“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.

  • Before the winds, Charlie returns from annual.

    Catching a late afternoon opportunity to get some clear skies and lower winds, before they are going to ramp up for a few days again, Charlie came home from her annual inspection.

    A new beacon on the tail, she had little else to address this year thankfully (for her and me!)

    A quick half-hour flight back, it was a little bumpy and both of us were happy to be back on the ground and Charlie back in her hangar.

    Now it’s spring flying season, and I plan to travel to as many places as possible┬áthat make sense with Charlie over the next few months. If you happen to have a checkride coming up, don’t be surprised if I arrive with Charlie.

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  • Annual Time for Charlie Again

    ‘Tis the time for Charlie to get her yearly checkup again. Taking advantage of some of the nice spring weather on April Fool’s day, Charlie got warmed up and we headed out to drop her off for the annual inspection efforts.

    While I must admit, I didn’t take her flying as much as I should have this past year, we did have a good year together!

    I couldn’t help but take the opportunity along the way for the short flight to drop in for a quick landing at another local grass strip. I mean, it was on the way, right?

    An upgraded beacon will be installed this year, but other than that, I (and hopefully Charlie) are hoping or an uneventful annual inspection this year and a return to flying soon for the spring flying season.

    The flight up was ahead of some weather coming in, but managed to beat it and get Charlie settled into the hangar before it started to rain.

    A special thanks to Jeff Ostrander who caught a pretty cool couple of pictures of Charlie as I came in to land (with a bit of a wind I might add on her nose) on the grass runway at Lowell.

    The good news is he made my landing look better than it probably was.

    Back to pick you up soon Charlie!

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  • 2023 Stinson Summit KUIN-9I0-KUIN Flight N8935K

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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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