“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 –
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.
- 2023 Stinson Summit KUIN-9I0-KUIN Flight N8935K
- 9I0 – One of the Coolest Little Grass Strips Around…
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit one of the coolest little grass strips I have been to in a long time!
While attending the Stinson Summit in Quincy, IL, the attendees took Saturday morning to head out to 9I0 for a traditional pancake breakfast hosted by their EAA chapter. I gotta say, the pancakes were pretty darn good, but the sausages were amazing. I might have eaten a couple more than I should, but our 150HP 1947 Stinson, Charlie, still managed to get us back off the ground and back to Quincy after breakfast.
A unique “tower” adorns the top of the terminal building that allows pilots to climb up the stairs and sit and look out over the airport and the corn fields that surround it. There can be few more peaceful places to sit and sip a cup of coffee in the morning, even if no other aircraft happen to arrive while you are there.
When it comes to services, when is the last time you have seen a grass runway airport that offers 100LL 24/7 self-serve fuel? Or allows you to camp with your airplane and provide a camp fire pit with stock of wood?
A fully equipped kitchen is there for your use, hangars and tie-downs are available, and there is a large conference room. Want to have an aircraft picnic? Well, there is a pavilion and grass grills for that.
They even have on-site a 7-passenger van crew car!
Charlie even got to hang with a new friend while we hung out with fellow Stinson pilots and the local Havana EAA 1420 chapter members. These folks are definitely doing good work in the aviation community keeping the spirit flying strong here.
I don’t know what it is, but I always feel like our Stinson likes hanging out on a grass strip more than on a pavement ramp surrounded by new whiz-bang jet-type planes. It feels like Charlie belongs in places like this more often and begrudgingly acquiesces my flying endeavors that bring her to more modern places. Perhaps as pilots, we should take hints from our planes and go to places like this more often. For our souls and for theirs.
The airport has a great story and continues to do pretty cool things that go well beyond providing a great grass strip with services found at few others. Some of the coolest things they do there is turn all the lights off on well-planned nights to offer dark sky viewing events in the middle of Illinois corn country. A place where little light pollution exits when the local lights are turned off and you just might see more of the Milky Way than you have ever seen before.
Check out this gem of an airport at: https://www.havanaregionalairport.com/ to learn some more. And if you happen to be flying by in your aircraft, and it is suitably able to operate out of a 2200′ grass strip with super clear approaches on either end, drop in and say hello, walk around, and enjoy this special place.Continue reading →
- Reset that Night Currency Charlie
Sometimes, you just need to get out and fly a bit for fun.
With a non-committed morning ahead of me and an opportunity to sleep in, it was a good night to take Charlie for a spin and reset some tailwheel and single-engine night currency.
A little trip to to the lakeshore with a good friend riding along let us see the last of the sun leftovers drip away as we scooted along the Lake Michigan Shoreline and then into Holland for a couple full stop taxi-back landings before then heading back to Allegan.
You can’t get much better than a smooth ride in a 76 year old aircraft along the shoreline as the last of the light fades and brings on the night in the summer. Thanks for helping reset the night currency Charlie!
Continue reading →
- Mid-Life Annual, Checkup, and Return to Service for Charlie
Charlie returned home today after what I am kind of thinking of as a “mid-life checkup. This year’s annual we dug in a little deeper than most require, did a couple upgrades, and generally tried to make sure her mid-life checkup didn’t have any major hiccups. The goal is to keep being good caretakers of this now 76-year-old chariot of the sky!
I was pretty happy to get reacquainted with her and spend a little time in the air between some low ceilings and afternoon rain as she delivered me back home. I tucked her into a freshly swept hangar that had been empty for a little over a month in her absence.
But that month wasn’t because the mechanics working on her were sitting idle. This annual inspection included a bit of work.Continue reading →
- Off to the Annual for Charlie. TLC efforts underway.
After an icy-slushy crusty mix of weather the day before, it was time to take advantage of a few hours of good afternoon weather and a dried-off runway to get Charlie to where her annual inspection will happen this year.
Avoiding the Grand Rapids Class C airspace, I navigated over to the 24C airport in what is likely the last flight in Charlie for me for a few months. It was chilly, but I will miss her for a bit while she gets some TLC for the next flying year.
Charlie is going to come out with some new tires, VGs, and a new cowling from this year to freshen some things up and get her ready for a few more years of flying, hopefully with me!
We are treating this annual as a good mid-life checkup for Charlie and making sure everything isn’t just “legal”, but the goal is to reinvest a bit into her as a member of our family so we can have more years of flying fun ahead.
Ok, Charlie, behave well for the mechanic folks, and see you soon.Continue reading →
- 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.Continue reading →
- 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!Continue reading →
- 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!
Continue reading →
- 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!
Continue reading →