Maine By Stearman

The current issue of Down East Magazine arrived in my mailbox today. The cover, as you can see, is incredible!

Down East Magazine, July 2009
Down East Magazine, July 2009

Kiss the Sky
Elizabeth Peavey, Down East, July 2009, pg. 55

I grab the stick and give it a yank. The plane lurches a little bit. “Ooh,” I decide, “I better correct myself,” so I push the thing forward. The nose drops. My mind continues to whirr. “Maybe it would work better if I were turning.” I push on the right foot pedal and we veer. I know this isn’t right, and, sure enough, when I glance in the mirror, Carter is indicating I need to straighten us out. But I’m not sure I remember how. Should I use the stick and the pedals, or just one or the other? No need to decide. I feel the stick waggling in my grip. In the mirror, Carter is gesturing he’ll take the controls back. I’m surprised he’s not tapping his helmet.

Stearman flies past Owl's Head Light
Photo: David A. Rodgers

I have some aerobatic time in a 1943 Stearman biplane. It isn’t as difficult as Elizabeth makes it sound. The enormous ailerons are a bit hard to get out into the airstream, but when you do the response is superb!

I’d love to fly over coastal Maine in an open cockpit airplane.

Turning right-base for Benton, Kansas in a 1943 Stearman biplane
Turning right-base for Benton, Kansas in a 1943 Stearman biplane

2 Comment

  1. Great Blog! Are you flying that plane? That’s great!

  2. @Jason – Thank you. Yes. I received aerobatic instruction from its owner, Rod Hoctor. We both worked at Learjet.

    Rod’s entry in my logbook:

    Aircraft familiarization, stalls, lazy-eights, barrel rolls, hammerheads, cubans, loops. Rod Hoctor.

    Kirsten waves as she lands at Benton, Kansas

    Kirsten waves as she lands at Benton, Kansas

    Rod Hoctor and I talk about his amazing biplane

    Rod Hoctor and I talk about his amazing biplane

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