Casper aviation platoon Casper Platoon Story

Caspers in the News

By Don Bliss, Casper Pilot

Casper Platoon Commander Back In The Saddle

PALMYRA, PA (2007) - My oldest son is a Captain for Northwest Airlines flying the 747-400 from Detroit to Japan and other points in the Far East. He owns a Citabria and lives near Memphis. A very close friend of his and also a 747 Captain owns a Robinson 44. One day I made the comment to my son that I thought I could get in a Huey and fly it without any trouble what so ever.

While visiting son, Rusty, and his family in the summer of 2007, he said he had a deal lined up for me with that friend, Jimmy Fordham, in Monroe, LA. to fly his R-44. We hopped in the Citabria and flew to Monroe and met Jimmy. After a few minutes of ground instruction in the book about the Robinson 44 and then a detailed preflight, comments about over correcting etc., we took off for the training area. After a few minutes he had me flying maneuvers around the training area, then we returned and I made a rather sloppy approach to a spot, hovered in to the ramp and did touch downs, hovered left, right forward, backward, did turns left and right, hovered left and right and all the old school maneuvers. I couldn't believe how quick so much came back to me. After an hour and a half, much of it on the ground in front of about twenty friends, relatives, including another son and grandsons, some girl friends, etc. we set it down for good. The picture you see hovering has the IP with his hands in the air, showing the audience I was in complete control. What a thrill!

When I got back home, I checked my flight log and discovered I had not flown a rotary wing since December 5,1968 in Vietnam. That meant 38 1/2 years. Just like riding a bicycle. I am currently flying a Cessna 172 from our local airport about once a month and loving every minute of it. At 76 years old I am very thankful to still have the health and skills necessary to fly. ONLY FIELD GRADE WEATHER. I am sure you know what that means. Once in awhile I take a X-country but not more than two hours out.

I have another of my four sons that flies the Boeing 767 for Delta out of JFK. Mostly across the Atlantic to anywhere from London, England to Cape Town, South Africa (where he spent Thanksgiving). He gets to spend Christmas in Istanbul, Turkey.

Don Bliss, aka Original Casper 6

Don was Caspers first Commanding Officer and formed Casper Platoon in Okinawa, Japan in 1963. He later became Brigade Aviation Officer in Bien Hoa in 1965.

Don Bliss:

This site was last updated: 2/15/15