Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Madison Municipal Airport (IMS) Airshow is this Saturday - September 28th, 2019

If you're semi-local and would like to support a local airport here's your chance. Admission is whatever you like it to be - seriously.  There will be fuel discounts - everyone's favorite excuse to fly. If you have a cool airplane they'll feed you for free (see website for details). And, AAAANNNNDDDD, you can take the opportunity to stop at Lee Bottom, take a photo proving you were here, and send it to ask where I was.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Our 2000 Club Car Transporter/Carry All is For Sale

As we continue to reduce our 'inventory of things" toward a minimum of things, more and more things are finding themselves on the "things for sale" list. This 2000 Club Car is one such thing. It is redundant to our needs and we'd really like to move it down the road.

If you want a great household mulch mover, local community cooler carrier, or a great airport tool this is it.  It's in great shape, runs well, has a light duty hitch, four new wheels and tires, and red paint that makes it really fast.

2000 Club Car (Gas)
1875+ hours with ongoing use.
$4500 obo

Ed Escallon - A Friend to Everyone

Ed loved the old race planes and always had a smile on his face.

Last week we learned our friend, everybody's friend, Ed Escallon, had passed away. It was a complete shock. He had the look of a guy who could run laps around a runner, the demeanor of person who had no cares in the world but took a year off to go to the beach to make sure, and enough love of life for a dozen average people.

The news of Ed's passing left me wishing for one last visit. The old saying, "Always leave them wanting more," works with so many occupations. Entertainment, business, and even the black market work best when applying this principle. Yet, it is an extremely rare human trait. Ed possessed it.

I sincerely felt cheated not being able to see him one last time. 

It's the strangest thing. When people are alive, even in the case of your closest friend, it seems odd to tell them, "You know what?  You're a good dude. I mean it. You're a first class person and I thought someone should tell you."  Maybe it's because we know it would sound as though, " case you die tomorrow," was coming next. Or, maybe it's something we know to be inherently difficult to respond to. Whatever the case may be, we don't say it. And, as we get older, we wish more and more that we had.

Here's to you Ed.  You were a great person. Everyone knew you by your smile and the PT with a similar grin. Ultimately, though, most people will remember you as a guy they were always glad to see.

If you remember Ed, you might want to attend the Ed Escallon Memorial Fly-In on September 28th, 2019, at Anderson (Indiana) Municipal Airport. Look for it on facebook for more details.

Additional bits about Ed:
About his passion for the Golden Age of Racing

About Ed and his most well known aircraft

BOWMANFEST - An Aviation and Military Heritage Festival

Bowman Field's conversation piece.

October 5-6, 2019 is the date for this year's BOWMANFEST. Held at historic Bowman Field, in Louisville, Kentucky, the event has grown in size for many years. Thanks to enthusiastic supporters who step up to offer funds that in turn bring in amazing aircraft, this gathering has finally given Bowman Field what it's been missing - something to look forward to.

Still one of the oldest continually operating airports in the world, in the 70s Bowman field was the busiest GA airport in the world, and home to the most enthusiastic aviators in America. However, a few years back, after post 9/11 security mandates, decades of some of the highest relative hangar rates in the nation, removal of grass runways that were attractive to antique aircraft, and general neglect, the field appears to be turning a corner, getting the attention it needs. Life is returning to the field and BOWMANFEST is leading the charge.

Produced by a group of people who believe in the airport, understand its importance to the City of Louisville, and most importantly, love aviation, BOWMANFEST is doing a great job of reminding the neighbors how fun it can be to have a great airport nearby. I hope you'll support their effort.

All that said, I have an admission to make. That's not the entire story behind why I hope you'll attend. The truth is, Bowman is very important to me.

The airport is where I earned my pilot's license (certificate) and first soloed, rode in and flew my first 220 and 450 Stearman, first took off and landed a T-6, first flew a twin, turbine, experimental, and a seaplane out to a water landing.  I also had my first flight in a business jet there. At Bowman I started an air tour business, drove my first Ferrari, Lamborghini, Viper, etc (thanks Jay),  bought a low mileage TR-3B I still kick myself for selling, saw what was probably the first GPS in the state, made a million mistakes, made what would be (so far) some lifelong friends, burned thousands of gallons of gas and more than one bridge, lost a rare gas cap in the grass on takeoff and actually found it after landing, and helped market the oldest aviation business in Louisville. I also departed from Bowman in search of Lee Bottom.

At the historic field, KLOU, I first saw the B-24 "All American" I would, decades later, get to fly. Bowman field is where I found the world's greatest AME, went six months with a flight every single day, and figured out how to use a 300' triangular piece of grass to land and take off in a Champ(with a passenger) without ever allowing the wheels to touch unholy pavement.

It was there that I would talk to a transient pilot in a BT-13 who would later hook me up with a place to hop rides in the Keys.  A few years after that I wound up flying that BT and still have the friends made from the experience. I met Marvin Rowe at Bowman. He deserved a book and I wish I'd have written it when I could.

From Central American's self-serve pumps I air-mailed a parcel, via Curtiss Helldiver, to my brother flying a show in Geneseo. Today I still find new details on the 1920s Curtiss Hangar still in use, wonder if the remnants of 1-19 are actually the oldest piece of hard surface runway in the world, think about the filming of Goldfinger, marvel at the fact Connies once used the field with tighter patterns than modern pilots in 172s, and wish the place still had a reason to land three abreast - hard surface with grass on each side.

So much happened here, for me, the local aviation community, and aviation as a whole. Heck, I haven't even touched on the real history of Bowman - once a must stop location for the world's who's who of aviation when aviation was at its greatest. However, you can see some of that history if you stop by the "old terminal" when attending the event.

Airports like Bowman need real public support to stay alive and well. is certainly doing its part.

For more information, visit the website.

"Butt Buster"