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Warbirds Briefing eNewsletter
Echelon Left
By Rick Siegfried, President, EAA Warbirds of America

The past several months have been very active for Warbirds of America. The planning for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2010 has been underway since the convention closed last August. The efforts of many have finally come together to create a convention that will fill the week with great reasons why you "Got to be at AirVenture Oshkosh 2010!" Many of you are aware that this is the 75th anniversary of the Douglas

Rick Sigfried
DC-3/C-47, Boeing B-17, and the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. These are significant celebrations in themselves. This year we will introduce a new theme in Warbirds and across the entire EAA AirVenture convention site, the "Salute to Veterans" - a weeklong celebration of the service and sacrifice to our nation by veterans and active-duty military service men and women. When you visit the Warbird area this summer you will also see significant changes in how we display Warbird aircraft and pay tribute to those men and women in the Armed Forces. Read more
Safety Brief
Safety News and Issues
The Human Element in Aviation
Human factors: It's a topic discussed at most aviation safety seminars, as well as a fundamental subject during pilot and mechanic training. Yet, despite widespread awareness of the importance of human factors in safety, it continues to play a key role in a majority of today's aircraft incidents and accidents.

Encompassing everything from fatigue and workload management, to integrating the latest advances in technology, the topic of human factors covers a wide spectrum. The FAA Aviation News team, along with staff members of the FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) teamed up to produce an issue dedicated to this important subject. Read more

Test Flight
EAA's B-17G Aluminum Overcast to Have Operational Ball Turret Soon
EAA's B-17G Aluminum Overcast, which is currently at the Kermit Weeks hangar for its winter maintenance program, will have a new feature soon. Restoration work is well under way in bringing the ball turret back to operation. Last week  B-17 Ball Turret
(February 4), the turret was reinstalled, and the process is underway to finish electrical wiring. Read more
Halifax Progress Report
In August 1945 during weather patrol, this aging bomber sprung a fuel leak, and while trying to return to base, was forced to ditch off the Hebrides Islands west of Ireland. The crew was rescued, and LW170, one of the last Royal Canadian Air Force combat Halifaxes to have survived the war and the scrapyard, sank gently out of sight into the deep.

In this edition of the Halifax Rescue report, we learn of a Canadian Halifax crewmember who lost track of his British crewmate after being shot down and captured. Each went to separate POW camps without knowing the fate of the other. Read their latest progress report

GI News
Updates on Government Issues and Advocacy
EAA Warns WA State Aircraft Owners of Proposed State Tax
The Washington state House of Representatives just introduced House Bill 3176 that will impose a 1/2 percent excise tax on all aircraft in the state of Washington. The bill also states that if you elect to register your aircraft in another state and that state does not have a excise tax or is less than this new WA excise tax you will be required to pay the difference. Read more
Report: TSA Confirms LASP Changes
Based largely on the negative response from the general aviation community, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) signaled major changes to the Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP), consistent with those EAA has been reporting, in an interview that aired Friday on National Public Radio. TSA also publicly acknowledged its intent to work with GA stakeholders to come up with a more reasonable approach to GA security through the formation of a General Aviation Working Group under the Aviation Security Advisory Committee, on which EAA has been invited to participate. Read more
User Fees Not in 2011 Proposed FAA Budget
The While House has released its proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2011 and unlike previous proposal, there is no call for a system of user fees to be imposed on general aviation. Since virtually all of GA has rejected the notion of user fees to fund the FAA, this demonstrates the success of the GA community in finally convincing policy makers that user fees would severely affect general aviation’s viability. Read more
EAA Warbirds and Government Relations Officials to Attend NWOC
The National Warbird Operators Conference (NWOC) convenes next weekend (Feb. 18-21) in San Diego. EAA's Vice President of Industry and Government Relations Earl Lawrence and EAA Warbirds of America Executive Director Bill Fischer, along with EAA Warbirds of America President Rick Siegfried, will be in attendance. Of importance will be the continued focus on issues relating to the Experimental Exhibition category of aircraft and improving perceptions of safety by warbird operators in the eyes of the FAA.
Mission Profile
February’s Featured Stories
The Glorious Aerodynamic Stallion
We have our share of everyday aircraft: executive jets and helicopters, high-end single engine aircraft, some jet warbirds, and other vintage aircraft tucked away in some of the hangars.  P-51D
But this month's aircraft repairs were a little different at Skyland Aircraft Inc., the aircraft maintenance facility at the Santa Fe Municipal Airport, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Normally, with most general aviation aircraft hangars, you see Beechcraft, Cessna, Piper, or the like in for repairs and inspections. This rare beauty was very different; you could feel the excitement behind closed doors here in Santa Fe. Read more
Cannon Returns From Kiwi Adventure
A recent family trip to New Zealand was wonderful, but perhaps one of the best unexpected pleasures was the level of warbird interest in "N Zed."

The South Island of New Zealand is incredibly beautiful. I'm not a big fan

New Zealand adventure
of The Lord of the Rings movies, but much of what one might think was computer created is actually on the South Island. Against this backdrop you will find the New Zealand Fighter Pilots Museum. The collection there includes a Tiger Moth, Hawker Hurricane, Lavochkin La-9, all in airworthy condition, and a de Havilland Vampire on static display. Read more
Tuskegee's Lone Ace, Lee Archer, Passes Away
EAA was saddened to learn of the passing of retired Air Force Lt. Colonel Lee A. Archer, the only confirmed Ace (five aerial victories) of the Tuskegee Airmen, at the age of 90 on January 27 in New York City. As a member of America’s first black fighter group in World War II, Col. Archer flew 169 combat missions flying cover and escorting long-range bombers over more than 11 countries, as well as strafing missions against enemy landing zones and troops on the ground. Read more Lee Archer
U-2 Retirement Delayed
Airborne drones have made quite a difference in the military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the United States Air Force has been asked to continue using a reconnaissance aircraft built more than half a century ago. The U-2 can electronically eavesdrop on enemy communications effectively, but according to Stars and Stripes reporter  U-2
Franklin Fisher, that capability is still being testing on modern-day drones like the Global Hawk. Read more
Used with permission from Stars and Stripes. (c) 2010 Stars and Stripes)
The World's Toughest Plane to Fly
The United States Air Force says that the U-2 is the toughest plane to fly for many reasons. This oversized glider goes on 8- to 12-hour missions with just one pilot in a pressure suit up in the thin air. Down low, the mechanical flight controls can make flying the aircraft physically demanding. Stars and Stripes writer Franklin Fisher reports that flying the U-2 is like climbing and descending Mt. Everest in a single day. Read more
Used with permission from Stars and Stripes. (c) 2010 Stars and Stripes)
In Their Own Words
When a U-2 visited EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008, EAA Radio's Gordon Bowman-Jones had a chance to chat with several of its pilots about flying the venerable spy plane.

U-2 Pilots Interview Part 1 | U-2 Pilots Interview Part 2

From the EAA Warbirds Community
The Warbird Island message forum at Oshkosh365 is as active as ever. Have a look at the list below and follow the links to read the actual questions and discussion topics. Oshkosh365

Issue 3, February 2010

Gun Camera

Restored P-51 Honors WWII Pilot With Wartime Paint Job

Dan Fordice, EAA 408416, Warbirds 551126, had always wanted to own a P-51 fighter. Recently his dream came true, and he decided to honor Jackson, Mississippi, veteran Cary Salter in the process. Cary, now 88, flew P-51s in WWII's European theater. Dan had met Cary before he acquired the fighter and promised to paint the airplane exactly the same as it was when Cary served in France. Last month, WLBT-TV covered the event as Cary got to see the aircraft at Jackson's Hawkins Field.

Restored P-51 Honors WWII Pilot
Watch the video

Iwo Jima
Following bitter fighting to capture Iwo Jima, the US Air Force used the island to support ongoing raids on the Japanese home islands. This month's photo gallery shows that after the land battle ended, life was not much safer between battle damage, volcanic ash, and the nature of war operations.
Iwo Jima

View the gallery

EAA Radio AirshowBuzz Debuts 'Mike Da Mustang'
AirshowBuzz, an aviation-themed multimedia company has launched a new animated series featuring the adventures of a Mike Da Mustang. Ed Shipley, AirshowBuzz co-founder and Creative Director, talked with EAA Radio’s Fareed Guyot about the ambitious 26-episode project. Listen to the interview and watch the video.

FEB 18-21, 2010 - 16th National Warbird Operator Conference, San Diego, CA. Visit

FEB 21 - Vacaville, CA. - P-51 Mustang Aces Panel will include Maj. Hauver, Lt. Gen. Loving, Maj. Ohr and Capt. Wilhelm. They will share their stories. Presented by the Northern California Friends. Will be in the Vacaville Performing Arts Theatre at 1 pm.
Info: 408-725-8095
E-mail: for information and reservations.

FEB 27 - Countryside, IL - EAA Warbirds Squadron 4 Annual Dinner at William Tell Holiday Inn.
Info: Jim Delaney 847-731-0808

MAR 12-14 - Titusville, FL- Valiant Air Command Museum's Tico Warbird Air Show; military fly-bys and demos; vintage warbirds on static display and fly-bys. Vendors, aircraft, and helicopter rides available.

MAR 13 - Cincinnati, OH. - EAA Warbirds Squadron 18 Swing Dance - KLUK Hangar 4.
Info: Jim Stitt, Commander
Phone: 513-241-1661

APR 13-18, 2010 - Sun 'n Fun Fly-In, Lakeland, FL. Visit

JUL 26-AUG 1, 2010 - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Oshkosh, WI. Visit

In your opinion, which one of these aircraft was the best all-around fighter in the U.S. inventory during WWII? 
Black dot P-38
Black dot P-47
Black dot P-51
Black dot F4U
Black dot F6F

Vote now


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