Clipped Wings: The Beginning

January 08, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

1948 Cessna 170 Brenizer Method on a Cessna 170Brenizer Method on a Cessna 170

N4167V (deregistered)

Peter O Knight Airport (KTPF) Tampa, FL

Gallery Link

It's just natural that I start off with the inspiration for the Clipped Wings project: N4167V. I first became acquainted with the 1948 Cessna 170 while working as a lineman at Peter O Knight Airport (KTPF). Out of about 6 or 7 “misfits” on the field, 67V is probably in the worst condition. I started working at Peter O Knight in January of 2004, and 67V is still parked in the same tie down at the end of a row of hangars as it was then.

The history of this plane seems to be marred with some bitter dealings between the owner and previous airport management. I've been told that on two separate occasions that one of the large mower/tractors came in to contact with the plane while parked. Evidence of this is the left wing which is crumpled about 24” from the tip. There were apparently some legal proceedings that went unsettled and ultimately the plane sat in disrepair. The old Cessna is in a bad way and the cost of getting her airworthy again is probably more than most would be willing to invest. Though I'm hearing the story of 19 year old Kyle Fosso who's restoring a wrecked 170B that sat in storage for 40 years. Maybe 67V is just waiting for it's own Kyle to bring it back to life.

Every time I'm at Peter O Knight to photograph, I always pay a visit to the lonely 170. It sits there tied down out of the view of most people. The vertical and horizontal stabilizers are gone. While the wings are attached, they're missing the ailerons and flaps. There's no prop but the Continental motor is still mounted. The passenger side door is off and sitting inside exposing the cabin to the salt air of Tampa Bay. Inside the cabin the interior is gone. No seats or upholstery. What's left of the headliner is ripped and sagging. Her beige finish is oxidized to the point it feels like 100 grit sandpaper. The instrument panel is only being held together by the fact the instruments are still place. Every switch, knob, and button is covered in corrosion and the windows are pitted and fogged over. It sits on 2 main landing gear tires that are flat and cracked with dry rot and half off their wheels. 

Even though this 170 is in deplorable condition, I will always look to it as the inspiration for this project.  I have a few more aircraft at Peter O Knight I will write about.  Please follow and share as I continue with the "Clipped Wings" project.   My goal is to artistically document the aircraft that I come across and show the beauty in the decay. 

Click the following link to see some of the photos of N4167V that I've taken from 2013-2015.Gallery of 1948 Cessna 170 N4167V


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