Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: Inspirational fly by

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    24

    Inspirational fly by

    Sometimearound 1987 while I was busy building my RV4, I took a day off from bucking rivets to climb Mt. Grays and Torreys Peak, about thirty miles west of Denver. Both peaks could be bagged as we say in one climb since they are adjoined by a saddle that you traversed and get two 14teenersthat day.

    My climbing buddy was very interested in my RV4 project and I gave a running account on my progress and how eager I was to get her completed so I could enjoy viewing our beautiful mountains from another vantage point. Just as we started up the saddle toTorreys Peak I thought I could hear that unmistakable sound of a Merlin engine approaching our perch just below 14000ft. Sure enough, out of the east approaching the saddle we were climbing, the beautiful sight of a twin cockpit Spitfire roared past us and slightly below the peaks elevation. The profile of that airplane against the backdrop of Grays Peak as it streaked by is a picture indelibly etched in my mind.

    That sight was the boost needed to get back to my project which was completed in 33 months of intense effort on days when I was not away from home. Not long after completion,I flew my RV4 through that saddle on a weekend and while a Lyc 0-320 comes nowhere near the sound and fury of the Merlin, it was satisfying to see the climbers take a break and wave approvingly as we passed overhead.
    Several years later I saw that Spitfire at an air show in Aspen Colorado but never had a chance to tell the pilot of his inspiration to complete my project and keep it on a fast track. Since that time, I’ve had nearly thirty years of flying our mountains and soaring over peaks that in my younger days I may have climbed.
    I want to take this opportunity and say thanks for the fly by and how much fun it was to see that bird in such a majestic background. “Miss Fusion” sends her best also.
    Cheers, Hans
    Last edited by saber25; 09-22-2017 at 09:47 AM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,277
    Quote Originally Posted by saber25 View Post
    [FONT=Calibri][COLOR=#000000]Sometimearound 1987 while I was busy building my RV4, I took a day off from bucking rivets to climb Mt. Grays and Torreys Peak....Just as we started up the saddle toTorreys Peak I thought I could hear that unmistakable sound of a Merlin engine approaching our perch just below 14000ft. Sure enough, out of the east approaching the saddle we were climbing, the beautiful sight of a twin cockpit Spitfire roared past us and slightly below the peaks elevation. The profile of that airplane against the backdrop of Grays Peak as it streaked by is a picture indelibly etched in my mind.
    [FONT=Calibri][COLOR=#000000]That sight was the boost needed to get back to my project which was completed in 33 months....
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Calibri]Several years later I saw that Spitfire at an air show in Aspen Colorado but never had a chance to tell the pilot of his inspiration to complete my project and keep it on a fast track.
    [FONT=Calibri][COLOR=#000000]I want to take this opportunit and say thanks for the fly by and how much fun it was to see that bird in such a majestic background.
    I think you've created some serendipity here. You may have that opportunity right now to tell that Spitfire pilot how much of an inspiration he was to you completing your RV4.

    You see I think that pilot you speak of spends an awful lot of time on this Forum. Why do I think this? Well, you mention a number of facts in your story that match the profile of this pilot. He's lives in Colorado, Aspen I think and he happens to own a very rare 2 place trainer Spitfire.

    His name is Bill Greenwood and you will find him on this Forum being very prolific in his contributions. On behalf of many Forum members here, I encourage you(emplore you) to connect with him and get him to talk/write about his Spit. You see, he'd rather post non-aviation topics here so you'd be doing us all a big favour by getting him to abide by and comply with the Forum rules. Thanks very much from many of us here.
    Last edited by Floatsflyer; 09-22-2017 at 03:32 PM.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    24
    I had hoped this story would awaken the spirit of that day and he could retell his side of that flight. Hopefully Mr Greenwood can fill us in on his thoughts and keep a pleasant memory alive.

    Thanks beforehand.

    Cheers Hans

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,277
    I hope he does, we'd all like to hear it. But you're going to have to poke him to do it. PLEASE!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    24
    Bill is all over this forum and I'm surprised he has not answered my call. I'm 70 years young and remember that climb and fly by as if it happened last week. The Spitfire is indisputably one of the most beautiful airplanes ever designed and if I had one I'd be happy to share any stories of interest especially flying our mountains.

    Gotta go now and wax the rest of my Pitts S1S and fly the RV4 before the promised weather sets in this afternoon.

    Cheers, Hans

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,277
    There is some deep seated reason he doesn't like to talk about his Spit. Keep pushing!!

    Your experience and memory is very personal, one that had a visceral and profound impact on you. I hope it finally dawns on him that the two of you shared the exact same place and time in space together a long time ago without actually knowing each other. To coin an old favourite phrase of mine--that's far out! Hopefully he'll come to understand this was a very special moment and respond with his own memory.

  7. #7
    Cary's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    247
    Here's another quick story about that Spit: I was at my mechanic's hangar at 3V5, the old Fort Collins Downtown airport. He routinely had his radio tuned to the CTAF, so we heard the Spit pilot announce that he was on a 15 mile final for a high speed low approach to 11 at the airport. My mechanic said, "You'll want to watch this", so we walked out to the taxiway together. Very soon, here came the Spit. I don't know how fast he was going, but I'd guess well over 250 mph as he rocketed down the runway, with that marvelous Merlin roaring.

    Now I don't know who was flying it that day, but except at OSH each year and one time at Reno, I haven't heard that sweet sound anywhere else. It's definitely a goose bump creator!

    Cary
    "I have slipped the surly bonds of earth...,
    put out my hand and touched the face of God." J.G. Magee

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    2,026
    Saber, Hans frankly no one on the fourm before, except Hal Bryan in general has asked me to write about Spitfire flying. I think most people or at least most people who write on this forum prefer the more basic homebuilts. Thank you for your interest. If there is anything specific I can answer I'd be glad to. I'm not sure where Mt Grays is, where is it in relation to Corona Pass and Leadville? Going west would likely been coming from Ft Collins Downtown or Jeffco or Centennial. Its a great airplane, in 20years of going to airshows I never went to one where anyone had a plane I'd trade for.
    3v5 was a special airport. I dont know didly about most of the electronic gadgets that pilots covet these days and feel naked without, but there was a day when I could land a tailwheel fighter on a 48 foot wide by 4400 ft ruway at 6000 ft and do it routinally. Never a real fighter pilot though.
    Ive never flown a Pitts. Id love to just taxi one. I watch them land and they seem to come in fast, faster than a Spitfire.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 09-25-2017 at 09:43 PM.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    369
    Bill,
    i for one would love be to hear about the Spitfire. Not just the flying part but what it takes to keep one going.. And I don't mean the money part, but some of your experience/stories about owning and operating it. I am reasonably sure I will never be in the position to own or operate one...... So I guess I would have to live vicariously through your experiences.
    Regards
    Rick

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    24
    Thanks for your response Bill. The location of the two peaks I mentioned is just south of I-25 not far from Arapahoe ski area. The notch I'm talking about would have put your flight track enroute from either APA or BJC. Like I mentioned, the flyby kept the fire burning to complete my RV4 as soon as possible. Now with nearly 30 years on that plane I do occasionally entertain climbers high on our peaks with a smoking flyby and a loop and roll thrown in. It's a beautiful sight to be high on a summit and have a plane come by with that connection of knowing that other person is having an equally great day.

    I again saw your Spit at an airshow in Aspen a couple of years later with Jimmy Franklin doing a bang up job flying an Aerostar-600 with smoke pouring from both engines ascending vertically from behind a nearby hill. Larry Pardue had his Bearcat there as well and it was one of the best shows I've attended.

    Perhaps you could fill us in on how you came to own your plane and some of its history. I have a friend in Prescott that built his own Spitfire and spent many years of hard work and money to complete that project. So if you have time please post on you experience with your Spitfire.

    Cheers, Hans

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •