Thursday 24 Mar 2016
by Ben Gay III
Thank you for your input.
Sorry for your experience, but based on the comments you made, you came after the "good days" and during the "Roland Nocera era," which was the reason(s) I left about 3 years before the end.
As you'll see from almost all of the comments before yours, there was a better time. Much better. Sorry you missed it!
Not knowing you and not wanting to get into a "tit for tat," let me just state that, if WPP went to South America after the crash, he went without his teeth, his major bones, and any money.
All the best!
Ben Gay III
Construction number: 124-48279
Saturday 13 Feb 2016
by Sylvia Dee
Blast from the past! I spent 2 years of my 45 years in Corporate America at Holiday Magic. I spent a day on the Principia and I also spent a day up to the "ranch."
The whole organization (or lack of)was absolutely bizzare, run by a bunch of frat boys with not a business degree among them. But they had a Phd in pyramid schemes. I saw Roy Clemans wrote in. Remember the Retail Blitz Contest that Kay White dreamed up? Sell $1,000 worth of product and win a big, new 1973 color TV. Well, the distributors had learned well. They sold the same $1,000 worth of product to another distributor and another distributor, etc. We had more winners than bunnies in the rabbit hutch. White rescinded the contest. No payoff.
The Excalibur was orange, very flashy with no substance underneath, a metaphor for the whole business.
I remember when Bingham at an airshow in Sacramento flew one of Bill's antique planes into the Farrell's Ice Cream Shop on a Saturday afternoon killing 22 adults and children. Nocera herded us into the warehouse Monday morning to brief us with his spin.
The hand writing was on the wall. The SEC was moving in. A bunch of us had dinner together to contemplate our futures when the company would no doubt fold. Cliff said the only way Bill could get out of this mess was to fake his death and go to South America. A week later, WPP's famous accident.
A couple weeks after that Cliff was called at home Saturday morning by a flunky to go immediately to Gnoss Field where a plane was waiting to take him to the ranch. He complied and was taken to Nocera in the Hacienda and it was suggested in true Joisey Boy style that Cliff refrain from voicing his theory since he had such a lovely wife and young sons.
A couple of days later, Cliff went to the safe in now deceased WPP's office to retrieve documents for the Feds and the Legal Department and found two flawless diamonds. He pocketed the diamonds and had a ring made for himself and one made for his lovely wife.
And they're making a movie? Maybe they could use some scenes from "Wolf of Wall Street" to save money.
Monday 08 Feb 2016
by Ed Hamil
I worked at Eddie Fischer Flying Service from 1971-1974 at Fairfax Airport in Kansas City, KS. This airport is now non-existent and is in fact a GM Automotive Assembly Plant. Eddie Fischer hired me to wash and degrease the planes on the ramp and wax on both of his P51's that he kept in his hanger. Eddie and all the other pilots and mechanics used to call me "Little Eddie" (I earned my Private Pilots License while working for him in high school @ $1.75 hr. Eddie would run up both P51's frequently and his partner, Ron Reynolds a TWA 747 Captain based out of NYC would come in occasionally to fly one or the other P51's and actually took me flying in the rear seat that was in one of them that was in polished aluminum. Eddie had several mechanics at the time that may have log books on repairs that will totally solve the registration numbers. One was named Charlie Lord and the other was Gerald (Jerry)(last name escapes me). Who took me and my date on my H.S. Senior Prom in a Cessna 401 over the Kansas City skyline that he flew for a person name Gottlieb. Eddie was a great guy and would be pleased at the interest in his "babies". My flight instructor was Ronald Simmons (Ron), who taught me to fly for free provided I ALWAYS keep his Red colored MG car waxed at all times! Thank you for allowing me to share my early aviation memories! Great times!
Monday 01 Feb 2016
by Brian Ash
Wow... This brings back memories in actuality Dr.Cooper at one time owned 2,P-51s A red one and a blue one in his 10 aircraft inventory. I'm the son of Rolly Ash who owned the white and red staggerwing parked in the hanger across for him and he was also my orthodontist too!I remember playing 3rd base at Hoover Jr high and watching him in the distances practice with Marv Green. When he was coming out of a loop then nothing...... smoke, I remember throwing my mite on the ground and started crying, and when my coach yelled whats wrong and I said Dr.Cooper just crashed. When I told my mom she said I was crazy you will see him tomorrow at your appointment, but there was a NOTE of the front door of his office. One day at my moms we were going threw old photos when I came across the article of Clyde Parsons crash article. My dad was a good friend of Clydes and we used to visit he and his wife in Modesto where we got rides in the Great Lakes and walk around with a 410 shooting the ciders that were burrowing holes in his so called runway . Oh the story I remember, most is my birthday present ride my dad got me in the blue P-51...... don't stick your finger in the hole in the canopy you my loose it. I remember Miss Merced falling off the jack and putting a hole in the left fuel tank before Modesto flying Inn. That fly ing was the first time I met Darrel Greenamyer in his white bearcat, right after he went for the world speed record. Bud Fountain Skip Volk, and all those guy were all great guys and was a great part of my life. Anybody remember Frank Sanders popping a tire when he landed at the fly Inn....this was after his death and his crash at the Mojave 1000. Oh the times my bother and I spent hours playing like we were flying in formation... in that HOT MERCED SUN.
Thursday 03 Dec 2015
by Robin Foote
Mike - I remember your Dad well from the Canadian Warplane Heritage days in the late 70's early 80's. He and my Dad, Dick Foote knew each other well as my Dad had a P-51 for many years. I used to fly in the shows with myDad in my T-6 or one of our Tora planes and he flew his Wildcat. I'll never forget sitting in the grass one night at the CWH show along with your Dad and just having a great conversation about how fortunate we were to fly these great airplanes and how much I reminded him of you. He spoke so proudly of you. He was a very great guy -a true "Man's Man" that belied a very sensitive, kind man underneath. Glad to have been able to share this with you. Robin
Monday 30 Nov 2015
by nev dalton
this could be Gordon plaskett with Barbara in rear seat.
Thursday 26 Nov 2015
by Judy Ann Skarda-Wright
I am really thankful to finally learn what happened to "my name sake" P-51, "Judy Ann"! My father was a Navy pilot in WWII, and years later, a member of the Confederate Airforce. He had a magazine one time that had a picture of this P-51 with her name, "Judy Ann".....I thought it was really a great thing I had a plane "named after" me....hahahahahah! Over the years, I have often thought of that little plane, and I have looked for what ever happened to her.....my brother (a corporate pilot) told me he had heard the little plane had crashed.....I really didnt want to believe it.....but I guess "my" P-51 "Judy Ann, has indeed met her demise!
I was hoping that picture above was when she was named "Judy Ann"....but I cant make the name out on the nose.... If anyone knows where I can get a picture of that little warrior from WWII, with the name Judy Ann on her nose, I would love to know where I can get one!
Judy Ann Skarda-Wright
Saturday 14 Nov 2015
by Chris Jones
Was too excited when I found this to mention my dads name. James M Jones. He was a Hellcat ace in WW2, went into crop dusting after the war and owned this plane for a brief period. People have told me stories about the impromptu "air shows" he would put on some sundays. He said selling this plane was one of the biggest mistakes he ever made but at the time fuel was too expensive at 8 cents a gallon haha.
Saturday 14 Nov 2015
by Chris Jones
WOW. My dad was one of the owners of this plane. I have a picture of this plane on my wall.