Monday, July 8, 2024

What's Up LeRoy Cook

 What’s Up


by LeRoy Cook.




Suggested Banner: Who Had The Most?


The Fourth came and went mostly uneventfully, aviationwise. There was some Holiday traffic, but due to fog and low ceilings north of us and storms to the south of us, most flying was deferred until Friday and Saturday. We recovered two expended Japanese lanterns from the airport's taxiway, where they had drifted after their hot air ran out.


People occasionally ask “what do fireworks look like from up there?” and we have to tell them, “not much, unless you're right down among them.” The rocket's red glare and bombs bursting in air kinda fades into all the other lights passing below; it's more impressive seen from below, against a black sky.


Transient traffic observed were some Cessna Skyhawk and Piper Archer training planes, a Cessna Skylane, and a Piper Arrow. Todd Proach flew in from Camdenton with his Beech Bonanza A36, but then, he's a partial resident here because his Harrisonville base is closed until October. Todd recently passed his checkride for Instrument Instructor and added a Multi-engine rating to his accomplishments. Other local flyers were Jay McClintock, training in his Piper Tomahawk, me in the club Skyhawk, and Josh Poe, soloing in a Cessna 150.


This coming Saturday and Sunday is the biennial Wings Over Whiteman open house at Whiteman AFB near Knob Noster, so slather on the sunscreen and lace up your walking shoes, because you'll be on acres and acres of concrete, viewing all the military hardware and watching them convert jet-fuel into noise. Drive in via the north gate; don't even think about flying there. The airspace starts being locked up to 17,000 feet on Friday afternoon, closing until the show's over on Sunday. Consult the NOTAM to make sure you stay clear.


On the national scene, it was reported last week that Las Vegas, Nevada is going to add another airport to the local landing options. The International airport is fairly saturated with airline traffic, North Las Vegas has a load of general aviation and Henderson is full, so Lost Wages is building an Executive airport out in the desert 30 miles west, where high-rollers can park their private wings.


In a continuation of last week’s discussion about who had logged the most total flying time, we gave the title to Captain Dick Merrill of Eastern Airlines with 45,000 hours. However, veteran ppeline-patrol pilot Ed Long had 64,397 hours, according to Guiness, and famous flight instructor Evelyn "Mama Bird" Johnson passed away at 102 with 57,535 hours, accrued one at a time. Now our question posed  in the last column was, why was Merrill called a "Hump pilot?" That's what they called the World War II pilots who flew through (not over) the Himalaya mountains between India and China carrying supplies. Rich Hill's Marion Schooly was one. Next, who was "Lady Lindy?" You can send your answers to [email protected].