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Old 03-23-2017, 04:40 PM   #1
rvsuper8
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Default Looking to find E.F. Dearing Pitts Chief Engineer

Hello,
I have a new to me 1969 S1S. The manufacturer is "Dearing" which I believe is Gene Dearing or E.F. Dearing (perhaps this is one in the same person). The documented history on this plane only goes back to the 80's. As I shuffled through paperwork and saw the Dearing name in the certification records for Pitts, I realized I might have a pitts built by Dearing of the Curtis Pitts company. A piece of history. So I am now on a mission to find out more about him and even better, find him and let him know his plane is not only alive and well, but completely restored and still flying. If anyone knows anything about Mr. Dearing, his family, or how to reach him if he is even still alive, I sure would like to know it.
Please share what you might know about him, or who might know something about him.
Thank you
Mike


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Old 03-23-2017, 04:55 PM   #2
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The "E" could be Eugene.

Danny


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Old 03-23-2017, 05:48 PM   #3
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I goggled his name in the last year or two and came up with some fairly recent references that might lead to getting in contact with him. I didn't save what I found but it shouldn't be difficult to retrace my steps.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwilliamrose View Post
I goggled his name in the last year or two and came up with some fairly recent references that might lead to getting in contact with him. I didn't save what I found but it shouldn't be difficult to retrace my steps.
Great. I look forward to you reporting what you found on your step retrace. I have done as much sleuthing as im capable of to no avail.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:40 PM   #5
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I could not find the references I had found earlier but I did find what I had expected to find the first time;

http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00028419/00020

Mr. Eugene F. Dearing of Mexico Beach passed quietly away at his residence on Monday, May 2, 2005, with his wife Nancy and his daughter Felicia at his side. Mr. Dearing was born in Knoxville, TN and grew up in Dunedin, Fl. He was a graduate of Clearwater High School and held a Master's degree from the University of Florida at Gainesville. He had a long and distinguished career in aviation including being the chief engineer for Pitts Aviation of Homestead, where he and Mr. Curtis Pitts developed the "Pitts Special," an internationally known bi-plane. He was also a Designated Engineering Representative of the FAA for over 40 years. The Yorkshire Cremation and Burial Society are conducting the arrangements.......
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:49 PM   #6
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Does it list the Serial #, Name and Model of the Aircraft, the builders Name and the city & state on the data plate ?
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Old 03-23-2017, 09:16 PM   #7
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No Im afraid not. Just this data plate attached.
N519DC Dataplate.jpg  
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Old 03-23-2017, 09:43 PM   #8
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Are you sure it's the same Dearing?
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Old 03-23-2017, 09:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Are you sure it's the same Dearing?
No Im not sure at all. Just a hunch. How many Dearings in 1969 building a Pitts can there be?
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:39 PM   #10
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Notice the serial number Ben. Seems plausible that the feds were giving Curtis a hard time about building 'homebuilts' for profit and he used Gene's name so it didn't look like all the airplanes he was selling were his creations.
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Old 03-24-2017, 12:14 AM   #11
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Could be. Would be an interesting subject of an FAA title search to see where the registration history shows the airplane actually went when first built. I wasn't aware that Dearing was even a pilot but I have no information to back that up.
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Old 03-24-2017, 12:56 AM   #12
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If he was just lending his name for the cause he wouldn't need to be a pilot. You don't need to be a pilot to build an airplane in any case, there must have been more than one airplane built by an non-flying A&P or just an enthusiast.
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Old 03-24-2017, 01:24 AM   #13
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FWIW that is the "DEA" data plate. It is NOT the actual aircraft data plate which seems to be missing? It is that data plate that would have listed the address, empty weight, etc......
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Old 03-24-2017, 02:50 PM   #14
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The data plate that is used. I have noted that anything produced by Pitts was just about perfect. Look at the off center type. Hmmm.
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Old 03-26-2017, 06:31 PM   #15
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It is an E.F Dearing Pitts. Interestingly, I had a box that was given to me by the owner which had a bunch of loose papers, junk, and receipts over the years. Inside, at the bottom, the original logbook. Amazing. Some excerpts below attched. Noteworthy. EF Dearing built it. Curtis Pitts flew it. And at around the 90 hour mark, in the same year 1969, it was sold to Dwight S. Cross Jr who is well known in the airshow circuit in the south in the 70's an 80's. The logbook it full of interesting stuff, as if they knew it would be a part of historical record. Every flight that first year is logged by CHP. What an amazing treasure. Thanks everyone for the hunt and ideas and theories. The mystery of the 'Dearing' Pitts has been solved, and now a new path has been unveiled on Mr. Cross, who was an AF fighter pilot and historical figure to learn more about. A little time capsule that is teaching me a lot about the people and the plane. Sorry if the image is ginormous.
logbook.jpg  
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Old 03-26-2017, 06:40 PM   #16
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I love the fact (?) That he completed his 40 hour phase one testing in 9 flights in as many days and then installed a tach with recording feature.
It's taking me 6 months to get 36 hours...I must not be trying hard enough.
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Old 03-26-2017, 06:58 PM   #17
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We built one Glasair and did the initial test flights totaling about 5 hours and everything checked out. The owner came in and flew the remaining 35 hours off in a single work week! Not saying this is the best flight testing method but it is not impossible.
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Old 03-26-2017, 07:19 PM   #18
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Multiple flights per day, with a single logbook entry for each day.

For Curtis, building multiple examples of the same design, the "test flight " was probably more an exercise in "doing time"
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Old 03-26-2017, 07:23 PM   #19
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A gentleman from NY ordered a Curtis built flat wing with 0 320. On the appointed Friday he arrived at Curtis's strip to pick up his airplane. The airplane was scattered all over the hangar and the FAA was there. They had signed off the airplane and were getting ready to leave. FAA to Curtis: when will you have the 50 hours flown off? Curtis: Monday morning. FAA: we'll be here Mon morning. By midday Mon the owner was headed home.
When I built my first airplane I became acquainted with a neighbor who was building an airplane. I only knew that he worked for the FAA. Years later I learned that he was manager of the FSDO Office. We were talking one day and the subject of testing came up. He said "50 hours of testing is bs. Test the airplane thoroughly for 20 hours. Hook up a drill motor to the recording tach and run it up to 50 hours". So I tell people that an FAA inspector recommended two excellent pilots to help me complete phase one in two weeks. Their names were Mr. Black and Mr. Decker. I never actually met either of them but they always left the fuel tank full and the windshield clean. ALWAYS follow the recommendations of the FAA.
First flight was on July 6. Upstate NY for a quick paint job and arrived in Rockford around July 25. By the end of the year I had over 100 hours on the airplane.
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Old 03-26-2017, 07:25 PM   #20
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Wouldn't it be great to get a look at the original paperwork for some of the other Curtis built S1S's from the late 60's
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Old 03-26-2017, 09:26 PM   #21
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Does anyone know who W.T. and J. H., INitials of the pilots who flew the early hours with CHP might be?

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Old 03-27-2017, 03:14 AM   #22
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I always wondered if Curtis had involvement in one particular S1 I flew a bit. N5311, on the books as de-registered. On the data plate is was inscribed as built by Wm Schull, Homestead FL 1968. It was the lightest Pitts I ever flew and it was a GPU. It was impressive. In 1968 Homestead was probably small enough that all the Pitts jockeys were known.


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