Looking for My Next Adventure

Ryan Keough piloting B-25 MitchellHello folks! It has been a long time since I last updated the personal website, so I might as well fill everyone in on what I have been doing for the last few years! Basically I have been from Arizona to New York and back with a WHOLE lot of states in between! And now I am back in Tucson, Arizona ready for the next chapter in my career.

In a somewhat radical turn of events three years ago, I moved from Phoenix, AZ to Western New York in January of 2013 and proceeded to embark on a few years of intense travel and adventure as a full time crewmember aboard the Collings Foundation’s Wings of Freedom Tour — flying to over 33 states annually aboard the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator, North American B-25 Mitchell, and the North American P-51 Mustang. It was two seasons worth of excitement as I worked as the Sales Director for the flight experience program — basically selling rides and flight training for visitors aboard the aircraft at the 110 airports we visited over a 10 month period each year.

It was amazing work and I literally met tens of thousands of people. It was also one of the few jobs where you ended the day knowing that you made the dreams come true for many people. That reward counteracted the 10-12 hour days and grueling 7-day-a-week schedule while living out of a suitcase at three new hotels a week on average. Making those dreams come true and honoring the veterans who flew them 70 years ago in World War II was worth it!

It was also an amazing way to see the country we live in from only 1000 feet above ground most times. We visited every corner of the United States and experienced the local culture in every region. We met a lot of wonderful people, experienced the general good hearted nature of most folks, and became friends with a great many of them. I also saw, first hand, how wonderful the General Aviation community is in America. There are tons of hard working folks at airports big and small that have put their passion to work and have overcome some incredible odds to make their businesses survive and grow. It was a great eye-opener and further reinforcement as to why we, as a nation, need to preserve and protect our freedom to fly and prevent privatization of our airspace system to avoid the massive amount of cost to users through projected user fee adoption.

But I digress… many of these stories and opinions can come later on. The main focus of this note is to let everyone know that I am “free agent” here in Tucson, AZ now and looking for the next adventure in my career. My passion and devotion to aviation has always been proven from my work, but I believe that my dedication, skills, and experience can translate to a wide range of other industries and I am excited to move forward and find new challenges.

So, if you are looking for a proven candidate with a strong background in marketing and sales with an entrepreneurial spirit, look no further!

Take a look at my qualifications at my LinkedIn profile (https://www.linkedin.com/in/rkeough) and reach out to me at keough.ryan@ryankeough.com or 520-505-1928

Ryan Keough | LinkedIn

Established Ryan Keough Consulting and The Radial Group to provide freelance and contract support for clients in the development and execution of detailed marketing & PR strategies, promotional campaigns, social media engagement, and media contact planning. Developed an aviation-focused client base of small to medium-sized businesses and non-profit organizations in the general aviation, airshow, and aviation history segments.

Forgotten Flyers: The Fairchild Aircraft Model F-45

Fairchild Aircraft Model F-45A Cutter Flying Service NC16865 s/n 4011I think I have always had a soft spot for the forgotten or overlooked parts of aviation history and as a result, I end up learned a lot about some fairly obscure aircraft, pilots and airports as I work my way around the web.  I actually like this trait of mine as it makes me feel really special when I uncover something really mysterious.  I’ll write about such finds later in future blog posts, but I might as well start with something that is a bit of ongoing research for me.

About a month ago, I read a blog post on the Antique Airplane Association website (by the way, an OUTSTANDING site that’s always being updated with new content!) about the recent court win in an ongoing battle to obtain the Approved Type Certificate (ATC) drawings/data held by the FAA, for those restoring antique/classic aircraft – something that has been extremely restricted for no real good reason by bureaucratic red tape and Federal Agency excuse-making in my opinion.  The case stemmed from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the Fairchild 45 drawings/data by AAA Executive Director Brent Taylor that was denied by the FAA and lead to the legal action against the FAA and the now-defunct Fairchild Corporation to obtain them.  As I followed this case, it occurred to me that I had never heard of the Fairchild F-45 and it caught my interest.

A few days later, while at work, Mr. Bill Cutter brought the AAA newsletter article on the case in to me and asked me if I could check to see if the aircraft pictured in the article (s/n Cutter Flying Service, Fairchild Pegasus Magazine, March 19454015, now owned and flown by George Riffle) was one of the F-45’s his father, William P. Cutter, operated in Albuquerque in the late 30’s and 40’s.  Evidently Cutter Flying Service was the primary Fairchild Dealership in the Southwest and William P. Cutter had quite a few Fairchilds in his logbook after a time.  Mr. Cutter even had an article written about him in the Fairchild Corporation magazine, “The Pegasus” in March 1945 about his use of Fairchild’s in the Southwest… and that article showed two photos of an F-45 he was operating at the time (click on the image at right for a PDF of the article or click this link to the article).  We later determined that the aircraft in the article was actually s/n 4011, NC16865 – but the process of looking up this limited-production, clean design, executive monoplane really got my research juices flowing.

The five-place, retractable gear Fairchild 45 first flew on May 31, 1935, powered originally by a 225 hp Jacobs L-4 radial engine.  Later production models had a more powerful 320 hp Wright R-760 radial engine instead.  Including the prototype, only 17 aircraft were constructed as the market at the time was considered to not be able to support more aggressive sales as the United States was just beginning to slowly recover from the Great Depression.  Other executive low-wing monoplanes like the Spartan Executive and Harlow PJC-2 also saw low production numbers during this time with the Spartan having only 34 produced and a mere 11 Harlow PJC-2’s produced.

Of the 17 produced, three aircraft were sold to the Honduran Air Force (s/n’s 4001, 4005, 4010) and two to the Argentine Navy (s/n’s 4007 & 4008) and another being registered in the U.S. then sold in 1937 to the South African Air Force (s/n 4002).  Another two aircraft were impressed into the US Army Air Corps as the UC-88 (s/n’s 4004 and 4013) in 1943 as General Aviation more-or-less came to a standstill during World War II.  One more F-45A was impressed into the U.S. Navy as a JK-1 in 1943 as an executive transport (s/n 4006).  This left a precious few to be sold and flown by civilian operators – and luckily Cutter Flying Service was one of them.

I was able to construct a fairly complete list of the entire production line of the Fairchild F-45 and F-45A and have created a preliminary table of them, their Civil Registrations, Serial Numbers, last known history, and if they are on the current U.S. Civil Aircraft Register. 

Click here to see that table with links to photos where I was able to find some.

Now I am just trying to determine what happened to the rest and to fill in the blanks… some of the aircraft seem to just disappear, meaning that they were destroyed, are sitting somewhere derelict, or met another fate.  ANY assistance to track these aircraft down would be wonderful… as I’d like to build a complete history of each if at all possible.

Again, visit the Fairchild F-45 & F-45A Aircraft Table here as far as I have assembled it.  Email any updates to me at keough.ryan@gmail.com or comment publicly here on this post.  Thanks!

17 Signs that Your Airplane Preservation Hobby may be Impacting Your Home and Family Life…

The 17 Signs That Aviation Preservation is Impacting Your Life - Ryan KeoughWhy only seventeen? Because we’re too busy with the airplane project to come up with three more!

Hope you enjoy the chuckles… and hope they don’t hit too close to home!

THE LIST…

When your wife says your son was caught with dope and you get excited and run to the garage and turn on the lights.

When your new $25,000 truck sits outside in the snow while you protect $800 worth of wood and metal in the garage as you procrastinate in building one of your wings.

When you don’t understand why your wife is mad at you for using the master bath shower stall as a spray booth — I mean, those parts aren’t going to zinc chromate themselves!

When you’ll spend $400 on gas, three days on the road, and 30 hours sifting through a junkyard in Wyoming in the middle of winter to find three good turbocharger cores, but can’t stand waiting for more than 5 minutes holding a purse outside the dressing room at Macys

When the local stray cat goes missing, but weeks later you find him after “smelling” something in the backyard — and it take 6 hours and a 12 pack to extricate him from the pile of parts in the yard.

When you go to an airplane museum for fun and end up needing to rent a trailer to come home.

When your idea of interior design is mounting pieces of battered metal “scored” from your wreckchaser friend on the walls, and you show your wife in all seriousness that Moto Art website when she says she wants a new dining room table.

When more than 20% of your home “junk drawer” in the kitchen contains either broken clecos, AN bolts, or odd shaped hydraulic fittings.

When Lava soap replaces that Aloe and Shea Butter pump soap at your kitchen sink.

When the stack of Aircraft Spruce catalogs, Trade-a-Planes, and EAA Magazines in your bathroom is declared a piece of furniture.

When you’ve got a half-finished deck and patio out back, two-thirds of your house has been covered in Tyvek wrap for a year, and the shed out back still has a roof covered in a blue tarp, but you pride yourself in engineering and constructing a wooden rib and longeron steamer in two weekends.

When the yearly tax-return in April always seems to vanish in May when the local “fly market” happens at the local airport — I mean, where else are you going to find those fairings for that Navion you may eventually buy when the kids graduate from college?

When you are the only family for at least 400 miles that has a microfilm reader on the bureau in your bedroom.

When you become insanely jealous and wish YOU had a dry lakebed where you could horde cool stray castoff projects.

When your shop vac gets more use than the Hoover in the hall closet does.

When your digital camera has taken only about a dozen photos of your kids playing teeball, but is credited with 2000+ photos documenting your project.

When you can’t hide your stray fingernail clippings in the carpet because they are all stained black from your overzealous usage of the parts cleaner.

and that’s it! Seek help now if any of these apply…

One Six Right: Weeping on a Saturday Morning

One Six Right Aviation Documentary Film - Ryan KeoughIt only took me four years to actually do it, but I finally watched the acclaimed aviation documentary One Six Right this morning after buying the last copy of it at the local pilot shop at Mesa Gateway Airport last weekend. It had been on my Amazon list for a few years, but my frugality kept me from actually making the buy. In the end, it was the feeling of goodwill I mustered up to make, what most probably was, one of the only sales that the kind, old gentleman at the pilots shop made last Saturday.

Buy the film at Amazon.com by clicking on this link: One Six Right The Romance of Flying.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the film, One Six Right is something of a documentary of Van Nuys Airport – the business general aviation airport in the United States and one of the most historic airfields still in the Los Angeles area. It was created in 2005 by filmmaker Brian Terwilliger.

As Lil was using my office and the sole scanner in our household for the day in preparation for another large eBay sale today, I positioned myself in the living room with laptop and TV at the ready. Instead of watching the usual schlock of Doctor Who, Top Gear, or even (God forbid) one of those Worlds Wildest Police Videos shows in the background while I worked, I decided to take advantage of Lil’s absence and pop in the DVD of One Six Right.

Continue reading One Six Right: Weeping on a Saturday Morning