Thursday, September 13, 2007

Try to remember to fly in September

Oh boy! An excuse to go flying! (Since when do we need an excuse !?)

Before I get started on the great flying weather on Long Island these past couple of days, I was standing around watching the world go by last week when Ed and Tim taxiied in with another acquisition - these guys are airplane nuts, I wanna tell ya. One look led to a quick double-take and there on the grass at Bayport Aerodrome was an airplane I had flown about 20 years ago - the very one, since there's only one that I know of in the USofA.

Feast your eyes on a Zlin 1-26 ... Ed and Tim found it in Trade-a-Plane and brought it to our little corner of heaven. This Zlin is the predecessor to the 5-26, a model that won an awful lot of aerobatic competitions in Europe in the 1960s. This one has a 104hp inverted Walter Minor engine and is probably the most beautifully balanced airplane I ever flew. It also draws quite a crowd:
The panel is the same as I remember it from 1986 or 1987 ...
Ed and Tim will have many happy hours flying this little gem. I love the long wings, as you can see on the flyover picture.

Well, so much for nifty airplanes for today ... Labor Day weekend I was in St Maarten, where the runway begins right at the beach. There are always a bunch of nut cases who want to try to hang onto the fence while a 747 runs up for takeoff, but they must have been in the hospital or something because I didn't see but a few souls who were walking on the beach and got blasted into the water. Landings are always a thrill for the imbibers at the Sunset Beach Bar as the big airplanes zoom right past them. I caught this Air France A340 from the roof of my hotel:

Note the wall of weather in the background. He made it in just in time. It's a good thing they built jetways at TNCM because in the olden days the pax and servicing personnel would have been walking through rain and a lot of it to get to the terminal.

Oh, yeah. The flying weather on Long Island was great these past few days.