2009 BentProp Progress Report # 28

P-MAN XI Update #28 - Flip's still catching up 11 March 2009


From Flip

08 March

Oops! I got behind again. I'll get caught up eventually.

Today was pancake day! Blueberry pancake day! And we had guests! Dave and Margie, Suza (expat American who lives on a boat with her hubby. They started sailing many years ago and were just going for a few years. They're still out here, going from tropical island paradise to tropical island paradise.) We chatted up a storm and then kicked out guests out and got down to business.

Today was a scrub day again. We went over every airframe that was lost in the war in Palau and made some decisions about research directions for each case. We also look at the cases in name order to see what more we need in order to find certain folks. For each airframe that was lost in searchable Palau (anything in deep water is beyond our abilities so there is no need to expend any effort), we logged whether or not we need more information, or the disposition of the airframe according to the summary records. In some cases, there may not have been an MIA associated with a crash, but the airframe might be in an area where there is a MIA. We would want to know that in case we ever stumble upon that airframe. Wouldn't want any false positives.

Flip at Neco Marine with friend "Ius." Ius (pronounced youss)
means "crocodile" in Palauan. Yep, he bites. No, the bird.

I thought it would take most of the day, but we zipped right through it. We were done by noon. We had an invite from the CAT team to go to their compound for a middeployment party. They said there would be lots of food and lots of cold frosties. But enroute, we went to look at some airplane parts that were found near the airport. We were just going to take 5 minutes. And you know what that means with this group.

Joe lead us to the parts on the side of a hill. Houses are starting to invade this area so it is important to sweep the hill for more debris. We found the parts laying on the surface and just needed to do a little dusting to take some pictures. If we were lucky, we hoped to find a vertical stabilizer with a serial number on it. As it turned out, we found the horizontal stabilizers and the first few feet of the outer wing panel of the port wing. They are FM2 Wildcat parts and there is a FM2 just about a quarter mile away. And there are no other Wildcats down in the area. So we have a pretty good idea of who belongs to these parts. And of course it took more than 5 minutes and of course standing in the hot sun dusting turned our party clothes into work clothes.


The team visits the FM-2 horizontal stabilizer and elevator. In their party clothes.

For comparison, here are shots of the horizontal stab and elevator of an F4F
(the immediate predecessor of the FM-2) taken by Reid
at a warbirds museum a couple of weeks ago.

Then we arrived at the CAT team compound. Their pub was open and they had more food than a whole village could consume. The BBQ whole pig was excellent as well as all of the dishes from all around the pacific rim. Some of our folks tossed horseshoes. Some went on a short cave expedition. Some pointed out to the CAT team members how close the Wildcat is to their compound. All of us had a grand time. I ate almost as much as I did at Joe and Esther's!

Then we went back to the casa as Pat had to pack and depart. This was an odd feeling for me. Most of the time I'm the one leaving early. This mission it was Pat's turn. Duty called back at his mothership. We milled about smartly until it was time to take him to the airport. Dropped him off and headed home. A few of us wanted a Bem Ermii milkshake so we took those that didn't want a milkshake home and returned for a frozen treat.

So ended another day of The BentProp Project. For the next couple of days, we'll be closing up loose ends and setting the stage for next year's mission, or this year's mid-year mission. Tomorrow will be an interview day. The 10th will be a scuba day for me as I need to see fish. What the other folks do won't concern me as I will be gently floating along the currents seeing tropical colors and being totally relaxed in the ocean realms. That is until a big mojammer shark gets too close. But that is a fish tale that is a few days away.

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