN FEBRUARY 1946

FOURTH – LONGER – 14 DAYS ALOFT IN A TAYLORCRAFT, BY HUNTER & HUMPHREY MOODY, TOOK OFF ON JULY 23, 1939, AND LANDED TWO WEEKS LATER

WINGS OVER THE OLD SPANISH TRAIL

By John Sedey, Trail Boss

Submitted By Lee C. Bowden, Owner/Pilot, Independence Municipal Airport (IIB)

The eight Iowa participants were: Rick and Sharon Hannen, Center Point, Cessna 182, N9361G; Chuck and Carol Wehage, Cedar Rapids, Bonanza, N8556R; Lee and Linda Bowden, Independence, Taylorcraft BC12D, N39911; and Lee and Mike Dudley, Raymond and Gilbertville, Cessna 172, N733FA .

Seventeen small airplanes and six automobiles carrying 47 members of the Historic Trail Flyers met in Santa Fe, New Mexico on September 23, 2005, for a reunion and to travel the Old Spanish Trail.

Our group had its beginnings in 1993, when we flew the Oregon Trail. For that flyover we had 42 aircraft and 90 persons starting in Independence, Missouri, and terminating in Independence, Oregon. The Old Spanish Trail flyover was our sixteenth trail air tour. Our members come from throughout the United States, with two of our members living in Canada. Generally, our aircraft have only one engine and from two to six seats. Our speeds range from 90 to 200 mph.

Saturday morning started with a chartered school bus to Abiquiu, New Mexico with the Old Spanish Trail Association’s, OSTA’s, Pat Kuhlhoff as our guide. After a one-hour drive, we stopped at Bode’s General Store in Abiquiu for rest and to place orders for lunch. This store is miles from the next one, and if they do not have it, chances are that you do not need it. Back in the bus we went to two spots selected by Pat where we put our feet to the trail. It was an awesome feeling to realize that more than a century ago mules, burros, and people walked on the spot where we were standing. They were making history and did not know it.

After lunch and more trail investigation, we returned to Santa Fe, New Mexico for rest and our first rendezvous dinner. This meeting is especially important because it is where the new members and “old timers” meet and find out about each other. At this meeting, Pat gave us a more in-depth vision of what lay ahead. Also, we were introduced to Sarah Schlanger of the Bureau of Land Management, BLM, who gave a slide presentation. After the meeting we retired for a good night’s sleep before hitting the trail for our next destination – Farmington, New Mexico near the four corners. As we deplaned here our feet actually hit the red carpet.

The weather the following morning was perfect – clear and cool with light winds. We flew past Los Alamos with its one-way runway next to the foot of the mountains. We departed to the north, flying over Abiquiu and the spot where we stood the previous day. Although we were flying at 10,000 feet MSL, we were not that high above the local terrain. (All flying altitudes are measured in feet from sea level and hence called “Mean Sea Level” or MSL.) The town and Georgia O’Keefe’s art center where we visited was plainly visible, as was Rio Chama Canyon with its imaginary pack train plodding along under the warm spring sun so many years ago.

At Farmington, New Mexico we bused to the Aztec Ruins. The village was not built by the Aztec, but was given its name long ago in error, and the name stuck. We now know it was the Anasazi, the local natives, who built it. After dinner we were honored with more presentations by OSTA’s Doug Knudson, and James Copeland of the BLM, with information unique to the area.

The next morning the weather continued to be fair; in fact, the weather all the way to Los Angeles was picture perfect. Our next stop was Page, Arizona, and the “Crossing of the Fathers.” We knew the crossing would not be visible, since construction of the Glen Canyon Dam had flooded the area. However, we were scheduled for a cruise on Lake Powell that got us close to the actual crossing area. The cruise up Antelope Canyon was a great diversion and enjoyed by all of us. Continuing the flight we went trough Monument Valley among the towering 1,000-foot monoliths and passed Goulding’s Resort where we motor-toured a few years back. What a different perspective from the air! That evening after dinner we were treated to another guest appearance by OSTA’s Paul Ostapuk, followed by another good night’s sleep to prepare for the next day’s departure to Las Vegas, Nevada.

The view of the Glen Canyon Dam, Lake Powell behind, and the beginning of Marble Canyon and the Grand Canyon to the south was inspiring. Flight over the Grand Canyon requires special permission and flight at unusually high altitudes, so we stayed to the north of the park boundaries using GPS navigation to insure that we did not violate sacred air space. The regulation protects the solitude of those enjoying the depths of the canyon. Flying into Las Vegas, Nevada also has specific requirements necessitating special charts, radio, and radar contact with the controlling authorities.

The day in Las Vegas was a free day, planned so those who have never experienced the “Strip” would have a chance to try their luck. Early the next morning we were joined by OSTA’s Hal Steiner, and boarded a charter bus to view the Old Mormon Fort, Red Rock Canyon, and Blue Diamond, all the way to a point where the original trail abruptly ended because of extensive off-road vehicle operation. Hal did a great job of showing and explaining the trail sites west of Las Vegas, Nevada. There was a large demand for his book about the trail. We really enjoyed him.

Edwards Air Force Base lived up to all expectations. It is located on the Rogers Dry Lake bed in the great Mohave Desert of Southern California. We enjoyed both the outdoor and indoor displays of the modern jet aircraft and the famous retired aircraft of yesteryear. Some of the aircraft included: the space shuttle transport, B-1 Bomber, X-18, the flying bullet piloted by Chuck Yeager, the flying body, the critical wing, the fly-by-wire aircraft, and the lunar landing module.

Friday morning we flew to Lancaster, California. We boarded the Metro Link to downtown Los Angeles, California where the Union Station terminal is only an easy one-block walk to El Pueblo de Los Angeles that marks the official end of the Old Spanish Trail. I am hopeful that those who could not make the train trip will be able to do so in the future.

Our last evening was our traditional “Last Supper” where we discussed the fun we had in the past week, and planned for our next event. It was agreed that the next Historic Trail Flyers Air Tour would be the Chisholm Trail, the cattle drive trail, used in the mid-1800s from central Texas to the railhead at Abilene, Kansas. The time frame will be late September when the summer heat is on the wane and the air is smoother.

The Old Spanish Trail Air Tour was a wonderful event with a great group of people. We could not have done it without the quidance and help of OSTA. We offer our sincere gratitude to all we had contact with. We will certainly support your efforts whenever we can.

The End

Saturday, February 04, 2006

THE DAY I PURCHASED N39911

By: Owner/Pilot
Independence Municipal Airport (IIB)

It was three days before my 22nd birthday. Taylorcraft, N39911, was to be delivered to the home farm of my father by my instructor, Johnny Fitzpatrick on June 6, 1960. I was 22 years older than the Taylorcraft that was manufactured on November 26, 1945, in Alliance, Ohio. I guess that makes my birthday on June 9, 1938. The farm was located on the Buchanan/Delaware County Line in Delaware County three miles northeast of Lamont and just north of what was then highway 187 leading to the Backbone State Park where I worked during the summer.

Johnny’s arrival was awaited with a great deal of enthusiasm as he approached from the Oelwein Municipal Airport (OLZ) where the Taylorcraft was based. Johnny had purchased it from a flying club in Des Moines, Iowa. The aircraft had about ten owners scattered throughout the mid-west prior to finding its permanent home. Johnny knew how much I loved flying and flying another black and white Taylorcraft that was based on the field. So he purchased N39911 just to tease me with. It certainly worked as I purchased it with $1,050 cold hard cash before my 22nd birthday by three days. Johnny said that he made $50 on the deal.

I had two fine grandmothers at the time. The one on my mother’s side gave me $50 toward the purchase. Needless to say, she received more than one airplane ride. My grandmother on my father’s side said, “If God had intended for you to fly, he would have given you wings.” Well, she did not get a ride, and so everyone ended up being pretty happy.

I started taking flying lessons after my 21st birthday while attending Upper Iowa University. I had my majority then, and figured no one was going to discourage me from flying. I just took a lesson one day and went home and told my parents what I had done. My dad was always quite enthusiastic about flying and wished that he could fly. My dad was my first official passenger.

Back to the skies, Johnny was just a speck above the farm but we all knew it was he. It was time for the grand arrival. He put on quite a show as he did stalls, wingovers, chandelles, and many spins down from altitude. I wished that I had counted the number of spins before he pulled it out at pattern landing altitude. He made a beautiful short three-point landing in the unfamiliar field.

Johnny was a fun instructor to fly with. It was on my second lesson that I asked him if the Taylorcraft could fly upside down. No words were spoken, but we were suddenly diving and rapidly building up speed. Johnny hauled back on the yoke and straight up we went pulling G’s in the first half of a loop. Inverted at the top he held us straight and level for a bit, and things began to happen fast. The seat belt started cutting into my waist, and I was grabbing for anything to hang on to. The fuel from the cowl tank located directly in front of the windshield was running “up” the windshield. Before the engine could quit from a gravity fed fuel system, Johnny pulled back on the yoke again and we finished the final straight down half of the loop with old mother earth growing larger by the second. I was happy, question answered, and I could hardly wait for my third lesson.

The field I intended to keep the Taylorcraft in was nothing but a cow pasture, with cow paths running right down the middle. It was eighty rods long and that was certainly enough. It did slant downward slightly to the east, but that did not seem to matter a great deal. A thing of greater concern was a tile outlet and spring that was located right at the halfway point down the runway. The south one half of the runway was much more narrow with bogs and a ditch on the west and huge rocks close to the fence on the east. There was a fifty-foot high Cottonwood tree located at the north end of the runway just to the west of center. This was usually more helpful than not as it was very easy to judge how high you were on the final approach from the north. Several tall trees stood like sentinels guarding the south approach to the runway. There was a gap in the trees to the left that you could fly through nicely. My high school principal, a tall well-built man, went for a flight, and we took off to the south. The trees were growing fast so I deftly side slipped the T-craft to the left and headed for the gap. We did climb above the trees and he was able to watch the leaves go by on his right. I often wondered if he thought everything was routine or if I was trying to give him a thrill for all the grief he had given me in freshman algebra class. I did enjoy geometry my sophomore year, and he enjoyed flying and did go again. At the time of the flight, I was working for him as a business teacher in high school.

Sometimes cows were on the runway right where I wanted to land. So I would have to wait for them to move. Often times if things did not seem to be just right, I would apply full power and go around for another try at the landing. I always felt that the field was a great training exercise.

I constructed a hanger from discarded steel roofing left over from the tornado that wiped out the farm buildings in 1953. The hanger was closed on all sides except the front that faced the east. It kept the sun and any hail from the plane, and that was very important. It did leak some.

When the plane needed washing, I would land it in the cornfield next to the farm buildings so I did not have to carry the water so far. The corn was still short and I could straddle the rows with the main landing gear. I do not think I hurt any more corn than the tractor did turning on the end rows. I only landed in the cornfield when the ground was firm and packed prior to tiling.
It was great fun to go for a local flight after the chores were finished and check up on the neighbors. I would fly by and wave at them as they were about their farm activities or working in the fields. I never seemed to bother them, and I think they actually enjoyed seeing the plane around. I always received a friendly wave back.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

CASEY WILL TEACH YOU TO FLY

Enter the “Third Dimension,” and
Join the “Realm of Flight”

By: Lee C Bowden, Taylorcraft Owner / Pilot
Independence Municipal Airport (IIB)

Casey enjoys people and is at home instructing. He is a great instructor with his quiet, easy going, and laid back manner that makes it easy to learn and remember what has been taught so your are ready and eager for the next lesson. Casey has the experience with well over one thousand hours to his credit in a variety of aircraft. He has experienced flying by the seat of his pants with stick and rudder to the modern multiple glass cockpits with the latest instrumentation, GPS, Auto Pilot, and Radio Navigation Systems. Four pilots have successfully completed their training program and one more will be finished very soon.

Casey was influenced by the many quality Independence Air Shows as a youth.

Casey has advanced quickly through about one dozen ratings/licenses including: student, Private, Instrument, Commercial, Instructor (CFI), Instrument Instructor (CFII), Multi-Engine, Tail Wheel Endorsement, Type Ratings, Complex (Retractable and a Constant Speed Propeller), High Performance (200 Plus Horsepower), Basic Ground School Instructor. His future goals of Advanced Ground Instructor, with an additional five students for a total of ten students will earn Casey the “Gold Seal Award.” Casey jokes that he has earned a rating for every two years of his age of 21. That is indeed a remarkable accomplishment.

Casey’s instructors are Jim Connell of Independence, Mike Connell (Jim’s son) at Decorah, Rick Hannen of Center Point, and Tommy Tomkins the FAA Examiner at Burlington.

Aircraft Flown by Casey include approximately 20 different aircraft of a half-dozen different brand names including the Cessna’s 120, 150, 170, Skyhawk II 172-N, 182, 182 RG; Piper’s Colt, Archer, Arrow, Cherokee 140, Cherokee 180, Cherokee 235, Tri-Pacer, Senaca II (Twin), Senaca V (Twin), Navaho (Twin); Beechcraft Duchess (Twin) and King Air 200; Mooney J 201; Tail Draggers: Taylorcraft, Aeronca Champ, Jodel, and Piper Cub.

His favorite aircraft to fly are the Mooney 201 because it is fast at 175 knots or 201 miles per hour, very well designed and engineered. It has a great history backing it up. Casey also enjoys the Taylorcraft for just the plain “fun of flying.”

Probably one of my best trips was into South Bend, Indiana with the Cessna 172. The scenery was very neat around Chicago, and it was neat talking with Chicago Air Traffic Control (since I had only had my license for a few months). I find all flying to be interesting; unless, I am just babysitting an airplane on autopilot. I do not enjoy that for the most part. I guess I just like being in complete control!

Casey’s travels currently include flights throughout the United States on a regular basis. One of his longer flights was taking vendors to Wal-mart headquarters at Bentonville, Arkansas and another flight to the state of Alabama. He regularly flies in and out of Iowa’s commercial and regional airports with passengers and students.

Casey responds to: “Why Choose Flying?” This is a hard question to answer in general because it is different for so many people. I would guess one of the best reasons to choose flying is simply because one likes it, and has a passion for it. I have not yet met a pilot who did not simply breathe aviation one hundred percent. Aviation provides personal challenges as well as awesome experiences to make for a very rewarding career/hobby, and I am not sure many careers/hobbies can offer all of the various experiences that aviation can. I love aviation because there is nothing like being in the air and being free to go wherever you want, as fast as you can (or as slow!) and simply enjoy the view.

Probably the most rewarding experiences I have had come after the completion of students successful check rides. It is a lot of work to get them ready and to help them get finished with what is usually a very personal experience/challenge, and the grin on their faces after successful check rides, and realize they are licensed pilots is something that cannot be beat.

The Manchester Air Shows in 2003 and 2004 were planned by Casey with the help of The Manchester Airport Committee, Jim & Karen Connell, Aerobatic performers were: Joe & Cheryl (announcer) Dooley, with their Pitts and Piper Cub and Daryl Massman with his Panzl.

He attended “AirVenture” Oshkosh, WI international air show with his family in 1999.

Casey is currently serving on the Manchester Airport Committee, and he is a Member of the Aircraft Owner’s and Pilots Association (AOPA) that is a national organization. During high school Casey was a member of the National Honor Society, and very active in the music program. He was heavily involved in band, choir, show choir, and almost all the other music activities.

His education includes ratings/licenses at the Independence Municipal Airport, Upper Iowa University, with a major in public administration and a minor in business.

When asked about future goals he states that he enjoys instructing, flying charter flights, and would like to manage an airport in the future. In the very near future Casey would like to move up to flying a Beechcraft King Air (twin) and up to the jets perhaps a Cessna Citation Jet.

His fiancée, Amber Ling, age 22, graduated from the West Delaware School District, Manchester, then attended Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa, majoring in vocal music and also instrumental music. She is currently employed by the Vinton-Shellsburg Community School District teaching elementary and middle school vocal music. There are plans to be married June 9, 2007; after Casey graduates from Upper Iowa University. Amber’s grandparents live just east of Colesburg, at the east end of a pleasant valley that Casey flies over on occasion.

Casey’s father, Mark Hansen, is taking lessons and can now land well. His parents are teachers at the Ed-Co Community School District, Mark teaches vocal music (7 – 12) and the knowledge of computers; his mother, Arlys, is a librarian at Ed-Co. Brother, Kyle, is planning to attend Iowa State University and pursuing a double major in computer science and engineering. Casey attends the Catholic Church in Manchester with his family.

He provides numerous airport tours for various groups, aviation ground schools, and seminars. Casey provides the opportunity for annual airplane rides at the Manchester Municipal Airport during the summer months.

Casey helps with operations at the Independence Municipal Airport. Jobs include: fueling planes, moving aircraft in and out of hangers, mowing and rolling grass, plowing runways, and etc.

Casey collects metal airplanes and utilizes the computer a great deal in connection with his work

You may find Casey at his E-mail address: casey@aviationgeek.com,
his Aviation Geek, Web Site at: http://www.aviationgeek.com/, at the Independence Airport: 319-334-4000; or his Cell phone: 563-920-8490. The best deal is to pay him a personal visit at the: Independence Municipal Airport, (IIB) and go for an introductory flight.
Casey is also available for speaking engagements at local schools, businesses, and social organizations.

Monday, January 16, 2006

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO WRITE ABOUT NEXT?

Some of my favorite topics are:

Two Shetland Pony’s and a dog named Spot
Boy Scouts of America (BSA), scoutmaster 17 years
Camping with a 73 degree chill factor
Growing up on the farm
Farm hit by a tornado, my sophomore year
Backbone State Park near Lamont, Iowa
Did I mention flying and the Taylorcraft
Oshkosh, WI “AirVenture” International Air Show
You may have an idea of your own
Working summers and paying for college

GRANDKIDS PROFILES
The Four Bowden Boys

As of 2006

CJB, Friday, 06-28-1991, First Grandson born
10:26 P.M., 7 lbs., 11.6 oz., 20”, Redish Brown Hair, Dark Eyes, Four Generations, Age 15, 2006

1. Cedar Falls High School Swim Team, 50 Meters Free Style & 100 Meters Free Style
2. Member of the Mixed Swing Choir, 30 – 40 Members
3. Boy’s Choir, 7th, 8th, & 9th Grades
4. Ninth Grade Choir
5. Member of the Ninth Grade Percussion Band
6. Individual Percussion Trap Set Lessons
7. Individual Piano Lessons
8. Junior High School Play
9. Cedar Falls Golf Team
10. Holmes School Variety Shows, Master of Ceremony, in the Past
11. Football Team, in the Past
12. Soccer Team, in the Past
13. Cedar Falls Community Shows, in the Past
14. Lutheran Church Choir
15. Lutheran Church Confirmation Class
16. Boy Scouts of America, “First Class Scout”, Almost a “Star Scout”
17. Student Driver
18. Goal: Architect

RFB, Thursday, 03-11-1993, Second Grandson born
10:40 P.M., 6 lbs., 13.5 oz. 22”, Dark Hair, Four Generations, Age 13, 2006

1. Junior High Band, Trumpet, Seventh Grade
2. Individual Piano Lessons
3. Alpha Group of Highly Able Learners, After School, Problem Solving Group
4. Lego League, Competition at Ames, Iowa
5. Lutheran Church, Confirmation Class, Seventh Grade
6. Boy Scouts of America, First Class Scout
7. Camera Man and Tapes the City of Cedar Falls, Iowa, Cable System
8. Golf Lessons in the Summer
9. Soccer Team, in the Past

MLB, Wednesday, 10-26-1994, Third Grandson born
6:03 P.M., 8 lbs., 7.6 oz. 20 ½”, Red Hair, Good Lungs, Four Generations, Age 12, 2006

1. Football Team, Offense Left End and Defense Nose Guard
2. Basketball Team, Wingman, (Forward)
3. Band, Tuba, Fifth Grade
4. Individual Piano Lessons
5. Boy Scouts of America (BSA), Webelos, Graudates in February
6. Swims in Grandpa Maughan’s Pool

BKB, 06-26-1998, Fourth Grandson born
5:03 A.M., 6 lbs. 14 oz., 20 ½’, Dark Hair, Kicker, Four Generations, Age 8, 2006

1. Second Grade
2. Boy Scouts of America (BSA), Wolf Scout
3. Legos
4. Swimming
5. Drawing
6. Play Station Two
7. Ninetendo Game Two

RESPONSIBLE HUNTING

TEN COMMANDMENTS OF SAFE GUN HANDLING

1. Always point the muzzle in a safe direction.

2. Treat every firearm as though it were loaded.

3. Unload firearms and open action except when ready to shoot.

4. Keep barrel clear and choose proper ammunition for firearm.

5. Be sure of your target before you pull the trigger.

6. Never point a firearm at anything you don’t want to shoot.

7. Never climb or jump with a loaded firearm.

8. Never shoot at a flat hard surface or water.

9. Store firearms and ammunition safely.

10. Avoid alcohol and drugs before and during shooting.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

INDEPENDENCE, IOWA – WE HAVE A LOT TO OFFER!

“PROUD PEOPLE PROMOTING PROGRESS”

“FAME IS IN OUR NAME”

Independence is located in Buchanan County on the Wapsipinicon River. It has a population of 6,000 with North / South highway # 150 passing through town and easy access to the East / West four-lane highway # 20. Three highway bridges and one Illinois Central bridge aid in the transportation flow. Independence is the County Seat and has a beautiful Court House. Politically the city is divided into five wards with a city park in each. The city government consists of a Mayor, city council, and a City Manager. Independence is within easy driving distance from: Waterloo, 26 miles; Cedar Rapids, 41 miles; Iowa City, 68 miles; and Dubuque, 68 miles.

Independence is also located in the heart of the “Tall Corn Country.” Most of the surrounding rural community and town are dependent upon the agricultural activities as is most of Iowa. The annual Whitetail Deer hunting season and Duck hunting on the Independence Impoundment of the Wapsipinicon River are favorite sports.

The very progressive full service Independence Municipal Airport (IIB) is located three miles southwest of town. The airport is one of the finest and most progressive in northeast Iowa serving the United States including flights originating to Canada. Activities include: instruction in a fully instrument rated four-place Cessna 172 with “Casey” as your very qualified instructor, a facility which is able to handle a variety of jets for business and industry such as “Net Jets” and Fractional Ownership Jets, a base for corporate and many private aircraft, a point of origin for flights to all parts of the United States, a full service facility by ”Jim” & “John” with complete engine overhauls, agricultural spraying operations, national guard training, service for life guard and news helicopters, ultralights, and radio controlled aircraft. A real plus is round the clock service that is available for refueling, computer weather service, and a lounge for necessary creature comforts. Please see the Blog, “Welcome to the Independence, Iowa Municipal Airport (IIB).”

It boast approximately 16 restaurants, four financial institutions, three automobile dealerships, two golf courses, two funeral homes, many specialty shops, and a great deal of general retail services.

Independence has numerous historical sites. Among them are the Frank Lloyd Wright House southeast of town on the east bank of the river, the Fuhrman House, Gateway to the Past Museum, The Illinois Central Depot, a favorite spot at Christmas time, the Lee Mansion, the Munson Building, the Purdy House, the Shellito House, and the Wapsipinicon Mill, a five-story stone structure on the west bank down town.

Independence is well known for its Buchanan County Fair and 4-H Exhibits. A special seasonal Friday night attraction is the Stock Car Races on a dirt track at the Fair Grounds on the north edge of town. Usually the Carnival comes to town as well.

A thriving Amish Community is located to the north of town with many residing on Amish Boulevard between Independence and Oelwein. The Amish welcome customers to their many stores. The stores include candy, baskets, cabinet and furniture, harness, clock repair, pillows, and much more.

INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION -- IOWA JULY 3RD & 4TH

The annual Independence 145th Annual 4th of July Parade was officially started with a huge aerial bomb blast immediately followed by a five “Vee” Taylorcraft Formation Flight Group originating from the west and passing overhead to the east down main street. The formation then circled to the right and proceeded north over Second Avenue to the Buchanan County Fairgrounds. The Grand Marshall and the award winning Independence High School Marching Band lead the parade. The parade is excellent, and one of the very best in northeast Iowa. The parade itself continues for over two hours generally running from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.

The participants include: corporate, small business, and private individuals. The displays include a variety of very huge vehicles representing the industry, farming, organization floats, equestrians, automobiles, politicians, and walking groups.

Following the Parade be sure to take in the superb Independence Day Celebration music, entertainment for adults and kids, great food and refreshments, and the most exceptional fireworks display you will experience anywhere in Iowa. Fireworks over the Wapsipinicon River River is a great way to round out your Fourth of July celebration in Independence.

Now, back to the formation group which has a membership of eight owner / pilots with like aircraft. The group joins up at the Independence Municipal Airport (IIB) from individual bases at Cedar Rapids, Marion, Monona, Lansing, Roscoe, IL; Akron, OH; and Cuba City, WI. The group has been flying formation together since 2002 with some members logging well over 100 hours of formation flying time.

Several of the Vintage Aircraft are Oshkosh, Wisconsin, “AirVenture” award winners. Two have received the Charles Lindbergh Bronze “Lindy” Trophy. These 1945 to 1946 Vintage Aircraft are in the two-place category, with 65 to 85 horsepower engines, flying at 90 to 105 miles per hour, with a range of 350 to 450 miles.

For a close up look at the aircraft, dine out at the Pizza Ranch and choose a table near the north wall. You may also view many of these aircraft by their “N” numbers on the internet. Just go to Captain Jon’s Taylorcraft Hanger and choose Photo Album 1976 –2004, then search by their individual “N” numbers: Lee, N39911; Jim, NC94953; Elmer, N96841; Joe, N39223; and Mike, N22606.

N39911 is also displayed on the west wall of Bills Pizza and Smoke House diagonally across from the historic Old Mill located on the west bank of the Wapsipinicon River.

WELCOME TO THE INDEPENDENCE, IOWA
MUNICIPAL AIRPORT (IIB)


Located approximately three miles southwest of Independence, Iowa 50644. The telephone number is 319-334-4000.

The address of the Fixed Base Operator is: Connell Aviation II Inc., Municipal Airport, “FOR ALL YOUR FLYING AND MAINTENANCE NEEDS” 1684 – 230th Street, PO Box 506, Independence, Iowa 50644, Phone: 319-334-4000, Fax: 319-334-2498.

The Flight Instructor is: Casey Hansen, “Quality Aviation Education” Airplane – Instrument (CFII), Phone: 563-920-8490, E-mail: casey@aviationgeek.com Website at: http://www.aviationgeek.com/

The airport is one of the finest and most progressive in northeast Iowa serving the United States including flights originating to Canada. Activities include: instruction in a fully instrument rated four-place Cessna 172 with “Casey” as your very qualified instructor, a facility which is able to handle a variety of jets for business and industry such as “Net Jets” and Fractional Ownership Jets, a base for corporate and many private aircraft, a point of origin for flights to all parts of the United States, a full service facility by ”Jim” & “John” with complete engine overhauls, agricultural spraying operations, national guard training, service for life guard and news helicopters, ultralights, and radio controlled aircraft. A real plus is round the clock service that is available for refueling, computer weather service, and a lounge for necessary creature comforts. “Karen” will give you a friendly welcome to Independence on the local Independence Traffic Unicom radio frequency of 122.8 on your initial call up. Local weather is available on AWOS 118.275 or 319-334-3879. Instruments approaches include: Remote controlled lighting for bad weather conditions and low intensity lighting throughout the night-time hours, GPS, Radio Navigation, and a None Directional Beacon at 206 to run way 17.

A new hard service road to the airport along with a new hard-service auto parking area has been completed in 2005. New state of the art “Erect-A-Tube” aircraft hangars have been built during 2004 and 2005 bringing the total to thirteen complete with taxiways and aircraft tie-down areas. The new hangers were filled as fast as they were completed.

Future plans include a new runway that will be 5,500 feet in length by 100 feet wide in order to accommodate and attract additional jet service.

The hours of operation are from seven a.m. to sunset, and 24 hours upon request. The elevation is 978’ and the pattern altitude is 1,800’ MSL. The 17-35 4,000’ X 75’ runway is concrete. The field is lighted during the nighttime hours. A courtesy car is provided for your convenience. In addition, rental cars are available at Pinicon Ford 319-334-6033. Restaurants in the area include: Bill’s Pizza & Smokehouse 319-334-2455; Chuong Garden 319-334-9018; First Street Deli 319-334-4932 Pizza Hut 319-334-2515; Pizza Ranch 319-334-9000; and Subway 319-334-6658 all within four miles. The following motels are available: Country Inns and Suites (under development), Rush Park Motel 319-334-2577, and the Super 8 Motel 319-334-7041 all within three miles. A few of the local attractions are the Amish Community with many stores about six miles to the north; Frank Lloyd Wright, Cedar Rock House about eight miles to the southeast; and the historic Wapsipinicon Mill in the heart of downtown Independence.