The Rise and Fall of a Bee...

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On way home!
Iowa, USA
07 June 2010
Photo: © Eric Fritz via Brent Taylor


In 2008 Mr Allen K. Young of Sandia, Texas, donated his Republic RC-3 Seabee amphibian N6019K (s/n 189) to  Airpower Museum in Iowa.  This is the story of the hard work and dedication of the volunteers that for two years struggled to get  N6019K to fly again - to get her from Charles City, Iowa, to her new home in Ottumwa, Iowa.  Sadly, this is also the story of a tragic loss... Story as told by Brent Taylor at


Back in 2000...



Back in 2000...

2008 May 22 - APM Recieves Gift of Republic RC-3 "Seabee" Amphibian

Thanks to the generosity of A. K. Young, Sandia, Texas, the APM is the recipient of a Republic RC-3 "Seabee" N6019K serial number 189.

The aircraft is in very good condition needing only a prop overhaul and annual inspection to be returned to airworthy condition. The aircraft is very original with the only modifications being wing tip extensions, wide spray rails and modern brakes. Still powered with the original Franklin 6A8-B8F engine of 215 hp, this donation comes with a spare engine as well as a multitude of spare parts.

The Republic RC-3 "Seabee" was designed by P. H. Spencer and began production in Nov 1945. Production ended two years later in Oct of 1947 with a total production run of 1060 aircraft. Currently there are 449 "Seabee's" on aircraft registries around the world including the US, Canada, France, England, Sweden & Australia. For more information about the "Seabee" please check out the International Republic Seabee Owner's Club website at

This particular "Seabee" has the distinction of being the first of its type to land at Antique Airfield. A. K. Young brought N6019K to the AAA/APM Annual Fly-in in 2004.

Currently N6019K is hangared at the airport in Charles City, IA. One truck load of spare parts has already been delivered to the APM and another trip is planned in the near future to retrieve the spare engine, wings and other parts. We plan to remove the propeller currently on the aircraft for overhaul and would like to encourage financial donations to help defray the costs of this expensive overhaul.

We hope and plan to be able to fly the "Seabee" to it's new home within the next month or so and we will have it on display during the AAA/APM Fly-in (Aug. 27th - Sep. 1st) for all to view.

"Thanks" once again to A. K. Young for his generosity and also to Charles City, IA FBO Bill Kyle for his help in seeing that "Seabee" N6019K has a new home at the APM.

Brent Taylor


2009 January 19 - Update

Back on May 22nd, 2008 we announced the generous donation of a Republic RC-3 “SeaBee” to the APM from A. K. Young of Sandia, TX. The “Seabee”, N6019K, sn# 189, was and is in very good shape needing only a thorough annual inspection to be made airworthy. Read the full update on retrieving and reassembling the SeaBee.



APM Director Mark Robotti


The Franklin comes to life!


The Seabee undergoing taxi tests in
anticipation of a test flight


Redneck Aircraft Towing Services Inc!

2009 September 21 - Two Steps Forward, One Back

The dance to get the APM's Seabee flying and home from Charles City, IA continues. APM Director Mark Robotti had spent the weekend before the AAA/APM fly-in at Charles City attending to the left over items to get the "Bee" finished up. While he was able to get the "Bee" started it would not remain running.

At the AAA/APM Fly-in this matter was discussed with several experienced Franklin and Seabee owner/mechanics. It was thought that the trouble most likely pointed to problems with the dual fuel pumps that provide fuel to the 215hp Franklin engine that powers the Seabee.

Flash ahead to Sep. 19th. Yours truly along with Cliff Hatz and Mark Robotti rendezvoused in Charles City and began to explore the problem. As it turns out the fuel flow problem was a combination of plugged vents and some problems with the gasculator. These were quickly remedied and the "Bee" came to life. After a lunch break we again ran the "Bee", taxied it a bit as well, and proceeded to accomplish a compression check and oil change. Once completed the airplane was buttoned up and taxi tests in anticipation of test flying the aircraft were undertaken. Those taxi tests were going well until the tail wheel tube and tire failed.

Now for the interesting part. Of course this had to happen as far away from the hangar/shop as possible so the airport tug was recruited to tow the "Bee" back to the hangar. We tried mounting the flattened tailwheel assembly on a board to act as a skid but that did not work well. After careful examination we determined that if done slowly, the airplane could be towed on the ruined tire and tube with no more damage to the wheel than already had been done. So slowly the airport tug began the trip back to the hangars with the "Bee" in tow. About halfway back another "situation" arose when the tug ran out of fuel!! A quick trip to get fuel for the tug proved to be fruitless as it refused to start (must be another fuel pump problem). So now we have the Seabee and the tug stuck on the taxiway. What to do ? Why call Redneck Aircraft Towing Services Inc. of course.

The Seabee is once again in the hangar at Charles City and we plan a return shortly with a new 10 SC wheel, tire and tube to install and at last get the "Bee" back in the air.

Brent Taylor

P.S. By the way, the identity of the PIC for the above taxi tests shall remain anonymous. All I will say is that I was taking the pictures!



Ben Taylor installing the overhauled cylinder on the "Bee"


Ben Taylor and APM Director Mark Lancaster test running the Franklin


The working end of the "Bee" 
during a test run

2010 May 27 - Almost Ready to Fly

Work continues in getting the APM's "Seabee" flyable and home to the APM from Charles City, IA.

To review, late last fall (just before our annual "Pumpkin Drop" actually) Dour Rozendaal had test flown the "bee" and during that flight a mechanical problem necessitated the removal of a cylinder. That cylinder was sent to the Franklin experts at 'Lil Red Aero in Kearney, NE. Then more cylinders, from our spare parts inventory, were sent until a serviceable unit and a spare were found. The arrival of an early, long and brutal winter here in the Midwest put plans for retrieval of the "Bee" on hold once again.

Flash ahead to the present. May 22nd found yours truly and son Ben Taylor headed towards Charles City once again. Armed with a serviceable cylinder, tools and the want to finish this project up helped get us on the road bright and early.

We set to work almost immediately upon arrival at Charles City and by late afternoon were looking forward to pushing the "Bee" out for a test run. Then a problem arose. Either a stuck or collapsed hydraulic lifter was preventing setting the proper valve clearance on the replacement cylinder installation. Eventually a solution was worked out and with the help of APM director Mark Lancaster and wife Teri (who happened to be in the area for the day) the "Bee" was extracted from the hangar and readied for a test run.

The "Bee" fired up almost immediately. After a visual check for leaks/problems and to allow the oil temp to warm a bit, the "Bee" was run up and a check of mags/carb heat/prop etc. revealed an engine ready once again for flight.

Unfortunately by that time it was dark. So the "Bee" was moved back into the hangar to await a test flight in the next couple of days and hopefully a flight home to the APM later this coming week.

I want to again want to send a big "Thank You" to Bill Kyle at the Charles City airport for not only his help in getting the "Bee" back airworthy, but also for his patience.

Stay tuned for what we hope will be the final chapter in getting the APM's "Seabee" home to Antique Airfield later this coming week !!!

Brent Taylor


The Seabee taxies to the gas pump. 
Mark Lancaster's "chase" Fairchild awaits.



Touchdown at the end of 
the successful test flight.



The slightly disheveled test/ferry pilot on arrival at Oskaloosa.
Oskaloosa Airport FBO Jerry Strunk on Right.

2010 June 07 - Home at Last (Well Almost...)

In our last report on the continuing saga of getting the APM's Republic Seabee home we (Ben Taylor, Mark & Teri Lancaster & yours truly) were finally able to get the "Bee" back together and test run on May 22nd. It was hoped that we could get Doug Rozendaal to once again test fly the "Bee" before bringing it to SE Iowa but weather and Doug's schedule thwarted that plan. So yesterday, June 6th, APM director Mark Lancaster was kind enough to give me ride to Charles City in his Fairchild 24 to retrieve the "Bee" and act as chase plane for the trip home.

After yet a few more last minute maintenance items were taken care of, I successfully test flew the "Bee" for approximately 1/2 hour. Upon landing and inspection it was determined the "Bee" was ready to head to it's new home. With the fuel topped off and my courage screwed up, the Fairchild and the "Bee" headed south. The flight to the Oskaloosa, IA airport, where we left the "Bee" for the evening, took 1.25 hrs.

The "Bee" was then flown from Osky to the Ottumwa Industrial airport this afternoon and is currently hangared there until we can make the space available to display it here at Antique Airfield.

Getting the "Bee" flying and home has been a long project and we would like to offer our "Thanks" to the following folks who helped in many ways to get the Seabee flying and home to the APM:
Steve Black
Mark Bonzer

Dave & Frannie Falkenhagen

Eric Fritz
Les Gaskill

Mike Gretz

Mark & Teri Lancaster
Don Maxfield

Mark & Gloria Robotti

Doug Rozendaal

Ben Taylor

Special "THANKS" go the Bill Kyle, Charles City Airport FBO, for his patience, help and support in getting the Seabee flying and home to the APM. Finally we are extremely grateful to A.K. Young for his generous donation of the Seabee and spare parts inventory to the APM.

Brent Taylor


N6019K after being
flipped by tornado

2010 July 23 - Final!

In the 45 years the APM has been in existence, 39 which have been centered at Antique Airfield, the museum and its collections have endured many a Midwestern weather event. Everything from blizzards with snow loads that threatened to collapse our buildings, to severe thunderstorms and tornados which have tried to take the roofs off. While there has been damage to the buildings and grounds, and we have had our personal aircraft damaged in the past due to these events, none of those damages involved aircraft belonging to the APM.

That all changed early Sunday July 18th. At a little after 5am an apparent tornado touched down at Antique Airfield and the APM's Republic "Seabee" was wrenched from it's tie downs, flipped over and destroyed.

To say we are heartbroken is an understatement. A dedicated team of volunteers had just spent two years traveling to, working on and funding an effort to return A. K. Young's generous donation to flying status. We had just flown the "Bee" into Antique Airfield on June 30th with an amassed flying time of three hours since it's return to flying status. The process of re-arranging the museum hangars, to be able to display the "Bee", was also underway.

If there is a silver lining to every cloud, in this case it would be that the "Bee" was properly insured.

So as we have always done when faced with challenges here at Antique Airfield, we will persevere and move ahead. After all the AAA/APM Fly-in will be here before we know it and we look forward to beginning construction on the APM Restoration Center (if the weather will ever cooperate).

See you all in September we hope.

Brent Taylor



N6019K in Mesa, Arizona



The wreck of N6019K and all parts were sold in 2010 to Randall Clayton Jarman (Randall Clayton Aircraft Parts); Mesa, Arizona.  The complete wreck and parts were offered for sale at USD 8,000.-. Republic RC-3 SN 189 with 1193.6 TT. Franklin 6A8-B8F with 405.6 SMOH. Hartzell 2 bladed prop (wear on blade from transport).

Apparently, the wreck has been sold on to a new owner.  According to FAA Registry, the new owner since 22 September 2011 is: Russell E. McDonald; 5080 State Route 28, Rock Island, Washington 98850-9564, USA.

Steinar Saevdal








N6019K (Photo: Franco Zanaboni)

22 October 2000
Photo: © Franco Zanaboni

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