Update From Idaho & The Great Chipmunk Adventure!

(L-R) Matt Jolley, Harry Schoning, Richard Laumeyer

WARBIRD RADIO – What a trip!  The best part is…it’s only day one.  I landed in Jackson Hole, WY yesterday afternoon and Harry Schoning picked me up.  The rain and storms were moving in.  No Chipmunk flying today (or so we thought).  After a trip into town to buy a few hunting permits the weather settled down and I received my first taste of high altitude Chipmunk flying.  The field elevation in Driggs is around 6200ft.  But that didn’t stop the little “chippie”.  We flew around and shot a few landings then it was off to dinner.  Harry’s wife served up a delicious French casole and I promptly went to bed.  I knew today was going to be a real workout.

At 06:00 the sun was up…and Harry was already on his first cup of coffee.  We were flying before 08:00.  After several hours in the air with Harry (a former RCAF F-86 driver and retired airline Captain) Dick Laumeyer showed up for my official lesson and checkout.  Dick flew A4’s in the Navy and like Harry retired from the airlines.  Today Dick flys around in a C-185 and a beautiful old SNJ.  We flew for an hour or so…working on touch-n-goes and air work.  The Chipmunk is a wonderful trainer.  I see now why Harry loves it so much.  The airplane he owns today is the actual airplane he trained in during his RCAF days.  It’s truly a treasure and a real joy to fly.

After lunch at the Warbirds Cafe it was time to fly again.  This time we took up a British Chipmunk.  The canopys are the most notable difference.  The British version has a green house style and the Candanian model has the bubble.  Both are truly terrific airplanes.  It was during this flight that the wind began to blow.  We took advantage of the opportunity and I was able to get in a few crosswind landings.  All in all a perfect day.

We then toured the Driggs airport.  The airshow act Mig Fury Fighters is based here.  While touring their facility I looked up and Dale Snodgrass walked in.  I couldn’t believe it!  He’s flying their new F-86 to Oshkosh.  After hearing some stories and admiring the airplanes it was time to head for the house.  As I write this I can hear the jets buzzing around.  Dale and friends must be having some fun…  Tomorrow we leave for Lethbridge and the Alberta International Airshow!  After Canada we’re traveling on to Oshkosh.  I’ll be sure to post more tomorrow.  See you soon.


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