Afton Trip, December 1967

Just after Christmas of 1967 my father, his partner Bill Singleton, myself and a fourth pilot, went to Afton Wyoming to pick up three Callair B-1A's. Aero Commander had purchased Callair, and we were to fly some of the last unsold Callairs to Albany, Georgia. This trip resulted in some minor problems due to the winter weather.

Our first stop after departing Afton was Rock Springs, Wyoming. On approach there the aircraft my father was flying quit on short final and barely made it to the runway. After departing Rock Springs, we arrived at Rawlins, Wyoming after dark. Only one of these crop dusters had landing lights, and it wasn't mine. When I touched down at Rawlins, I drifted to the right a bit; unfortunately, they had only snow plowed down the center third of the runway. I hit the snow and nosed over; fortunately, I was not going fast enough to flip all the way over. The plane came to rest on the nose and main gears. The bigger problem though, was that my father was landing right behind me. He touched down, and went past-- he never even saw me, since he had no landing lights either!

On the way from Pine Buff, Arkansas to Greenville, Mississippi, we encountered some icing. The front windshield was iced over, but there were no aerodynamic problems and an empty crop duster can carry a large amount of ice. When we landed at Greenville they were having frozen rain and it was like landing on BBs. After touching down, my aircraft started sliding side ways by about 45 degrees. It was going straight down the runway but was not pointed that way. It finally straightened up and remained on the runway. At this point we gave up, rented a VW and drove back to Marianna.

De-icing the Mooney before departing Longmont, Colorado for Afton, Wyoming.

My father and I with the Mooney before departing Longmont, Colorado for Afton Wyoming.

Getting ready to depart Rawlins, Wyoming.

B-1A, N7299V serial number 10033, Total time 4hr, bent prop on night landing Dec 28, 1967, which was left in Rawlins Wyoming.