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About Wallowa County chieftain. (Enterprise, Wallowa County, Or.) 1943-current | View Entire Issue (July 17, 2019)
Wallowa County Chieftain
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
FLY-IN WINGS TO ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL YEAR
Supports aviation education
at Joseph Charter School
For the Chieftain
An estimated 1000 people ﬂ ocked to what was one
of the most diverse airshows in Joseph Fly-in his-
tory July 12 and 13. From ﬁ ghter jets to biplanes and
piper cubs, this airshow had it all. Two of the favor-
ites proved to be the P-40 and its sister P-64, and the
Pendleton National Guard’s big Chinook helicopter
that served time in Afghanistan and Iraq. The line for
the pancake, sausage, and eggs breakfast on Satur-
day was long. Breakfast-goers sometimes had to wait
for more eggs to get cooked or more pancakes to be
ﬂ ipped. But no one seemed to mind. It was for a good
cause and the Saturday morning weather was perfect.
It also seemed to be the most fun Fly-in ever. From
Alpha jets to ultralights there was something for
everyone. And maybe next year, the legendary DC-3
The annual gathering welcomed over 100 pilots,
both local and from distant reaches in the Paciﬁ c
Northwest. On Thursday Mark Peterson and his
Dormier Alpha jet from Boise ﬂ ew over the county
in formation with Phil Fogg from Aurora piloting his
Aero L-39 to announce the beginning of the Fly-in.
Friday night’s outdoor banquet, enjoyed by the
earlier that day,
was served by
the Lions Club.
of the Fly-in,
said, “We were
happy to have
Fly-in staﬀ estimated that more than 1,000 the Lions Club.
people attended the events at the Joseph They did a great
State Airport on July 12 and 13.
ﬁ lled the air
Saturday morning as attendees enjoyed an outdoor
pancake breakfast, then welcomed a Curtiss P-40
Warhawk and a replica of a North American P-64.
Fogg again took to the air, blasting through the air
with his L-39 jet at the ﬁ nale of students Malichi Rob-
erts and Kana Oliver’s performance of the Star Span-
gled Banner. The talented two-some have other skills
as well--Roberts designed this year’s Fly-in poster,
and Oliver organized the live and silent auctions.
About noon on Saturday, a lone Air Force F-15
made a single ﬂ yover, demonstrating how far mili-
tary aviation has come since the 1960’s when both the
sleek Alpha and L-39 planes were designed and built.
As much activity was taking place inside the Edu-
cation Hangar as well as in the air. Children were
P40 AND P64 WWII FIGHTERS: RARE
PLANES ARE A HIT AT THE FLY-IN
Ellen Morris Bishop
The historic, WWII aircraft included a restored WWII P-40
and a replica P-64, both of which reside at Hanger 180, in
The P-40 is a true WWII ﬁ ghter which ﬂ ew missions in
Paupua, New Guinea, with the 49th Fighter Wing, owner
and pilot Gary Peters noted. The planes, known as “Flying
Tigers” were some of the most eﬀ ective ﬁ ghter aircraft
of WWII. After the war, the plane ended up in Louisiana,
parked under LSU Tiger Stadium as part of a disorganized
collection of “Tiger” memorabilia. “No one really knew what
it was,” Peters said. “Then LSU sold the plane to the City of
Baton Rouge. They sort of restored it with bondo and a lot
of paint and hung it in a museum. They didn’t know they
CH-47 CHINOOK HELICOPTER
Ellen Morris Bishop
The Pendleton National Guard’s big Chinook twin rotor
helicopter proved a hit.
Impossible to miss, with an inviting stairway leading to its
cavernous interior — which also had seats for 32 passengers.
The chopper, named Double Six, was built in 2006, although
it was virtually identical in form to the same model built
in the 1960s and ’70s that saw service in Vietnam. Today,
the Chinook participates mostly in search and rescue and
ﬁ re-ﬁ ghting, as well as supporting military training exercises
around the Northwest.
This particular twin-engine bird weighs in at about 50,000
Photos by Mary Edwards/For the Chieftain
The Aero L-39 jet drops toward the runway with East Peak in the background.
greeted at the airplane demonstra-
tion board by Susan Koehn. Stu-
dent volunteers from the aviation
class at Joseph Charter School
led children through the educa-
tion track of examining a real
airplane while wearing a head-
set, making paper airplanes with
powered propellers and piloting
a ﬂ ight simulator with Wallowa
County scenes. A child earned a
set of wings for completion of each
activity, and three wings qualiﬁ ed a
child for a free ﬂ ight on Sunday.
Ronny Morrell, a senior at JCS who assisted
with the ﬂ ight simulator, said, “The aviation program
is great. It’s not just for pilots, but about all aspects
of aviation. I like encouraging younger kids to get
With hundreds of fans crowded at the security
fence, the Fly-in was topped with local ﬂ iers demon-
strating their precision Short Take Off and Landings
(STOL) skills, much needed for back-country avia-
tion adventures in Snake River country.
The Northeast Oregon Aviation Foundation was
organized four years ago, and the Fly-in is its annual
Fleming said, “The Foundation is very happy with
this year’s super attendance. The support of the com-
munity was above and beyond, and the ﬂ ying com-
munity support was unprecedented.
“We’re especially happy with local back country
pilots’ demonstrations of their skills.
“Quality volunteers did a great job. Many visiting
pilots and display pilots commented in amazement
that such a small community could put on such a high
quality event, with so many great, historic planes.”
Hannah Unze, a Joseph mother, was thrilled with
“It gets better every year.”
had a real P-40. They thought they had a Hollywood replica
from the movie Tora Tora Tora.” Then the plane was discov-
ered by John Fowletts who was looking for a genuine P-40
to restore. “It turned into an 11 year restoration project,”
Peters said. “But the plane ﬁ nally ﬂ ew in 2008. We brought
it back to Lewiston about three years ago.”
The P-40 at the Fly-in is one of only about 30 in the
world that are still ﬂ ying. The plane has an Allison engine
that generates about 1300 horsepower during takeoﬀ . “The
extra engine we have in the hangar in Lewiston was actual-
ly ﬂ own during the war,” Peterson said. “Those original war
engines were ﬂ own full-out, at ‘war power.’ They had to be
rebuilt after about 250 hours of ﬂ ying time. But we
can get 1200 to 1500 hours on the engine before it
needs work, if you treat it right.”
When ﬂ ying level at “war power” the P-40 could
reach speeds of 300 mph. The P-40 is one of the
fastest diving prop airplanes ever built. “It’s dive
speeds were over 600 miles per hour,” Peters said.
“It’s a plane that just loves to go fast downhill.” But
like any high-powered sports car, Peters’ P-40 doesn’t
get very good gas mileage. “It burns about 1 gallon of
fuel every minute it’s in the air,” he said.
The smaller P-64 is a replica of the planes that were de-
signed as economical low budget ﬁ ghters, said Peters. The
ﬁ rst batch of ﬁ nished planes were delivered to Peru. The
next batch consisted of seven planes, destined for Thailand.
That entire shipment was on the tarmac in crates ready to
be delivered to Thailand when the Japanese bombed Pearl
Harbor on December 7, 1942. “Because the Japanese invad-
pounds fully fueled. It can lift 20,000 pounds, and often trav-
els with its cargo slung beneath it. But occasionally it carries
up to four Humvees in its cargo hold. Top air speed is 170
knots, with a comfortable cruising speed of 100 to 120 knots.
It has been overseas most of its life, carrying troops and
cargo in Afghanistan and Iraq but was retired from overseas/
combat duty after sustaining several “injuries” from RPG’s
including damaged rotors and fuselage. The Pendleton
National Guard was serving in Iraq and the Huey returned to
their air base with them after repairs were complete. Since
then, the big Chinook aided in rescue and humanitarian
missions for Hurricane Florence in South Carolina as well as
transporting supplies and ﬁ reﬁ ghters for last year’s forest
ﬁ res in southern Oregon.
The WWII P-40 ﬁ ghter could hit 600 mph in a
dive, and level ﬂ ight under “war power” was at
speeds of around 300 mph. It was the only plane
to ﬁ ght in all the theaters of WWII — the Paciﬁ c,
Europe and Africa.
Bayden Menton and Brad Wilcox get the hang of ﬂ ying
over Wallowa County in the Joseph Charter School’s
ﬂ ight simulator at the airshow.
ed and defeated Thailand two days later, there was no need
for those planes to go to Thailand, so they were shipped
back to the U.S. to become high performance trainers. They
were enough like the P-40 so that young pilots could make
the transition to the big P-40 without crashing it.”
Only one of the original P-64s is still ﬂ ying today. The re-
constructed replica P-64 that ﬂ ew into Joseph has a slightly
altered design, with wings that are three feet shorter, a
1200 horsepower Merlin engine instead of the original 600
hp, and four (non-operational) .30-caliber machine guns —
two in the wings and two in the fuselage.
“It’s the funnest airplane we have,” Peters said.
The P-64 served as a trainer for P-40 pilots during
WWII, but was originally intended as a light ﬁ ghter
for allied airfares, including Peru and Thailand.
ABOVE Visitors peer down into the Chinook’s view-
port used to check the cargo that is being transported
beneath the big chopper. The Chinook can transport up
to 20,000 pounds of cargo, including Humvees that are
slung underneath or stowed inside. The cheerful red
upholstery accommodates 32 passengers.
LEFT The big Chinook helicopter is towed into its
parking space at the Joseph Fly-in. The prop wash
generated by the huge rotors is powerful enough to tip
over nearby small planes.