Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Barnstormers Of America Ride Event / Experimental Aircraft Association

Barnstormers Of America Ride Event / Experimental Aircraft Association  
Monroe County Airport Awareness Days
The local Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 650 and Cook Aviation Inc. at the Monroe County Airport invite YOU and YOUR FAMILY to attend Aviation Awareness Days, Friday, May 20 – Sunday, May 22, 2016 where there will be EAA aircraft on display in conjunction with the Aviation Awareness Days Event.   Activities are scheduled from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm.  Don’t miss and schedule a ride in the 1929 New Standard Aircraft (rides are $90 each seat for -- once-in-a-lifetime experience)!!   Visit, call (608)751-800 to schedule the ride, or just show up for an outstanding ride!!  You will see aircraft displays, antique & classic automobiles, food vendor, and much – much more!!   
Don’t Miss This Exciting Experience At The Monroe County Airport, Friday, May 20th – Sunday, May 22nd !!
9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Friday, April 22, 2016

Fwd: Chapter 650 Spring Cookout

Hey Folks,

            This is just a little note to inform you that our spring cookout has been pushed back a couple of weeks due to this cold, rainy weather.    We are rescheduling the event for Saturday, April 30th at 6:00 at the Jacobs, Siscoe hanger.  For everyone interested in attending, please send us the number of people in your party and tell us whether each would prefer to eat steak or salmon.

            Thank you and I hope to see everyone there on the 30th.


John Hayes

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Indiana Science Olympiad Volunteers

Thanks from Tom Sanders for Indiana Science Olympiad

Subject: SO Flying

Thanks again for arranging to have such a good crew available for the SO flying events at the state competition. Everyone did a great job and we were able to keep on task with all FOUR flying events. In the evening I attended the awards assembly and to make a couple of presentations in front of the crowd of 5,000. Lot's of cheering while I was on stage and it was obvious that we had done a good job. This I know from the many thank-you's and positive comments from the coaches and families on how we had provided of the best experiences on both Friday and Saturday; especially that "party"on Friday night. At least thirty people approached me after the awards ceremony to say thanks and to keep up the good work.

NONE of this could happen without the support, expertise and professionalism that your EAA club brings to these events. Many thanks to you and your friends for making the events the best in the state of Indiana. Please pass-on my appreciation.

PS- work on your Aerial Scramble airplane between now and next year. I would love to have another go...

Best Regards,
Tom Sanders

Indiana Science Olympiad Post from Tina Gilliland to Tim Sparks

Dear Tim,
WOW!  I am always amazed by the team of people that unite together each spring to make the Indiana Science Olympiad tournament such a resounding success.  Indiana University and Indiana Science Olympiad are so very thankful to you for your dedication to teaching, molding, and encouraging K-12 science students.  I know I can always count on you to provide a grade level appropriate and challenging competition!  Please pass along my sincerest thanks to the Experimental Aircraft Association Ch. 650 for their help as well!
I want to share with you some very impressive numbers.
·         2,211 – total attendance at the Awards Ceremony (note three schools had to leave before the awards ceremony due to spring break trips, football, etc.)
·         1080 – Official Science Olympiad Competitors (middle & high school students)
·         800  – Additional middle & high school students in attendance to observe & help their teams
·         222 – Volunteer from all across Indiana
·         531  – Parents, teachers, school administrators, and bus drivers
·         72 – Schools
·         42 – Cities represented
·         575 – total individual Olympic-style medals awarded (1st-5th place)
·         10 – trophies awarded (top 5 schools in each division)
Experiencing our campus through the Science Olympiad lens is priceless. These students have already developed a love of science.  You are helping us expose them to Science at IU.  For some this was their first time stepping foot in a chemistry, physics or a biology laboratory and their first time interacting with faculty, research scientists, and graduate & undergraduate students.  You and volunteers like you are the key to our success!!
I do hope the time you expended prior to and on tournament day was fun and rewarding. I have received many thank you notes from coaches and parents who have commented on the fun, challenging and fair events at the tournament and how smoothly things ran. You should be very proud for the part you played in providing such a rewarding experience to these young students! I cannot stress enough how valuable your time and expertise are to me, the students, and all involved in the Science Olympiad State Tournament.
Coach & Parent Comments:
““Thank you for all your hard work in putting on the tournament. Last week was my 9th State Tournament as a Science Olympiad parent, and I continue to be amazed at the dedication of the staff and volunteers and at the enthusiasm of the students. I feel hopeful about the future every time I see the Auditorium full of kids geeking out on science. “ – Dana Cattani, Parent & Faculty member Kelley School of Business
“I just wanted to thank you and your team for a well done and enjoyable event yesterday.  It's my first year as a coach so having everything run so smoothly made it a much easier day for me. Most importantly, the kids had a great day! I'm looking forward to next year. --Kerri Donohue, Coach, BHSN
“Thank you for all you do for our kids.  They had a terrific experience and will carry those memories with them for a lifetime. --Martha Bowman, Coach, Tri-North Middle School
Thomas Jefferson Middle School and Carmel High School will be the teams representing Indiana at the National Tournament in Wisconsin next month. Based on their performances at the state tournament I am confident that they will come home with many National medals! Kudos to you and all our event supervisors for helping prepare Indiana students for Nationals!!
On behalf of Indiana University, College of Arts & Sciences, and the Science Outreach Office we applaud your commitment to science education and I hope I will have the pleasure of working with you again in the future. 
Congratulations again on making the 2016 tournament a huge success...we absolutely couldn't do it without you!
Warmest regards,
Tina Gilliland
Outreach Liaison
Indiana University
College of Arts & Sciences
1600 East Third Street
Bloomington, IN 47401

2016 Schedule


Feb 20  An Aerial Tour of Australia  by Steve Clark
Rich Frisbie  BMG

March 11  Indy Center Tour
Jerry Harkin  Indy Center

March 19  Science Olympiad
Tim Sparks  IU Mellencamp Pavilion

April 30  Spring Cook-Out
John Stackhouse  Sciscoe Hangar

May 14  Barnstormers Event
Rich Frisbie  Ramp

June 11 A Wonder-full Cook-out & Spot Landing Contest
Mike Wonder  Shawnee Airport

July 23  RC Demo
Tim Porter

Aug 20 Oshkosh Photo Review
John Hayes  BMG

Sept 17  Air Force Museum Outing
Jim LeSeure  Dayton, OH

Oct 1-2  Red Bull Air Races
Russ Goodwine  Indy Speedway

Nov 19 Seymour Air Museum
Barratt Patton Seymour

Dec 17  Christmas Dinner Party
Jack Eads  BMG

Fwd: TAKE OFF from St Maarten

Subject: TAKE OFF from St Maarten

FW: Cub (Video)

Fwd: An experience to recall (P-51 & Pilot)

This 1967 true story is of an experience by a young 12 year old lad in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. It is about the vivid memory of a privately rebuilt P-51 from WWII and its famous owner/pilot.

In the morning sun, I could not believe my eyes. There, in our little
airport, sat a majestic P-51. They said it had flown in during the
night from some U.S. Airport, on its way to an air show. The pilot
had been tired, so he just happened to choose Kingston for his stop over. It was to take to the air very soon. I marveled at the size of the plane, dwarfing the Pipers and Canucks tied down by her. It was much larger than in the movies. She glistened in the sun like a bulwark of security from days gone by.

The pilot arrived by cab, paid the driver, and then stepped into the
pilot's lounge. He was an older man; his wavy hair was gray and
tossed. It looked like it might have been combed, say, around the
turn of the century. His flight jacket was checked, creased and worn - it smelled old and genuine. Old Glory was prominently sewn to its shoulders. He projected a quiet air of proficiency and pride devoid of arrogance. He filed a quick flight plan to Montreal ("Expo-67 Air Show") then walked across the tarmac.

After taking several minutes to perform his walk-around check, the tall, lanky man returned to the flight lounge to ask if anyone would be available to stand by with fire extinguishers while he "flashed the old bird up, just to be safe." Though only 12 at the time I was allowed to stand by with an extinguisher after brief instruction on its use -- "If you see a fire, point, then pull this lever!", he said. (I later became a firefighter, but that's another story.) The air around the exhaust manifolds shimmered like a mirror from fuel fumes as the huge prop started to rotate. One manifold, then another, and yet another barked -- I stepped back with the others. In moments the Packard -built Merlin engine came to life with a thunderous roar. Blue flames knifed from her manifolds with an arrogant snarl. I looked at the others' faces; there was no concern. I lowered the bell of my extinguisher.
One of the guys signaled to walk back to the lounge. We did.

Several minutes later we could hear the pilot doing his pre-flight
run-up. He'd taxied to the end of runway 19, out of sight. All went
quiet for several seconds. We ran to the second story deck to see if we could catch a glimpse of the P-51 as she started down the runway. We could not. There we stood, eyes fixed to a spot half way down 19. Then a roar ripped across the field, much louder than before. Like a furious hell spawn set loose -- something mighty this way was coming. "Listen to that thing!" said the controller.

In seconds the Mustang burst into our line of sight. It's tail was
already off the runway and it was moving faster than anything I'd ever seen by that point on 19. Two-thirds the way down 19 the Mustang was airborne with her gear going up. The prop tips were supersonic. We clasped our ears as the Mustang climbed hellishly fast into the circuit to be eaten up by the dog-day haze. We stood for a few moments, in stunned silence, trying to digest what we'd just seen.
The radio controller rushed by me to the radio. "Kingston tower
calling Mustang?" He looked back to us as he waited for an
acknowledgment. The radio crackled, "Go ahead, Kingston." "Roger, Mustang. Kingston tower would like to advise the circuit is clear for a low level pass." I stood in shock because the controller had just, more or less, asked the pilot to return for an impromptu air show! The controller looked at us. "Well, What?" He asked.
"I can't let that guy go without asking. I couldn't forgive myself!"

The radio crackled once again, "Kingston, do I have permission for a low level pass, east to west, across the field?" "Roger, Mustang, the circuit is clear for an east to west pass." "Roger, Kingston, I'm coming out of 3,000 feet, stand by."
We rushed back onto the second-story deck, eyes fixed toward the eastern haze. The sound was subtle at first, a high-pitched whine, a muffled screech, a distant scream. Moments later the P-51 burst through the haze. Her airframe straining against positive G's and gravity. Her wing tips spilling contrails of condensed air, prop-tips again supersonic. The burnished bird blasted across the eastern margin of the field shredding and tearing the air. At about 500 mph and 150 yards from where we stood she passed with the old American pilot saluting. Imagine.
A salute! I felt like laughing; I felt like crying; she glistened; she screamed; the building shook; my heart pounded. Then the old pilot pulled her up and rolled, and rolled, and rolled out of sight into the broken clouds and indelible into my memory.

I've never wanted to be an American more than on that day! It was a time when many nations in the world looked to America as their big brother. A steady and even-handed beacon of security who navigated difficult political water with grace and style; not unlike the old American pilot who'd just flown into my memory. He was proud, not arrogant, humble, not a braggart, old and honest, projecting an aura of America at its best.

That America will return one day! I know it will! Until that time,
I'll just send off this story. Call it a loving reciprocal salute to a Country, and especially to that old American pilot: the late-
JIMMY STEWART (1908-1997), Actor, real WWII Hero (Commander of a US Army Air Force Bomber Wing stationed in England), and a USAF Reserves Brigadier General, who wove a wonderfully fantastic memory for a young Canadian boy that's lasted a lifetime.

Fwd: A380


Fwd: Many old airline photos



Fwd: last Avro Vulcan bomber videos

Fwd: DECLASSIFIED PHOTOS - 'B-29' "Enola Gay"

   Forest Arden was the chief flight mechanic of a B-29 stationed at Tinian Island.  His aircraft was parked nearby to the Enola Gay and he watched the loading procedure of the first Atomic Bomb.  He said that security was strictly enforced and no one was allowed to approach to within 100 yards!  Few had any inkling of what about to occur.  Everyone was astounded at the sudden end of World War II.
      This is an unbelievable set of photos - the REAL thing - pix from Tinian Island as the B-29 "Enola Gay" was being loaded.

Notice the "Top Secret" stamp on some of the photos. In the last few pix notice the CRUDE sheet metal work on the casing and fins of "Little Boy" - the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima.

Fwd: Fwd: Ruins of the Soviet Space Shuttle Program

Be sure to click on "more photos here"
Subject: Fw: Ruins of the Soviet Space Shuttle Program
They do look remarkably familiar.  Theirs may not have made it, but we're still using their rocket engines and vehicles to get us up there. 
Russian urban exploration photographer Ralph Mirebs recently paid a visit to the Baikonur Cosmodrome, where inside a giant abandoned hangar are decaying remnants of prototypes from the Soviet space shuttle program.
Of the two run-down Buran shuttles found in the hangar, one was almost ready for flight back in 1992 and the other was a full-sized mock-up that was used for testing things like mating and load. Unfortunately for both, and for the countless scientists involved in the program, things came to an abrupt halt just one year later, and the hangar has remained in this state for over two decades now.


For those of you who are short on airplanes, this little gem will sell at auction at Christie's in London in July. Come on over! About $ US. Nice looking meticulous restoration. Estan F.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Pancake Breakfast July 18th 2015

            To all EAA Pilots,
                        Chapter 650 in Bloomington, IN (KBMG), is having a FREE pancake breakfast and fly-in on Saturday, July 18th from 8:30 to 12:30.  This is the Saturday before the start of Airventure at Oshkosh.  Both FBO’s on the field will offer 100 LL at reduced prices for that morning.  Any of you out for a morning flight or headed to Wisconsin are welcome to come by KBMG.  Please feel free to tell all the pilots you know about this upcoming event.  Did I mention the breakfast is free? 
            If you have any questions please email me at
            If the weather gets bad our rain date will be August 8th.
            Thank you and blue skies with seamless landings.
John Hayes
EAA Chapter #650

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Fwd: Science Olympiad - Thank You

From Tina Gilliland

Dear Tim,

Thank you for helping make this another fantastic year for Indiana Science Olympiad!  Now that the dust has settled, I wanted to offer my most sincere thanks to you for serving as an event supervisor at the State Science Olympiad Tournament held on the IU Bloomington campus.  This tournament requires a large team of people that are dedicated to teaching, molding, and encouraging young science students to pursue careers in science. I am so very thankful that I have people like you to provide level appropriate and challenging competitions.  Having you involved makes my job so much easier, thank you!

I hope the time you expended on tournament day was fun and rewarding.  I have received many thank you notes from coaches and parents who have commented on the fun, challenging and fair events at the tournament and how smoothly things ran. You should be very proud for the part you played in providing such a rewarding experience to these young students!  I cannot stress enough how valuable your time and expertise are to me, the students, and all involved in the Science Olympiad State Tournament.

Coach & Parent Comments:
"Thank you for all you do for Science Olympiad – you go above and beyond to host the Indiana State Tournament.  Through your work you have touched thousands of middle and high school students and encouraged them in science.  It is always a thrill to see how excited they are on IU's campus Friday and Saturday they're running around having fun doing science!  Many of my former students over 15 years of Science Olympiad have gone on to science careers – some at IU!  Thank you!" 
Dru Wrasse, Coach, John Adams High School

"I just wanted to take a couple of minutes to drop you a note of congratulations on yet another super Science Olympiad State Tournament.  Our daughters compete for Raymond Park Middle School and were absolutely ecstatic that their team finished 6th place over all.  Ecstatic, but hungry for better next year.  We have been fortunate enough to have been at the state meet the past three years and are continually impressed with the job you and ALL of the volunteers do with hosting the event.  It is certainly something that we have looked forward to over the past few years"
Sincerely,  Joe & Lori Jones, Parents

Thomas Jefferson Middle School and Munster High School will be the teams representing Indiana at the National Tournament in Nebraska next month. Based on their performances at the state tournament I am confident that they will come home with many National medals!  Kudos to you and all our event supervisors for helping prepare Indiana students for Nationals!!

On behalf of Indiana University, College of Arts & Sciences, and the Science Outreach Office we applaud your commitment to science education and I hope I will have the pleasure of working with you again in the future. 

Congratulations again on making the 2015 tournament a huge success...we absolutely couldn't do it without you!

Warmest regards,

P.S.  Please pass along my thanks to your volunteers.  I don't have all their email addresses.

Tina Gilliland
Outreach Liaison
Indiana University
College of Arts & Sciences
1600 East Third Street
Bloomington, IN  47401
Phone:  812-855-5397
Fax: 812-855-2060
Go Hoosiers! 

Fwd: The Seafire Flies Again!

Subject: The Seafire Flies Again
The good old days. This plane flies out of the Columbia, Missouri airport. 
Seafire Restoration -- HOW COOL IS THIS?

What a thrill for this restorer when he saw his work fly for the first time since 1950. Brill iant work! The only flying one of its kind in the world!
The sound of this plane is incredible - nothing beats the sound of a Spitfire's Merlin Engine.  This aircraft, the Seafire, got its name from the "Sea Spitfire". The land based Spitfire was modified with a tail hook added and folding wings, so it could be flown from and onto carriers at sea.  What a project! Beautiful aircraft!
The Seafire XV  

Fwd: Does a multi-engine rating include 18 engines?

Fwd: Horriffic WWII Statistics.

Absolutely amazing (American) World War 2 statistics and photos.  I have always known that aircrew had the highest fatality rate but the loss rate (and cost of war) detailed below is absolutely horrific.
If you live for facts and statistics, this is just for you...
No matter how one looks at it, these are incredible statistics. Aside from the figures on aircraft, consider this statement from the article:  On average 6600  American service men died per MONTH, during WWII (about 220 a day) - -  - - - -

• Most Americans who were not adults during WWII have no understanding of the magnitude of  it.  This listing of some of the aircraft facts gives a bit of insight to  it.

• 276,000 aircraft manufactured in the US .
•   43,000 planes  lost overseas, including 23,000 in combat.
•   14,000 lost in  the continental U.S.

The US civilian  population maintained a dedicated effort for four years, many working long  hours seven days per week and often also volunteering for other work.   WWII was the largest human effort in history.
Some more amazing facts at the end of the photos...
Ilyushin IL-2  Sturmovik                                   36,183

Yakolev  Yak-1,-3,-7,  -9                                 31,000+
Messerschmitt  Bf-109                                   30,480
Focke-Wulf  Fw-190                                       29,001
Supermarine  Spitfire/Seafire                         20,351

Convair  B-24/PB4Y Liberator/Privateer        18,482
Republic P-47  Thunderbolt                           15,686

North American  P-51  Mustang                      15,875

Junkers  Ju-88                                               15,000

Hawker  Hurricane                                         14,533

Curtiss P-40  Warhawk                                  13,738

Boeing B-17  Flying  Fortress                          12,731

Vought F4U  Corsair                                       12,571

Grumman F6F  Hellcat                                   12,275

Petlyakov  Pe-2                                              11,400

Lockheed P-38  Lightning                               10,037

Mitsubishi A6M  Zero                                     10,449

North American  B-25  Mitchell                         9,984

Lavochkin  LaGG-5                                          9,920

Note: The LaGG-5  was produced with both water-cooled (top) and air-cooled (bottom)  engines.

Grumman TBM  Avenger                                 9,837

Bell P-39  Airacobra                                         9,584

Nakajima Ki-43  Oscar                                     5,919

DeHavilland  Mosquito                                    7,780

Avro  Lancaster                                               7,377

Heinkel  He-111                                               6,508

Handley-Page  Halifax                                       6,176

Messerschmitt  Bf-110                                     6,150

Lavochkin  LaGG-7                                          5,753

Boeing B-29  Superfortress                             3,970

Short  Stirling                                                     2,383

Statistics from  Flight Journal magazine.
THE COST of  DOING  BUSINESS---- The  staggering cost of war.

THE PRICE OF  VICTORY (cost of an aircraft in WWII dollars)
B-17        $204,370.     P-40        $44,892.
B-24        $215,516.     P-47        $85,578.
B-25        $142,194.     P-51        $51,572.
B-26        $192,426.     C-47        $88,574.
B-29        $605,360.     PT-17      $15,052.
P-38          $97,147.     AT-6        $22,952.
From Germany 's  invasion of Poland Sept.. 1, 1939 and ending with Japan 's surrender Sept. 2,  1945 --- 2,433 days.  From 1942 onward, America averaged 170 planes lost  a day.

How many is a 1,000  planes?  B-17 production (12,731) wingtip to wingtip would  extend 250 miles.  1,000 B-17s carried 2.5 million gallons of high octane  fuel and required 10,000 airmen to fly and fight them.
9.7 billion  gallons of gasoline consumed, 1942-1945.

107.8 million  hours flown, 1943-1945.

459.7 billion rounds of aircraft  ammo fired overseas, 1942-1945.

7.9 million  bombs dropped  overseas, 1943-1945.

2.3 million  combat sorties, 1941-1945 (one sortie = one takeoff).

299,230 aircraft  accepted, 1940-1945.

808,471 aircraft  engines accepted, 1940-1945.

799,972  propellers accepted, 1940-1945.

Sources:  Rene Francillon,  Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific war; Cajus Bekker, The  Luftwaffe Diaries;  Ray Wagner, American Combat Planes;  Wikipedia.

According to the  AAF Statistical Digest, in less than four years (December 1941- August 1945),  the US Army Air Forces lost 14,903 pilots, aircrew and assorted personnel plus 13,873 airplanes --- inside the continental United States .  They were the  result of 52,651 aircraft accidents (6,039 involving fatalities) in 45  months.

Think about  those numbers. They average 1,170 aircraft accidents per month---- nearly 40 a  day.  (However, less than one accident in four resulted in total loss of the aircraft)

It gets  worse.....
Almost 1,000  Army planes disappeared en route from the US to foreign locations.  But an  eye-watering 43,581 aircraft were lost overseas including 22,948 on combat missions (18,418 against the Western Axis) and 20,633 attributed to non-combat  causes overseas.

In a single 376  plane raid in August 1943, 60 B-17s were shot down. That was a 16 percent loss  rate and meant 600 empty bunks in England ..  In 1942-43 it was  statistically impossible for bomber crews to complete a 25-mission tour in  Europe .

Pacific theatre  losses were far less (4,530 in combat) owing to smaller forces  committed..  The worst B-29 mission, against Tokyo on May 25, 1945, cost  26 Superfortresses, 5.6 percent of the 464 dispatched from the Marianas..

On average, 6,600 American servicemen died per month during WWII, about 220 a  day. By the end of the war, over 40,000 airmen were killed in combat theatres and another 18,000 wounded.  Some 12,000 missing men were declared dead, including a number "liberated" by the Soviets but never returned.  More  than 41,000 were captured, half of the 5,400 held by the Japanese died in  captivity, compared with one-tenth in German hands.   Total combat casualties were pegged at 121,867.

US manpower made up the deficit.  The AAF's peak strength was reached in 1944 with  2,372,000 personnel, nearly twice the previous year's figure.

The losses were huge---but so were production totals.  From 1941 through 1945, American  industry deliveredmore than 276,000 military aircraft. That number was enough not only for US Army, Navy and Marine Corps, but for allies as diverse as Britain, Australia, China and Russia.  In fact, from 1943 onward, America produced more planes than Britain and Russia combined.  And more than Germany and Japan together 1941-45.
However, our  enemies took massive losses.  Through much of 1944, the Luftwaffe sustained uncontrolled hemorrhaging, reaching 25 percent of aircrews and 40  planes a month. And in late 1944 into 1945, nearly half the pilots in  Japanese squadrons had flown fewer than 200 hours.  The disparity of two years before had been completely reversed.

Experience  Level:
Uncle Sam sent  many of his sons to war with absolute minimums of training. Some fighter pilots entered combat in 1942 with less than one hour in their assigned  aircraft.

The 357th  Fighter Group (often known as The Yoxford Boys) went to England in late 1943 having trained on P-39s.   The group never saw a Mustang until shortly before its first combat mission.

A high-time P-51 pilot had 30 hours in type.  Many had fewer than five hours.  Some had one hour.

With arrival of new aircraft, many combat units transitioned in combat.  The attitude was, "They all have a stick and a throttle.  Go fly "em." When the famed 4th Fighter Group converted from P-47s to P-51s in February 1944, there was no time to stand down for an orderly transition.   

The Group commander, Col. Donald Blakeslee, said, "You can learn to fly `51s on the way to the target.  

A future P-47 ace said, "I was sent to England to die."  He was not alone.  

Some fighter pilots tucked their wheels in the well on their first combat mission with one previous flight in the aircraft.  Meanwhile, many bomber crews were still learning their trade:  of Jimmy Doolittle's 15 pilots on the April 1942 Tokyo raid, only five had won their wings before 1941.   

All but one of the 16 copilots were less than a year out of flight school..

In WWII flying safety took a back seat to combat.  The AAF's worst accident rate was recorded by the A-36 Invader version of the P-51: a staggering 274 accidents  per 100,000 flying hours.   

Next worst were the P-39 at 245, the  P-40 at 188, and the P-38 at 139.  All were Allison powered.

Bomber wrecks were fewer but more expensive.  The B-17 and B-24 averaged 30 and
 35 accidents per 100,000 flight hours, respectively-- a horrific figure considering that from 1980 to 2000 the Air Force's major mishap rate was less than 2.

The B-29 was even worse at 40; the world's most sophisticated, most capable and most  expensive bomber was too urgently needed to stand down for mere safety reasons.. The AAF set a reasonably high standard for B-29 pilots, but the desired figures were seldom attained.

The original cadre of the 58th Bomb Wing was to have 400 hours of multi-engine time, but  there were not enough experienced pilots to meet the criterion.  Only ten percent had overseas experience.  Conversely, when a $2.1 billion B-2  crashed in 2008, the Air Force initiated a two-month "safety pause" rather than declare a "stand down", let alone grounding.

The B-29 was no better for maintenance. Though the R3350 was known as a complicated,  troublesome power-plant, no more than half the mechanics had previous experience with the Duplex Cyclone.   But they made it work.
Perhaps the greatest unsung success story of AAF training was Navigators.

The Army graduated some 50,000 during the War.  And many had never flown out of sight of land before leaving "Uncle Sugar" for a war zone.  Yet the huge majority found their way across oceans and continents without getting lost or running out of fuel --- a stirring tribute to the AAF's educational establishments.
Cadet To Colonel:
It was possible for a flying cadet at the time of Pearl Harbor to finish the war with eagles on his shoulders.  That was the record of John D. Landers, a 21-year-old Texan, who was commissioned a second lieutenant on December 12, 1941.  He joined his combat squadron with 209 hours total flight time, including 2 in P-40s.  He finished the war as a full colonel, commanding an 8th Air Force Group --- at age 24.

As the training pipeline filled up, however those low figures became exceptions.  

By early 1944, the average AAF fighter pilot entering combat had logged at least 450 hours, usually including 250 hours in training.  At the same time, many captains  and first lieutenants claimed over 600 hours.
At its height in mid-1944, the Army Air Forces had 2.6 million people and nearly 80,000 aircraft of all types.  

Today the US Air Force employs 327,000 active personnel (plus 170,000 civilians) with 5,500+ manned and perhaps 200 unmanned aircraft.  

The 2009 figures represent about 12 percent of the manpower and 7 percent of the airplanes of the WWII peak.

Whether there will ever be another war like that experienced in 1940-45 is doubtful, as fighters and bombers have given way to helicopters and remotely-controlled drones over Afghanistan and Iraq .  But within living memory, men left the earth in 1,000-plane formations and fought major battles five miles high,  leaving a legacy that remains timeless.