Chuck Davis sent me this report of his first flight in the Fly Baby he bought earlier this year:
I thought about your description of a first takeoff, and you were right on the money. I took it out of the hangar yesterday morning, and made one pass down the runway with the tail still down to see if it would go straight...it did.
Then I knew I was in real trouble. I really had run out of excuses, so I taxied back and looked for traffic. Couldnít find any. I lined it up on the forty-foot-wide runway, put the throttle all the way in, picked up the tail, and we were off.
Well, let me tell you, you were 100% correct about your description of your first takeoff. It was a total gas. The view is amazing. Not too windy, but real loud with those barking stacks.
The plane flew hands-off mostly but seemed a little nose heavy. Might have been my less-than-perfect airplane handling. I flew around the airport at about 2,000 feet for a while just to take in the view.
I decided that sooner or later I was going to have to get back to the ground...and I needed to get to work. I descended into the downwind and made my usual Corsair circling approach to Flabob. I came over the end of the runway at seventy and landed three-point on the centerline and just let it roll out. I am sure the Lord must have had something to do with the landing because it was about the best I have made in many years. The plane just must not have heard that itís not supposed to land that way. Bill Turner had suggested that I might let some air out of those big fat fires, so I deflated them to about fifteen pounds. Maybe that helped.
That flight was the first taildragger flight I have made in twenty-five years, the last being in an SNJ-5. The plane flies as advertises and I think it handles best on the ground when you donít steer too much. It kinda seems to want to mostly straight down the runway.
(Aircraft photo by LeBaron Amacker)
Comments? Contact Ron Wanttaja.
Return to The Stories Page