Posted by: Tommy | July 27, 2010

Airplane Ride

For as long as I’ve known Anna, she has talked about riding in small planes with her Grandpa Harold.  In fact, shortly (2 weeks?) after we met, Harold managed to crash one of his planes.  He was not seriously hurt, but it scared her and we talked a lot about it.   She has talked about getting her pilot’s license several times and we’ve debated pursuing that, because she really loves the feeling of flying.  Harold may have let her fly a little as a teenager (don’t tell the FAA) and she had a lot of fun.  The only thing stopping her is the prohibitive cost of storing, maintaining and using a plane.

Since we are staying in Amarillo with Harold and June, we were able to go to Blue Sky Airfield, where Harold’s hangar is.  He doesn’t fly any more, but he does like to hang out at the airport with his flying buddies.  Now, Anna and Jack have flown extensively but I’ve never been in a small plane.  Harold was able to convince one of his friends, Richard, to take me up and give me about a 15 minute ride around Amarillo, out to Palo Duro Canyon and over the lake in his Piper Cub, a plane that Harold sold to Richard not too long ago.

I'm a little wary of getting in this thing.

The feeling is completely unlike being in a commercial liner (as you might expect).  You are close enough to the ground to make out every person, house, car, lawn furniture or animal below.  We didn’t see any skinny dippers, but in fairness it was 10 in the morning.  We probably should have planned that better.  You could really feel it when the wind would pick up…kind of a weird, unstable feeling.  But exciting.  It was loud, even with the headset on, and when I tried to talk into the headset I couldn’t hear myself.  I could hear Richard though, pointing out things on the ground around us.

After we landed, Richard took Jack and then Anna on similar trips around town.  Harold took us over to his hangar afterwards.  Even though he doesn’t fly much anymore, he still has 3 planes in his hangar, another Piper Cub, a Mooney and a tiny, single person plane that he built by himself.  That’s the one in the picture where I’m wearing the helmet and headset.  Amazingly, this plane weighs only 500 lbs.  The airport was easily the highlight of the trip so far – and will be hard to top.

originally called a Carbon Ace

The Yellow Baron

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Responses

  1. A SLIGHT CORRECTION– I do fly 1 or 2 times per week but I am limited to Light Sport Airplanes because I no longer take the FAA medical exam. I still must have a flight review every two years and that was due just before the kids visited. I generally enjoy giving rides in the J-3 Cub & flying the Baby Ace but I could not arrange a timely FAA flight review so I asked Richard Brakey to give the rides. The kids took good care of the old folks while they were here. It was great having them !!


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