A while back, I mentioned to my dad that I might want to get my pilot’s license eventually. It’s something I really wanted to do as a kid. I grew up hearing all about legendary pilots – especially female ones. Amelia Earhart was a hero of mine.
SO for my birthday, I got flying lessons!
Well, more accurately, a collection of training materials in the hopes that I can learn on my own and skip ground school. But last Sunday, we actually went flying and it was fun. The last time I rode in this plane, I was too short to see over the sides. This time I brought my camera, though I didn’t get to take many pictures, since my dad actually expected me to, you know, fly it. (I only almost stalled it once! Yay me!)
This airplane is a PT-17¬†Stearman¬†Biplane¬†- used during WWII to train Navy pilots. It’s especially exciting given my love of all things from that era.
While I can’t find much information about it on the Internet, I believe the Stearman is a rag-wing plane – meaning the frame of the wings is made out of fabric and painted over. Kind of like paper-mache, if you will. If you look closely (wish I had taken a picture), you can see the individual strips of material with pinked edges. I always got a kick out of that when I was a kid.
The Wausau airport is next to Lake Wausau. The runway we took off from (actually we took off from the grass; it’s better for the tires if I recall correctly) takes you immediately over the water.
If I had snapped a picture just a few seconds earlier (and you could see through the trees), you’d be able to see the house I grew up in. It was across the river/lake from the airport, so the sound of airplanes taking off and landing became white noise.
The large mountain hill in the background is Rib Mountain.
It was fun, and I’m looking forward to next time. Hopefully by then I’ll know a thing or two more about what to do and how to do it
I plan on blogging about the process – who knows how long it’ll take; I’m not really going to devote myself to it full-time (for now).