Sunday, March 22, 2009

Family Time at Mojave

The incoming inclement weather held off just long enough yesterday for another successful - if a bit breezy - Plane Crazy Saturday at Mojave. Antelope Valley Press aerospace reporter Allison Gatlin wrote a fantastic piece in Friday's paper about the event, and the result was a lot more families with eager young children attended. 

Most aviation enthusiasts can remember a time when they first discovered airplanes, often because someone simply took them to an airport. In this high-tech, high-security world we now live in, opportunities to do that are becoming rarer, which I suspect is why this monthly event has become such a big hit in the local community. A big thanks to all who brought their planes out to display (it was great to see XCOR trot out their world-record-holding EZRocket!), you'll never know if you somehow influenced a kid to grow up and seek a career as a pilot or aerospace engineer!

Does it look like fun? Put Saturday, April 18, on your calendar and bring your kids out to the airport!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mojave Plane Crazy this Saturday!

The handful of cool and unusual aircraft that graced Mojave's traffic pattern yesterday provide a great opportunity to remind everyone that this Saturday it is time once again for the Mojave Flightline to open up to the public for another Plane Crazy Saturday. Featured this month will be Ralph Wise's one-of-a-kind GT-400 (this brute is not to be mistaken for the ultralight of the same designation!).

As for yesterday, Mojave's own Mark Street had his gorgeous yellow Pitts S-1 up playing in the early hours of the morning. A little later, a competition aerobatic Zivko Edge 540 came screaming down Rwy 26. This beauty is either a visitor or a newly acquired resident (it was up flying again today), and is registered to a consulting company in Cornwall, UK. To keep the international flavor going, a venerable Canadian-registered de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver floated in for a nice wheel landing.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Victorville Report: Airbus Down, Part IV - The Movie

For the last post in this series, here's a six-minute video of the "smashing" good time that was had in Victorville on Friday. (Watching this, I'm vividly reminded of what it must have looked like to watch a T-Rex feed on some dead prey....)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Victorville Report: Airbus Down, Part III

Doug Scroggins sent in this composite of the continuing process of scrapping ex-American Airbus A300 N7055A.
On Friday, Doug and the ARC hosted me and aviation writer/photographer Nick Veronico to witness first hand how an Airbus get smashed. Excavator operator Ray here peels back the roof...what was once carefully maintained aircraft structure flops like foil.

I've seen many aircraft "crunched", but after watching for a while, I realized what was different about this was almost as shiny as the day it was new, and that lent an air of unbelievability to the whole scene.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Victorville Report: Airbus Down, Part II

Photos by Doug Scroggins

The de-construction at Victorville of ex-American Airlines Airbus A300 N7055A by Aircraft Recycling Corp. continues in this series of images from Doug. The cockpit will be saved for display purposes, and will eventually be trailered to Mojave.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Calspan F-16s Arrive at Mojave

Calspan's first three long-awaited F-16 flight test aircraft arrived at Mojave today, launching a new era for the Civilian Aerospace Test Center. The defense contractor plans to operate up to five Fighting Falcons, which are on loan from the Air Force, in flight test programs for various undisclosed customers.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Please welcome...Doug Scroggins

Mojave Skies would like to welcome our new Victorville correspondent, Doug Scroggins. Doug has worn many aviation hats over the years, including writer, photographer, video producer, aircraft preserver and aircraft scrapper. 

Doug is a regular contributor to Airliners Magazine, Airliner World, Airways and was the publisher of the now-out-of-print magazine Lost Birds, which featured older air crashes and recoveries. He also was the producer of the Discovery Channel documentary Scrapping Aircraft Giants

Currently, he's the manager director / director of operations for Aircraft Recycling Corp, which is based at Southern California Logistics Airport (VCV), and specializes in dismantling and scrapping airliners in an environmentally-friendly manner. During his time there, Doug has supervised the dismantling of American's very first 767s, N301AA, 302, 303 and 304, as well as AA's 767 (N330AA) that caught fire at LAX. He also scrapped the Honeywell 720B, N720H at Phoenix, and the Northwest 747, N627US in Guam. (In the photo at right, Doug poses with the nose art from Gemini Air Cargo's DC-10 Deanie, which he scrapped at Mojave in 2007.)

As ARC scraps some of the more interesting airliners that come their way, Doug has agreed to share their work with us, beginning with the two posts below, photo essays of the jobs that ARC has been working on in the last couple of weeks, an ex-American A-300-600, N7055A and one of the last ex-TWA 767s, N610TW. 

Welcome aboard, Doug!

Victorville Report: Airbus Down

Photo essay by Doug Scroggins.

Victorville Report: Boeing's 767 Project

Aircraft Recycling Corp. of Victorville worked to supply Boeing with parts of an old TWA 767 in this photo essay by ARC's Doug Scroggins.