June 15, 2015

A de javu plane ride

An event today at the Carson City Airport had my blood running faster than usual.  An old Ford Tri-Motor plane came by to visit.  This plane has an interesting history and one which involves  my son-in-law  Glenn Ware.    He grew up in Kansas where this very plane was first based, and he took a ride in it when he was 15 years old.  He has pictures of it in his scrapbook!  The very plane!  
 I met my husband, Claude Owen when he was a 19 year old flight instructor at the Park Hill Airport in Denver in 1940.   These were the days of all the old early planes--Aeronca, Cub, Stinson, Waco, Cessna, Fairchild, Curtis Fledgling.  The Ford Tri-Motor was also in that lineup and I am sure it must have come through Denver at some point.
        They were giving rides today in Carson City.  My daughter insisted that I take a ride.  I was not prepared for the wave of de-javu that rolled over me as I climbed into that old plane.  Those huge radial engines, the roar, the vibrations, and the feeling...the real seat -of -the pants feel of flying.   My eyes misted as all those long buried experiences bubbled up into my memory.  
 I had my first real airplane ride in a Waco UPF-7    Claude asked me if I would like to ride along as a passenger in a formation of 3 Wacos over a parade on Boulder, Colorado.   He fitted me out in a helmet and goggles and a parachute and I will always remember the acrobatic maneuver that gave me the biggest thrill of my life.   
The Ford Tri-Motor is a big work- horse of a plane.  It can accommodate about 10 passengers.   My window looked out on one of the huge engines, and the big struts of the landing gear, which did not retract, by the way!
  From my window I looked down upon all of Carson City and environs.  It was a perfect day, a serendipitous day for a lady approaching her 93rd birthday.   My eyes took in all in,
and my heart throbbed with the joy of remembrance...
Betty L. Owen     June 14,

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