Our resident curmudgeon is in his 90s now and doesnt make it out to the pilots lounge at the virtual airport as often as he used to. About five years ago, Old Hack abruptly sold the immaculate Piper Super Cruiser he had bought almost new and announced that was done flying as pilot in command.
We just had our annual summer cookout here at the virtual airport. It was a success-we didnt run out of brats, burgers or beer and nobody got food poisoning. Ok, we set the success bar low, but there was an excellent turnout and folks seemed to have a good time. Better yet, because the flight school has been busily turning out new pilots, a bunch of them brought their families to the airport for the evening. It was a ball to see new faces and talk flying with new pilots as well as watch kids race around on the big grassy area the hot air balloons use for launching when theyre flying.
For his final years with the Air Force, Dick Taylor flew a Fairchild C-123, an aircraft whose parentage included both glider and jet versions. After retiring from the Air Force and then later from Ohio State, Dick began yet another career, consulting for aviation-accident cases. Click here to read the 17th and final chapter.
After time in Korea, Richard Taylor re-entered civilian life with many duties: teaching at OSU, writing books, shuttling students and staff in the university's Air Transportation Service in T-Bones and Diesel-3s, learning to fly helicopters and sailplanes. And for good measure, he added time in the Army National Guard and the Air Force Reserve. Click here to read the 16th chapter.
The USS Pueblo incident near North Korea inspired a show of force requiring many reservists, including Richard Taylor, to drop what they were doing (teaching, in Richard's case) and head off to Korea. Along the way, he got to do a little bit of flying and practicing water landings with a parachute. Back in the States after a year, Richard went back to the classroom, but also flew the Ohio Army National Guard's Bird Dog and Beaver. Click here to read the 15th chapter.
Richard Taylor's first full year at The Ohio State University included teaching aviation classes, flying 19 different kinds of airplanes (including a jet), and starting a flying club with a tail-dragger. Click here to read the 14th chapter.
Forty-Seven Years in Aviation: A Memoir; Chapter 13: Tankers Revisited, Ohio State University, and...
Returning with his family to Ohio, Richard Taylor gets back into KC-97s in the Ohio Air National Guard ... this time the KC-97L, with two jet engines added to the four piston engines. After losing a major client in his non-aviation job, Richard fortuitously finds an opening as a faculty member in the Department of Aviation at Ohio State University. Click here to read the 13th chapter.
Released from active duty in the Air Force and starting a non-flying civilian job, Dick Taylor misses aviation and joins a local Air National Guard squadron. But instead of Stratotankers, he flies Fairchild Flying Boxcars and later, in the Air Force Reserve, Grumman Albatrosses. Click here to read the 12th chapter.
The KC-97 Stratotanker was way too slow to easily refuel B-47s, but the bomber pilots learned how to fly in tight formation at near-stall speeds and do it with finesse. Dick Taylor spent many hours flying 100-mile refueling racetracks in the sky, usually over the southeastern U.S., but sometimes even over North Africa. Click here to read the 11th chapter.
Assigned to a like-new KC-97 Stratotanker at MacDill AFB in 1956, Dick Taylor learned much about the plane just from flying it in front of thirsty B-47s: from the trivial (it never spent much time in its namesake, the stratosphere) to the essential (take lots of engine oil on a long trip).