12 September 2012

My Dad's "Super Cruiser".

I cannot remember the first time I flew.
I'm told I actually first flew when I was still a bump in Mom's belly.

But my Dad was a pilot, and I can remember standing on our property watching in wonder as Dad flew by in one aircraft or another.
It was neat knowing my Old Man was at the controls. I was proud.

I have vivid memories of driving with my folks to (now closed) Sky Harbor airport in Indianapolis, leaving the car in the parking lot and going through the gate with the sign saying "Pilots and passengers only beyond this point."
What a great feeling...
Unlike the others sitting in that lot watching airplanes come and go,
I was "authorized"! Soon they'd be watching us!

When I was in my early teens my Dad bought an airplane similar to the one pictured above. It's a Piper "Super Cruiser".
Just a little bigger and more powerful than the "Cub", it would seat three...
Pilot in front, two (smallish) passengers in back. Many of my friends took their first airplane ride in that aircraft and talked fondly about it when Dad died.

It was also the first aircraft I actually flew. A set of controls in the back, Dad turned around and said "You wanta fly it?"
And so I did. I slipped and skidded. I couldn't maintain a set altitude.
But I noticed with amazement something everyone realizes when they first fly...
I could see for miles and miles and miles!

Small changes in ground elevation are flattened out at altitude, so it took a while to find familiar landmarks and know where I was above my old stompin' grounds.
Look at how close our home is to White River!
And look how the familiar creek winds its way to join it!

What a thrill.
That was over fifty years ago.
I didn't realize it at the time, but the seed was planted.

Thanks Dad.
Thanks Mr. Piper.


The Old Man said...

From such small seeds a mighty future grows. Thanks for sharing, amigo.

Old NFO said...

Great story, thanks for sharing that one!

Anonymous said...

Great stuff..I remember the first time someone said "you got the controls". A magical moment.
John K

the golden horse said...

I too, remember flying the first time over the Valley with a friend of dad's. I was about 5 or 6 and loved it. From then on, I wanted to be a hostess.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Always wanted to fly as did my Father. We bought a Pipe J-4 and both learned to fly in it.

Ed Bonderenka said...

I'm jealous.
I mean I'm happy for you.

CnC said...

I missed my chance, but I still wanna fly. I should have been a damn bird!

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Beautiful little plane.

Ain't it great to have wonderful memories like that?


Flamingo 91 said...

Great story! My dad also flew and I'm told my first flight was he flying me to Canada for a Coke. I was 3 and don't remember. I do remember the air shows and thrill of being with pilots and airplanes! Your story reminds me of those fond days gone by.