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Article about warbird flight school

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Article about warbird flight school

Old 15th Jun 2021, 01:25
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Article about warbird flight school

Hi all,

I read a great article years ago about a guy who went along to a type of warbird flight school in maybe the 1960s or 1970s. You went through a bunch of warbirds like Harvards first, Mustangs, Corsairs, I think B-25s etc. And the owner was a grizzly old veteran who liked getting his hands dirty and checked everyone out in flight.

Does this ring any bells for anyone?

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Old 15th Jun 2021, 03:40
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I think you are remembering Budd Davisson's articles in Air Progress about flying Junior Birchinal's warbirds in Paris Texas in the 70s.

P-51 Mustang Check-out, Pilot Report

The big diesel rig rolled off the highway, rooster tails of dust rising in its wake. It was a normal Texas-style Phillips 66 truck stop, baking in the sun. The sounds of Merle Haggard snoring through "Okie from Muskogee" mingled with the smell of dust and diesels in Nowhere, USA.

But not quite.

The short incoming whistle of a pair of turbochargers began winding-up, then the Texas afternoon was flattened by a wall of muted sound that came in lower than the Phillips 66 sign, cleared the wires and arced up and up—the unmistakable twin-boomed outline of a P-38 Lightning blocking the sun. World War II had come to Texas.

The twin-engine phantom from the past suddenly quit roaring; gear and flaps flashed in the sun as it prepared to land. As it curved to the ground, it appeared to he crashing until I spotted a narrow ribbon of asphalt snaking its way past the truck stop, over the hill in the general direction of the 38's inevitable crash

Although he has a basic outline, the actual course has to be custom-tailored to the individual's needs. Basically, for $1,800 (Ed: sit down before you read the rest of this sentence. You won’t believe it!) you get 10 hours of Stearman time, 10 hours of T-6 (five front, five back), two hours of Mustang, a couple hours in the B-25 and two in the Bearcat (or four in the B-25 to try for a type rating). He gets students of all possible backgrounds, from 100 to 10,000 hours, and he tries to work up to the talent and experience level of the student. If you have absolutely no tailwheel time, you'll probably start in a Citabria, figuring out what a tailwheel is for before he lets you into his Stearman.
There is a fantastic series of podcasts by Budd, that I am having trouble finding. I'll post links when I track them down.

Last edited by India Four Two; 15th Jun 2021 at 05:00. Reason: Added the price paragraph. It almost makes me weep! Why didn't I go?
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 05:24
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Budd has a web site here.

Budd Davisson's Airbum.com

Junior was giving war bird endorsements as early as '67 when we were in Pensacola flight training.
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 05:46
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I've previously looked all over his website and I could not find the podcasts.
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 06:42
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This website never ceases to amaze me.... thank you both!
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 10:13
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There is a link labeled 'podcasts' on that site, but it goes to Flightjournal.com and there's no media page available. They may well be hidden behind a subscriber's login or lost due to a website restructuring.
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