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birdguy

A special thanks to Bill Lyons...

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I wrote a piece here once about abut how I fell in love with airplane.  I was in the 6th or 7th grade and saw an Luscombe on the floor of an auto dealership near our house.  I went there every day after school and they let me sit in it.  Many years later, after high school and a stint in the Marine Corps I got to actually fly one.  And I still do.

I first met Bill Lyons' lovely lady the third grade.  His Luscombe 8A.  It was the young lady (at the time) I learned to fly in and I first soloed in and I flew my first cross country's in.  It was a Luscombe 8E on floats and I flew it from an arm of the San Francisco Bay called Richardson Bay.  At it's head was Commodore Center, a seaplane base that also hosted the venerable old Republic SeaBee and an Italian Piaggo twin engine pusher seaplane with gull wings that I have for years wished a simulator model of.

I say we met in the third grade.  FS 2004.  We became sweethearts and made it through FS9 and FSX.

I thought I might have lost her when I graduated to high school;  Prepar3DV1 through V4.  But no, she stuck with me through all the version.  I'm in college now with P3Dv5.  And this morning while walking across the quad there she was, waiting for me.  She works beautifully in P3Dv5.  Bill, you certainly knew how to make an aircraft for all time.

I can reprise my 'boyhood' in aviation with my sweetheart.   Flying up to Clear Lake or down to San Luis Reservoir.  90 knots tops and stick on the floor.  The one I flew had to be hand propped and had no battery or lights.  And no radios or navaids.  Not even a NARCO coffee grinder.  Dad wouldn't let her out after dark.  Cross countries were flown by pilotage using a sectional chart as a navaid..

And returning from a flight you entered the downwind on the east side of Tiburon Peninsula.  Tuned base at the notch and looked for the windsock at the end of the Commodore dock to determine the direction of your final.  Once on the water you became a boat navigating your way to the pier.  Someone would rush out and grab the strut and tie you down as you shut down the engine.  You climbed out feeling great and a pat on her fanny would not be out of order.  Life was good.

Bill Lyons, here's to you and your wonderful airplanes.

As an aside Bill and I had a slight altercation once.  I was designing California scenery for California Classic.  I e-mailed Bill and asked him if I could use his Grumman Goose as an AI aircraft for trips between Long Beach and Catalina.  His reply was less than kind.  He thought I was trying to steal his airplane.  When I told him I only wanted to us it as an AI model he apologized for the less than polite reply and gave us permission to use it.

Noel

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Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

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I still fly his Piper Apache. I agree, thanks to Bill and Lynn Lyon, for a lot of wonderful planes, and scenery.

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I got my multi  engine rating in an Apache in the '60's. When I saw Bill's aircraft, the flood of memories was amazing. Always a class act.

 

Vic


 

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