EAA’s Squadron 4 Veteran’s Day Forum Held at Courtesy Aircraft’s Hanger

Guest Speaker- George Kaiser was a radar navigator on a B-17 in the 8th air force, 452th bomb group, 729t​h squadron. On his 26th mission, his squadron was attacked by ME 109’s, 190’s, and 262’s. The 109’s rammed 2 of the B-17’s as they were out of ammo. He gave his presentation to us at the Veterans’ Forum and it was a treat!

We hope to see you again next year!

Click Photos Below to Enlarge

FM-2 WILDCAT pulled this morning from Waukegan Harbor

Today on National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we had an opportunity to witness a Wildcat being pulled from the cold waters of Lake Michigan.

U.S. Navy to recover a historic World War II aircraft from Lake Michigan

WAUKEGAN – A World War II Fighter that has been sitting at the bottom of Lake Michigan off the Chicago shoreline for more than 65 years will be brought to the surface this week.

The National Naval Aviation Museum with the Naval History and Heritage Command initiated the undertaking.  The Naval Aviation Museum Foundation is sponsoring the location, recovery, restoration, and eventual display of a World War II Eastern Aircraft FM-2 Wildcat Fighter from the depths of Lake Michigan.  The Foundation will complete the recovery portion of the effort this week using a crew from A and T Recovery.  This recovery has been made possible through a generous donation from Mr. Charles Greenhill, of Mettawa, Illinois.

This effort will lead to another important World War II aircraft being presented to the American public that shows the significant history of the Greatest Generation, whose courage and dedication to our country preserved America’s and the world’s freedom, stated Capt. Ed Ellis, JAGC, USN (Ret.), Vice President of the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation.  The Naval Aviation Museum will work for display of the Wildcat in the Chicago area in a venue, such as, the Glenview Hangar One Museum.

On December 28, 1944 the weather forecast for Chicago read, Fair and continued rather cold today.  At 1151 hours FM-2 Wildcat Bureau Number 57039 crashed into Lake Michigan in about 200 feet of water.  Her pilot at the time was Ensign William E. Forbes.  Ensign Forbes was in the process of making his third take-off of his aircraft carrier qualification off the USS Sable.  Apparently the engine checked out O.K.   However, on the take-off roll the engine began to pop and then quit completely.  57039 rolled off the bow of the ship and sank.  The accident was determined to be 100% material (engine failure).

This airplane crashed in Lake Michigan during aircraft carrier qualification training, which was conducted on Lake Michigan during the early to mid-1940s.  More than 17,000 pilots completed the training including LTJG George H. Bush, later to become U.S. President.  The aircraft carriers used for training docked at Navy Pier in Chicago and the airplanes and pilots flew from Glenview Naval Air Station at Glenview, Illinois.

A and T Recovery, in conjunction with the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation, the National Naval Aviation Museum, and the Naval History and Heritage Command, has been responsible for the rescue of approximately forty World War II aircraft from the depths of Lake Michigan.  These aircraft are now on display in museums and airports around the United States, including Hawaii.  Two notable examples are currently on display in Chicago, a Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat Fighter on display at O’Hare International Airport and a Douglas SDB Dauntless Dive-bomber at Midway Airport.

MEDIA ADVISORY:  The salvaged aircraft will be removed from the water at approximately 10 a.m. Friday, December 7, 2012 at Larsen Marine at Waukegan Harbor in Waukegan, Illinois.  News media coverage of this portion of the operation is welcomed, and media should call Taras Lyssenko at (305) 794-4457, TarasAtSea@AOL.com, for updates.  Larsen Marine is located 625 E. Sea Horse Drive at the northern end of Waukegan Harbor, and may be contacted at (847) 336-5456.

Additional contacts:
Capt. Robert Rasmussen, USN (Ret.), Director, National Naval Aviation Museum
(850) 452-3604 ext. 3119.
Capt. Henry Hendrix, USN, Director, Naval History and Heritage Command, 202-433-2210
Christine Smith, daughter of Ensign William Forbes  425-345-0608

Testimonial from Rainier Arangies

“I am not one that go on about things but I just have to report back to you on the Cayuse OH-6A and the UH204 that I purchased through you. The machines is just stunning and didn’t miss a beat whilst we operate her intensively g the festive season at the coast. The little Cayuse was immensely popular beyond tourist and locals and was complimented by friend and foe! Thanks once again for offering and trading this machine to us! This is machine #2 bought through Courtesy Aircraft, and after the first deal on the UH204, I didn’t think I could be so satisfied again, but it proof to be wrong! Both machines is well treasured by us, and although old, they operate like new machines…and the compliments is theirs and that of Mike, who incubated them for us. All the best for you and your company for 2013 and may your company go from strength to strength…we need more of such authentic operator/outlets!! Attached find few pictures of operations of Cayuse and Huey!” -Rainier Arangies

February 2013 NAS Pensacola Special 2 Day Insiders Tour

Courtesy Aircraft, AT&T Recovery and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation sponsored a private 2 day event that included several behind the scenes activities and tours.  Participant’s even had the option to fly and land at NAS Sherman Field.

Highlights of the 2 day tour included:

  1.     Navy’s Water Survival Training
  2.     Navy’s Air Traffic Control Center Training
  3.     National Flight Academy Tour
  4.     Naval Air Museum’s Restoration Center
  5.     Past, Present and Future Restorations & Recoveries
  6.     Private Reception with Retired Navy Personnel

This exclusive event will increase your appreciation for past and current Naval operations.  You will see first-hand the efforts to preserve the U.S. Naval Aviation History. Contact Mark Clark or Darcy Kaapke should you be interested in attending the next insider’s tour.

A note from Texas:

“Mark, Been flying the SNJ almost every day. Have about 18 hours on it and pulled cowling and changes oil yesterday. Screens were clean. You sold me a really nice airplane! Much thanks!”

-Scott

Thank you Mark!

Mark, Thanks for getting me connected with Harvard N1811B. The condition and equipment of this Harvard was even better than advertised, and has allowed me to hit the ground running with my Harvard Extreme Air Show Act. Imagine finding a pristine Canadian Harvard in Texas. Lucky for me, your reach is world wide. I look forward to sending you some air show pics from this season.”

Veteran’s Forum

On Sunday, November 9, EAA Warbird Squadron 4 held its Annual Veterans Forum at Courtesy Aircraft’ s hanger. Thank you for all who attended and our speaker Richard Diller who talked to us about his search and rescue missions in the Skyraider during the Vietnam War.

RECENT FIGHTER SALES

Courtesy Aircraft Sales recently assisted the Mid America Flight Museum with several aircraft acquisitions: N151MC North American P-51D and N773RD FG-1D Corsair (pictured). These two excellent fighter aircraft joined the fleet and several other warbirds Courtesy Aircraft sold to the museum in the past few years.

Photos: Tyson Rininger

WATCH THIS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND! HEROES ON DECK:

HEROES ON DECK: World War II on Lake Michigan, a documentary Harvey Moshman, Executive Producer has been working on for several years, will be broadcast nationally over most PBS stations this Memorial Day weekend. WTTW, our network presenting station, will run it Thursday May 26th @ 9pm & Sunday May 29th @ 6pm.

HEROES ON DECK tells the little-known story of a bold and innovative local response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Following that catastrophic event, the U.S. Navy was desperate for aircraft carrier-qualified pilots. With enemy submarines patrolling both coasts, a radical idea was proposed: why not train pilots in the safety of Lake Michigan? Two Great Lakes passenger steamers were purchased and immediately converted into makeshift aircraft carriers, the USS Wolverine and USS Sable. Between 1942 and the end of the war, more than 15,000 aviators – including future President George H.W. Bush — were trained aboard these “freshwater flattops.”

Crashes and “water landings” often led to serious injuries and occasionally death. As a result, more than one hundred fighters and dive-bombers sank to the bottom of the lake. To date, more than 40 aircraft have been brought to the surface. HEROES ON DECK captures some of the key recoveries and restoration efforts, and celebrates the stories of the brave pilots who survived this ingenious training operation. Narrated by legendary CBS and A&E newsman BILL KURTIS, HEROES ON DECK, brings to life a vital chapter of American history.

His partners John Davies, Brian Kallies and hope you’ll have a chance to watch.

Harvey Moshman, Executive Producer

Mark’s P-51 Mustang Anniversary Flight!

Sunday, May 22nd, Mark Clark, President of Courtesy Aircraft, had the awesome opportunity to fly a P-51 Mustang. Not just any Mustang but the exact Mustang that he first flew 38 years ago to the day. Thanks to Mike George for allowing him the great privilege. There are many people that this aircraft has touched- great restoration by Jack Rose and the caretakers along the way- John Castrogiovanni, Victor Haluska and Mike who has had the aircraft since 1990. The people who own, maintain and fly these aircraft as tribute to the “greatest generation” are very special. Mark has been honored to sell this Mustang four times. A special thank you for Frank Strickler for the great checkout so many years ago. First photo is Frank arriving in RFD winter 1977, the other photos from the anniversary flight. Mark was also was thinking about all the great people that have been a part of his life through Warbirds and our common love of aviation. Thanks for enriching his life and “Keep em Flying”.

NEW HARVARD OWNER- AN AIRPLANE WITH FAMILY TIES

“Thank you for your assistance in securing the purchase of the Harvard. My late Uncle flew this aircraft in the 50’s when NATO allowed former WWII Luftwaffe Pilots to fly again. Best Regards, Ray”

The Courtesy Aircraft Staff wishes Ray the best with his new Harvard! What a wonderful opportunity for him to own and fly the same aircraft his Uncle flew. Keep ’em Flying!

The Best of Husky Flying!

“I can’t say enough great things about my experience with Courtesy Aircraft Sales. You handled every detail and made the entire process seamless, from filing paperwork to dropping off a rental car and packing and shipping aircraft skis. I sincerely appreciate all the help.” – Dan Kozak