Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ed Nielesky, a gyro pioneer

We had a gyro fly-in last weekend on the El Mirage dry lake bed. It's an annual affair and is always on the last weekend of September . Gyro pilots and enthusiasts come from near and far to fly, do a little hangar flying ( that means talking about flying ) and to visit with friends old and new.
One of my old friends, Ed Nielesky, in the photo above ,was there. Ed isn't flying anymore but over the years he has done his share of flying . His son Joe, says of his dad that when Joe was a kid one morning he and his dad left the airport before daylight in an airplane and flew all day. They arrived back at the home field after dark and Joe said his dad said," lets fly some more ". That sounds like Ed all right.
Ed started flying gyrocopters in the early days of the Bensen gyro, back when we had to teach ourselves to fly because there were no two place powered gyro trainers or flight instructors. Ed flew a Bensen gyrocopter with a McCulloch engine for many years.
Th Tee-shirt in the photo has a picture of two gyros flying. The pilot of the gyro in the foreground is Ed back when he was young. The gyro in the background is flown by the late Ken Brock , another gyro pioneer, . The photo was taken by Dr. Igor Bensen, designer of the Bensen Gyrocopter . The Tee-shirts were sold in department stores in the late sixties and early seventies.
The shirt shown here is one of mine that I wore when I was young and slender back in the early 70's. I displayed it at the fly-in as a tribute to my old gyro friend , Ed Nielesky.
I thought you might like to see a bit of history in the gyro world.
Till next time.
Marion Springer