Originally published June 1992
Monday, 8 June 1992, 1730 hrs. Norm, my partner called me up and informed me that there were a couple of projects that needed surveillance in the California City area. This was important and I could tell by the tone in Norm's voice that he needed pizza. We jumped in Norm's truck and ran silent all the way to the Pizza Factory. After a few slices of the pepperoni and sausage pizza we began our stakeout in the Cal City area. We must've driven for 20 or 30 minutes looking for a homebuilt project. Actually we were looking for a specific residence. Norm needed a map. I hastily drew one up and we continued our quest to the residence of Bill Norton.
At 1900 hrs, we found Bill's house. Bill admitted he had a Long-EZ under construction so we read him his rights:
...You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be printed in the newsletter...If you wish to have an attorney present, you'll have to spring for it out of your own pocket 'cause we're broke...
Bill enticed us with a foolish bribe. "Would you like to see my plane," he said? We did, so I put the rights card back into my hip pocket.
Bill's Long-EZ is structurally just about done and his glass work is really good. So far, there's not much filler on the plane and it doesn't appear to need it much of it anyway. Bill spent a bunch of time getting his cores straight and smooth and his workmanship is obviously good as a result of his efforts. Right now he's busy installing the control systems and is looking for an engine. I don't think it'll take too much longer for him to get to his bird in the air.
At 2100 hrs we left Bill's place and decided to drop in on Rich Turner. At 2130 we found his place and parked the truck. All the lights were out in his house so we figured Rich was asleep. Norm knocked on the door anyway. We waited as the lights lit up each window in succession from the second floor to the door. Rich let us in. We headed directly for his garage.
Rich had just finished putting the rudder pedals and master cylinders in his Glasair. The installation was very nice with brakes on both the pilot's and passenger's side of the airplane. Progress is slow but it never stops so Rich ought to have an airplane by January (year unknown).
At 2150 hrs we let Rich get back to sleep and we headed back to our base (literally) of operations. On our way home we discussed the other project that recently arrived in the Antelope Valley--the BD-10. Norm managed to get a good look at it and I'm sure there'll be more news to report in a future episode of the Project Police Blotter.
Captions (Pick one)
1. I've got the strangest feeling I've been here before...
2. The gear WAS down! I just landed a tad short...two inches short...again.
3. See, I told you I didn't need that drag chute to get this sucker stopped.
The above captions were suggested by Scott Horowitz's ghost writer. Of course Scott hasn't a clue who this happens to be--[ed].
To get the full impact of the above cartoon you have to understand that a certain owner, builder, and pilot of an unmentioned Tri Q-200 discovered, once again, that Commander Murphy has been riding along in his airplane. This time, Murphy poked his nose into our pilot's business at the worst possible time [at what other time would Murphy be poking around?--ed]. During the landing of his Tri Q-200 at North Las Vegas, our pilot met Murphy about two inches short of the runway threshold. Where, by coincidence, there just happened to be a 6 in curb waiting to wipe the landing gear off any unsuspecting airplane. Well to make a long story short, the airplane survived but not without destroying a tire, tube, wheel, brake assembly and a wheel pant. When a rescue party arrived the next day with some spare parts, the airplane was repaired temporarily for a one-time flight back to Fox Field where it was rebuilt (again) and returned to fully mission capable status. Does anyone out there know someone who might have an anti-Murphy device?
Contents of The Leading Edge and these web pages are the viewpoints of the authors. No claim is made and no liability is assumed, expressed or implied as to the technical accuracy or safety of the material presented. The viewpoints expressed are not necessarily those of Chapter 1000 or the Experimental Aircraft Association.
Revised -- 27 April 1997