Tell Us Your Favorite Airplane to Fly or Fly In?

rk_speedmail I asked this on Twitter today, but thought it might be a nice question for the folks that read Arizona Keough too!

“What is your favorite airplane to fly or fly in… and what event did it for you?”

So now is your time to tell US a story by posting a comment here!  Just click on the comments link and tell us a story!

I find that this simple question draws so many different responses… and in many cases people sit back and think of a truly memorable experience and are reminded of the excitement and passion that brought us to flying in the first place.  In an era of hearing so much bad involving flying, (airline troubles, gas prices, ATC understaffing, etc.) I think it’s important we look back at the grassroots of our love for the community and the industry and remember why we love the allure of the sky like we do.

OK, so here is mine…

gen20087103408 Picture this… Geneseo, NY… July 2005.  It was the conclusion of the Saturday show on the “Greatest Show On Turf” at Geneseo Airport and I was searching for a friend to take me up… in anything!  Along comes Quentin Marty (photo at left of Quentin via Eric Dumigan,, the owner and pilot of a beautiful PT-13 Stearman from Van Sant Airport, and he was looking for a bit of “weight” for the front cockpit for a dusk flight!  The Lycoming barked to life with a slightly different sound than the Continental 220 normally found on the front of a Stearman… but the sound was still the reassuring growl of a round motor, so I was fine!

We took off from the grass runway and headed due east for the best spot to mess around a little in low light of the day… Conesius Lake.  The smallest of the Finger Lakes, Conesius is only about 10 miles long, but a mile wide.  As we came over it, the radiant heat from the ground subsided to a cool, moist breeze.

Quentin crackled over the intercom, “are you up for some acro?” and of course I said yes!  We got some altitude and began a slow dive with a pull-up to a nice, big, lazy loop.  The wires hummed as we recovered and he took it into a barrel roll… lazy yet again.  We went through a series of nice maneuvers that made the Stearman perform like the perfect lady she is.  People below stopped their boats and took some time to enjoy the classic impromptu show over their heads.

Finally it was time we headed back… though I could have stayed out there forever.  Quentin kept the Stearman low on the flight back so we could wave at people on the ground.  More than a few times we did a 360 turn for appreciate kids on the ground waving at us!  With a waggle of the wings, we were off to return to the field… a steak dinner was awaiting us at the crew tent!

That event did it for me… I was infatuated with the Stearman and continue to be to this very day!  It was my favorite flying moment aboard my favorite plane!

Many of my favorite flying moments took place aboard Stearman products… including the photo above when I flew with Addison Pemberton (of Spokane, WA) in his Stearman 4DM Speedmail Senior… with Tom Lowe in his Stearman C3R and Ben Scott in his Stearman Speedmail Junior off our wings.  A flight of early square-tail Stearmans over Galesburg, IL — home of the National Stearman Fly-In!

So that’s my story!  Add yours below by clicking on the comment link!

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