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 Post subject: T-41A Quick Prep
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 6:29 pm 
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Hey All,
I posted some of this on a Cessna site, so I thought I would put it here as well. I know many of you will laugh at the process but it is a quick easy way to keep the airplane in the air and give it some of it's heritage back until a complete restoration can be done when I retire in 7 years, 11 months and 2 days. :lol:
I wanted a family airplane that my two boys could train in, go to airshows in, and I really would like to get with some guys in Central Florida and join or form an "Honor Flight" that would try and do fly overs for military funerals. It really bothers me that this was something that was done with regularity, and I witnessed a few, and now it can not be supported. The Secretary of Treasury in my house permitted me a very small budget for this idea, and how do you do a Warbird on a budget? Well by buying one of the most produced airplanes in the world. The Cessna 172.
I first bought Walt Schiel's book, T-41 Mescalero: The Military Cessna 172,and did some research. The AF bought 204 of these off the shelf in 1965 1966 and 1967 as the 172F,G and H models because after going to an all jet pilot training, T37 and T38, the AF found it was expensive and dangerous to wash candidates out using jets. With Vietnam ramping up a need for pilots, it made sense. The more powerful T-41B,C and D models have their own separate story. I would have to say I bought the most hated trainer in the inventory! The AF took the T-41A, and created a VERY rigid syllabus, just to see if the students could hack the basics! I expect that to be a funny source of conversation when I finally bring it to airshows. At first the T-41's were sent to private fields near the individual UPT base, and they were contracted to civilians with a few officers for over site. Students were bused from the base to the field.
My aircraft, N5113F, was originally at Laughlin AFB in near Del Rio Tx.
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Last edited by turninggrey on Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: T-41A Quick Prep
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:38 pm 
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The Air Force decided to give these airplanes N numbers with civil registration as well as a military serial number. Shiel's book lists all the A model N numbers and does a great job historically with the B,C and D models. I looked in Trade A Plane for months trying to find a T-41A hidden as a 172 with no luck. I do not know why, but one day I looked at 172's on Ebay and saw this airplane being advertised as a 172:
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I looked up the tail number and realized it was a T-41A, AND the bid period was about to expire in half an hour!! I had to do some really quick talking with the Secretary of the Treasury, and she gave me permission to bid as long as I promised to get rid of some boats :wink: and finish some projects. So I put in a bid for $27,000 and somehow I got it for $26,900. Imagine that. Buying an aircraft sight unseen, with no pre buy for $26,900. Pretty stupid right? Well it worked out great. The Sheriff's deputy I worked with, Dan Music was a great guy. Dan brought the airplane to the Sheriff's department in Highland County Oh, from Civil Air Patrol and as an IA with Airborne Express, he really babied the airplane over the years they had it. He stripped it down and zinc chromated the airplane, and had an excellent maintenance program documented for the airplane.The airplane needed an annual, so Dan and I decided to let another IA do the job and it passed with flying colors, so I flew up to Ohio to pick it up. Dan on left, me on right.
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 Post subject: Re: T-41A Quick Prep
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:11 pm 
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So the aircraft had gone to Laughlin in 1965 and stayed there until all T-41A training was solidified at Hondo AFB TX in 1973. The T-41s served at Hondo until 1993. That is roughly when the Ohio Civil Air Patrol acquired this aircraft.
The Civil Air Patrol upgraded the aircraft with a backup vacuum system, a heated pitot tube, dual KX155 radios one with GS, a modern intercom and beacon,an ADF, and a few other doo dads. N5113F participated in numerous SAR and ES adventures, and I am trying to track down that history right now. At the Sheriff's department, the aircraft has a history of numerous drug busts, gun busts, hot pursuit, reconnaissance, and participated in the operation to catch the Ohio highway sniper:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/2004/03/16 ... spect.html

I had not flown a Cessna for years when I went to pick it up, and I did not have to fly the T-41 when I went through UPT because at the time (1989) that was waived if you had a Private Pilot's licence, so I missed the Hondo experience. I figured that I would go up with Dan for a few patterns, but that was not to be. A lot of locals from Hillsboro Ohio were very attached to the plane for sentimental reasons, and a small crowd had formed with local dignitaries, a WWII mustang pilot, the local flying club, the Sheriff etc. I was trying hard to conclude the financials and make sure the paperwork was right, then I realized, they were waiting for me to zoom off for the photo op. I did have 500+ hours in the 172 from years back, and I was legal due to my ATP and company annual counting as a bi annual, so I did a good walk around with Dan, jumped in, fired it up following the checklist closely and zoomed off.
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After the uncomfortable few moments of trying to get the gear up, :lol: it all worked out fine until I landed in Tennessee. The less said about that, the better. I had a great trip home to Bartow Airport, near Lakeland and Winter Haven Fl.


Last edited by turninggrey on Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: T-41A Quick Prep
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:30 pm 
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I flew out of Laughlin a few years back, a media flight in a new T-6 Texan II.
Navigation was easy, just stay on the correct side of the river.
After spending a lot of time around SAC bases, the field looked awfully short.

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 Post subject: Re: T-41A Quick Prep
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:52 pm 
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The great thing about Bartow, is that it was a USAF pilot training base. It has lots of vacant buildings and the feel of a 50's and 60's base. That was before my time, but my Dad was a Navy pilot, and I grew up on bases like Bartow, so I guess it's sentimental.
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Anyhoo, I was able to get a hangar, and my kids and I started to strip the Sheriff vinyl, which I hated doing because it was great having those markings on the airplane. The few times we flew it with them we had a few funny situations and we could act clandestine.
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When the AF first painted the airplane it made sense to go with bare aluminum. But as you shiny aircraft owners know, that can be time consuming and they start looking a little rough if you do not polish them:
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The AF started painting panels the standard silver/grey as time and maintenance went on and the black on the top was a little hot for southern pilot training bases. The USAF Academy had T-41C's by this time, and they were having the same problem. There were some pretty rough looking T-41's.
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Eventually, they painted the fleet with this paint scheme that most folks are familiar with:
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 Post subject: Re: T-41A Quick Prep
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:58 pm 
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JohnB wrote:
I flew out of Laughlin a few years back, a media flight in a new T-6 Texan II.
Navigation was easy, just stay on the correct side of the river.
After spending a lot of time around SAC bases, the field looked awfully short.

I know that was fun. What a great airplane!


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 Post subject: Re: T-41A Quick Prep
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:26 pm 
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I love the white paint scheme, but remember I said price was a big factor? Air Force Manual T.O. 1-1-4 called for the aircraft to be painted "silver/grey" in federal color 16473. Deputy Dan Music had given me the spare can of Imron he used, and when I cross referenced the paint and the federal spec, it was a match. Most of the airplane was already painted to AF specs, all I needed to do to was paint out the black on the sides, and add black to the top, and I would have a 1970 paint job. Here is what I am shooting for. This one is on display at Vance AFB where I went to UPT, and is 2 numbers off mine:

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So here is the grey:
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And then things got interesting with the black.

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I had never used the vinyl stencils, and did not realize how.....perfect things needed to be. I got some correctable rivet and vinyl crease overspray, and it was a great learning experience, and I loved the price, but it is not show quality. I am really fine with it, and can certainly live with it until I do a complete paint after retirement. I may go to the white at that time.

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 Post subject: Re: T-41A Quick Prep
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:08 pm 
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I especially had trouble with the "service panel" stencil because of all the small letters, as well as taping the area around the windshield. Since the pics above, I removed the old yellow N numbers on the tail, removed the nose wheel fairing, and I am ready to put on the decals. I have never done the soapy water thing, so I have a buddy who has ready to help out. I ordered the wing stars and bars and USAF as well as the US AIR FORCE for the sides and the ATC emblem.
I left the black check mark on the tail in hopes that it might be overlooked as a Wing or Squadron marking, simply because I did not want to repaint the entire tail. It kind of reminds me of the check mark I had on these airplanes when I first started out.

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I also left the black tips on the wings and tail because I can do those later when I have the time. I will post more pics as the project progresses.
Tom


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 Post subject: Re: T-41A Quick Prep
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:23 am 
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Here it is with faring removed about to get decals.
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Here are some patches associated with the airplane:
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 Post subject: Re: T-41A Quick Prep
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:52 am 
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My CAP squadron in Tallahassee, FL flew one of those T-41As for a number of years, N5129F. We were supposed to get it with an overhauled engine, but we got one with a 2/3 run-out and hail damage to the wings. The gyro horizon was also installed tilted. After one of our members (at the time - President of the Florida Senate) raised heck with the AF, they paid for having all corrected. Otherwise, it was a great aircraft to fly, and put a number of hours in it on SAR and Sundown Patrol off the N FL coast) missions.

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 Post subject: Re: T-41A Quick Prep
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:14 am 
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Old SAR pilot wrote:
My CAP squadron in Tallahassee, FL flew one of those T-41As for a number of years, N5129F. We were supposed to get it with an overhauled engine, but we got one with a 2/3 run-out and hail damage to the wings. The gyro horizon was also installed tilted. After one of our members (at the time - President of the Florida Senate) raised heck with the AF, they paid for having all corrected. Otherwise, it was a great aircraft to fly, and put a number of hours in it on SAR and Sundown Patrol off the N FL coast) missions.

Hey Bob,
Do you have any pics of that plane? I am trying to start a semi official tracking of the remaining aircraft. That one is de registered in Florida right now. That one was also an original Laughlin AFB aircraft.


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 Post subject: Re: T-41A Quick Prep
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 6:44 am 
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Only "pics" I have are from a local newspaper, and not of the best quality (38+ year old news print). ill try and make a legible copy & ship to your email address.

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 Post subject: Re: T-41A Quick Prep
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:16 am 
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I finally clicked on this thread and I'm really glad I did.
Awesome :supz:
Having fun with your boys, with the approval of the Secretary of the treasury. :lol:

I always said that if anyone didn't like the way my aeroplane looked, then that was their problem, as I was having way too much fun flying it!
Enjoy the whole process.

Congrats!

Andy


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 Post subject: Re: T-41A Quick Prep
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:54 am 
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This thread knocked down a few cob webs. In Jan thru March of 1973, I flew T-41's out of DM to Amarillo. Tradewind Aviation won the contract to refurbish the airplanes to airworthy status plus new avionics. As I recall, there were about 38 of them we ferried that were destined for CAP units. I didn't fly your airplane, but delivered N5111F along with several others. 11F is in the picture at Vance above. We usually took 12 at a time departing in flights of four. I'm sure your airplane was in the gaggle if it was in the CAP. Only had minor difficulties except for one that had an engine quit. He managed a landing at an airport near Salt Flat. It was safely retrieved that afternoon after it was discovered that the paper air filter had collapsed and clogged up the air intake to the carb. The funny part was the pilot had decided not to wear a parachute. When he called Lead to report he was going down, one of the guys he had been kidding about chutes radioed: "Hey Nutz, wanna buy a parachute?" I'm glad to see you are putting new life in the airplane. Hope to run into you at an Airshow sometime. JR


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 Post subject: Re: T-41A Quick Prep
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:02 pm 
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Hey JR,
Here is a CAP newspaper talking about the airplanes transferred to CAP:
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