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QuickTalk 26 - Mar/Apr 1986 - index

MAR/APR 1986



by Jim Masal

NAAaaaahhHH, I'm not gonna do any more of that "generic" newsletter stuff that I did last issue. I took too many shortcuts to get it done fast because I wasn't having as much fun. As of this issue, I'm putting the personality back in. Dues money does not top the list of things that keep me writing QUICKTALK (yes, I know that's odd in a "bottom-line" oriented society). Most of what I do with this newsletter is done just to entertain myself. I'm gonna keep on doing it. So if you read something that gets you steamed, relax...don't take life so seriously...remember that I'm just another member with an opinion, but also, I happen to be the member that's doing all the hard parts here.



Seems like the Lakeland boys can never get a good treatment from mutha nature. I took the Toyota express eastbound with QBAer Tom Gordy and his friend Dee Sheridan. 23 hours out of Dallas, we arrived at Lakeland, set up camp early Saturday a.m. and by noon we were getting effectively doused by a welcoming cold front. The rain continued until 3 or 4 a.m. Sunday. All the while, eager EAAers, determined to get in and out of the campsite, turned the place into a mud-pie-makers dream quagmire. Lots of stuck cars and flying mud. Wouldn't you know it, by the official opening of the show, the sun was out and frying the alabaster bodied Yankees clean on into Wednesday afternoon when we departed. The ground, however, never did dry out. Wet sneakers...YUCK!



This is a major fly-in (about 20% the size of Oshkosh, and that's nothing to sniff at). Aircraft turnout was poor until Tuesday, but many of those stayed only until the end of the day's airshow. I saw only 1 Quickie, J. P. Stroud's, and Scott Swing's Tri-Q as of our departure noon Wednesday. Sheehan did not show up. Southeast Quickie dealer Bob Benenati had only a sparse (though enthusiastic) audience at the Q-2/200 forum.


Hot new planes

Mud 'N Fun showed off two new composites that have not yet been widely exposed to public viewing. Significantly, both seat 4 passengers. The Velocity is a 4-place clone of the Long EZ that was beautifully turned out and is my bet for best of show. The comfy 42.5 inch wide cabin has two front bucket seats and a rear bench. In spite of its cabin size, the Velocity appears smaller in size (it's not) and much sleeker than the Long EZ or Cozy. Besides the cabin, I'm told the airfoils are different from the Long as well. At 1100 lbs empty, measured performance with a Lyc IO-360 180 hp engine is 220 mph at 2000' (2600 rpm and 27" MP) and a climb rate of 1000 fpm at its 2250 lb gross. Airframe kit: $18-20,000.

The White Lightning was another 4-place composite reminiscent of a slimmed down, slicked up Navion configuration. Judging from the lack of information the "promoters" were able to provide, I almost suspect that the plane arrived illegal as hell with very little flight time so as not to miss a good publicity opportunity. A vague flyer handed out lists a 240 mph cruise and 1500-mile range. This is one to look for at Oshkosh. The back two seats face rearward but large windows should alleviate the feeling of claustrophobia.



Two other aircraft surely should have made it to Lakeland. Bob McFarland crashed and died along with his friend in the nasty weather preceding the opening of the show. From THE POLK TRIBUNE newspaper:

"Robert McFarland, 67, of Camp Hill, PA, and Tim Firestone, 41, of Mechanicsburg, PA, died in the 6:15 p.m. crash, officials said. McFarland's nephew said the pair had flown to Polk County to participate in the Sun 'N Fun Fly-In, an annual gathering of a aircraft enthusiasts that began Sunday at the Lakeland Municipal Airport.

Witnesses said the plane circled Mulberry twice before nightfall Saturday, flying low, officials said. Two witnesses told Polk sheriff's deputies that they saw something fall off the aircraft and land near the Mulberry Civic Center.

The plane flew straight upward over State Road 60 just east of the town, its engine revving loudly, then stalling, witnesses said.

Then the plane "tumbled down,' said Mitch Carmack, assistant chief of the Mulberry Volunteer Fire Department, who witnessed the crash. The craft landed upside down in a ditch by railroad tracks, narrowly missing trees and utility wires.

The plane caught fire, Carmack said. Firefighters arrived, extinguished the blaze, and attempted a rescue but realized it was in vain.

Nat and Shirley Puffer of Mesa, Ariz., said they saw the ill-fated plane as they flew away from a thunderstorm system approaching Lakeland. (In their COZY, ED.)

'We were heading toward Lakeland, and we could see Lakeland on the edge of the system,' Nat Puffer said. 'I told radar control I didn't want to land in Lakeland, so they vectored me to Winter Haven, away from the storm. We saw the Quickie come under us, flying in the opposite direction, toward the storm.'

(Dr. Luther) Youngs said the autopsy turned up evidence of a previous heart attack and of damage by heart disease."


Another sure bet to show at Lakeland was fearless converted Floridian Doug Swanningson who lived only a short flight away. Doug too is dead. Well known for his Quickie painted with a waving American flag, Doug took off for a flight the Monday before Sun 'N Fun at about 3:15 in the afternoon. It was reported to me that at a couple hundred feet in the air after takeoff, the Quickie started a roll to the left and crashed straight into the ground. Investigators found the control system intact and functioning properly and an autopsy was unremarkable.


Both of these QBAers were uncommon men. Remarkably, they liked to pal around together at Oshkosh. McFarland was widely recognized as the best Quickie dealer of the lot, especially in customer service, which is the only criterion important to us. Always cheerful Swanningson had the highest time Quickie (over 900 hours and on his 4th engine) and flew the longest distances with it of any that I know. There are none who have used their Q's with more joy and enthusiasm than these two men. Neither of these men ever begrudged the time it took to share their knowledge and experience with their Quickie/Q-2 aircraft with numerous inquisitive builders or the general public. Bob had built one of each and Doug had a Q-2 close to completion.

These men will be missed, but always remembered with admiration.


Other Articles In This Issue

LETTERS - by Jim Masal
Q-TIPS - by Jim Masal
QUICKIE HINTS - by Jim Masal
Q-2 HINTS - by Jim Masal
CLASSIFIEDS - by Jim Masal
QUICKSHOTS - by Jim Masal


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