Van's Air Force
Western Canada Wing
From: Austin Tinckler (email@example.com)
Date: 05/24/01-09:12:17 PM Z
[This was a post of Austin's to the RV List, in response to another post of
the same title--Ed.]
"Maybe there is such a thing as an RV snob?"
Yep, and that's allowed.
"I spend all day and night thinking about RV's and loops and rolls and panel
And I think that is part of why I was cranky.
I had to start painting the living room after 5 months of stalling, go back
to the paint store to get a re-tint 'cause she wasn't happy with the color
tone...which she picked.... Do you know how it hurts to stand on a ladder
with no shoes 'cause my footwear ain't acceptable upstairs ? Ya see, I had
this canopy with a scratch on it..inside...which was nagging for my
immediate attention.....all I could think about...I wanted to get it fixed
and mounted so I could move on.
Didn't help when the store guy says "huh" ? to ever question I ask him... "
Heard of Micro-mesh " ?..."Got any real fine grit paper " ?..."scratch kit "
? "We got this, but yer gonna have to work like hell ya know "....
I literally find myself avoiding conversations with non-builders.
Well, I never tell anybody that I build airplanes in my basement either. I
just kind of revel in the fact that public at large, 'specially younger
crowd with daddy's car look at old grey hair and his Momma in that van and
they think it's so cool to cut me off at any speed and space, that I will
probably forget my turn signal has still been flashing for the last 5
miles..(not so), and that all that would get my juices flowing at this ag is
how green the grass looks..(which I can put lots of money into only to cut
and throw away)...
But fact is, the farther East or South old grey hair and Momma go, we get
closer to the airfield, where the traffic and morons thin out and peace and
tranquillity reign. Airplanes here, and airplane noises....so much sweeter
than a lawn mower.....
Sure, Momma grunts and needs a step to get into my hotrod, and I suck in the
tummy and grunt my way up, but we buckle up and grin, crank that prop and
get our hair blasted.....dang...my hairdo.....and of we go .... The roads
below are festooned with ants and maybe a spray plane should take a look .
In 15 minutes, we are out over where we first flew together in a Cub 41
years ago, laughing as we watched our shadow follow us over the corn fields
and we just had to photograph that. On the ground, it took us an hour and 15
minutes to get here, to a field that had a yellow Harvard sitting on the
grass, the first thing we saw as we taxied in.......apple pie and a cool
drink and song birds and sweet wind our company as we sit under a sun
The thing I like best about grass is the smell of newly cut runway, the
fragrance of a free and open space where no traffic save airplanes
tread........this is a special place.....candy for the soul. OH boy, that
seat belt is getting tighter now after any airfield coffee shop, and the
walk back out to the flight line....."airside" is the newest term...isn't
long enough to work it off. Time to roll that canopy back, put the shades
on, give Momma a boost, give the airplane a boost (pump), fire up, and do it
all over again. In spite of all the "progress" and building where before
there was only pasture and meadow, and ever more cars, a tip of the stick
soon put us out and away from any sign of mankind.
Below us, where bears awaken, and snow recedes to give a rush of new Spring
runoff, I can see a faint track through the woods where deer trails twist
and fade. Old coyote is a lot more prevalent and bolder now..he's
hungry..and he can be seen with his kin as close as a golf course green or
on my airfield...watching RVs...
If we want, we have the resource here to fling ourselves up to 12,000, run
over to that ice cream cone mountain over there that is spouting steam these
days, and see what clean purity still looks like. And 20 minutes from there,
we skim the forest at a slower speed and peer below to see if we can see
anything of another yellow Harvard, missing for 50 years, or any of the
other "missings" still sleeping there. These granite cliffs that continue
their steep plunge far below the green surface of the sea, a great place to
fish , and beautiful and dangerous to dive..
An F80 is around here someplace.....
What a wonder it is to fly.
You don't need to say much else, unless you bring along a friend. This is
the dessert of life and best we enjoy it while we can lest others take too
much of it from us.
I do like landings..even though it is the end of the ride. I like it because
it is the finale of the dance we just enjoyed together and requires that I
now demonstrate my appreciation for the joy I have just been allowed. Dead
stick, or with power, which is the more fun, demanding, or impulsive ?
Carrier approach ?..does Momma mind ?...slip her down and here we go....I
can almost see the prop blades..but not really...kids are playing football
just off the approach there...they don't even look up..we are quiet after
all...the fence goes by, we are well above it, holding off a bit, not too
soon..and we touch...screach..screach..and roll, slowing..no brakes..and
Nobody else around.
Old folks have to join the traffic crowd once again and drive home listening
to "Super Tramp".. I guess we are getting old...
Yes, old grandpap and Momma still have a few tricks up the sleeve, a smile
and a memory to share...a wise and knowing look at the dork in his rice
rocket that would likely wet his pants if he were lucky enough to get a roll
or a loop in anything with wings....An RV is far too good for them to
No, I don't blab about my hobby, but once in a while it comes out, like in
the meat store where ever time this cutter sees me, he comes on out from
behind and asks.."How's that airplane coming" ? "When's it goin' to fly
"?...." my boy is in aviation too you know "! " Don't you ever work "
?......" I see you in here a lot" .
"Yeah, well, I'm retarded...uh, retired"...
I only drop in for a minute and end up talking airplanes for about 1/2 hour
until he feels guilty about getting paid and doing no work. His boy is now
in the metal shop of some airline and just lives and breathes airplanes and
would like to get a pilot's licence......... Turns out my skin doctor rides
a Harley, but then he is at least 10 years younger than me, and I only found
out now after about 4 years...He doesn't blab either.
But he does keep a small model of a bike in the office desk and that's it.
Maybe we all have our special secrets...after all..he does have a grey
Face it gang, we're a cult.
Indeed, we must be, and I don't know how I happened to be inducted and
captured. Nobody in my family cares about airplanes and my Daddy never took
me to see one, but during the war..(which one ?), fighters would fly over my
house and I loved the swiftness and the sound, and I knew I had to be a part
of that one day. Even seeing some of the boys come back with burns and parts
missing did not deter me from the pull of aviation.
My wife and I, from continents apart and childhoods so full of contrast
brought about by warfare, were by fate and happenstance brought to the same
time and place to meet and sometimes reflect on events unforgettable. She
stood as a child in the street, in innocent fascination as search lights
picked out bombers and night fighters made colorful rivulets in the
sky...... All so long ago, but she has no hate or rejection of airplanes or
pilots and grew to enjoy the better things that airplanes were meant to
do.........so did I.......
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