In March of this year, I lost one of my dear friends and the last of my "WWII" era friends. His name is Gerry Miller and he was an AI, an aficionado of vintage aircraft and at consummate master with wood, tube and fabric. A partial summary of his works has
been documented by his son Randy at the following link. https://vintagebiplane.com/project/the-art-of-gerry-miller/
Gerry was generous to a fault with his time and was a friend to all. He was instrumental in keeping me going on finishing my plane, even though it was definitely not his type of interest (composites). However, standard aircraft building and maintenance practices
were gently taught, and I am forever grateful. Gerry was a talented pilot, mechanic and an innovative craftsman.
Today, it was my distinct honor to fly my Tri-Q2 over our home field, where Gerry ran his shop for the better part of 40 years, and to spread his ashes from the air. His son Randy (who flies a vintage 1942 Stearman) and I over the last few weeks, built a custom
"Ash kicker" that fits on the bottom of the tail of my airplane for the purposes of dropping Gerry's ashes. We tested it in several steps and determined that it would function as intended without negatively impacting the safety of flight.
So, this morning it was a beautiful day and I packed the device and fitted my camera on the belly position of the tail attach-screws with it pointed aft. I took off, did one circuit to get the best height over the field from recommendations of Randy and his
wife, Amanda over the handheld, then made a second pass, where I tripped the release and dropped the ashes, This was followed by a short pattern and landing. On the final for landing, you may notice me doing a forward slip that works very well to loose altitude
in my Q. Once I landed, I taxied to where the last of the ashes had hit the runway, ran up the engine, and spread them down the field. It worked out perfectly.
I thought the video might be boring looking aft, but it is actually quite interesting. On the final approaches, and passes down the runway, and on the crosswind leg, you can clearly see the shadow of the plane on the ground. Gives you an idea of the actual
speed across the ground. Also, there is 300 foot cliff on the approach end of the runway (7), that accentuates the effect of the shadow, where it suddenly jumps up the cliff and onto the runway, just prior to touchdown.
Here is the link to the video, should you care to watch the "ceremony"
Jay Scheevel, Tri-Q2, N8WQ, 249 hours.