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View Diary: My Favorite Airplane (311 comments)

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  •  Citabria (5+ / 0-)

    I learned to fly in a PA-11 when I was an undergrad at Cornell in 1964.  Spent some time in the J-3 and passed my test in a Tri-Pacer.  Looking back, some of my most pleasurable flights were in that PA-11 after solo and before I passed my Private.  I spent some hours practicing landings, of course, but the freedom to sign out the plane and stay up as long as I wanted and fly anywhere in the area, was awesome.  I flew a 7AC Champ while in grad school in Tucson, and learned aerobatics in a Citabria in Tucson as well.  During that time, I'd get some friends to split the cost of gas and give rides in a 172.  

    I purchased a Citabria new in 1971 after graduating and landing a job here in Minnesota.  The Citabria was lost in a hangar fire in 1991, and I joined a Citabra club to keep flying.  I finished up with a rental Diamond Eclipse a few years ago.  I started building a RV-8 but sold the project after it was about half done.  I had qualms about the future cost of fuel and insurance.  Wise decision.

    The weirdest story would probably be the time I was flying back to Minnesota after a trip to Arizona.  I had taken off from Liberal, Kansas special VFR under a 700 foot ceiling.  The ground was as flat as a pool table and visibility was unlimited.  I was at about 500 feet and could clearly read road signs on the ground below.  Without warning, I was passed from behind by a B52 right at my altitude and less than I'd guess 200 feet away horizontally.  Must have been a low level training flight.  I'll never know whether the pilot saw me and wanted to give me a scare for the fun of it, or not.

    •  So, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Otteray Scribe, FarWestGirl

      How did the wake turbulence feel from that baby? heh

      Well, I guess I don't know what you mean by "equal justice under the law." - Bushy McSpokesperson

      by gatorcog on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 08:38:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not too bad, actually (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Otteray Scribe, Simplify

        The plane was flying fast and not generating the kind of turbulence you'd have in a takeoff configuration.  The air was smooth, and I sure could feel it.  I remember the smoke from those engines as the plane faded into the distance.  I wasn't too scared, because by the time I realized what had happened, the danger was past.

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