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Thread: 30,203 Feet High...A Woman Getting High in A Super Cub

  1. #1
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    30,203 Feet High...A Woman Getting High in A Super Cub

    In reading the responses to another thread I began on sc.org I must say that I have been struck by the responses and the wonderful experiences that many of you have posted. I would encourage you to go to that thread (http://www.supercub.org/forum/showth...an-EAA-Meeting) and take a look.

    After reading some of the responses today I got up from my desk, walked around it and right at my eye level is a framed photograph of Caro Bayley, a woman I met many years ago, and it occurred to me that she carries quite an important significance for those of us who fly and appreciate super cubs.

    Caro Bayley Bosco is a person I met many years ago. She and I crossed paths when she was elderly, at a meeting unrelated to aviation. When happened upon her she struck up a conversation with me, when she discovered I was a pilot and during the conversation she told me that when she was younger she had set an altitude record in a super cub. This was years before I became enamored with the super cub, but it was remarkable that she described the event in such great detail. She also told me that she had been an aerobatic champion. She was about 80 years of age when I met her, and I wasn't sure how much to believe. One could tell, though, that she had her wits about her, she was an ass-kicker, and I filed this away.

    A week or so later I received a package in the mail from Ms. Bayley, and it was a framed photograph of her standing beside her Pitts Special, N8M , and she wrote “and it flew as good as it looks”, signed Caro Bayley. I couldn’t help but notice the lettering on her Pitts “International Women’s Aerobatic Champion 1951” and I have hung this on the wall of my office ever since.

    My meeting with Caro was years before internet, but a few years ago I did a google search for her and found the following articles. Please take a moment to read this, but in summary she did, in fact, ask Curtis Pitts to build her a Pitts Special. On the morning of January 4, 1951, she won the title in N8M. On that same day she flew a 1951 standard 125 hp super cub, taking off from a blimp base on the causeway near Miami and here is what she said:

    “…I took off, had oxygen and a barograph, was up for about four hours, came down, then did my aerobatic act. The temperature was ninety on the ground and was thirty-four degrees below zero at altitude. The Cub went up to fifteen [thousand feet] nicely, but up to twenty it was a bit draggy. By the time I hit thiry I stayed at one altitude for a long time.”

    The Miami paper reported “BLONDE SETS NEW ALTITUDE MARK”, at an actual altitude of 30,203 feet. The Federation Aeronautique Internationale recognized her achievement as a world record for Class 11 aircraft (gross weight between 1102 and 2204 lbs). Her record held until 1984 when it was broken by a 210 hp Mooney.

    She was a WASP pilot, a mechanic and she when I met her in her later years her charm and smile were infectious. I had no idea who I had had the good fortune of meeting, and even now I am finding out things about this woman that are intriguing. I came across the envelope in which she had sent the photograph and I tried to trace her several years ago, learning that she lived in Springfield, Ohio, where she had married and raised four children. She passed away September 13, 2007.

    Here are some links to more about Caro Bayley:

    http://womenaviators.org/Caro.html

    http://www.wingsacrossamerica.us/web/bosca_caro.html

    http://wwii-women-pilots.org/classli...sca%20dies.pdf

    I have shared the story of meeting Caro Bayley with my daughter and son, encouraging them to consider that women have played a very important role in aviation, and to encourage women to follow their dreams! Caro’s story is such an inspiration! I am so sorry it has taken me this long to relate it to you.

    I was walking on the Airventure grounds at Oshkosh a few years ago and right smack in front of the EAA Aerobatic building sat N8M! I took a few photos of it and shared the experience with my kids. Here are some photos of Caro...






    While Caro was not a war hero, she is an inspiration to all of us, women and men alike. She, like the people described in the thread I mentioned previously, are out there just begging for someone to ask about them. We have so much to learn. Take an older person out for lunch and sit back and learn!

    30,000 feet in a super cub! Wowser.

    Randy

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    8GCBC's Avatar
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    Must of been freezing cold up there in a Cub cabin. Burr...

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    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8GCBC View Post
    Must of been freezing cold up there in a Cub cabin. Burr...
    Great observation! She told me she dressed up in fur boots and a fur coat I can't tell you how much, retrospectively, she looked like just the kind of determined person who could pull this off!

    I have had my cub up to 12,000 feet once, just to see what it was like, and it was a bit was a memorable experience.

    Chuck Yeager may have had the Right Stuff, but Caro Bayley did, too !!

    Randy

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    That is a cool story, and her a cool glass of water.

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    windy's Avatar
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    Randy, you seem to attract famous aviation people like a magnet (even Okies!) What an inspiration! Thanks for sharing.
    windy

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    "While Caro was not a war hero" If she was a wasp she was doing her part.

  7. #7
    docstory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qsmx440 View Post
    "While Caro was not a war hero" If she was a wasp she was doing her part.
    With guns, we are 'citizens'. Without them, we are 'subjects'.
    "To be born free is an accident. To live free is a privilege. To die free is a responsibility."
    --- Brig. Gen. Robby Risner

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    Brenda K's Avatar
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    Good read. Thank you for sharing!

    'The Wasp's Nest' party house....too funny!

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    Patrol Guy's Avatar
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    Did she have a turbo charger to keep it running that high?? I went to 17,200 in a Citabria once. I was giving myself math problems to solve to make sure I was still ok (of course I was also grading them?). I was still creeping up when it dawned on me that going down at 500/m was going to take another 10 minutes just to get to 12,000. That's when I started hyper ventilating!
    Those who pound their guns into plows, will plow for those who do not.

  10. #10
    Richard Deblack's Avatar
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    Randy,

    Thanks for sharing these great stories. They are truly a pleasure to read.
    Fast or slow, always low, freedom of flight soothes the soul.

  11. #11
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrol Guy View Post
    Did she have a turbo charger to keep it running that high?? I went to 17,200 in a Citabria once. I was giving myself math problems to solve to make sure I was still ok (of course I was also grading them?). I was still creeping up when it dawned on me that going down at 500/m was going to take another 10 minutes just to get to 12,000. That's when I started hyper ventilating!
    John, I am pretty sure she told me it was not turbocharged...just a stock Lycoming. I recall her telling me she had planned on catching some thermals, but they must have been pretty intense thermals!

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    bigrock's Avatar
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    What would the stall speed be on a cub at 30,000 feet and how much altitude would it take to recover because of lack of air going over the control surfaces? Would your airspeed get so fast that you would rip your wings off trying to recover? My thoughts are going back to the world record parachute jumper when he first lost control in the beginning because of lack of air resistance and he was going several hundred mph when he did recover. I realize he was much higher but would the effect be the same?

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    Aussie Scout's Avatar
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    What would the stall speed be on a cub at 30,000 feet and how much altitude would it take to recover because of lack of air going over the control surfaces?
    interesting point Bigrock, to my way of thinking the stall speed would be unchanged from sea level. I am thinking that the amount of speed above the stall would be somewhat lacking. Any high altitude fliers out there can fill in the gaps? I have never flown above 12K

    She was one cool lady, great read ...

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    8GCBC's Avatar
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    Does Vy = Vx = Vs = absolute ceiling? Lower altitudes increases the Delta, higher decreases the Delta ( until = )

    Just a thought for next trip to FL 30 in a Cub.

    ref:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V_speeds

    Vs: The computed stalling speed with flaps retracted at design speed. Often has the same value as VS1
    Vy: Speed that will allow for the best rate of climb
    Vx: Speed that will allow for best angle of climb

  15. #15
    Anne's Avatar
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    Thanks for your stories, Randy. I really enjoyed them!

    Anne.
    Baloney is still baloney, no matter how thin you slice it.

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