Sunday, November 8, 2009

Today at KMGJ

No trip to DC for me this weekend. A social engagement last evening required my continued presence here in Connecticut, so here I stayed. With some time today and beautiful VMC weather on hand, I gathered up a good friend and flew N631S from Bridgeport to Orange County Airport (KMGJ) in Montgomery, NY. Orange County is a very pleasant non-towered field about six miles west of Stewart International Airport (KSWF). It offers quite a good on-field restaurant, "Rick's Runway Cafe", and good airplane watching.

One visitor was this really spiffy North American T-6 Texan. Its owner had flown it up from White Plains (KHPN).

Across the apron from the restaurant, near the gas pumps, rested a derelict twin that I just didn't recognize. This airplane is in really sad shape. The tires are flat, the bottom blade of the right prop is digging into the asphalt, the right wingtip is damaged and the paint is flaking in many places.

My friend came to the rescue. After staring at the old airplane for a few minutes he said, "I think it's a Beagle. It's British." And it turns out he's right! A bit of Google research turned up this link which provides specifications and history, and some photos of one in quite a bit better shape. I believe (based on the 2-bladed props) that the airplane at KMGJ is a Beagle B.206S Series 1, powered by Continental GIO-470 engines. (The later Series 2 used more powerful GTSIO-520's.) The FAA Aircraft Registry site shows 10 Series 1's currently holding N-numbers.

The flight over and back was a pleasant chance to hand-fly the airplane in good weather - something I probably ought to do more of. With a little luck, next weekend will bring another trip to Virginia.

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