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Starduster in Hollister, CA

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Joined: 16 Dec 2010
Posts: 127
Location: Pueblo, Colorado

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:53 pm    Post subject: Starduster in Hollister, CA Reply with quote

Anybody know anything about Fred Bucci's Starduster in Hollister, CA? It is listed on Barnstormers for $19K. That seems like a steal of a deal for an O-360 powered Too. The only thing I saw that was non-standard was the spring style gear... Paint and fabric look good in the pics. I don't understand the price!

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Starduster History

Joined: 30 Nov 2006
Posts: 736
Location: St. Helens, Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:24 pm    Post subject: N292EP Reply with quote

Ron Not to much but it just sold. It was built in 1976 in Cloverdale CA by Erik Peterson. Sometime between then and the early 90s it had a alum spring gear installed. I think do to a ground loop as it had the old style gear. A friend of mine David Heal owned for several years during this time and it was based at Santa Rosa CA then. It was sold several time since and was last based at Frazier Lake near Holister CA. Owned by Fred Bucci.

I do not know why it was sold so cheap? Could be a divorce, might need covering or could have engine issues? As far as I know besides Erik, Dave Heal was the only other one that ever flew it anywhere. I see this so much these days people buy them and then never fly them?

As far as I know it was a fairly nice airplane well equipped and had no issues that I am aware of. Could have used a bit longer engine mount but unless you had two heavy people and no fuel even that would not have been a problem. Dave
Dave Baxter
Starduster History
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Tom Wilson

Joined: 04 Dec 2005
Posts: 151
Location: Fallbrook, California

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Always good to have on the forum.

I don't know a thing about the particular Starduster in question, but regarding your comment on people buying these airplanes and then not flying them, I will make some guesses.

For starters the modern buyer is in some ways not ready for the physical realities of open cockpit flying. Nor are they particularly well-trained in stick & rudder skills judging from the antics I see at our local airport. And there are few qualified instructors for this type of airplane.

Folks today grew up with air conditioning and power steering, forced air heat at home, and in short, they might find the wind, cold, engine heat and infrared radiation of an open cockpit plane more fun than they were bargaining for. Especially for cross country work, they just might choose their BMW's climate-controlled leather cocoon over the five-point harness and take-what-you-get temperature in a Starduster.

And while you and I know that checking out a Starduster has short, easy learning curve to it, unless there is an instructor around familiar with this sort of plane, it can be challenging for the 200 hour Cessna/Piper pilot who learned on a 4,500 ft runway and has been conditioned for a pen pal relationship with ATC and button-pushing airplane "management." He's got to get his head wrapped around the idea of sitting outside and flying a pleasantly responsive airplane.

Yet another issue is everyone is incredibly busy any more. Finding the time to massage their rag & tube biplane's mechanicals, even just once in a while, is getting more difficult. Heck, just finding time to get out to the airport and open the hangar doors seems a challenge for many, and I understand.

What do you bet many of the folks who can afford a $40,000 flivver are busy in their working lives? They're good at writing checks for maintenance and services, but if there is no one qualified to write a check to, then what?

Of course, those who can't make their way into these wonderful airplanes for whatever reason are missing out on a truly wondrous experience.

My final guess is one thing all of us can do in the 'duster community is locate, retain and promote instructors qualified for these birds so anyone coming into Stardusters gets off on the right foot. This forum seems a great place to do that.
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