Hello

The source for references and discussion on all types & marques of this Grumman amphibian: photos, plans, manual pages & documents.

Hello

Postby MSPIES » Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:56 pm

A new member here but long time Mallard guy. As a kid growing up at Lakefront airport I spent many of my days helping out or getting in the way on J49 N300S with my Dad Claude Spies, my name is Mark and like my dad I became an A&P. There maybe some members that would remember me. My Dad had a love for all the Grumman's he worked on N111W N200S and N300S . We were talking last night about Frakes when they did the conversion. He 88 now and mind is sharp but the body is not. He wanted me to tell everyone Hello and he talks about all the guys that made his time in aviation special. He has turned over most of his Mallard stuff to me to carry on. My Dad....was one of the best.

Mark Spies
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Re: Hello

Postby MrWidgeon » Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:11 pm

Hi Mark, Welcome Aboard.
Your Dad must have come along after my Dad quit flying for McDermott and I quit hanging out (as much) at Lakefront Airport.
That would have been in the early 1960s and I didn't start hanging out there again until the early 1970s after I got out of the Army and after the Mallards had moved off the field.
If he worked on N111W he knew the Potters and probably Jack Horel.
I have a couple slides of N300S you may have not seen, send me a PM and we can set up comms. about it.

Bill Bailey (aka Mr. Widgeon)
In water flying attitude is everything
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Re: Hello

Postby MSPIES » Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:25 am

Bill,
My Dad was at Chevron before he went over to Freeport I am guessing around 67 68. He did contract work for Mr Jack when he was with Ingram and Gulf. I worked for Mr Potter and George Jr over in Bell Chase and at Southern Seaplane where 111W was. Buddy also had a Duck in the shop we worked on also.The Horel's lived one street over when I was young. I worked with Mr Jack's son Paul when I was on the Customs contract, Paul was working out of Pensacola at that time. As a kid Lakefront airport was my get away. I worked for PanAir ,Aero Services, Mr Paul at Mobile, Mr Rudy S who shard the hanger with Freeport. Mr Bob was chief pilot and Trap co-pilot. Mr Al worked along the side of my dad and flew co-pilot at times. Joe and Chuck were there also. Some of the guys from Chevron would come over and work contract when they needed more help. Special times with special people. But it all has changed...I still go out to where the hanger was ,nothing but the electric box on the corner by what was the sea wall. Would not change a thing growing up out there.
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Re: Hello

Postby MrWidgeon » Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:24 am

Mark,
I was hanging out at KNEW from the mid 1950s to about 1962 when my Dad retired from McDermott.
Then again from the early 70s to when I left NOLA & moved to Seattle in 1980.
I know a lot of the names you mention Bob, Al Trapanni and Rudy Spremich (who I haven't thought of in years), the Potters were still operating out of the small shop next to PanAir's hangar.
They had another Widgeon hull in back and the Duck in a side room that was usually off limits.
Joe & Chuck I don't think I know, but I didn't know hardly anyone from CHEVRON except Pat Donahue (wrench & pilot), who I knew from back when we both worked for different FBOs out there.
I worked for PanAir/Aero Services (all under one company then) in the early/mid 1970s a couple times.
Agreed, it was a Special Time for a Grumman nut with a lot of Widgeons from various companies, PanAir's Gooses and Freeport's & TEXACO's Mallards (& Freeport's Goose was still out there too).
Not to mention all the PBYs at PanAir and Howards, Learstars and and other big Executive twins that came & went.
The LAANG still had A-26s in their big hangar when I first started hanging out there.
There were so many more I can't remember them all.

Bill
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Re: Hello

Postby MSPIES » Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:34 pm

Bill,
Pat Donahue flew for Freeport when Bob retired . I remember around 69 Pan Air was doing some work on a PBY that Freeport was sending to Indonesia and fly out of Darwin Australia. Bob and my Dad went over and that summer we were going to move there for the summer but project ended sooner that thought.
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Re: Hello

Postby MSPIES » Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:55 pm

Image

Patch off my Dads jacket.
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Re: Hello

Postby MSPIES » Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:01 pm

Image

The Trapanni's have a restaurant in Bay Saint Louis and flying up stairs is 300S. I also have a wood model not as big as this one that was given to my Dad from Freeport when he retired .
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Re: Hello

Postby MSPIES » Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:02 pm

Image
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Re: Hello

Postby MrWidgeon » Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:23 pm

Nicely done !
Nice models too.

Pat eventually went over there on Mallard N686FM C/N J-50 which became PK-OCM.
OCM was eventually returned to the US and became N730RS and was for sale last I heard.

N300S became N685FM, then N777PV.
Like all the rest of the US Mallard fleet it was grounded after the Chalks crash and remains grounded today.
It needs a new center section and so far no one has stepped up to do it.
But I've heard rumblings that there may be a buyer with deep enough pockets sniffing around.
Time will tell.

Bill
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Re: Hello

Postby MSPIES » Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:38 pm

Image

This is from the Freeport-McMoRam Reporter Jan/Feb 1983
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