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Old 01-24-2009, 10:51 PM
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Re: Has anyone owned or flown in a Pitts?

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Earle.... do you have any photos of the 'remains' of your old S1-T? I gues sthe noes art cold be something like "Ms. Tropicana"......or "fresh Squeezed"
Haha....Ms. Tropicana.... Somewhere in a file or box I have some small snapshots of it laying between some orange trees. As I recall, it tore off the wings and wrinkled up the fuse. Cockpit staying pretty well intact, which saved his butt. The 200 hp Lycoming was salvaged and somebody ended up with a very smooth-running and strong AEIO-360.

Wanna hear the worst part? The owner (an attorney) had stopped for fuel a little earlier. He couldn't see the pump readout as he was putting fuel in the main tank, and the kid monitoring the pump misread the decimal and stopped him at 1.7 gals. The bonehead owner, paid up and left....things got quiet shortly thereafter!!!!!!!!

Matt, if I can find the pics, I'll scan and post them...but don't hold your breath as I haven't seen them in years.
Earle
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Old 01-25-2009, 12:55 AM
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Re: Has anyone owned or flown in a Pitts?

Find those suckers Earle and post em up!!
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Old 02-05-2009, 06:36 PM
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Re: Has anyone owned or flown in a Pitts?

Wow! Didn't know there were so many Pitts drivers around here. Just sold my S-1T last year. Owned it 16 years to the day. Also was partners in a few S-2B's and have a bit of time in an S-2C. Approx. 2000 hrs. Pitts time. I love 'em!
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:55 PM
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Re: Has anyone owned or flown in a Pitts?

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Wow! Didn't know there were so many Pitts drivers around here. Just sold my S-1T last year. Owned it 16 years to the day. Also was partners in a few S-2B's and have a bit of time in an S-2C. Approx. 2000 hrs. Pitts time. I love 'em!
Oh Man, Rob!!!!!!! What is your whole N# on the "T"?

Mine was 49308...and i think I can make out 493?? on yours?

That little airplane was a real HOOT to fly....about as perfectly balanced on the controls as you can get Pic below shows me standing in my cockpit, holding a 1/4 scale replica of mine (built by Stan Click).

Hey Matt...remember this plane? It was the one you never did beat!
Earle
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:19 PM
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Re: Has anyone owned or flown in a Pitts?

No, Earle....you're right....I never did beat that plane! I guess I never beat the pilot either. So, with that said....when the Bucker is finished (if I still have it) you are invited to compete against me (and ...Goulian, Mancuso, Watkins) in Sportsman at Maytown. You must join in Friday and Saturday shots at the bar to compete!


Gotta say though..... I love the shorts!

If this is the 'Rob" I knew a long ago in the IAC that movedout to the west coast, long time..no see.
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:26 PM
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Re: Has anyone owned or flown in a Pitts?

Earle,
Any relation to the L-39 Tejas Pistolera?
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:21 PM
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Re: Has anyone owned or flown in a Pitts?

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Oh Man, Rob!!!!!!! What is your whole N# on the "T"?
Mine Was N49337 and I used to compete against Bill Finagin in N49336.

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If this is the 'Rob" I knew a long ago in the IAC that movedout to the west coast, long time..no see.
Yep, that's me. Good to hear from you again Matt. I think the last time I saw you guys was at Battle Creek in 99 or 2000. I'm done with shows and competition for a while. Just flying RC now and having lots of fun with it. (I saw your other post about your new 35% Extra. I just got the 35% AW Yak a couple months ago. It rocks!!! Fortunately, Aeroworks is only across town for me.

Rob Krauter
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:27 PM
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Re: Has anyone owned or flown in a Pitts?

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No, Earle....you're right....I never did beat that plane! I guess I never beat the pilot either. So, with that said....when the Bucker is finished (if I still have it) you are invited to compete against me (and ...Goulian, Mancuso, Watkins) in Sportsman at Maytown. You must join in Friday and Saturday shots at the bar to compete!


Gotta say though..... I love the shorts!

If this is the 'Rob" I knew a long ago in the IAC that movedout to the west coast, long time..no see.
Matt...ya gotta get that Bucker finished before we BOTH get to old to pull a "G". And yeah...style'n in the '80's

Rob...I just had dinner with Bill Finagin a couple of months ago. He was my best man when Pat & I got married at Fond du Lac in 1989....3 months after Matt introduced me to her

Earle
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:37 PM
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Re: Has anyone owned or flown in a Pitts?

Earle...That's cool. Bill was always a huge help and mentor to me when I was competing on the East Coast. When I started flying Advanced, it was my goal to beat Bill before I moved up because, I always regarded him as one of the "Advanced Masters". Maytown was one of my favorite contests. I won Sportsman there in 93 and Advanced in 94 (I beat Bill but, only because his battery broke loose during his Free). I also won at Fondy.....Sportsman that is in 93.
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:45 PM
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Re: Has anyone owned or flown in a Pitts?

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Earl...That's cool. Bill was always a huge help and mentor to me when I was competing on the East Coast. When I started flying Advanced, it was my goal to beat Bill before I moved up because, I always regarded him as one of the "Advanced Masters". Maytown was one of my favorite contests. I won Sportsman there in 93 and Advanced in 94 (I beat Bill but, only because his battery broke loose during his Free). I also won at Fondy.....Sportsman that is in 93.
Yeah...they don't get any better than Bill.....Matt too. I let Bill fly my "T" at Maytown (I think that was around '85), and it cost him a bundle, as when he got home he ordered one from the factory. Mine was the fourth one off the line when Pitts started producing them in 1982.

Earle
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:23 AM
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Re: Has anyone owned or flown in a Pitts?

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Yeah...they don't get any better than Bill.....Matt too. I let Bill fly my "T" at Maytown (I think that was around '85), and it cost him a bundle, as when he got home he ordered one from the factory. Mine was the fourth one off the line when Pitts started producing them in 1982.

Earle
Okay...now I'm really feeling old.... you got your "T" in 82'? OMG....I can remember when that was the king of all acro planes! 25 years ago Earle!!!!! That said....my CAP is 17 years old and has 1800 hrs on it. In need to retire!
And, I will get that Bucker finished....you will fly it at Maytown in sportsman..you will do stupid amounts of gut wrentching shots with all involved from your past...next to be invited.....Rear
Admiral Bill, sick sacks will be provided.

Mr. A. WE WILL DO THIS ONE DAY!
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Old 02-06-2009, 08:00 AM
Pistolera is offline
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Re: Has anyone owned or flown in a Pitts?

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Okay...now I'm really feeling old.... you got your "T" in 82'? OMG....I can remember when that was the king of all acro planes! 25 years ago Earle!!!!! That said....my CAP is 17 years old and has 1800 hrs on it. In need to retire!
And, I will get that Bucker finished....you will fly it at Maytown in sportsman..you will do stupid amounts of gut wrentching shots with all involved from your past...next to be invited.....Rear
Admiral Bill, sick sacks will be provided.

Mr. A. WE WILL DO THIS ONE DAY!
H'mmm...let's see...2009-25=1984....you must not have pulled off your socks to cypher that one....but '84 was the year I bought my "T" from my Dad. Man, your Cap has seen a few G's in its life, eh!!!

By the time you get the Bucker done I'll probably need to bring my cane with me....at least that way I can beat you one more time :7aa:
Earle
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:46 PM
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Re: Has anyone owned or flown in a Pitts?

You’ve gotten a lot of good info already, but I’ll throw my advice in also!

I've got some spreadsheets for calculating operating costs for the Pitts S-2B/S-2C aircraft, as well as for S-2A/Christen EagleII type 4 cycl models. These also have sections for adding partners to the airplane to show how that changes your fixed costs, which are the real buzzkill with aircraft ownership. PM your email addy and I'll forward them to you if you like.

For a dedicated aerobatic aircraft, the S1 series Pitts is impossible to beat from a bang for the buck perspective. . . but you will still need to get lots of instruction in a 2 seat Pitts before setting out in the S1. The 2 place are a bit easier to handle on the ground, and have a little better visability for the rear seat pilot, so you will probably want to fly an S2A/B/C from the front untill you are fully comfortable in the airplane with any wind conditions, and on short and narrow runways (50 foot wide runways seem REALLY narrow in a Pitts).

Also, I think you should consider something like a SuperDecathlon, Great Lakes, or similar 4 cyl aerobatic mount to keep costs down while building some appropriate experience at first. These types really are great fun and are perfectly capable aircraft for initial aerobatic training. Perhaps rent one for a year or two – fly some Primary and then Sportsman level competitions, and then move into the Pitts for Intermediate/Advanced.

Starting in a higher level aircraft isn’t quite as good at instilling good energy management skills during a sequence, and even stick and rudder skills. I flew the Extra 300 before I'd flown any of the "Grassroots" type aircraft and to be frank, many maneuvers are easier in a plane like that which has so much power, higher rollrate, little adverse yaw etc.The ability to do a perfect slow roll in a Great Lakes or SuperD, the ability to fly an entire competition sequence in one of these without taking a break (look at what Howard Kirker did in his Great Lakes - sweeping the Intermediate category, beating the Edges and Extras), the hours of polish on the foundational skills will take some time, and will reward your subsequent flying when the time to move up comes. Plus, you'll then be even more amazed at what the Pitts can do! You might be ready to move up right away, or if you are competing, you might find enough challenge in that to appreciate the more affordable mount for a little while longer.

If you do your initial aerobatic and tailwheel training in a Citabria or SuperDecathlon you will not experience many of the things you would in a Pitts when in the traffic pattern, on approach, or on the ground. This is not only because a SuperD doesn’t have all the drag and the braking effects of the big flat prop out front (when power goes to idle, a Pitts with a 3 bladed “Claw” or MT prop is a bit like the Space Shuttle in how quick it comes down), and of course a SuperD or Great lakes will fly and land a lot slower so mixing in with Cessnas in the traffic pattern is a lot easier while you are still grappling with the rest of the hurdles that a tailwheel throws your way. The Great Lakes is similar in speed to the SuperD, but it’s got all the tailwheel fixings of poor forward visibility, ground handling that needs a pilot’s full attention, slips and circling approaches to see forward on final, loads of adverse yaw etc. These are harder to find though, hence my mentioning the SUperD. If you go that route, towards the end of your tailwheel checkout it helps to go up with an appropriate pilot in the front seat, and for you to fly them from the rear seat in this way you will have to s-turn while on the ground to see ahead, you will learn to use peripheral vision when in the landing flare and initial takeoff/rollout, you will need to use circling approaches, slips, or offset approaches to see the runway at all when on final – and these are all things you will need to do in most taildraggers). In the back of these planes you get a more conventional tailwheel experience, but in a rather docile and forgiving airplane, at least compared to other tailwheels. If you really only want to fly the Pitts, just do your private pilot training in a tailwheel something or other and get a jump on the process.

The pattern behavior of the Pitts is a bit of a different animal in many regards – and it feels much more intense than even the Extra/Edges etc (especially if you fly power off approaches that are much steeper and a bit faster than you will find in most anything else). That’s part of where it gets it’s “bad reputation”, but in truth it's simply an honest airplane, and needs an honest pilot - like Budd Davisson says, it “does what you tell it to, until you tell it to do something else”, so be sure you are telling it the right thing, and it's a joy. It's my favorite airplane in a crosswind, it has such powerful control authority as to make it nearly a non-event. . .some pilots have suggested that I feel that way because a normal Pitts landing has more pucker factor in the first place, so adding the crosswind doesn't do much to change that dynamic. :-D

The feel of these airplanes in flight is wonderful, they are true aerobatic hot rods, compared to many of the monoplanes that are a bit more like formula cars. I love tumbling and the wild knife edge spins than the monoplanes do, as well as how they can corner at higher Gs without as steep an increase in induced drag, but slow the airplanes down and toss them around a bit, do harriers, high alpha KEs etc and the Pitts still feels lively, powerful, and spirited. Sure the Pitts has some higher stick forces, lower roll rates, and higher drag so energy after vertical figures starts to fade a bit quicker, but the Pitts has a certain feel to the controls that is second to none, just a little breakout force, lots of communication through the controls (that things like the Extra lack) without making you work too hard, while the Extra starts to feel a little overweight and a bit disconnected since it shines with some more speed, and at higher Gs.

Each has its place, but the first is not to be discounted, and isn’t really much “less” anyway. . . and it will be a while before you really have become a better pilot than the airplane is. If you’ve never flown aerobatics, go up in a SuperD, and tell me it wasn’t thrilling, awesome and that it doesn’t push you a lot harder than you expected. . .don’t immediately assume that you’ll need to fly an Pitts or Edge right away to keep from being bored. . .you won’t be. When you fly that Pitts, you’ll just be taking it up a few notches, and that’s a really fun feeling. . .probably more fun than starting from the top of the heap.
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:12 AM
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Re: Has anyone owned or flown in a Pitts?

Hi Brett....SPOT ON commentary there my friend. I learned aerobatics in a Great Lakes, and when you get that puppy through a 4 turn rolling circle, every muscle is quivering! After a couple hundred hours in it, the Pitts was a thrilling step up...and made everything soooo easy. But without that education in the GL, I don't think I'd have progressed as well, or as quickly as I did.

By the way....Harold's last name is Krier.....I have a picture of my Dad & me standing with him in front of his "Krier Kraft" at Reading, PA MANY moons ago! As I type this post I'm looking at a print of his Great Lakes "Special" on my studio wall.

Good advice, and thanks for posting. This should be a "sticky" for anyone contemplating full scale aerobatics!

Earle
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:38 AM
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Re: Has anyone owned or flown in a Pitts?

Just Fyi....
My version of the Krier Cub.
https://www.flyinggiants.com/forums/...batic-cub.html
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