Whistling Dixie, Jim Busha
Let's be honest, once in a while we all have the tendency to judge a book by its cover. A recent case in point occurred on the warbird ramp at the 2010 Sun 'n Fun Fly-in at Lakeland, Florida, when a spit- and highly polished P-51 Mustang wandered in looking for a parking spot.
I listened to those around me surmise the pilot must be some "rich Hollywood type." But when the canopy slowly rolled back and the pilot/owner, decked out in faded blue jeans and a well-worn T-shirt, climbed out on the wing, the looks of amazement on the faces in the crowd were priceless. What stunned them the most, however, was that the owner, Selby Burch, was already 16 years old when his P-51 Mustang Dixie Boy was built back in 1945. (more)
Every Guy's Dream – Flying a P-51 Mustang
Entertainment Today, Brad Auerbach
Perhaps it is genetically engineered, but every guy who sees a P-51 Mustang wonders what it is like to fly in that sleek, slippery, silver plane. The muscular lines of the plane evoke the scrappy WW2 heroes of the air. I was amazed when the dream came true, that I'd be flying the plane. I am no pilot, but I love the idea of flight in all its incarnations. Whether a business trip across the country or flying a kite with my kids, up in the air is a thrill. (more)
The Wizard and the V-12
Merlin — the name evokes memories of the mythic Arthurian wizard.
Although Rolls-Royce named their iconic V-12 engine after a raptor, I think of the wizard as the more apt
metaphor. Both had great power, both lived quite long and were historical beyond measure.(more)
As I strapped into the dual control TF51 in the winter sunshine at Kissimmee, Florida several things flashed through my mind. My lust affair with the P-51 began in 1970 and I've been lucky to fly in several since. However, here we are, in the latter part of the 20th Century and I'm about to undergo the experience of a lifetime. Needless to say the beautiful form, the appropriate, purposeful, almost art deco design appeals as much to me now as it did in 1970. The North American Mustang looks right from every angle. And I was about to fly one. (more)
The Hard Way Home
Flight Magazine, Summer 1996
The dead chicken was starting to smell. After carrying it for several days, 20-year-old Lt. Bruce Carr still hadn't decided how to cook it without the Germans catching him. But, as hungry as he was, he couldn't bring himself to eat it. In his mind, no meat was better than raw meat, so he threw it away. Resigning himself to what appeared to be his unavoidable fate, he turned in the direction of the nearest German airfield. Even POW's get to eat. Sometimes. And aren't they constantly dodging from tree to tree, ditch to culvert. He was exhausted! (more)
"Gaining Altitude, Doubts in Tow"
New York Times
I HUNKERED in the rear cockpit of a World War II vintage airplane named Crazy Horse, my heart throbbing with awe and anxiety. I had a blue Kevlar crash helmet on my head, a boom mike in front of my lips and a parachute strapped to my back. As I stared out at the sun-drenched tarmac of Kissimmee Gateway Airport, a soft central Florida breeze bussed my cheeks. I wondered if it was the kiss of death. (more)
"A Novice Pilot Soars, and His Doubts
New York Times
I HURTLED toward the restricted military airspace over Avon Park Air Force Range in the rear cockpit of a TF-51 Mustang named Crazy Horse, clutching the control stick. The World War II vintage instruments indicated the plane was going 300 miles an hour at an altitude of 7,500 feet, some 40 miles south of Kissimmee, Fla. (more)
Today's Pilot Magazine
It was a moment to be savoured. There I was, thundering through the sky at the controls of one of the most famous fighters ever made – North American’s immortal P-51 Mustang – and there was another P-51 in identical markings just off the starboard wing! No, I hadn’t travelled back in time – I was flying with the world’s premier P-51 flight training organisation, Stallion 51, and we’d just joined up with the company’s other TF-51. As we soared above the scattered clouds in perfect formation, with the sunlight flashing and spar-kling off the fuselage and the roar of a mighty V-12 thundering in my ears, the thought flashed across my mind – do I really get paid for doing this? (more)
Back to Glory Days - Sons Honor Dads
As the warbird made its final pass overhead Thursday, two men watched, one marveling and one wishing.
For Gregory Kenny, seeing his dad back in the saddle of a P-51 Mustang heightened the admiration inspired in childhood from faint scrapbook images of the World War II ace. (more)
Training in the P-51 Mustang
"Stallion 51 Offers Unusual Attitude Training in Classic Fighter"
Twin & Turbine Magazine
The NTSB recommends that air carriers and commercial operators "providing their flight crews with training in the recognition of the recovery from unusual attitudes and aircraft upsets." Since private owners and operators of business jet aircraft come with varying amounts of experience, I've always believed the NTSB recommendation should apply to Part 91 operators as well as the 135 and 121 drivers. (more)