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 Street Journal.

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.

Alfred Scott



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