My wife Lee applied for the Vintage Air Rally (a bunch of biplanes flying from Ushuaia - tip of South America - up to Lakeland, Florida.)
Lee isn’t a pilot (yet), she’s just an adventurous soul with a love of flight and a plan to someday get her pilot’s license. This seemed like a rad way for her to experience old school (open cockpit!) flight over a long period of time, have an adventure, and probably rack up some flying hours.
She met a pilot out of Santa Paula airport named Pat Quinn, who’s a total old-school hard dude and ultra competent pilot. Pat flew helicopters for the fire department for 20+ years, he’s owned and flown 30 airplanes over the years, and currently has this glorious old Bücker Jungmann, which is a 2 seater biplane built in 1939.
Pat says it’s one of the smoothest flying planes he’s ever flown.
The two of them did have some trepidations about the trip, such as how they’d manage oxygen while flying over the Andes, getting high enough (14k’!) to get over some of the low passes where’d they’d cross the spine of South America, and how they’d carry enough gas to get from airfield to airfield.
As of right now, they’re on the standby list of teams to fly. During the entry period, Pat was dealing with those massive wildfires in Southern California and didn’t respond to the emails the VAR sent him.
No big deal, I’m pretty sure they’ll still get in (starts in November of 2018!)
In the meantime, I thought you’d dig the poppity popping yellow of Pat’s plane and hopefully get inspired and stoked by my wife’s willingness to chase a lifelong dream of long distance biplane flying.
Have a rad day!