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View Full Version : Tom Edmondson Kansas City, MO 1953 Tri-pacer (PLANE AND I ARE SAME AGE)



TomEdmondson
07-07-2013, 11:25 PM
Hello from Kansas City, MO - TOM EDMONDSON
Well, 10 years ago I turned 50 and I bought a 1953 Buick Roadmaster because I thought it would be cool to hop in, turn a key and cruise down the road in something as old as me. Then I had to get a 1953 GMC truck to go with the "1953 collection' to round it off. This year (Oct), I turn 60 and I thought, now WHAT? Well, I found a 1953 Piper Tri-pacer, a plane that caught my eye twenty years ago on the field I learned to fly at. Little did I know then that I'd own one today.

Tail # is N3658A, total frame up restoration was done a few years ago by the owner that sold to me. The A&P that inspected it for me took me to the side and said, "Tom, you DO realize what you have it right? He did everything for you, you just need to fly it now and enjoy it for many years. If I knew this plane was here, you would NOT be buying it today, I'd own it! You truly got yourself one hell of a deal here and mint airplane!"
I looked at a LOT of Tri-pacers and they all looked rough or several things just didn't agree with me. This one didn't have clear photos (taken far away) but in talking to the owner (Kansas farmer), I got a great vibe and made plans to go see it. I arrived on the farm where it was hangered and as I turned the corner of the hanger, there it was and even better than I could have ever imagined. It truly is 'done' and I just will fly the hell out of it now.

I learned in a Cessna 152 and favored the Cessna 172 and knew I must have a high winged aircraft, no tail dragger (sorry butt draggers). I also knew I could never afford a 172 (EVER) and when I started to research the Tri-pacer it was VERY affordable and I decided to pursue my dream of dreams and today own my OWN PLANE!

I grew up in South St. Paul, MN (yes, cowtown known for Swift & Co and Armours wayyyy back). Our home was on final approach to Fleming Field, our little airport and if you fly float planes that name should be familiar because that airport is the home of Wipaire, INC Floats (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwfFi8i7nlU). I would always be looking up (per my parents) looking at the bottom of the planes flying so low over our home (you could see what color eyes the pilot had). I made a pack with myself then that I would get my pilot's license and own one of those planes myself someday. You know the saying, "Chase your dreams". I did, and made it a reality a few weeks ago.

As I said, I'm going to fly the hell out of it this year (no MO tax in 2013, they hit me and restrict me to 52 hours next year), then fly the hell out of it Spring/early Summer 2014 to prep me for heading to AirVenture and then finalize my 'dreams' and attend OSH in my plane and camp under the wing.

I'll be driving up to OSH this year as part of my 60th birthday present and then driving over to MN for family reunion/early birthday party because it snows too much in October har har.

Looking forward to seeing all the members going to OSH this year and getting some answers/help that I have about my 1953.

Oh, it just got better. I just completed my BFR at my airport and in walks Mike Douglas (no, NOT the actor, the pilot) who just got his license the previous day. Turns out he just bought a 1955 Pacer (truly MINT plane) and his hanger is down two spots from where I will have my plane next month! We talked and he told me he just joined this club because he values the 'resources' and knowledge to answer his questions. I think we now have 3-4 Piper short wings at our little airport. It is K0N0, Roosterville (Liberty, MO) the narrowest runway in Missouri (20 feet)!!! We all pick that airport to learn at because we can land on a ROAD if we have to. None of this dang "65 feet wide" stuff for us.

walt.buskey
07-08-2013, 09:58 AM
Congratulations!!

I hit the "bucket list" a bit ver a year ago, and the TP I bought is not quite as old as I am, but, as near as I can figure, rolled out of the factory just as I taking my very first ride (yep, been hooked ever since) in a J-3 back in the spring of 1956. Great third-grade teacher we had. My problem is only that, in spite of a number of hours in various aircraft, I've never had a license... So my TP will be my ride.

welcome to the club! BTW: wife is from up around Kirksville (Brashear/ Hurdland), and her sister is now just down the road from you in Independence..... Walt

pacer44k
07-08-2013, 02:30 PM
Tom,
Great story about you and your new Tri-Pacer! Welcome to the world of Short Wing Pipers. They are the best bang for the buck light plane available, and my buddies in their 170's and 172's can only shake their heads as I cruise by them, going faster, at a higher climb rate, with more stuff in the back.
Please post some photos of your plane when you can.

bndbelle
07-15-2013, 08:41 PM
Tom,
Roosterville is a little skid mark on the grass with a slight curve at the end !!! If Paul is working on your plane, then you have the best around !!! I was just there last week, he is doing the jugs for my Colt. If you get over to Excelsior Springs (3EX) I would love to see your bird. Call me some time (816) 739-5301

Bruce

dsimpson
08-01-2013, 10:51 PM
While at Oshkosh this week I had seen you at the Vintage building and
enjoyed our conversation. I flew up from near Madison Wisc to enjoy the event. Third time for camping under the wing of my 55 tri pacer at Oshkosh. Look forward to seeing you next year .
Would like to see all the short wings lined up again together as it was back in 2007 .We must get something going to make that happen in 2014.
I did meet our new President (Connie Stevens). Appears to be a go getter personality. Like to hope she will serve our club well.

Dan Simpson
2905p

TomEdmondson
09-29-2013, 12:48 AM
Tom,
Roosterville is a little skid mark on the grass with a slight curve at the end !!! If Paul is working on your plane, then you have the best around !!! I was just there last week, he is doing the jugs for my Colt. If you get over to Excelsior Springs (3EX) I would love to see your bird. Call me some time (816) 739-5301

Bruce

I love flying out of "Roosterville" MO. Yes, (I'm a former TWA/Ozark Air Lines guy) Paul Stuber (and son, Gary) are my mechanics. Love the 'family' we have at this hometown airport. Twenty years ago I learned to fly here and was made to be right at home with the guys who hang around the field and fly out of it. Bruce do you have the farm you keep the cub at? I then met you the other day when I tried to make a payment with Paul in the hanger. Love to meet at the airport some weekend and show you my plane. Having a blast with it.

Sorry couldn't do the pancake breakfast weekend plans already.

Tom E and "Peter Piper"

TomEdmondson
09-29-2013, 12:58 AM
Thanks to everyone that posted here. I will be up at OSH next year to camp out and spoke with several people on the field and you won't believe it but I took over 6000 photos that weekend! I take my photos and convert them into computer graphic artwork (oil paintings, watercolor, pencil drawings and acrylic/pastel). So many of the Piper's will be 'artwork' soon. Just couldn't get over the amazing planes on the vintage field.

I did fly up to Blakesburg, IA with my plane and camped out with 411 other planes and what an amazing time I had. It was my other dream since I was 10 years old to camp under the wing of my own airplane. That Labor Day weekend I did just that and looking up out my tent window was the Big Dipper and out the other window was the wing of MY airplane. It was an amazing time and that little child within was beaming with pride. I only regret my dad who "pushed me into a copilot seat" when I was 8 and I flew my first plane in St. Paul, MN wasn't with me this evening to see that the 'seed' he planted so many years earlier had grown full bloom and he too would have been beaming (he was).
The folks at Blakesburg, IA love Pipers, we need more TriPacers showing up (lots of Pacers and Cubs).

Again - great being part of this organization and looking forward to meeting more up at OSH 2014.

bndbelle
09-29-2013, 06:44 AM
Tom, My Colt is in my garage in pieces, you must be thinking of someone else. Pancake breakfast was pretty good. Saw a few familar faces too. Today at 2:00 we are having a BBQ at Excelsior Springs airport, stop by if you can I would love to meet you.
I love flying out of "Roosterville" MO. Yes, (I'm a former TWA/Ozark Air Lines guy) Paul Stuber (and son, Gary) are my mechanics. Love the 'family' we have at this hometown airport. Twenty years ago I learned to fly here and was made to be right at home with the guys who hang around the field and fly out of it. Bruce do you have the farm you keep the cub at? I then met you the other day when I tried to make a payment with Paul in the hanger. Love to meet at the airport some weekend and show you my plane. Having a blast with it.

Sorry couldn't do the pancake breakfast weekend plans already.

Tom E and "Peter Piper"