From Mike Wiebe: Two Glasair builder are intently
focused on a table. Just as the Falco guy walk by, they jump
up in celebration, congratulating each other with 'high fives'.
"What's so special?" says the Falco guy.
They reply "We just finished this puzzle in only three months!
And we're really proud 'cause the sign on the side of the box
says three to five years"
Steve Wilkinson caused quite a stir in the publishing world
with an article that appeared in the April 1999 issue of more magazine, published by Ladies's Home Journal, where Steve's
wife, Susan Crandell is the executive editor. The article "A
Fate Worse Than Death?" deals with a subject rarely covered
in any magazine, and one that very few men can even bring themselves
to talk about, much less write about in a public forum.
Interested? We've posted the
article in Steve's entry in the Falco Hangar on our website.
Here's a good reason to keep flying Falcos. Passenger
rage is getting to the level of Los Angeles road rage of a few
years ago. An irate passenger recently punched out the inside
window of an airliner and threatened to take out the outside
pane. He was arrested. A stockbroker from Greenwich recently
took revenge on the airline by relieving himself, seriously,
on the drink cart.
But nothing comes close to the travails of Northwest
Airlines Flight 1829 over the first weekend of the year. It arrived
about 22 hours late and was trapped on the tarmac at Detroit
for more than seven hours. A huge snow storm had dumped a foot
of snow on the airport, and the jetways were reported to be inoperative,
so thirty planes were directed to a far-off taxiway and were
left to their own devices.
Water gave out, toilets overflowed, the air stank,
babies screamed and adults screamed, too. Finally, a passenger
with plenty of chutzpah called the airline's CEO, John Dasburg
at his home, talked to Mrs. Dasburg, and later called back with
the Captain and talked to the CEO, who was home by then.
He told him, "We're out of food, out of water.
Lavatories aren't functioning. We've got a passenger threatening
to pop the chute. It's minus-30 windchill. There are active taxiways.
It would make a very bad news story for Northwest. You've got
to do something." Mr. Dasburg, replied "This should
never have happened to you guys. We'll get you out of it right
now." And in short order, their ordeal ended. But the Captain
was right. It did make for a very bad news story, an enormous,
highly detailed article on the front page of the April 28 Wall
|Getting your priorities
straight [from the Jackson Hole Daily, July 9-11, 1999]. Either
the horses or the husband has to go! Three paso fino mares. $3900.
Or one lazy, know-it-all husband, FREE (the horses are a better
deal). (307) 886-9420 evenings, (307) 885-5788 days. Monica
At the Paris Air Show, Naples-based VulcanAir announced
that it has restarted the production of the Stelio Frati-designed
SF.600A Canguro turboprop utility twin, rights to which they
acquired from SIAI-Marchetti when it was absorbed by Aermacchi.
Three aircraft are currently being built. A single-engined version
of the Canguro is also in development, to be powered by a Czech
Walter M-601 turboprop. VulcanAir expects to have a prototype
flying in early 2000, and to achieve certification in mid-2001.
Good name for a car. Toyota has named its new sport-utility
vehicle the Sequoia. You may remember some years ago Piper made
the mistake of changing the name of the Aerostar to the 'Sequoyah',
and thus set off a legal dispute between between Sequoia and
Piper Aircraft. But in this case, there will be no dispute because
you can have the same trade name for an airplane and a car, as
in the case of the Ford Aerostar. So please tell Toyota for us
that they've got good taste in names.
Syd Jensen was one of our earliest
Falco builders, and he built his Falco in Keri-Keri, New Zealand.
Even in the late 1970's, the telephone exchanges were manual,
and when you called, chances were that the operator knew if Syd
was at home when she rang for you. Just as he was ready to fly,
Syd developed heart problems and had bypass surgury. It was a
new procedure at the time and the authorities did not want to
give him a medical.
After all we had been through to get the Falco finished, I
was haunted by the thought that he might die before the airplane
flew, so I wrote Syd and suggested that he just go out to the
airport one day and fly the plane. About a month later, Syd wrote
me that on a quiet Saturday, he had taken the Falco up for three
times around the traffic pattern. "Now, please destroy this
note." I did, and he later got the plane flying through
the normal, legal channels. Syd died this summer, and I suppose
even the New Zealand aviation authorities who get this newsletter
will appreciate this story.