“Charlie” is a 1947 Stinson aircraft that is operated by Aimee and Jason as they travel, train, and have adventures in flying. This page will detail the story of Charlie as Aimee and Jason spend time in the air and as her caretaker.

Posts will be made of adventures, challenges, triumphs, and just cool moments with Charlie. We promise to update this with as much information as we can about this vintage aircraft and as much enjoyable flying she affords us.

A few interesting/useful documents related to the Stinson aircraft –

Franklin Aircraft Engines – Model 6A4-150-B3, B31, & 6A4-165-B3 Inspection, Maintenance, and Overhaul Instructions

Owner’s Operating Manual Stinson 108-1 1947 Voyager 150

Franklin 335 Operators Instructions – Model 6A4-150-B3, B31, & 6A4-165-B3

General Service Manual – Stinson Model 108 Series Airplanes

Larry Westin’sThe Stinson 108 Voyager and Flying Station Wagon Page – A fantastic resources of all kinds of reference documents any Stinson 108 owner would want to find.

Check this page periodically to see their travels with Charlie.

  • Just some random Stinson flying videos from September 2022
  • Charlie visits with other Stinsons…

    Aimee and I took the opportunity this year to bring Charlie to visit with some other Stinsons (and their caretakers) a the 2022 Stinson Summit in Quincy, Il. After a quick flight over from 35D to KBTL to finish up a checkride, we set out toward a stopping point in Pontiac, IL for a gas stop and a stretch of the legs.

    The flight from KBTL to KPNT and then on beyond to KUIN was directly into the sun. I couldn’t help but feel like an idiot when it took me about 2 hours of flying directly into the western sun in 85 degrees with the windows open to realize I had a hat on the back seat that would shield my eyes from the brightness!

    Slightly bump all the way, the flight was a great time for Aimee and I to hang out together on what was within a few days of our 5 year anniversary of both being married, and of buying Charlie.

    A pretty cool way to spend the time and commemorate a few years that have gone by if you ask me.

    Charlie seemed to agree and purred along the way nicely as we travelled over the scenic landscape of corn in Illinois that was only a few weeks from being cut and feeding our next year of people, livestock, and all the products that come from such a wide expanse of farmland.

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  • A little night currency, and another annual in the books for Charlie

    With a forecast of a week of lousy flying weather ahead, it was a calm evening before the storm to take advantage of for a little night currency with Charlie. It didn’t take long for this, the second flight after a return from her annual in mid-March.

    Always getting later in the summer, the opportunity to reset a night tailwheel currency (and ASEL) is a little more palatable to me the older I get when it is at 9pm instead of 11pm or later in the middle of the summer up here!

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  • Charlie Travels and a Bath

    Its always better when you get to fly to work, right?

    Well, Charlie let me do that for 4 days this past week thankfully.

    The weather behaved, checkrides were scheduled and got to happen as planned, and timing made sense to go to them via air instead of driving on those road things to get the work done.

    It’s always better to get to fly in Charlie when I am headed to airports anyway. Plus, I am sure it saved me a bunch of time over the week instead of driving. Plus, no traffic in my way!

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  • Back to Service from the Annual for a Summer Flying Season

    A quick post-maintenance flight home from the annual, and Charlie rests again in her hangar ready for another season of flying. Nothing major on the annual this time, just a little welding on some cracks on the exhaust before she went back together.

    Looking forward to Charlie joining me and being my transportation to a few upcoming practical tests!

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  • Charlie for Some [Cold] Flights!

    After much work from some great friends who worked the maintenance hiccups, I have now had three successful, albeit cold, flight with Charlie and I in the last week. Phew!

    Time for us to start venturing out again and sharing adventures on practical tests, for lunch [probably in Indiana for a while yet since Michigan still is a Gestapo state], or just for some fun local flying.

    We even managed to get night-tailwheel current together not long after this picture was taken on a chilly Michigan evening after I flew over to another airport for some instrument currency with a friend.

    I will say the next project though, will be to add a little form door sealing to make these flights just a bit drafty.

    Looking forward to getting back in the air again with frequency in Charlie!

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  • RTS Charlie

    Dateline 6-7-2020 – 1 Year to the Day Charlie had a “Hiccup”.

    Happily, after much work, Charlie has returned to her hangar after some successful flight tests, after much work!

    A freshly overhauled carburetor (that really seemed to need it by the amount of crap that was found in it and the sticky float), 5 cylinders off and reworked, and multiple attempts at working intake leads that went with all this work and it was time to again try to bring Charlie back home.

    A friend picked me up with his Stinson and we headed down to KBEH where we arrived to find that one of our fellow pilots down there (under the guidance of our mechanic) was doing one more test flight before we got there. Charlie was currently level at 10,000 MSL and headed back home!

    Escorted home from KBEH to 35D, fellow Stinson owner and friend Bruce managed to capture a picture in the air with Lake Michigan in the background, proving that flight did again happen for Charlie. Even better, with me successfully at the controls again.

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  • Charlie Visits a New Airport, Stays a Bit, and is Getting a Little Maintenance.

    Sometimes, it’s better to put a plane on the ground.

    It can be a hard decision, but on a recent Friday it was the exact right decision.

    Flying around for the afternoon with a friend in Charlie, we found ourselves near a beautiful grass strip (24M) northwest of Grand Rapids, MI when we experienced a loss of power.

    It wasn’t a big loss, only a couple hundred RPM. But Charlie just wouldn’t push full power anymore.

    She was still running smooth and a quick check of carb heat and magnetos showed no change. But something just felt wrong. So, being by an airport, we made a landing and gave it a little more run up on the ground to try to see if anything else could be identified.

    It couldn’t.

    Getting late in the day and with no problem solution immediately available, we started calling friends for a ride back home after deciding to leave Charlie for at least one overnight of camping at a new airport.

    While we waited for a ride, we were greeted by a resident of the airport who was extremely helpful, even getting Charlie a spot in a hangar on the field the next day for us as I worked to get back to Charlie with a mechanic to see what we could find. Aviation really is a pretty special community. When someone needs help, I have with extreme rare occasions not found it readily offered when available.

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  • RTS with an April Fools Day Annual – Charlie Flies into 2019….

    RTS – Returned to Service Charlie.

    Well, winter is long in Michigan, and there is no rush to get an annual done when you drop the plane off to your mechanic at the end of January and it is just going to snow another month. So…we finally got it all done with an April 1 sign off for this flying season. The weather, my free time, and a relenting from the cold I have been fighting finally cooperated and let me go bring Charlie home for this season’s flying efforts.

    Nothing too major was wrong, a couple of new cylinder studs, a new set of spark plugs all around just for good measure, a fuel selector seal replacement, a modification to remove one more reoccurring AD to name a few minor tweaks to go with a GLASS panel (kind of) upgrade. You can see it down in the bottom left of the panel.

    A new Dynon D3 digital attitude and heading indicator serves as a replacement for the formerly inoperative heading indicator that I had and I also chose to remove the gyro attitude indicator. Both of these were venturi driven instruments and not completely reliable, so, for this VFR only airplane the Dynon box offers a digital option that would also have a backup battery option in the event of an electrical failure.

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  • Charlie Checkrides (2018)…

    Why drive when you can fly? Especially when you are going to an airport anyway!

    I didn’t do it every time I could over the past year, but one of the reasons we bought Charlie was to make the travel between airport easier when I was conducting FAA practical tests.

    Like any good pilot, I kept logs, and tracked what I did. Well, not only as a pilot, but so I could also give the data to my accountant at the end of the year to see if any of the costs associated with travel to and from practical tests could be leveraged for any taxiing benefits also. You can deduct mileage, why not flight time, right? Well, at least some of the costs can be he tells me. But I digress.

    Curious what the total at the end of the year would be, I tallied it up, graphed it, and found that Charlie and I spent a little time together over the year!

    Totaling over 34 hours and travelling over 1600 miles, Charlie spirited me across the Michigan, and even a little Indiana, countryside from above to where I provided my services as a FAA Designated Pilot Examiner.

    The only drawback, when you fly to an airport it is hard to run out at lunch and get some food…I expect if I tried to taxi to a nearby deli or restaurant with Charlie it wouldn’t go unnoticed or be very successful.

    I know that the use of the aircraft saved time over the travels of the year. In some cases, it was the catalyst that allowed more than one test to take place in the same day due to the reduced travel time between two airports that were a significant distance apart. Aircraft are truly time machines.

    Oh, and they are just darn fun to fly also. So, with that said, and without getting too esoteric here, Charlie gave me a year with some rather enjoyable transits.

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