Why a Stenson Voyager? Why three generations of aviation in my family? Well this is as good a place to start as any. I have at this time been a Flight Attendant for one year and I have a Private License.
I"m still looking for more pictures!
My plans are to get the rest of my ratings and build enough time to get on with the airlines as a pilot. One way to build time is having your own plane and Fly. Now this was back when gas was a littel cheaper.
Well on one of my trips the captain was selling his airplane. Did I give it any thought that the Captain $$$ is selling his plane and that it is a good idea Wayne a flight attandent -$-$-$ money should buy it. Hell no I bought myself a 1946 Stenson Voyager 801-1 with a lycoming 0435 engine with a variable speed prop .
I truly have to say that I learned how to fly the old stick and rudder way of flying. A tail wheel airplane is like driving a stick shift car. If you are going to learn how to fly take the time to get a tail wheel sign off. With no raidos for the next four months I learned how to read a map while flying the Stenson. Reading one indoors in the Stenson too trying to read one outdoors in a Stearman years later is a whole other chapter.
When you mix a person with a new private pilot license and an old airplane these are just some of the learning curves that one may run into.
Instruction for the Insurance.
Before my insurance would kick in They said I needed to get 5 hours of instruction.
So off we go to learn to finner art of landing a tail wheel airplane. To keep this short one characteristic of the Stenson is there are only brakes on the left side. After the 6th landing the instructor was probably getting bord and wanted to show me how it was really done. Sit back and take note Wayne!
Two thirds down the runway on landing with an instructor full of himself in a slight crosswing the old Stenson heads for the BARN. I can still hear him yell " I have no barkes". One less runway light and a broken tail wheel later, he singed off my log book for the Insurance.
Avation is a small world you will find out, but this is one person I never did see again.
The Oil Cap
One of the first friends to go for a ride was Mark Faucet. Mark likes to snow ski and wanted to see Seven Springs in Pa. from the air. We fill up the gas tank and put a quart of oil in all the time telling him all about my new airplane.
Well it was more like trying to convince that this old airplane was in good shape and safe to fly in. Now this is back in 1984 and the Stenson is already 38 years old. And showing just a little ware.
Only into the flight for about 30 minutes and we see what looks like little beeds on the front cowl. We look at each other and back at the windshield that is now covered with black oil.
With the side window down in a slight slip I get her down and back infront of the main building at the airport. Here Wayne is a whole role of paper towles to clean up the oil from leaving the Oil Cap Off.
After a quick clean up we are on our way. Ready for take off.. the tail is coming up on this clear blue spring sky when we have 00 visabilty in side. The oil hit the exaust stack and went into airshow smoke on the inside not out.
I have to hand it to Mark he stuck with my and we did get to see Seven Spring from the air that day in my Stenson.
In one day carburetor ice and a seat track
I needed I few more hour for my commercial pilot license. So the idea for the day was simple, take rt 70 from Litte Washington Airport east get on rt 79 south fly for an hour or so down, get some gas, have a pop and come back.
Well sitting there over rt 79 in the mountains of West Virginia the engine starts to run rough and I'm loosing power as well. Now my first thought is carburetor ice so I pull the carburetor heat and what happens?
The enging quits all to gether! With a windmilling prop in front of me I'm looking for a straight strech of highway. Funny thing there is one just up ahead but there is an over pass right in the middle.
Cought in my mind will the Stenson get down before the overpass or is she going over the pass. Still hoping that the engine is going to start I want to keep as much altitude as I can. The gas and spark gods are with me, the engine comes to life and over the overpass I go.
Is I get back over the mountains up ahead I see a runway. Which way is the wind blowing? I'm not sure but straight in looks great to me. Parked , Chalked and in need of gas and a pop the first stop is the bathroom.
Now back in the Stenson and heading for the end of the runway. Most of the time just one engine run up and off I go. But today it takes three run ups before I take the runway.
Just a little bit of How Is That Made! The front seat has a metal frame. To make the seat move back and forth it has a metal strip welded in the back of the frame. On the front of this strap is a pin that drops down in a series of holes to a just the seat.
Going down the runway the engine is running great, off the ground and up up and away. Well until I'm 900 feet in the air falling back into the back seat. I knew enough to let go of the yoke and pust it forward with my foot when I hit the back seat.
Windsheld is filled with pine trees. All I could think of was how Yul Gibbons is going to be proud of me because my last meal is going to be pine cones.
Climbing out of the back seat and into the right seat to pull up and out of the trees. Clearing the top of the mountain I make a bee line home. Looking at the left seat laying there in a crumple I did not know at then that time is was the metal strap had broke just before the weld.
Just about the time my heart rate is back to less than panic the voice comes creeping back...." I have no brakes" yup there are no brakes on the right side of this Stenson.
No problem I'm thinking $85.00 for a new runway light, $295.00 for a new tail wheel equals one more 4 day trip with the airlines this month. With light winds on landing, it was uneventful. But taxing back to the hanger did take some extra time.
If you are going to look to buy or already have a Stenson check the metal strip on your FRONT SEATS.
The two jump starts.
Summer afternoon clear skies and I can wait for lunch. Pull the Stenson out of the hanger, climb in yell "clear prop" and see that the master was left on and now the battery is dead. Anyone could have done this so no shame in asking for a jump start.
Now the airport I'm going to for lunch is only 45 minutes. It's just after lunch so it will take no time to get a burger and some fries.
Really there is no other high fealing like coming out of an airport restaurant with people looking from behind the fence while you walk out to your own airplane. Really there is no other low fealing when you walk back to the restaurant because your airplane has a dead battery.
Now I'm thinking that with a 45 minute flight it battery should have had enough of a charge to give me a start. But No! And by the time the nice police man gave in and gives me a jump the sun is going down.
Half way home with the light of the sun getting dimmer is see so are my lights. By the time I get back to the airport I'm sitting in the dark. Now at most airports this would be no problem. Until it comes to me that you need to key the mic on the radio to turn on the runway lights. No radio No lights.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
The improvements that I made to the Stenson.
Working on the T-6 that led to buying the Cub project