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My sister-in-law Alicia’s Aunt Mary Ann in South Bend, IN send this recently.  Iven Kincheloe’s home town of Cassopolis, MI is in the lawless tribal cross-border region known as Michiana (noted for its bizzare cult of Leprechaun worshipers). Michiana is centered around South Bend, making him a local boy.

OK, I made up the lawless junk but I stand by the Leprechaun comment.

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I took Andy flying for the fist time today. I told Cindi that we might do it but I don’t think she believed me. He didn’t require any convincing so it was time to go.

We flew around Stone Mountain and back. On the way back he wanted to do some steep turns so we did a few until I heard LZU’s tower trying to identify an aircraft that was not talking to them in their airspace. I stopped paying attention to Andy while listening and when I turned back he was kind of greenish-grey. We flew back gingerly with him holding a stolen Delta sick sack the whole way. He made it without soiling the Diamond. Next time we’ll take it a bit easier on the turns and I’ll bring a booster seat so he can see more.

My dad and I went to the Swift Nationals in Athens, TN and stopped by Chilhowee gliderport on Saturday.

The local T-bird club showed up at the Swift Fly-in. The president of the Swift Foundation is also a Thunderbird guy.

I got to fly my Uncle Jack’s old airplane, 3303k. It used to be a 1946 GC-1B Globe Swift with 125 hp. Jack bought it as a factory demonstrator in roughly ’47 and sold it in the ’70s. Jack was the first to install a 145hp engine so it was the fastest Swift on earth for a while. After the modification was STC’d the factory began offering the 145hp engine. He did dozens of modifications over the years.

It’s now a 210 hp Super Swift and the best looking aircraft I’ve ever flown. It now belongs to Hal Cope, a retired airline pilot from Texas. I gave him a bunch of the paperwork that Jack had given  me before he died. Hal is going to put it all in the Swift Museum in Athens, TN. 

We did some light aerobatics and a 190mph low pass down the runway, see picture. What a nice plane. Very fast, maneuverable and efficient. At altitude it cruises at 180kias (207mph) at only 9 gph, same burn as the 150mph stuff I usually fly. Pretty good for a 61 year old airplane. OK it is pretty souped up but the stock ones are pretty impressive too.

The yellow one is a highly modified Swift (that used to belong to Jack’s friend Clarence). It is now the famous Swift Fury. It’s for sale at $400k. They didn’t let me fly it! It is flown by Corky Fornof, the guy who does most of the movie flying, like the BD-5J through the barn in the 007 movie. We had lunch with him. Quite a character.

 

 
 
 

 

Jake, Cindi and I flew from Briscoe Field (LZU) over Lake Lanier, circled a quarry so Jake could watch the machines work, and on to Habersham County. The airport resturant was closed so we caught a ride with an airport bum and had lunch at the nicest McDonalds on earth.

The McDonalds was a test program where they offered premium food in addition to the regular slop. The premium food was served on a real plate and brought to your table. It was pretty good but Jake still had chicken nuggets and fries.

Jake was a natural and was at the controls most of the time we circled the quarry and much of the rest of the flight. He insisted on bringing a backpack since the Warrior had a baggage compartment.

Afterwards we met Andy and my folks at the park.