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Thread: Levitz P-38 Lightning

  1. #11

    Default Re: Levitz P-38 Lightning

    Well, memory is the 342nd thing to go LOL
    Brian

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Colorado County, TX - out in the country
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    Default Re: Levitz P-38 Lightning

    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Jim View Post
    Boomtown: In 1983 (the year Double Trouble was black) the plane was out on the ramp for an engine run-up. The late "Rotten Richard" Rasnopher inadvertently started the right hand Allison with the gear selector in the 'up' position, so as soon as the hydraulic system was energized the right gear retracted. It bent the blades on the right prop, crushed the lower parts of both tails, and kinked the right boom.
    Wow, this brings back some memories. In 1970, right out of college, I took a job in Dallas. I had an apartment on the north side. I knew only a few people, all friends that were of the drag racing type who had moved to the area from San Antonio while I was in college. One of the people who hung with that crowd was "Rotten Richard" who was a mechanic for Braniff airlines at the time.
    I'll mention here that I had a strong interest in warbirds but did not know air racing existed. I had already tried to talk a group of aircraft minded college friends into buying a Mustang for about $20K. Too much money, they said. How about a T-6 for around $5K then? Nobody wanted to fly an old oil dripping dog. End of that story.
    Back to Dallas in 1970 and 1971. I had a lot of free time and not many people to spend it with so one of the things I used to due was prowl around Addison airport to look at the planes. I remember there was a torpedo er parked on one of the aprons but never ran into anyone to talk to about it. Another plane I found was a derelict looking P-38 parked beside a hanger. Poor thing looked very unlikely to fly again. Hoses and cables hanging down, cover plates open, all manor of things obviously missing. I visited it several times but again never ran into anyone around it or the adjacent hanger. Fast forward a few months, during which I acquired a girlfriend and spent most of my time keeping her happy so I could get laid regularly causing me to seldom visit Addison, and I'm getting out of my car at a friend's house when I hear an odd sounding aircraft engine(s). Looked up an spotted a P-38 passing over. I joined a group in the house, Richard being one of them, and mentioned seeing the 38. Richard pipes up and sez how it belonged to Gary Levitz and that he (Richard) was part of a crew that had been working on it for quite some time. What a cruel twist. I had spent many hours with nothing to do and few people to help me do it and one of the few I did know was wrenching on an airplane I would have loved to have been around even I was just cleaning parts or sweeping he hanger floor. In all my visits I had never chanced to run into Richard or anyone else at work in that hanger and Richard never mentioned anything about it.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Seattle, Washington
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    1,876

    Default Re: Levitz P-38 Lightning

    Great story Streak. Thanks for sharing. Yes, both "Rotten Richard" and "Big John" Rader were Braniff mechanics who worked on Gary's P-38 while it was in Dallas....and stayed with Gary through most of his racing career....along with "Little John" Brooks, Ron Fortune, "Sly Ol' Vernon" Thorpe, Walter Wooten, and Ralph Payne.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Default Re: Levitz P-38 Lightning

    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Jim View Post
    Super Cub: There have never been more than two P-38's in competition at Reno or Mojave. Usually it was Lefty and Gary (1977-80). In 1970 it was Lefty and Revis Sermon.
    Which P-38 did Sermon race?

  5. #15
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    Aug 2002
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    Reno, Nevada
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    Default Re: Levitz P-38 Lightning

    Which P-38 did Sermon race?
    N38LL "Scatterbrain Kid" later destroyed in a crash.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Arizona
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    202

    Default Re: Levitz P-38 Lightning

    Quote Originally Posted by supercub View Post
    I don't remember the year/years, but if memory serves me right there was a race/races with 3/three P-38's at Reno .....anyone else remember this?
    Brian
    There were three at a CAF Airsho around this time (Lefty, Levitz, and I think "Scatterbrain Kid") maybe that is what you're thinking of.

  7. #17
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    Jul 2013
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    Default Re: Levitz P-38 Lightning

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo View Post
    N38LL "Scatterbrain Kid" later destroyed in a crash.
    Revis Sermon was the same pilot that flew in WW2?

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