John & Anne Wiley

2012/07/09

Cub Scouting

We saw in Edhat that there was a gathering of Piper Cub pilots and fans at Lompoc airport this weekend, so we used it as an excuse to fly over for a look. As we taxied in from landing I saw several vintage planes parked outside or in hangars with the doors uncharacteristically left open. Since we seldom see open hangars or more than a couple of planes parked outside, I’m guessing the owners wanted to show off their spiffy planes. I hadn’t realized how popular vintage planes are at Lompoc. The large above-ground aircraft fuel tank even has a Cub logo on it.

1220 Cartoon Cub

1220 Cartoon Cub

But we had missed all the flying and other activities of the three day event. By the time we got there, only these two Cubs were still parked near the main hangar with no people in sight.

1195 Cub Companions

1195 Cub Companions

It’s fun to watch these little planes landing, because they fly so slowly compared with Tripp. That means they don’t need much runway to stop. I knew a guy with one on floats that he claimed could land on a damp sponge. But behind that one in front was a pleasant surprise for me.

1201 '46 Luscombe 8A Silvaire

1201 ’46 Luscombe 8A Silvaire

This is probably very similar or identical to the plane my Dad took his solo flight in when I was a toddler. That one didn’t have the yellow paint, but instead sported a flashy polished aluminum look. I don’t remember much from that age, but seeing him climb into that big silver bird and fly away is a vivid image. I was awestruck, and wanted to fly from that moment on. I sure wish Dad had lived to share the joy of flight with me, and am glad to have done so with Anne’s Dad. Anne walked over to look inside, and her expression says to me she’s happy for the luxurious extra space inside Tripp. 🙂

1203 Coach Seating

1203 Coach Seating

We’ve seen skydiving on several flights to Lompoc, but never from the ground. So when we noticed a bunch of them landing next to the airport I snapped this.

1213 Shorter Flight

1213 Shorter Flight

Taking off just before another group was getting ready to jump, Anne asked if I’m interested in doing it. I used to think about it sometimes, but since starting flying everything has changed. I’m not the least bit scared to do it, and in fact the thrill would be the main attraction now. It’s just the thought of trading several hours of flying together in Tripp, for the solo rush of a couple of minutes hanging in front of someone I don’t know. As with so many choices now my answer is, “I’d rather be flying.” Maybe someday in a Cub or Luscombe though. 🙂

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