Archives July 2019

A Tribute to the Fallen Liberty Bell Boeing B-17

When the “Liberty Bell” last returned over the Boulder Valley, I am not the only one who heard the unmistakable sound of its engines and ran outside to spot the arriving Boeing B-17. The Thorian thundering of those supercharged Wright Cyclones would resound off the mountains for miles around and viscerally penetrate the senses. It is a sound rare in aviation today, and nearly lost to history.

War chroniclers have tried to describe this sound multiplied a hundredfold across the English countryside and European cities as the U.S. Eighth Air Force flew bombing missions on a daily basis. A client of mine in the 1990’s, a German woman, told me of her childhood in Dusseldorf, Germany. She had been a Hitler youth and had once presented flowers and a box of candy to Hermann Goering. She described to me the B-17 raids of her childhood, of hearing this fearsome sound slowly build in the air long before the bombers appeared from over the horizon, signaling her family to flee for the shelters. She told of how the bombers approached in massed formations, dimming the sun, filling the entire sky, just before releasing their terrible destruction upon her world.

On a visit in 2007 to Colorado’s Rocky Mountain aircraft operations, The Liberty Bell’s pilot, a lad in his twenties, yet older than most of the World War II pilots who flew the B-17 in combat, explained to me that he and crew were about to fly her to England to participate in a British anniversary observance of D-Day. When I began to recite the route he would fly, he was surprised that I knew. I told him that I guessed he would make fuel stops in Bangor and Presque Isle, Maine, then proceed up to Gander Newfoundland. If the weather and winds were favorable -and no doubt, he would delay the flight of Liberty Bell and not risk this rare bird if they were not- it would be possible to make a non-stop flight from Gander to Ireland or Scotland. The pilot wondered how I knew all that.

My father had made eight such flights in World War II delivering these Flying Fortresses to the U.S. 8th aerospace operations in England. On Dad’s first trip on Halloween, 1942, winds were not favorable and fuel stops were needed in Greenland and Reykjavik, Iceland, before continuing to Prestwick, Scotland. In 2008, Liberty Bell made her flight to England and was received with much fanfare by BBC news. News outlets in the U.S., where this history originated, largely ignored the story. Perhaps those who do not know their own history may be condemned to repeat it.

In aircraft design, aesthetic beauty corresponds with function. Pilots lauded the near perfect balance of flight and handling characteristics of this airplane. Its ability to absorb intensive damage in combat, keep flying, and bring its crew home was legendary. The B-17’s World War II role, in the 8th Air Force over Europe and throughout the world, made …


“I Am Tired of Paying the Local Airport FBO to Change the Oil in My Aircraft” He Said

Your very own little 737 services get costly. It’s stunning the amount it costs once in a while, genuinely crazy I let you know. I mean all costs so much, genuinely, it’s simply not reasonable. Yet, perhaps there are things you can do yourself – like replacing your own oil.

Changing the oil in your small aircraft is not as difficult as you might think, and you can save a lot of money by doing it yourself. While you are changing the oil it gives you a chance to look over the motor, and look for oil leaks, and other future potential problems. Below is how to change the oil in your personal aircraft yourself.


When you change the oil you should probably also change the air cleaners. Make sure you buy genuine parts from the 787 FMS manufacturer, or from a certified FAA repair station, and make sure the parts match up. Check your owner’s manual to make sure that you are buying the right grade of oil for the climate in which your aircraft generally operates.

 Now then, the first thing you must do after you have the proper parts; oil filter(s), air cleaner(s) – is to make sure you also have an oil pan. Whether you own a single-engine or twin-engine aircraft you will follow the same procedure.

 Run your aircraft for 10 to 15 minutes at the least to warm it up. Remove any part of that cowling as needed to get to the oil filter, air cleaner, and oil drain plug.

 Remove the drain plug, after placing the oil pan below it.

 Next remove the oil filter.

 After all the oil is drained out into the pan, put the plug back in, and put on the new oil filter.

 Then fill the fleet engineers with the designated amount of oil, but stop one-half of a quart less than what’s recommended.

 Next do the second engine, using the same steps, that is if you have a multiengine aircraft.

 Start both engines or the engine and run them for 2 to 3 minutes, make sure you put that cowling out of the way, as it will blow over and get damaged or hurt something.

 Turn off the engine(s) and use the dip stick to check the oil level(s). Add more oil only if appropriate. Next, take out the air cleaner and check to see if it needs to be changed. If it does, then do so as per the operations manual.

 Replace that cowling, and make sure all the fasteners are secure. Push on it and jiggle the cowling to make sure that it is on sturdy. Double-check your work to make sure that all the Zeus fasteners are fastened.

I hope this helps you save a little money!…


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