Saturday, February 19, 2022

DUDE!! IT'S BEEN LIKE....OVER A YEAR!!

Hello Everyone,

I must apologize for my lack of Prowler blog updates over the past couple of years. I could blame it on a lot of things, but mostly it's me. In the past, I've always used downtime sitting in a hotel or other time on work trips to type up these blog updates. They do take a fair amount of work to write, insert pics, write captions, spell & grammar check and then publish.

So, when I have the time in a hotel with no other good use for the time, it works out great. But, since I haven't been working all that much for most of the past 2 years, I just find it hard to sit down while at home and commit that much time to do the "busy work" of making these blog updates - when I could be out in the shop or working on other projects around the house, yard, property, friends, etc., etc. (It's kinda like when you're a kid and your stuck inside doing homework when you really want to be outside riding your bike!)

Anyway, the past 4-5 months, I've been back to the "day-job" and the daily grind is getting back to mostly pre-CoVid normal. So, I am going to endeavor to get my butt in gear had get you all caught up on what has been going on with Prowler Aviation (and around the shop). I'll try to do these updates in smaller updates and post more of them - to prevent them from getting overly large. I'll also try to do the updates in chronological order when it works. But, I might group some related topics into updates and post it a little out of order - where it makes sense to do that.

To finish out this blog update, I'd like to catch you all up on some family news, both my personal family and the Prowler family. On the personal side, we have reached a new familial milestone. All the kids are officially "out of the house."

I reported on the oldest daughter in the last blog update in Nov 2020 that she purchased her 1st house and the work we did to get her set up there. She is still living happily in Superior, Montana. Last fall she attended Top Tier Academy and got certified as a Pet Dog Trainer, then started her own (new) business called "Superior K9". Things are going pretty well with the new business launch and she is building a great customer base.

The middle daughter is working on finishing her undergraduate degree in Math & Physics at Humboldt College in the Eureka/Arcata area in CA. Early on in her studies, I was able to help her a little with math and physics problems. But, in the last few semesters, I cannot help anymore..... because, now she's smarter than me! She's doing great in a Linear Math class, that I only remember getting a "D" in during my college days. I'm not sure if I should feel old, dumb or bested!?!? Mostly, I think I just feel proud that she is doing so well!

I have also reported on the youngest daughter in the past. She has gotten bitten by the flying bug and has taken up flying as a career choice. I last posted that she had passed her Private Pilot checkride and had started working on her instrument rating. Since that update she has passed her Instrument Rating, Commercial Single, CFI, and Multi-engine Rating checkrides. She has also gotten her tailwheel endorsement and some multi-engine float plane hours. Currently, she is living in Salt Lake City and working as an Instrument Fight Instructor at Randon Aviation located on the South Valley Regional Airport.

So, all the kids are doing great!

Now, for the Prowler family news.  There have been a few Prowler kits and airplanes that have changed hands that I have not reported in any blog updates yet. This includes 3 kits and/or aircraft: Kit #8, #13 and #14.

Kit #8 - This kit has not changed hands recently, but I have only recently "discovered" the location of this kit. The "Kit List" that I got from George many years ago, never had any owner listed for Kit #8. It was only within the past year that in a conversation with Bryan, that I "found" kit #8. It turns out that this kit was owned by Curt Hughes in N.C. You my recognize Curt as the owner of the original Prowler (I refer to it as Kit #01A). In fact, Curt owned the original Prowler and two additional kits (Kit #7 and Kit #8).

Bryan purchased his kit (Kit #7) from Curt quite some time ago - before we purchased Prowler aviation from George. Well, Bryan always assumed that I knew that Curt owned those two additional kits. I was only aware of the one that Bryan bought from him. So, during a passing conversation one day, Bryan referred to Curt selling the "other kit". Huh!?!? "What other kit," I asked. And, the ensuing discussion "caged my gyro" with respect to Kit #8.

Well, the next logical question that I asked was, "So, who owns Kit #8 now?" Bryan checked with Curt and it turns out that it is now owned by a gentleman in GA. I have not personally contacted the owner of Kit #8 yet - so I don't want to use his name until I know that he's OK with it. But, at least now, I have some contact info for this kit. That leaves only 1 original (George Morse produced) kit that I do not know the location of (Kit #2). It's last known location is Missoula, MT!

Kit #13 - This kit was most recently owned by Roy in Indiana. This past year, I was contacted several times by Mr. Vaughn Proffitt from Keller, TX asking about this kit, the Prowler airplane and my support. In late 2020, Vaughn and Roy came to an agreement and Vaughn moved the airplane to it's new home in his hangar in the Fort Worth area. In fact, here it is in Vaughn's hangar:
Since then, I have made several parts for Vaughn.  Here is a quick sample:
I will have more info on Vaughn, his project, his plans and the parts I have made for him in the blog updates that I will be working on over the next couple of months.  So, look for those in a future update.

Kit #14 - This kit was purchased new from George's Prowler Aviation and was built by Dr. Rogers and his son Steve Rogers in the Anchorage, AK area.  At some point, Dr. Rogers lost his medical, gave the airplane to Steve and hired George to move the airplane to Paine Field, north of Seattle in 2006.  In fact, here is a picture from that move:
I remember when this happened.  George told me that he was going to be gone for several weeks on a drive to AK.  I didn't even know that this was what he was doing!  Steve eventually completed the airplane and the 1st flight from Paine Field was done sometime around 2008 - I believe.  Here are some pics from that day:
I know that Steve hired someone to do this 1st flight.  I believe it was someone from the Reid-Hillview airport. 



After that, Steve flew the airplane a few times and worked on it quite a lot.  He did PSRU work and designed and built a new oil cooler system to name a few.  In the summer of 2019, Steve made a "life" decision and instead of trying to sell his Prowler, he ended up donating it to the Port Townsend Aero Museum in Port Townsend, WA.  So, Kit #14 has a new home there. 

Here is a link:  Port Townsend Aero Museum

The museum intends to do some repairs to the airplane and get it into full flying condition.  Then, it will remain on display there.  I hope to get up there to check it out, when the airplane is on display, sometime.

So, that will do it for this update.  I will start another blog update as soon as I publish this one and I hope to keep the updates coming every week, or so, until I get you all caught up on the status of Prowler Aviation.  Thanks!  See you again soon!

1 comment:

Steve Rogers said...

Nice summary of my ownership of Kit #14, Todd. Thanks for that. For what it's worth, I did hire "someone" to conduct the first flight: Bud Granley! That's a nice pic of me standing next to him in the cockpit after that first flight (my wife took those air-to-air photos from the back left seat of my C-310 - that was quite a day). There's more about this amazing man and pilot here:

http://budgranleyairshows.com/index.php/about

Cheers,
Steve