Monday, July 18, 2011

Clean-up progress at Deer Pasture Airfield

In Central Texas, if you don't keep an airstrip trimmed regularly, they tend to accumulate sprouting (and thorny) mesquite trees and armadillo holes. Also, hangars tend to be a magnet for old furniture, tractors, cars, lumber, equipment, sawdust, tumbleweeds, dirt, and all sorts of things that clutter up the floorspace. But lately, my brother Eddie and I are slowly gaining momentum toward having Deer Pasture Airfield (69TE) back to active status. We have been cleaning up the airstrip and hangar... a really big job. It has been about 5 years since we had anyone land there.

So, this past weekend, it was really nice to have our Taylorcraft friends, Doc and Mark fly-in to lend a hand. There were also two outsiders (non-Tcrafters) who flew in a Luscombe 8F and a Cessna 150 spam can.

The day was good all around. We got started cleaning on the Hangar around sun-up. Then we noticed a darkening sky like we haven't seen in over a month. Texas has been so HOT and DRY, it was a surprise to have a rain shower come through at about 7:00 am. I texted Mark and Doc that they might need to check weather. I heard from Mark around 8:15 that they had enough visibility and were about to head on up.

They arrived a bit after 9:30. By then, Eddie and I were already tuckered out. But having 4 airplanes with 5 helpers drop in gave us a new boost of energy. The guys gave us a hand with the Hangar cleaning and then started working on airplanes. My two sweet daughters spent the morning cleaning up the bathroom and the kitchen areas and had us a lunch of sandwiches laid out by mid-day. The rains came back off-and on all morning and early afternoon, giving us a much appreciated break from the 100F + temperatures as we have seen for more than a month now. By about 4:30, the skies cleared and the temperatures started back up into the high 90's. So the guys got started back home.

Major strides were made today. Again, Thanks Doc, Mark, Michael (Mark's grandson), Bob, and Frank. I sure appreciate you folks who are not afraid of hard work and who are so willing to help a friend. In return, I hope we can have some more good Taylorcraft times at Deer Pasture Airfield in the future.

We got my new McCauley prop installed and ran the engine on my yellow Taylorcraft, N95598 for the first time in 4 years. All good... except the RH mag is going to have to be overhauled. This was the only bad news of the day, still I got the exhaust shroud re-installed and Mark/Doc installed new fuel hoses too. All steps in the right direction.

Frank tried out the feel of the front office on our Robin NR82H.

Mark's grandson Michael told me he's going into the 9th grade this fall. He flew left seat with Mark as co-pilot on both legs of their trip. It's great to see Mark sharing his old airplane passion with the next generation.

Frank Milard's Luscombe is painted in authentic scheme as used in the Mobil Oil company pipeline patrol days. His public display of affection gives me an uneasy Lusco-phobic sort of feeling.

The guys heading back to Bulverde, TX

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