Florida Warbirds, EAA Warbird Squadron 24, Inc. was founded in October
2000 by Earl Walsh, a
retired U.S. Navy Commander and owner/pilot of a
North American T-28 Trojan. It started with only a handful of Warbird
enthusiasts who believed there was a need for a local Squadron. Since
its inception membership continues to expand. Members are scattered
throughout Florida. Florida Warbirds is the only EAA Warbird Squadron
Florida Warbirds, EAA Warbird Squadron 24, Inc. is affiliated with the
EAA and EAA Warbirds of America. Squadron 24 members are required to be
members of both organizations.
Our goals are to educate our members and the public in the history,
preservation, safe operation and maintenance of World War II and other
such historic aircraft. Squadron 24 members are a diverse group of
Warbird enthusiasts, some of whom own Warbirds, others who enjoy
maintaining them and yet some who are just in love with them? Many of
the SquadronÕs aircraft are displayed at various aviation
events throughout Florida where sometimes they are demonstrated in
formation flights and combat simulations.
EAA Warbird Squadron 24 also participates in the Young Eagles Flight
Program in association with local EAA chapters. In this regard, we have
fundraising events to sponsor candidates to attend the EAA Air Academy
Summer Camp in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. This is a most rewarding and
educational experience for young people interested in aviation and a
chance to learn new skills and make new friends, too.
Our members are not only Warbird enthusiasts, but educators as well. If
you would like more information about Florida Warbirds, please contact
President Jim "Zack" Olzacki at firstname.lastname@example.org
or write to the address below.
EAA Warbird Squadron 24, Inc.
3954 Crooked Island Drive
Punta Gorda, FL 33950-8128
Florida Warbirds is a non-profit 501©(3) Corporation.
Warbirds of America
It was in Reno in 1964 that the concept of a club for warbird owners,
whose members could discuss mutual problems in keeping their airplanes
airborne, was conceived. Walt Ohlrich, Jr., a U.S. Navy Commander who
raced an F8F Bearcat, and others on the west coast formed the Warbirds
of America, Inc., which was incorporated on March 25, 1966.
The original intent was for owners and operators of World War II combat
Membership in the first year grew dramatically, thanks to the efforts
of Walt and regional presidents Jerry Walbrun, Pete Brucia and Frank
Sanders. Walt Ohlrich became the first president; Pete Brucia took over
in 1967 when Commander Ohlrich was assigned a combat tour in Vietnam.
It was at that time that the Warbirds of America became a division of
EAA. It was also in 1967 that the Warbirds of America began to include
the T-6/SNJ/Harvard, so the membership ranks grew even more.
As the years progressed, so did the organization. Membership increased,
with enthusiasts being accepted, and additional ex-military aircraft
types entered the picture as they were surplused by the armed forces
and as warbirds were recovered from all over the world and made flyable
again. Even the liaison aircraft were welcome and within the past
decade, a major influx of jet aircraft has swelled the ranks.
The purpose of this Squadron is to:
Promote, encourage, and facilitate an atmosphere where all are welcome
to join-in and become a part of recreational aviation.
Promote and encourage the preservation and operation of World War II
and other such aircraft that are representative of military aviation
Educate its members and other interested persons, in methods of safe
operation and maintenance of World War II and other such aircraft that
are representative of military aviation operations.
Promote a positive, productive, and cooperative relationship between
the Squadron and those governmental agencies and private enterprises
that provide aviation services and facilities to the members of the
Promote, encourage, and facilitate membership in the EAA (Experimental
Aircraft Association, Inc.) and the EAA Warbirds of America, Inc.
Support and promote the mission, vision, goals and objectives of the
EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc.) and the EAA Warbirds of
America, Inc., through programs and services within the Squadron
In addition we will:
Promote exposure to, recognition and support from the public
Maintain a relationship with various entities and the community
Board Members (non
||Jim "Zack" Olzacki
Safe Summertime Flying
It’s Summertime, Summertime, Sum, Sum, Summertime, or so the
song goes. It’s that time of high humidity, afternoon storms
and of course those ‘wind events’ that come at us
from the Caribbean and the Gulf.
It’s time to not only evaluate the decrease in our aircrafts
performance but also that of our own power plant and systems. We all
are aware of the loss of power and the loss of lift associated with
this time of year and how it affects our everyday flying. What about
the effect on us and our passengers.
It’s a good idea to do what I like to call a
‘Personal Pre-Flight’. It’s about knowing
your limits and your body and its systems. It encompasses knowing not
only what your aircraft needs for this flight but your personal needs
I have a personal flying kit. I have all that I feel I will need for
the flight at hand. We all know the basics, charts, headset, handheld,
flashlight,’ black boxes,’ etc. But, have you ever
First I always fly in light clothing and always pants, socks and some
type of leather shoes. I never wear shorts even when flying commercial.
I always consider the case of an ‘off airport
landing’ and the possibility of having to walk out. I always
wear a light shirt and a hat. If I wish shorts at my destination they
are either packed or I wear a light one piece coverall or flight suit.
I am always conscious of the possibility of a fire. You do have a fire
extinguisher on board. If you need one ‘just in
case’ then I figure why not pants.
Another thing that is part of my kit is a spare flashlight, a small 2
AA cell, and a knife and multi-purpose tool. Also the ever present
‘Power Bar’ or energy bar and some sort of sports
drink. My personal one is ‘Gator-Aide’, only
because it seems to work best for me. I have tried others only to
return to the original. You need to replace those electrolytes. Water
is good but sometimes you need more.
I worked for the National Hot Rod Association when they were sponsored
by ‘Powerade’. It didn’t work as well for
me. We were told that if we were seen with anything but Powerade we
would be fired. So, I took a Powerade bottle, emptied it and added my
own Gator-Aide. Problem solved. Anyway, my point, use what works best
Cabin heat through the windows or the greenhouse can take its toll and
sneak up on you. Don’t think that just because it is a short
flight that you will not need these things. Fatigue and heat exhaustion
can sneak up on you before you know it. It is better to have them and
not need them than to wish you did.
So take that little bit of extra time to address your personal
preflight and make sure you have considered those who are flying with
you. Take that little bit of time and think SAFETY.
Blue Skys and Tailwinds,
Director of Safety and Flying Activities