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 email@example.com
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
||Warren Winkler and Lynn
Avoiding Ground Collisions
If you ask a pilot what is one of their biggest safety concerns midair
collisions will be near the top of the list and rightfully so. Midair
collisions are often fatal, but the good news is that they are not all
that common. Where a pilot is more likely to have a collision is on the
ground, not in the air. Typically ground collisions don’t
result in fatalities but that is not always the case. The largest loss
of life in an airplane accident was a ground collision at the Tenerife
airport in 1977 that took more than 583 lives. Ground collisions,
especially in General Aviation, more often result in expensive repairs
and awkward explanations to other pilots.
There are several reasons why your chances of being involved in a
ground collision are much higher than an air collision. One reason is
there are more things to hit on the ground! Let’s use PGD as
an example. In the seven years I have been flying from the PGD airport
I know of nine airplane-involved ground collisions at the airport.
There have been two aircraft-to-aircraft collisions during taxi, three
aircraft-to-fuel truck collisions where the aircraft hit parked fuel
trucks, one hangar collision, one obstacle on ramp collision, one
collision with a drainage ditch during taxi and one near miss collision
that was avoided by the pilot stepping hard on the brakes which caused
the accident aircraft to pitch over on its nose resulting in prop and
The solutions to avoiding ground collisions are simple:
o Look outside o Don’t tune radios/nav. equipment/displays
o Employ sterile cockpit procedures on the ground
o Taxi at a safe speed. o Make taxi turns at a safe speed and exit the
runway at a safe speed.
o Clear the area in front of the aircraft, especially when operating
o Employ single pilot resource management (use your passengers to help
you look outside)
In summary, slow down and look around when the aircraft is on the
Director of Safety and Flying Activities