On way home!
07 June 2010
Photo: © Eric Fritz via Brent Taylor
2008 Mr Allen K. Young of Sandia, Texas, donated his Republic RC-3 Seabee
amphibian N6019K (s/n 189) to Airpower Museum in Iowa.
This is the story of the hard work and dedication of the volunteers
that for two years struggled to get N6019K to fly again - to get
her from Charles City, Iowa, to her new home in Ottumwa, Iowa. Sadly, this is also the story of a
tragic loss... Story as told by Brent Taylor at www.antiqueairfield.com
May 22 - APM Recieves Gift of Republic RC-3 "Seabee" Amphibian
Thanks to the generosity of A. K. Young, Sandia, Texas,
the APM is the recipient of a Republic RC-3 "Seabee" N6019K
serial number 189.
The aircraft is in very good condition needing only a
prop overhaul and annual inspection to be returned to airworthy
condition. The aircraft is very original with the only modifications
being wing tip extensions, wide spray rails and modern brakes. Still
powered with the original Franklin 6A8-B8F engine of 215 hp, this
donation comes with a spare engine as well as a multitude of spare
The Republic RC-3 "Seabee" was designed by
P. H. Spencer and began production in Nov 1945. Production ended two
years later in Oct of 1947 with a total production run of 1060 aircraft.
Currently there are 449 "Seabee's" on aircraft registries
around the world including the US, Canada, France, England, Sweden &
Australia. For more information about the "Seabee" please
check out the International Republic Seabee Owner's Club website at www.republicseabee.com.
This particular "Seabee" has the distinction
of being the first of its type to land at Antique Airfield. A. K. Young
brought N6019K to the AAA/APM Annual Fly-in in 2004.
Currently N6019K is hangared at the airport in Charles
City, IA. One truck load of spare parts has already been delivered to
the APM and another trip is planned in the near future to retrieve the
spare engine, wings and other parts. We plan to remove the propeller
currently on the aircraft for overhaul and would like to encourage
financial donations to help defray the costs of this expensive overhaul.
We hope and plan to be able to fly the "Seabee"
to it's new home within the next month or so and we will have it on
display during the AAA/APM
Fly-in (Aug. 27th - Sep. 1st) for all to view.
"Thanks" once again to A. K. Young for his
generosity and also to Charles City, IA FBO Bill Kyle for his help in
seeing that "Seabee" N6019K has a new home at the APM.
January 19 - Update
Back on May 22nd, 2008 we announced
the generous donation of a Republic RC-3 “SeaBee” to the APM from A.
K. Young of Sandia, TX. The “Seabee”, N6019K, sn# 189, was and is
in very good shape needing only a thorough annual inspection to be made
the full update on retrieving and reassembling the SeaBee.
Director Mark Robotti
Franklin comes to life!
Seabee undergoing taxi tests in
anticipation of a test flight
Aircraft Towing Services Inc!
September 21 - Two Steps Forward, One Back
The dance to get the APM's Seabee
flying and home from Charles City, IA continues. APM Director Mark
Robotti had spent the weekend before the AAA/APM fly-in at Charles City
attending to the left over items to get the "Bee" finished up.
While he was able to get the "Bee" started it would not remain
At the AAA/APM Fly-in this matter was
discussed with several experienced Franklin and Seabee owner/mechanics.
It was thought that the trouble most likely pointed to problems with the
dual fuel pumps that provide fuel to the 215hp Franklin engine that
powers the Seabee.
Flash ahead to Sep. 19th. Yours truly
along with Cliff Hatz and Mark Robotti rendezvoused in Charles City and
began to explore the problem. As it turns out the fuel flow problem was
a combination of plugged vents and some problems with the gasculator.
These were quickly remedied and the "Bee" came to life. After
a lunch break we again ran the "Bee", taxied it a bit as well,
and proceeded to accomplish a compression check and oil change. Once
completed the airplane was buttoned up and taxi tests in anticipation of
test flying the aircraft were undertaken. Those taxi tests were going
well until the tail wheel tube and tire failed.
Now for the interesting part. Of
course this had to happen as far away from the hangar/shop as possible
so the airport tug was recruited to tow the "Bee" back to the
hangar. We tried mounting the flattened tailwheel assembly on a board to
act as a skid but that did not work well. After careful examination we
determined that if done slowly, the airplane could be towed on the
ruined tire and tube with no more damage to the wheel than already had
been done. So slowly the airport tug began the trip back to the hangars
with the "Bee" in tow. About halfway back another
"situation" arose when the tug ran out of fuel!! A quick trip
to get fuel for the tug proved to be fruitless as it refused to start
(must be another fuel pump problem). So now we have the Seabee and the
tug stuck on the taxiway. What to do ? Why call Redneck Aircraft Towing
Services Inc. of course.
The Seabee is once again in the hangar
at Charles City and we plan a return shortly with a new 10 SC wheel,
tire and tube to install and at last get the "Bee" back in the
P.S. By the way, the identity of the
PIC for the above taxi tests shall remain anonymous. All I will say is
that I was taking the pictures!
Ben Taylor installing the overhauled cylinder on the
Ben Taylor and APM Director Mark Lancaster test running the
The working end of the "Bee"
during a test run
May 27 - Almost Ready to Fly
Work continues in getting the APM's
"Seabee" flyable and home to the APM from Charles City, IA.
To review, late last fall (just before
our annual "Pumpkin Drop" actually) Dour Rozendaal had test
flown the "bee" and during that flight a mechanical problem
necessitated the removal of a cylinder. That cylinder was sent to the
Franklin experts at 'Lil Red Aero in Kearney, NE. Then more cylinders,
from our spare parts inventory, were sent until a serviceable unit and a
spare were found. The arrival of an early, long and brutal winter here
in the Midwest put plans for retrieval of the "Bee" on hold
Flash ahead to the present. May 22nd
found yours truly and son Ben Taylor headed towards Charles City once
again. Armed with a serviceable cylinder, tools and the want to finish
this project up helped get us on the road bright and early.
We set to work almost immediately upon
arrival at Charles City and by late afternoon were looking forward to
pushing the "Bee" out for a test run. Then a problem arose.
Either a stuck or collapsed hydraulic lifter was preventing setting the
proper valve clearance on the replacement cylinder installation.
Eventually a solution was worked out and with the help of APM director
Mark Lancaster and wife Teri (who happened to be in the area for the
day) the "Bee" was extracted from the hangar and readied for a
The "Bee" fired up almost
immediately. After a visual check for leaks/problems and to allow the
oil temp to warm a bit, the "Bee" was run up and a check of
mags/carb heat/prop etc. revealed an engine ready once again for flight.
Unfortunately by that time it was
dark. So the "Bee" was moved back into the hangar to await a
test flight in the next couple of days and hopefully a flight home to
the APM later this coming week.
I want to again want to send a big
"Thank You" to Bill Kyle at the Charles City airport for not
only his help in getting the "Bee" back airworthy, but also
for his patience.
Stay tuned for what we hope will be
the final chapter in getting the APM's "Seabee" home to
Antique Airfield later this coming week !!!
Seabee taxies to the gas pump.
"chase" Fairchild awaits.
Touchdown at the end of
the successful test flight.
The slightly disheveled test/ferry pilot on arrival at Oskaloosa.
Oskaloosa Airport FBO Jerry Strunk on Right.
June 07 - Home at Last (Well Almost...)
our last report on the continuing saga of getting the APM's Republic
Seabee home we (Ben Taylor, Mark & Teri Lancaster & yours truly)
were finally able to get the "Bee" back together and test run
on May 22nd. It was hoped that we could get Doug Rozendaal to once again
test fly the "Bee" before bringing it to SE Iowa but weather
and Doug's schedule thwarted that plan. So yesterday, June 6th, APM
director Mark Lancaster was kind enough to give me ride to Charles City
in his Fairchild 24 to retrieve the "Bee" and act as chase
plane for the trip home.
After yet a few more last minute
maintenance items were taken care of, I successfully test flew the
"Bee" for approximately 1/2 hour. Upon landing and inspection
it was determined the "Bee" was ready to head to it's new
home. With the fuel topped off and my courage screwed up, the Fairchild
and the "Bee" headed south. The flight to the Oskaloosa, IA
airport, where we left the "Bee" for the evening, took 1.25
The "Bee" was then flown
from Osky to the Ottumwa Industrial airport this afternoon and is
currently hangared there until we can make the space available to
display it here at Antique Airfield.
Getting the "Bee" flying and
home has been a long project and we would like to offer our
"Thanks" to the following folks who helped in many ways to get
the Seabee flying and home to the APM:
Dave & Frannie Falkenhagen
Mark & Teri Lancaster
Mark & Gloria Robotti
Special "THANKS" go the Bill
Kyle, Charles City Airport FBO, for his patience, help and support in
getting the Seabee flying and home to the APM. Finally we are extremely
grateful to A.K. Young for his generous donation of the Seabee and spare
parts inventory to the APM.
flipped by tornado
July 23 - Final!
In the 45 years
the APM has been in existence, 39 which have been centered at Antique
Airfield, the museum and its collections have endured many a Midwestern
weather event. Everything from blizzards with snow loads that threatened
to collapse our buildings, to severe thunderstorms and tornados which
have tried to take the roofs off. While there has been damage to the
buildings and grounds, and we have had our personal aircraft damaged in
the past due to these events, none of those damages involved aircraft
belonging to the APM.
That all changed early Sunday July 18th.
At a little after 5am an apparent tornado touched down at Antique
Airfield and the APM's Republic "Seabee" was wrenched from
it's tie downs, flipped over and destroyed.
To say we are heartbroken is an
understatement. A dedicated team of volunteers had just spent two years
traveling to, working on and funding an effort to return A. K. Young's
generous donation to flying status. We had just flown the
"Bee" into Antique Airfield on June 30th with an amassed
flying time of three hours since it's return to flying status. The
process of re-arranging the museum hangars, to be able to display the
"Bee", was also underway.
If there is a silver lining to every
cloud, in this case it would be that the "Bee" was properly
So as we have always done when faced
with challenges here at Antique Airfield, we will persevere and move
ahead. After all the AAA/APM Fly-in will be here before we know it and
we look forward to beginning construction on the APM Restoration Center
(if the weather will ever cooperate).
See you all in September we hope.
in Mesa, Arizona
The wreck of N6019K and all parts were
sold in 2010 to Randall Clayton Jarman (Randall Clayton Aircraft Parts);
Mesa, Arizona. The complete wreck and parts were offered for sale
at USD 8,000.-. Republic RC-3 SN 189 with 1193.6
TT. Franklin 6A8-B8F with 405.6 SMOH. Hartzell 2
bladed prop (wear on blade from transport).
Apparently, the wreck has been sold on
a new owner. According to FAA Registry, the new owner since 22
September 2011 is: Russell
E. McDonald; 5080 State Route 28, Rock Island, Washington 98850-9564,
22 October 2000
Photo: © Franco Zanaboni