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Stephen Koewler

"I'm no chauffeur, and I'm no mailman! I'm a flyer." Warbirds. Radials. Seaplanes. Taildraggers.

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Labor of Love.

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100 miles from home on the road trip and I have to say that this is my all time favorite memory in my first ten years of flying. Dennis Sanders soloed me in the T-6 on my second flight in the front seat and it came as a huge surprise to both of us. I was at a complete loss for words and my heart was still pumping inside my chest.

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Day 9 and the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight. Spent some time daydreaming about all kinds of things, and fondly remembering this epic flight. Any Sea Fury ride is a memorable event but a Sea Fury ride flying chase during your friend’s first Corsair flight which happens to be in the world’s only Super Corsair is as epic as it gets.

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Day 7 of the road trip and we are westbound. Remembering my early days of warbird experience when I spent half a season volunteering with @collingsfoundation, and it was always spectacular to ride in the nose of the B-17, especially during autumn New England Sunsets.

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Road trip Day 6! Pressing East to Pennsylvania and thinking about the first time I ever went upside down in an airplane some 10 years ago when Ben Marsh gave me a ride in his Yak-52.

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Day 5 of the road trip turned out to be one of those really memorable days of flying.

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The finish line for day three of the road trip is in sight. Got caught thinking about my most challenging experiences flying; one of which was this day just a few weeks ago when several of us diverted to Port Ludlow to wait out a big storm. 📸: Peter Klipstein

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Day two of a ten day road trip with the boss has me thinking back to some of my favorite flights. Including last weekend when @jimjimmerson threw me the keys to this cartoon of an airplane. At 50 horsepower It was a great reminder that performance isn’t a requirement for serious fun. It’s also the oldest airplane I’ve ever flown, originally built in 1934.

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The only problem with using the T-6 as a travel airplane is you get real excited to fly home at the end of the weekend.

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We had ‘57’ in the shop for a few months a couple years back. I never tired of looking at it.

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I used to think 60 was old. Then I realized that only 60 year olds can have 40+ years of experience doing vertical rolls in Sea Furies and I gotta say it changed my perspective a little bit. Happy Birthday Dennis, thanks for all you’ve taught me.

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#tbt to soloing the @sandersaeronautics N3N earlier this summer. The N3N is, to this day, the only airplane designed and manufactured by the US government. Often confused with a Stearman, the ‘N’ is a superior airplane featuring four ailerons, a 350 horsepower Supercharged Wright 760, and all metal construction which included provisions to attach floats to the airplane for use as a seaplane trainer for the Navy in World War II. #notastearman

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Not much left to avenge these days but it’s still pretty damn awesome when it comes to life.

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Thanks for a great summer kenmore Air. In three summers of flying for Kenmore I’ve amassed over 1000 hours on floats, 800 of which are in the Beaver. Here’s some of my best shots I didn’t post from this summer. i’m on to the next adventure for the Fall.

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This is ‘Maggie’ S/N: 1676. It’s my favorite Beaver in the Kenmore Fleet. It was the last one to roll off the deHavilland assembly line on April 14, 1967 in Ontario, Canada. The airplane has over 28,000 hours (yes 28,000) on it and it’s still the best flying Beaver I’ve ever flown, but maybe it’s just crooked in a way that offsets my own imperfections. In the 250 hours that I’ve spent with Maggie she’s never let me down, even though I’ve asked a lot of her. I often like to think back to that day she rolled out of the factory floor and wonder how the workers in the shop felt about the end of an era, and if they had any idea the airplane would still be flying 50 years later.

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