squadron question, please help

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Stearman444, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. Stearman444

    Stearman444 New Member

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    My Grandfather was in the USNR during WWII. I have one of his log books here so I know that he was a member of VF-85 aboard the Shangri-La ( CV-38 ) flying F6F-3 Hellcats. He later joined up with a night fighter outfit which the log book identifies as VFN-85 at which time he began flying F6F-5N's. After the war he flew R4D's, and then began flying DC-3's for Lake Central Airlines where he was the Chief Pilot in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati. In fact he was distinguished for flying Lake Central Airlines 2,000,000th operation. He retired as Captain from USAir in 1982 after years of flying Boeing 727's. Anyway, I am a college student and a pilot myself. I find my Grandfather's life to be very interesting. From beginning in Stearman's during primary training, to Hellcat's in the Pacific, to DC-3's for the early airlines, to the jet engines of the 727, I find it fascinating.

    So my question is, does anyone out there have any information at all about VF-85 or VFN-85? I can find virtually no information anywhere else on the internet and im terribly interested in learning more about it. I found some squadron patches of his marked "Sky Pirates". Was VF-85 known as the Sky Pirates?

    Also, after he died 4 years ago, many of his old things were sent to my father so I have had the chance to see a lot of artifacts. It seems that he was a member of the fraternity the "Quiet Birdmen". This is another topic that I can find very little information on. If anyone has any, please share.

    Any help with any of this is greatly appreciated and I thank you in advance for any responses.
     
  2. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    I'm sorry, I don't have anything to help you out. What aircraft do you fly? Are you interested in pursuing military aviation at all?
     
  3. Stearman444

    Stearman444 New Member

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    Well thank you anyway mkloby, I do appreciate the effort. To answer your question, I don't fly for a living...yet. I am still in college and have a total of around 250 hours total time in several aircraft. I have logged time in Piper Warriors/Archers/Cadets, Cessna 172's/150's. Also, my father is a 757 Captain for USAirways and he owns 2 aircraft that i log a lot of time in. We have a 1946 Piper J3 Cub and a 1941 Stearman PT-17. I have my high performance and tailwheel sign offs, and I am very close to finishing my instrument rating. I have thought about the military but never gave it much serious thought. I would like to fly for the airlines if the economy would ever get back on its feet and begin hiring pilots again. I will be finished with school in a year and then I will probably instruct for a while to build some more time.
     
  4. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Hi Stearman;

    He have a resident USN expert on here, hopefully he'll pop in soon and provide you with some information.

    BTW have you seen this site? - VBF-85.COM January 1945 until September 1945

    Good luck on the flying - I'm a CFII and I also hold an A&P and IA. I completing a J3 project for a client and hope to have it in the air within the next few months.

    Welcome to the forum!
     
  5. Stearman444

    Stearman444 New Member

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    Thank you very much FLYBOY. I look forward to the USN expert's reply. I had not seen that website before you just posted it and it is very interesting, so thank you for that. Good luck with your CFII and it would be wonderful to get another great airplane such as the J3 up and running. I absolutely love that airplane. With you being a CFII and my instrument check ride coming up soon, any good advice?
     
  6. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Hi Stearman;

    Glad to help - hopefully other members will have more information for you. As for your instrument checkride...

    Fly stabilized - Trim, trim, trim. The more stabilized you are the easier it will be to perform requested maneuvers, let alone the approaches.

    Know your airplane - recognize the behavior of your gyro instruments, if your turn and bank or AH lisps slightly, or how quickly your heading indicator precesses.

    Flight Sim - Practice approaches on your PC - it worked wonders for me. Hit every approach in your local area and be prepared to tackle the "odd ball" approach - the examiner may throw one at you that you haven't practiced and want to see if you could execute it cold.

    Brief the approach out loud - at worse chance the examiner will tell you to shut up but at least you'll show him you're briefing the approach.

    Approach plates - highlight the important stuff - MDAs, Missed Approach Altitudes, etc.

    Technically you cannot have the examiner participate in cockpit management so if you have approach plates and charts cluttering up your clipboard and you know you're not going to use them any more, get them out of your way. I chuck mine behind me and retrieve them later.

    Practice approaches at a set speed, flap angle and rate of decent - I fly a 172 and when I shoot approaches I know about 480 FPM decent at 90 knots will keep me on glide slope with 0 flaps.

    Review all the approaches in your area and make a mental note of your favorite ones - if the examiner asks you to pick what approaches and where, you're already prepared.

    If possible - when talking to approach for IFR vectoring, tell them you're on a checkride, you might get a little more help!

    That's all I could think of for now - good luck and let us know how it works out.
     
  7. Stearman444

    Stearman444 New Member

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    Thank you FLYBOY for the advice. I do trim as best as I can and unless something is really going wrong that day I stay within 100 feet of my assigned altitude. I usually brief my approach out loud around 10 DME of the IAF and start slowing up to 90 knots with 10 degrees of flaps when I am around 3 miles from the fix. I try to write information on my kneeboard such as MDA or DH and in big letters I make sure to write to remember to tune and identify VOR's and localizers and to remember to start timing those approaches.

    I do have a few questions though. I am part 61 so I have to take the ride with a designated examiner. I was wondering if I would have prior knowledge of the flight that we will be making. You usually plan a flight before making one so I was wondering if I would know which approaches I would be making to which places so that I can mentally review them the night before the test or if that information would only be revealed to me right before the test.

    During a checkride, do you usually get vectors for approaches or do they normally make you fly the full approach with procedure turns and everything?

    Is it alright to write down approach procedures on your kneeboard so that you don't get a mental block or forget anything during the approaches?

    And one more, are DME arcs and NDB approaches a normal part of checkrides? I know that NDB's are not used very much anymore and from what I understand they are not very reliable.

    The only real trouble I ever had when flying in IFR is communication. I can fly the approaches as well as anyone, but sometimes the radio gets congested and trying to talk to approach control while attempting to fly the approach and switch frequencies and mess with the GPS all at once can get tough at times. Or approach control will call me and I am so busy trying to fly the aircraft that I don't realize that they are trying to talk to me. I was always taught to fly the aircraft first and then worry about communications, but what do you tell your students for this situation?
     
  8. Johnny Signor

    Johnny Signor Member

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    I believe the "Quiet Birdman" is a glider pilots association,try that one,good luck!
     
  9. Stearman444

    Stearman444 New Member

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    "I believe the "Quiet Birdman" is a glider pilots association,try that one,good luck!"

    Well I have found very little about them, but according to my father who is a Captain on the 757 for USAir, it was sort of a fraternity of pilots who get together and have a few drinks and talk about their aviation experiences and stuff like that. I don't think it would be a glider thing because my Grandfather had no glider time. But thank you for the input anyway Johnny.
     
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