“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.
- 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 →
- 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!Continue reading →
- 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.
Continue reading →