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Thread: You Never Know Who Will Stop By.

  1. #1
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    You Never Know Who Will Stop By.

    Doing an annual today when something went racing by. Lee came running in the hanger and this is what we saw.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duJP-wA0FKE
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

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    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Re: You Never Know Who Will Stop By.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce
    Doing an annual today when something went racing by. Lee came running in the hanger and this is what we saw.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duJP-wA0FKE
    You sure are quick with that camera!!

  3. #3
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Actually I called him on the radio and asked him for another pass when he told me he was stopping by to see me. This was the departure pass. Nobody got the departure roll on video.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  4. #4
    JP's Avatar
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    That is so awesome!

    I bet Lee is now trying to figure out how to get the guy to stop and give him a ride...

    "Is there anyone here who will take me flying??" Lee Pierce, New Holstein 2008
    JP Russell--The Cub Therapist
    1947 PA-11 Cub Special
    www.bloomerrussellbeaupain.com

  5. #5
    Clay Hammond's Avatar
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    Dude, am totally speechless. Words can't describe the coolness... Severely bummed in ATL...

    ceh

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    Ok now get it to fly to Fairbanks next time you come up and I will be impressed!
    Tim

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    Reint's Avatar
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    Treat!

    What a treat, thank you Lee!
    Reint

  8. #8
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Sorry Tim, you live in the wrong direction. It is on it's way to Austria shortly. It was way cool. David Coats and I were in the office running ADs on his J3 when something went wizzing by. David said "Something went by like greased ligtening." as Lee comes running in. If anyone is ever in this neck of the woods be sure and go to Breckenridge which is 30 miles south west of me. It is a true treat. Right now there is a Corsair, Wildcat, Bearcat, King Cobra and Sea Fury in their hanger. The Ezell's are some of the nicest folks you will ever meet.

    http://www.ezellaviation.com/index.htm

    Click on the "Update" button for a lot of cool pictures.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  9. #9
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    From the Graham Leader

    Blast from the past
    Friday, August 29, 2008
    Jim Jones

    Blast from the past

    P-38
    A vintage World War II P-38 twin-engine airplane caught the eye of aircraft enthusiasts Tuesday afternoon when the craft piloted by Nelson Ezell of Breckenridge landed at Graham Municipal Airport. Ezell came to Graham to visit Steve Pierce of Pierce Aero and show him the airplane Ezell Aviation Warbird Restoration has been working on for more than three years.
    The P-38 is part of the Flying Bulls team funded by Red Bull energy drink and will be flying in air shows to promote the popular drink. It is one of only six airworthy P-38s in the world and will be the only one in Europe after the craft is flown to its new "home" in Salzburg, Austria.

    The arrival of the craft in Graham Tuesday brought out a number of aircraft enthusiasts including Ron White. He saw it come over his home on final approach, "My gosh, that's a P-38" he said as it went over. He grabbed his camera and headed to the airport. While he has seen a P-38 on the ground, this was his first time to see one in the air. "I got to see it take off from the house too," White noted.
    Although he never took up flying, others in his family have been pilots. His father was a radio gunner in a SB2C Helldiver, which may well have led him to have a particular interest in World War II aircraft.
    "I was one of those World War II airplane freaks," said White. I probably had a model of every fighter plane that was flown in World War II.
    Zack Burkett III came over to the airport from his office nearby at Burkett Industrial Park. Before landing, Ezell had made a low altitude pass and the sound of the two Allison 1720 V-12 engines caught the attention of everyone in his office. "Everyone came out of the office to see what it was,' said Burkett.
    "It's always interesting to see those restored World War II aircraft...they are becoming more and more rare," Burkett said commenting on his visit to the airport. Burkett visited with Ezell, standing beneath the right wing of the vintage craft getting insight as to its particulars. "I tell you what Nelson does, they do some beautiful work over there. They re-skinned that whole airplane, new aluminum front and back, and that's a lot of work, beautifully done. It's a magnificent specimen, I'll say that."
    Pierce Aero in Graham restores vintage and classic aircraft, having recently completed a rebuild of a Luscombe airplane, and currently rebuilding a wing for a J-3 Cub for Ezell Aviation in Breckenridge, due to damage sustained from the tornado that hit the Breckenridge airport earlier in the year. Pierce, owner and operator of the Graham facility, was surprised to see the P-38 come to Graham. Commenting on the completed restoration of the craft, Pierce said, "It is awesome."
    Ezell buzzed Pierce's shop at the north end of the Graham airport property twice before landing Tuesday. "My 5-year-old son was outside playing, we were in the office doing some paperwork and Lee comes in and says, "Dad, dad, dad, Nelson's flying the P-38, it's awesome." Once the craft was on the ground, Steve and his son had the opportunity to climb in the cockpit and appreciate the significance of the work done to restore the craft.
    According to Pierce, the original plan was to fly the vintage craft to Austria, but he said they are now talking about shipping it to avoid any problems that could possibly arise during the flight to Europe.
    The P-38 built by Lockheed was the first twin-engined interceptor to serve with the USAAC and the first modern fighter equipped with a tricycle landing gear, along with numerous other firsts, including speeds over 400 mph It is also said to be the first USAAD fighter to shoot down a German aircraft.
    The craft was designed in 1937 as a high-altitude "pursuit plane."
    Equipped with fuel tanks under it's wings that could be jettisoned, the P-38 was used as a long-range escort fighter and was involved in virtually every major combat area of the world during World War II.
    It is said only a few of the nearly 10,000 P-38s that were built remain today.

    http://www.supercub.org/photopost/data/758/P38.pdf
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  10. #10
    Steve-N1964S's Avatar
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    I got to see the P-38 "Glacier Girl" several times as she was being rebuilt in Middlesboro, KY. Bob Carden had a small museum with pictures of the recovery from under the Greenland glacier thru the rebuild. The .50 cal machine guns in the B-17 still had fireable ammo in them. It was hugh thrill to see her fly for the first time

    Steve

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    I believe
    Glacier Girl is still stationed in San Antonio, I had her fly over my house not to long ago. Being a young person in the 40's it was not the first P-38 I'd seen but it had been a very very long time since I'd seen one.

  12. #12
    Steve's Aircraft (Brian)'s Avatar
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    Jack Ericsson had all of his warbirds housed in two hanger in Medford for a number of years. They regularly flew a F4U, P-51, Spitfire, and a PBY. They also restored two P-38's side by side in those hangers. Got to see them plenty of times before they moved everything over to Tillamook Oregon and opened up the Tillamook Air Museum. ( http://www.tillamookair.com/ ) Unfortunatly, they wrecked one of the P-38's over there and only have the other one left.

    Brian.

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    I saw this airplane when is was near completion at Ezell's in Breckinridge. A friend of mine and I (in his airplane) flew out to check out what was happening there. We had been there before to see a magnificent Seafire counter rotating prop type.

    I don't have the words to tell you how beautiful these planes are. The quality of restoration is nothing short of incredible. The P-38 has its maneuvering flap handle operative. Those guys built the gears for the counter rotating props on the Seafire.

    I don't have the words to tell you how perfect are these aircraft. I know I sound like a nut, but I'm not bravo sierria-ing. I kid thee not. In addition, we were allowed to walk all over the place and sit in the plane and bother people to no end.

    My buddy has moved, but is coming back in a couple of weeks to pick up his plane and our plan is one more trip to Breckinridge and Ezell"s.

    Regards,

    Bill

  14. #14
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Bill, Here is a video of an engine start of that Rolls Royce Griffin powered Seafire.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n31Ku-y7jA
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    They are doing some air to air with the Red Bull P-38 and Glacier Girl today. Maybe I can get some pictures of it.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  16. #16
    Marty57's Avatar
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    The Red Bull P-38 used to be the White Lightning owned by Lefty Gardner. This P-38 was built after the war for Air Racing by Lockheed. As the reces were low level, it was built with out the superchargers to save weight. The white Lightning was damaged a few years back when it was forced to land belly up in a field due to engine trouble. I beleave one of Lefty's sons was flying it. Not sure if the superchargers were added in the rebuild. Lefty was one of the Pilots that flew FiFi out of China Lake years back for the CAF. Lefty bought the P-38 not to long after the war as I was told. I friend of mine is Lefty's nephew. He told me a story about flying to Osh years ago with Lefty in that P-38. And yes, you are right, it does not have two seats. My friend simply put his butt on the shelf behind the pilot seat and had his legs hanging over his uncles sholders! Yes, he is a rather short person and had a very sore neck after the flight.

    Marty57

  17. #17
    Seaworthy's Avatar
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    Steve

    While perusing some photos at SC.Org I came across some pics you had posted of a P-38 cockpit and a few pics of the fuselage. I sent the pics to all of my military buds. many sent back replies that they had never seen anything like it. Are there any pictures on the internet ( magazine quality) and what is the name of the aircraft?

    This is an interesting piece of trivia. When I was a young boy, my dad told me about an adventure of his in WWII when he was a boatswain's mate 1C aboard USCGC Northland on the ice/submarine patrol in and around Davis Strait (Greenland) He flew on occasion with an ensign or Lt JG Pritchard who flew the Kingfisher(?) which was kept aboard the Northland. Lt Pritchard was lost and never found attempting to rescue another group of pilots several weeks later. My dad related the story to me about rescuing a group of flyers from their fighters and a B-17 crew. When my father died, I gave most of his pictures and other memorabilia to USCG. Anyway-----when they began to dig Glacier Girl out of the ice I was stunned because I never realized that this was not just some "sea story". When I was at Oshkosh/New Holstein this summer and I saw the pics of Glacier Girl I was amazed as many of these pics were similar to the ones that I had given to USCG twenty years ago. I told my wife and daughters, I may have as well been talking about craters on Pluto. There is still a crewman of Northland alive in NH that participated in this event.


    US Coast Guard Cutter Northland circa 1940-41 prior to hostilities

    BM1C Thomas Constantine far right

    USCGC Northland in Greenland fjord


    Tom Constantine
    Marine Corps Aviation since 1966

  18. #18
    Steve-N1964S's Avatar
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    The story of how Glacier Girl was found and recovered is almost as remarkable as the restoration. Here's a link:

    http://p38assn.org/glacier-girl.htm

    Pat Epps has an FBO (Epps Aviation) at PDK in Atlanta. There are many of the original pictures from the recovery on the walls.

    The grocery store chain that I was flying for at the time had a new store being built in Middlesboro, KY. So, I was there quite frequently and watched Glacier Girl very slowly become a flying a/c again.

    Steve

  19. #19
    Pro from Dover's Avatar
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    P-38

    I was at the car cruise at the Decatur (TX) town square this past Saturday evening about 630 and heard what sounded like a twin turboprop coming from the west. I didn't look up right away. I live under the approach to DFW and am sort of used to seeing/hearing the commuters coming over. Then I thought, man, that dude is sort of low to be doing the Bowie approach to DFW. I looked up and saw the beautifully polished P-38 go overhead for an approach to the local airport about 2 mi. north. I had my camera and didn't have enough time for a snap before he went out of sight... Dang... Nothing quite as smooth sounding as two Allisons...

  20. #20
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Bill, Lewis Shaw took it over to Addison to play with while everyone else is in Reno. Lonnie summed it up when he said it sounded like two sports cars.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce
    Bill, Lewis Shaw took it over to Addison to play with while everyone else is in Reno. Lonnie summed it up when he said it sounded like two sports cars.
    Steve,

    Any clue how long the P-38 will be at Addison, I hope to be in there in a maybe week or so (if the stitch removal goes ok that is) to see my daughter at SMU.

    Kirby
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  22. #22
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Flew with Cathy to Breckenridge Sat. evening for a lesson. I didn't realize you had to have instrument training as a student pilot before you could fly over 25 miles away from your home airport. Anyway, Lee went with me and we dropped in on Nelson Ezell as he was adjusting the controllers on the automatic cooler doors on the P38. He had to take it up to check the adjustment and asked if I wanted to go in the back. I knew Lee wouldn't like me going without him so I asked if he could just take Lee. Well I think he might be the only 5 year old to get to fly in a P38. He fits perfect without having to hunch over. They made several low passes and a slow roll. He was one happy camper when he got back. Someone there took pictures and video so I will post when I get it but it was way cool.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  23. #23
    cafi19's Avatar
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    You are such a good father! That would be a tough one to pass up!!!

    cafi

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    JP's Avatar
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    Wow! Now that is amazing! Lee is my hero, that's for sure.
    JP Russell--The Cub Therapist
    1947 PA-11 Cub Special
    www.bloomerrussellbeaupain.com

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    Man, I hate to see such perfection go overseas and have drink logos plastered all over it.

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    I have been fascinated with P-38s ever since I watched them flying over my house during WWII near Boston. I used to make models of them, collect books etc.. In October of 1981 I flew my 185 from Mass. to Harlingen Texas for the express purpose of seeing the P-38 " White Lightening" at the Confederate Airforce show. What a thrill it was to see it's graceful performance flown by Lefty Gardner. The greatest thrill was when he let me sit in the cockpit. ( on the ground) It was very sad to hear of it's accident. Now to hear that it is flying again and that your son was able to go for a ride in it is an emotional high. He will remember that ride for the rest of his life. Years ago I found an ad in TAP for a P-38 that needed something done to the propeller to be able to ferry. I carried that ad in my wallet for a long time. Even started to call once, when I realized that I could not even afford the gas to fly it home. The price was $5,995. Lee, what a TREAT !!!
    N1PA

  27. #27
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldbaldguy
    Man, I hate to see such perfection go overseas and have drink logos plastered all over it.
    I don't think they will plaster drink logos all over it. The B25 we built for them when I worked for Ezell's was polished and had a red bull on the nose as does their Corsair. I hear the spent close to $10 million on the restoration. Several US intities looked at it but decided they didn't want to spend what it would take to make it airworthy.

    Here is a link to their airplanes. http://www.flyingbulls.at/f4u.html
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  28. #28
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Good On Yer, Steve (aka Dad) and congratulations, Lee for having chosen Dads so well....

    What fun!

    MTV

  29. #29
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafi19
    You are such a good father! That would be a tough one to pass up!!!

    cafi
    It was. Like the time, a few years ago when SJ wanted to put me in the front seat of his SC on amphibs and go play in the lake. Lee was standing there so I got in the back with him in my lap. No sooner than we took off he was asleep and never knew we splashed.

    Skywagon8a, That is how I felt watching Lee sitting there as Nelson started up those two Allison engines and I can't explain how I felt when he made the photo pass down the runway. When I was in the 5th grade we got to choose what picture to put up on the overhead projector to trace and color. I chose a P38 with that incredible silhouette. It is truly a beautiful aircraft.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  30. #30
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I put together a web album of pictures I took when the P38 arrived at Ezell's and a few of it under rebuild. http://picasaweb.google.com/Pierceaero/P38AtEzellS#
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  31. #31
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Steve Pierce

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  32. #32
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I found out the Redbull P38 will be at the air show at Nellis Air Force Base Las Vegas this weekend and then off to Pensacola Naval Air Station before it goes to Mayport, FL for export.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  33. #33

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    I remember seeing Lefty Gardner fly his P-38 at Reno in the early 90's. What a machine. He was SMOOOOOOOTH!!!!! He reminded me of Bob Hoover. I'll bet your son was on Cloud 9. Good Job Steve!!!! Reminds me of the George Strait song, Love Without End, Amen.

  34. #34

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    Hey Steve, did they get that Corsair flying?

    Last time I saw that Red Bull P-38 it was in many pieces on a jig. Cool photo, I bet your son will never forget that ride.

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