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WMcD

Which Airplanes Did PWK Fly?

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Even though trains may have been PWK's first love we see mention of him as a pilot.  IIRC he had a civilian license issued by France before the US issued licenses.

 

You might have seen mention of him wearing two wrist watches, one set to local time and the other to GMT (Zulu) probably.  And IIRC he mentioned using a K-400 in his plane for radio traffic.  Gosh, horribly high sound levels.  Where were headphones? Further, he transported around Shorthorns for demonstrations.  K-Horns would require really big airplanes and so the Shorthorn might have been the limit.

 

Given the longevity of the man, he must have had experience with many.  Taylor? Twin Bonanza?  Maybe even a Jenny at first? 

 

Ratings?

 

It is an interesting side of the man we don't hear about much.  Based in Hope, he could fly all over the country without limits of the road system which was quite primitive back in the day.

 

WMcD

 

So. 

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My recollection is a Beechcraft Bonanza, a V-tailed aircraft, as I recall from around 1960.  I'm not sure, but got the impression from the dealer at the time that he regarded it as an extravagance.  Wouldn't that have been pre-Interstate?

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"Most people."  Whoops, that would be me.  Sorry to have not searched first.

 

WMcD

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I'm not exactly sure, but I think the Beechcraft Bonanza V-Tail was bought about the time Raymond Booles got to Klipsch...between 1979 and the early 1980's.  I actually went up in it with Raymond once...and my girlfriend Wanda was in it with us for that short flight, too...and he even turned the controls over to me for a few minutes after explaining what to do, but we were at altitude and I turned them back over to him pretty quickly.  If I remembered correctly he said that it was the "New" company plane, and then he remarked that PWK didn't like it as much as he liked the previous plane.  I do remember it was a Beechcraft V-tail, for sure though!

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Sorry.  The plane was a Beechcraft Baron and it did not have a V-tail.  Raymond and Jerry did buy a second Baron, and that is likely what you piloted.  Each of them took one as a "golden parachute" when they left Klipsch.  The basic model (not actual plane) is attached.

Beechcraft_Baron_58.jpg

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21 hours ago, JRH said:

Sorry.  The plane was a Beechcraft Baron and it did not have a V-tail.  Raymond and Jerry did buy a second Baron, and that is likely what you piloted.  Each of them took one as a "golden parachute" when they left Klipsch.  The basic model (not actual plane) is attached.

Beechcraft_Baron_58.jpg

Thanks, Jim, that clears that up for me!  Memory is getting thinner by the year here now that I am 63!  I get nervous whenever I I have to land in an aircraft, because I jumped OUT of way more aircraft than I ever landed in!  LANDING in an aircraft always makes me nervous!

 

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On 10/14/2016 at 12:47 PM, HDBRbuilder said:

Thanks, Jim, that clears that up for me!  Memory is getting thinner by the year here now that I am 63!  I get nervous whenever I I have to land in an aircraft, because I jumped OUT of way more aircraft than I ever landed in!  LANDING in an aircraft always makes me nervous!

 

 

That makes sense Andy.  What was your worst jump?  When was your most recent?  Will it be your last?  Thank you for your service, and your invaluable contributions to this forum.

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On 10/12/2016 at 7:37 AM, JRH said:

See:  http://www.klipsch.com/planes

 

There's a lot of stuff "over there" that most people have missed.

 

Thanks Jim for the link.  It’s interesting that the 1956 intinerary includes a stop in Buchanan, Michigan, part of the illustrious Buchanan, Niles, and Dowagiac tri-cities. I’m guessing his destination in Buchanan was 600 Cecil Street.

 

Your recollections and insights are always appreciated.

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8 hours ago, DizRotus said:

 

That makes sense Andy.  What was your worst jump?  When was your most recent?  Will it be your last?  Thank you for your service, and your invaluable contributions to this forum.

Worst jump was actually my last one...UH1H chopper blast in May 1992...The main chute was a steerable MC1-1C, with the "C" meaning that it had a relatively non-porous canopy, and those chutes were normally designated for heavy Soldiers/over-40 Soldiers because they tended to come down slower since the air could only escape the canopy at the apex opening, around the edges or out through the openings (for steering) at the rear.  But when I arrived for the jump that main was the only remaining one...so I was stuck with it.  Forward speed on those was about 9 knots, so you steered into the wind, since running with the wind was a no-no, unless the wind was pretty much nil. Because the canopy was "non-porous", steering it often causes oscillations, which were hard to "tap out"...so the rule of thumb was to GENTLY steer it, tapping out any oscillations as you SLOWLY steered.

 

Drop was at about 1500' AGL at FT Chaffee, AR, and it was my last pay jump before leaving Chaffee in July.  I never saw the streamer that was dropped, but as soon as the chute popped, I GENTLY steered into the breeze.  Then, at about 900 ft, I noticed that I was running with the wind, and realized that I was caught in a layer of wind below my last steer, but this wind was much stronger and I had to steer towards the wind again, which got me to oscillating, but I figured that I had plenty of time to tap-out the oscillations prior to landing....so I was in the process of gently doing so, when I noticed that I was running with the wind again at about 400 ft...and could see that this layer of wind was the ground wind...by observing the grass-lean below.

 

So, no chit, there I was....already oscillating and running with the wind AGAIN and really NEEDING BADLY to steer another 180 degrees into the ground breezes, but also understanding that I would be oscillating pretty badly by the time I landed, if I did so...but I had to do it...

 

All through this I was drifting diagonally more often than to front or rear.....oscillations were getting pretty severe, no matter how I tried to make them go away....and at this point all I could hope for was that my body would be straight down in the middle of an oscillation when I hit the dirt (actually a huge blackberry thicket, about ten feet tall!).  BUT NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO....I was at the extreme height of an oscillation arc, kinda like being on a swing set as a kid and actually seeing the top of the swingset under your feet...ya'know??

 

So my canopy actually hit into those blackberrys before anything else did, and I came in head and right shoulder first right behind the canopy...crash and burn!  I rolled over and realized that my neck had taken most of the jar, but I had also torn my right shoulder out of its socket and it was about three or so inches lower that it was before I jumped.  And I was REALLY in pain. 

 

I knew that I was on the last lift of the day, and nobody could see me in that thorny mess I was laying in.  And most of the jumpers would not even know I was missing, and would leave me out there.  After all, it was already getting dark and they were more interested in "Miller TIme' than in ensuring everybody had made it to the rigger shed with their chutes.  So I took my left hand, and  gently, but rapidly, pushed my right shoulder upwards until I could feel where it wanted to go back into the socket, and slowly pushed it all back together.  I got out of my harness, and very painfully gathered up my canopy....stretched it out, and figure-eighted it into my aviator kit bag...hooked my reserve to the kit bag handles and very painfully slung the entire mess over my head so that I could get off the drop zone with it.  My shoulder functioned ok, but the pain was excrutiating....not a fun last jump for somebody to make after over three hundred others where the worst thing that had ever previously happened was ricocheting off of a combination of BFR's and almost twenty foot prickly pear cacti in Sardinia two summers straight...they call the Sardinia DZ "DZ Hardcore" for a REASON! 

 

The only FUN thing about being an Infantry paratrooper is jumping....which makes all the other stuff bearable because you get to jump!  That day was NOT FUN, though!

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Hard to imagine landings as a passenger in a plane to be worse than that Andy, @HDBRbuilder.  I imagine the helpless feeling as a passenger is uncomfortable for you.

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3 minutes ago, DizRotus said:

Hard to imagine landings as a passenger in a plane to be worse that Andy, @HDBRbuilder.  I imagine the helpless feeilg as a passenger is uncomfortable for you.

I have taken off in aircraft over 350 times in my life, and landed in aircraft less than 40 times.  I don't have a problem landing in aircraft at all....my problem is actually not wanting to remain in the aircraft....but not having a chute, so I am stuck with remaining in it, anyway.  Look at it this way, I trust a parachute WAY MORE THAN I TRUST an AIRCRAFT...especially when dealing with MILITARY aircraft.  FOR ME....floating down in a parachute is almost a religious experience...I feel closer to God when that is happening...enjoying nature, the breeze, and the wind-rustled silence...until time for "preparation to land"...then I have to come back to reality, or get hurt.

 

If my broken body could still take it, I would be up for a jump today!...IN A HEARTBEAT! 

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There was a contest think*Amy posted several years back where Paul was standing by, I think a Cessna 150 or 72 model, an old B&W picture.

The contest was about a caption for the photo. I lost the contest...thanks!(may be wrong)

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When I picked up my 1964 KHorn from a retired Lutheran minister in Kansas City fifteen years ago, one of the stories he and his elderly wife regaled me with was how PWK personally delivered his mono KHorn to a very small farm town in northern Iowa by plane. 

 

Pwk gave him him instructions to find a level field, position a tractor at one end of the field with the lights on, and he would do the rest. With the help of a couple neighbors, they transferred the boxes to a horse drawn hay cart, and took off for the parsonage. Paul even spent time setting it up in the living room, and 35 years later the minister had nothing but glowing admiration for an Episcopalian!

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