I spent this Friday and part of Saturday in Lock Haven,
Pensylvania, at the Sentimental Journey Piper
Flyin. This event, which takes place every year, is a
gathering of Piper airplanes at Lock Haven's Piper Memorial
airport. This is where the Piper factory was for many years
and this is where my airplane was built.
This year the weather was great, so that we could fly our
airplane there on Friday morning, camp out at the airport
overnight and then come back the nex morning.
From New Jersey the flight to Lock Haven takes about 2 hours
in our airplane (PA-12
Piper Supercruiser). Going there we had some headwinds,
so the trip took two hours and fifteen minutes.
On the way out, my partner flew the airplane and I was a
passenger and navigator. Although, with the Loran we have
navigation was pretty easy. Still, it's fun to follow the
progress of the flight on the chart.
This year, the flyin's featured airplane was the PA-12, so
we were among the "honored guests".
One of the nicest things about the Sentimental Journey
flying is that in the evening when the weather quiets down
you can take your airplane up and fly around, even you just
stay in the pattern and practice take offs and landings. I
did that Friday evening. Around eight o'clock, just as the
sun was setting over the mountains I went up for some
pattern practice. I used the temporary grass runway, which
was little mushy from Wednesday's rain. Consequently
take-offs were bit tricky - I got to practice on a real soft
Landings on the other hand were real easy. On my second
landing everything worked out just right, and the wheels
kissed the ground, in the perfect 3-point attitude. It's
to get one of these landings every now and then.
Other than that we just hanged out at the airport, we spent
an hour waiting in line to get some roasted corn. We slept
a tent, our sleep was interrupted by passing freight
trains. My partner counted six trains. I must've slept
better, because I only counted two.
We were woken up at 5:30 in the morning by the sound of a
Kinner engine from a low flying Fleet biplane. In case you
wonder what a Fleet biplane is, remember that Amelia Erhart
learned to fly in a Fleet.
I was the pilot on the way back. We left our gear at Lock
Haven, to be brought back in a friend's car, and we took a
passanger we us, someone who needed to be back in N.J. on
In the first part of the fligt the air was so smooth that we
felt as though in a jet at altitude. The low level haze in
between the ridges of Pensylvania made this illusion
stronger. At 3500 feet the airplane flew hands off.
We stopped for fuel at Arner Memorial airport which is 20
miles north-west of Allentown.
We got back to Old Bridge, NJ. around noon. After putting
the airplane away, when I got in my car I felt as thought I
had come back from a time travel trip. In the previous two
days I had spent over 5 hours flying an airplane that was
built in 1946 and was at an airport surrounded by old
airplanes and the sounds of old engines.
It felt funny to get back into a Toyota.
BTW, here is a website I found of someone else who has
been at Sentimental Journey. Check out his