Operation Piranha Dodger
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  1. #1
    Senior Administrator Willy's Avatar
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    Operation Piranha Dodger

    I got the telex last night to get ready for an extended Flight 19 "mission" into the South American rain forest and that it might be a good idea to bring along something that floats unless I like to swim with the pirahnas and crocagators. Contacted the aircraft specialist at the Swap N Shop and picked up this one. A bit scruffy looking, but I don't think appearance is going to be an issue where we're going.
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    Last edited by Moses03; April 14th, 2017 at 14:52.
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  2. #2
    Hey there! Here is a picture over KSFO of the Grumman Duck that I will try to fly in this new adventure.
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  3. #3
    Senior Administrator Willy's Avatar
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    Did a quick shakedown hop from Key West to Havana and we're anchored out in the harbor. Hope the Cubans don't remember the last time we were here......
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flt 19-2017-apr-28-003.jpg   Flt 19-2017-apr-28-004.jpg  
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  4. #4
    Hey all, as predicted the Grumman was a problem, so Dudley and I check out most of the airports and old landing strips on most of Cuba looking for a plane to replace the Duck, Well, as things would have it, we found an derelict PBY, and from the first we thought we are in trouble now. But strange enough, someone has been keeping the old bird up to some degree. But looking at it for the first time we thought the old gal was ready for the beer can factory.


    Hehe, we ran into some luck for a change, and the owner, we were told, was the old fellow setting next to the hanger. As we approached we notice that he was waring a WWII leather jacket. After we came to an understanding about the PBY the old gentleman explained the jacket. Evidently, along with a few Cubans they went to the US and joined the AAF in WWII and flew many a mission in the B-17s of the Eight Air force. Bought the PBY as war surplus.


    Got some help from some of the locals and the old gentleman and went over the PBY from stem to stern. A big surprise, everything worked, and the engine started just great. Test flight was first class.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -2017-apr-28-003.jpg  

  5. #5
    Senior Administrator Willy's Avatar
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    We flew on down to MUTD (well near it), I took a few shots of the interior of the Avia. Kind of got a little bit of a South Louisiana thing going with it.







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  6. #6
    Senior Administrator Willy's Avatar
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    My regular ride finally caught up with me. It's been in the shop getting the oil changed or something.



    Taco and I decided to head on down to Gitmo. Great flight even if I did almost hit a schooner while on final at Gitmo Bay.



    We decided to park in front of the lighthouse so we could find the planes easy enough after hitting the Chief's club for the evening....




    Next stop: Jamaica mon....
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  7. #7
    Willy and I splashed on in to the Cayman Islands today. Going to do a little snorkeling while we are here.

    First photo is from a previous segment of the flight with Willy still in the Avia.




  8. #8
    Shadowed by a black cat...


  9. #9
    Senior Administrator Willy's Avatar
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    A few more from tonight's flight





    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flt 19-2017-may-16-001.jpg   Flt 19-2017-may-16-004.jpg   Flt 19-2017-may-16-005.jpg  
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  10. #10
    Senior Administrator Willy's Avatar
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    Moses and I went on to MMCM last night. I got one pre-flight pic before the camera jammed....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flt 19-2017-may-19-070.jpg  
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  11. #11
    On the road to Guatemala. The buffet at the hotel I booked for us is said to be decent.


  12. #12
    Senior Administrator Willy's Avatar
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    I think we found the shipping lanes...



    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flt 19-2017-may-20-034.jpg   Flt 19-2017-may-20-033.jpg  
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  13. #13
    A quiet afternoon moment in the turquoise bay of Puerto Lempira, Honduras.


  14. #14
    Senior Administrator Willy's Avatar
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    Decided that 3 engines were just too thirsty and figured to find a nice light twin. Always did like the Sikorsky "Baby Clipper" and found this one at the local swap n shop. It's hard to wrong with a P&W Hornet (or BMW 132 Hornet clone).


    (the paint is temporary until I can finish the one I'm working on in my spare time)
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  15. #15
    Willy and I set down in the steamy coastal town of Bluefield, Nicaragua. The water here is a little more ominous....you can't see what might be lurking. Good news is we can load up on bananas which seem to be plentiful nearby.


  16. #16
    Senior Administrator Willy's Avatar
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    Fresh from the Navy boneyard... It's dirty, the paint's a little faded out and there's been some touchup done on it, but it flies like a new one.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flt 19-2017-may-25-002.jpg  
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  17. #17
    Senior Administrator Willy's Avatar
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    Found a tanker that needed checking out....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flt 19-2017-may-26-010.jpg  
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  18. #18
    Senior Administrator Willy's Avatar
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    And for those wondering where we're at. Not that I can read the thing either.....
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  19. #19
    Senior Administrator Willy's Avatar
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    Cruising the Canal

    Decided to fly down the Panama Canal on our way to Columbia.

    Checking out a schooner



    And I'm fairly sure this is the IJN Shinano. As to what or why it's here, I dunno.....

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flt 19-2017-may-30-005.jpg   Flt 19-2017-may-30-006.jpg  
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  20. #20
    Into Colombia. Not exactly "gringo" friendly in these parts...




  21. #21

    Enroute to SKRH, Riohacha

    A fish out of water tale as I found myself navigating through the northern reaches of Colombia's Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range. Pretty impressive for coastal caribbean. Luckily I did not have to crest the 18,700' peak.



    Note: Had to finish this leg solo as Taco developed engine trouble and had to turn back. Also, Willy smarted off to one of the customs officials and was detained.

  22. #22
    Senior Administrator Willy's Avatar
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    Anyone know a good bail bondsman in Columbia?
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  23. #23
    SOH Staff .."Bartender" AussieMan's Avatar
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    ​You weren't by any chance caught with a box of head phones?


    Cheers
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    "Some people might say that freedom is being alone in the bush with the only sounds being the murmurs from the birds ... but I believe freedom is at 5000 feet with no other sound than the engine roaring."- William Hutchison, a young man taken from us far too young (16).

  24. #24
    Senior Administrator Willy's Avatar
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    Sliding in to home at SVJC

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  25. #25
    Senior Administrator Willy's Avatar
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    Moses and I flew on into TNCB as it was getting dark. Darn near hit a schooner



    Still, all and all, it was a great flight with a nice sunset at the end.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flt 19-2017-jun-4-002.jpg   Flt 19-2017-jun-4-001.jpg  
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