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BuckyD
01-07-2009, 01:17 AM
On Friday - May 18, 1984, at approximately 8:30 p.m., amid typically-rainy SE Alaska skies - a 32-year old pilot named Bruce Lockwood, arrived in Ketchikan from Prince Rupert, B.C. for an RON-stopover, while enroute his hometown of Juneau - Alaska's Capital City.

Lockwood was engaged in completing a very long, but exciting, ferry flight back from Florida to fly home his recently-purchased vintage aircraft. More accurately put- Bruce was really flying an important mission of true historic significance: he was now the proud new owner of an immaculately-restored WW2-designed U.S. Navy F4U-5NL Corsair carrier fighter aircraft. NX4901W (Mfr. S/N 124569) was the first privately-owned WW2-vintage warbird fighter plane to base in SE Alaska.

I had the fun privilege of meeting up w/Bruce Lockwood that special day long ago, to shoot some photos to capture the event on film, and made a good friend in the process. We spent the evening 'hangar flying' - talking about fast old airplanes, and famous people involved w/keeping them flying. The next morning I went back to see Bruce off, and helped him 'pull-thru' his Corsair's big 4-blader propeller during his preflight for departure, and took some more photos of his Bent-Wing Bird in action in the air.

Bruce Lockwood was just a rookie warbird pilot back then, but he got hooked on The Big Iron- Big Time! After selling his Corsair to Alan Preston in Dallas, TX., Lockwood started a successful career for himself as a professional warbird pilot & a restoration expert of vintage flying museum aircraft, by first working for Preston & then for David Price's Museum of Flying in Santa Monica, CA. Bruce also showed his mettle as an Unlimited Class air racer for a number of years racing several different fighter aircraft types & then notched two consectutive Reno NCAR Gold Championships flying P-51D #4 DAGO RED for owner Terry Bland, before retiring from racing after the 1999 season.

Here's a mini-gallery of photos of Bruce Lockwood's 'Alaskan Corsair' taken Sat. 5/19/84 at Ketchikan International Airport. Some air race fans will recall this F4U-5NL was raced by Alan Preston at Reno '85 NCAR as Race #12 'Old Deadeye'. Hope you enjoy the pictures. ;) :cool: DBD

dvddude
01-07-2009, 03:11 AM
Cool pix. I spent some time with Bruce back in the early 90's, just when things were getting interesting at the MOF at SMO. What a great, down-to-earth guy. We had some interesting conversations.

So, what did Bruce do after the MOF went defunct? Other than writing articles for Challenge publications, it seems like he dropped off of the warbird radar. Does Bruce still fly warbirds at all? Where is he based at these days? Did his retirement from Reno racing include retirement from flying warbirds also? Lots of questions, I know, but just curious, because I've always wondered what happened to him after his last year at Reno.

sierra fox
01-07-2009, 04:40 AM
WOW!!!! Bucky, you're the man, what a spread, thanks

Big_Jim
01-07-2009, 07:42 AM
On Friday - May 18, 1984, at approximately 8:30 p.m., amid typically-rainy SE Alaska skies - a 32-year old pilot named Bruce Lockwood, arrived in Ketchikan from Prince Rupert, B.C. for an RON-stopover, while enroute his hometown of Juneau - Alaska\'s Capital City.

Lockwood was engaged in completing a very long, but exciting, ferry flight back from Florida to fly home his recently-purchased vintage aircraft. More accurately put- Bruce was really flying an important mission of true historic significance: he was now the proud new owner of an immaculately-restored WW2-designed U.S. Navy F4U-5NL Corsair carrier fighter aircraft. NX4901W (Mfr. S/N 124569) was the first privately-owned WW2-vintage warbird fighter plane to base in SE Alaska.

I had the fun privilege of meeting up w/Bruce Lockwood that special day long ago, to shoot some photos to capture the event on film, and made a good friend in the process. We spent the evening \'hangar flying\' - talking about fast old airplanes, and famous people involved w/keeping them flying. The next morning I went back to see Bruce off, and helped him \'pull-thru\' his Corsair\'s big 4-blader propeller during his preflight for departure, and took some more photos of his Bent-Wing Bird in action in the air.

Bruce Lockwood was just a rookie warbird pilot back then, but he got hooked on The Big Iron- Big Time! After selling his Corsair to Alan Preston in Dallas, TX., Lockwood started a successful career for himself as a professional warbird pilot & a restoration expert of vintage flying museum aircraft, by first working for Preston & then for David Price\'s Museum of Flying in Santa Monica, CA. Bruce also showed his mettle as an Unlimited Class air racer for a number of years racing several different fighter aircraft types & then notched two consectutive Reno NCAR Gold Championships flying P-51D #4 DAGO RED for owner Terry Bland, before retiring from racing after the 1999 season.

Here\'s a mini-gallery of photos of Bruce Lockwood\'s \'Alaskan Corsair\' taken Sat. 5/19/84 at Ketchikan International Airport. Some air race fans will recall this F4U-5NL was raced by Alan Preston at Reno \'85 NCAR as Race #12 \'Old Deadeye\'. Hope you enjoy the pictures. ;) :cool: DBD

Everything looks grey in those pictures. Did you take them in black and white or something?

Jim

laminar
01-07-2009, 09:32 AM
Awesome! thanks for posting

Stevo
01-07-2009, 10:10 AM
Not only do we get some awesome pictures... but we also get the story behind them. Thanks Bucky!

wingman
01-07-2009, 10:16 AM
Now that is a great "blast from the past"! Boy do you guys look young...

Jim -- I think that's just the way coastal Alaska looks! A monochrome place much of the time, LOL.

For a while after MOF Bruce was modifying the inline YAKs -- updating systems and installing that blown canopy seen on a few. Haven't heard much of him since. Last time we saw him was after Reno 2004. At that time he was living in Tehachapi, California and very involved in his kid's motorcycle racing activities.

A really good guy, and a great interview. His pilot report on Dago a few years ago is still the best in depth look at the systems and flying qualities of a racing Mustang that I've ever seen...

Thanks Buck!

Neal

hm66sk
01-07-2009, 06:51 PM
Thanks for sharing. I remember that plane well with its polished cowl ring. I say the pictures look grey 'cause it's Alaska!

WASP-kid
01-07-2009, 07:38 PM
Sweet pics and story Bucky. Thanks for sharing that with us.

This forum rocks! Wayne, thanks for hosting a place where us fans can hang out and pick up stories like this. Very cool indeed! :thumbsup:

AAFO_WSagar
01-07-2009, 08:31 PM
Sweet pics and story Bucky. Thanks for sharing that with us.

This forum rocks! Wayne, thanks for hosting a place where us fans can hang out and pick up stories like this. Very cool indeed! :thumbsup:There are a lot of folks here who make it happen.. all we do is provide the virtual "living room"...

You are right though.. it does ROCK!

Wayne Sagar

:thumbsup:

Jim58
01-08-2009, 06:46 AM
This is exactly why I keep coming back for more.....Thank you Mr. Dawson for sharing your stories and great photographs. :thumbsup: :beerchug:

Jim

RB77fan
01-08-2009, 05:52 PM
what a nice aircraft i dont know about any one else but i think i say it at the airraces :dunno: :dunno: :) :1zhelp: :1zhelp: