Our first airshow
I was going to say “my” first airshow but it’s not about me, it’s about the Stearman. I’m just her handler. The Texas Antique Aircraft Association was holding it’s annual fly-in in Gainesville, Texas and I was going to be there.
As I pulled the plane out of the hangar at home in Fort Worth I saw several folks launch for Gainesville. Cessna 180’s and 195’s, not one but two Davis Monoplanes and several RV homebuilts were all departing at the same time. And all from just our airport! We have a pretty good collection of planes around here. I would be flying up with the Stearman and off my wing a 1946 Luscombe 8E. The half-hour flight up is uneventful and though the winds were strong they were right down the runway. We flew in on Friday afternoon to join the half dozen aircraft already there. The majority would fly in Saturday just for the day. In all I think we had over 150 aircraft there.
Saturday morning was the traditional fly-in breakfast, pancakes! The sun came out and more folks started to show up. I spent a lot of my time just hanging around the aircraft answering questions and talking with folks, that’s why I bought the plane! I met a lot of people and made several new friends. Of course I stole myself away for a while to admire some beautiful aircraft. A Stinson Gullwing and Beech Staggerwing among my favorites. It’s funny what you can get used to, almost anything I would imagine. I’m admiring this beautiful Beechcraft and answer the owner’s question, yes I flew in too – Oh, just that Stearman over there. Their eyes light up and they get excited, who doesn’t love a Stearman? And he looks at my plane while I stand there and look at his. I guess maybe to him it’s just his ‘ol Staggerwing, he’s gotten used to it. But sharing these experiences lets me see the airplane for the first time again and again. To see her as new and full of wonder and excitement.
Maybe that’s just me. So I love to share the plane with people and see that wonder in them. As fly-ins go this was a good one, and my first of hopefully many. Great people, great food, and our love of all things “old airplane” bringing us together.
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