Joy’s brother Vern invited me, my son and my grandson to attend the Smoketown Fly-In (Pennsylvania). Joy and Vern’s cousin Mel Glick established and maintained the private airport for many years. Recently he sold it, but continues as general manager. Once a year the airport hosts a fly-in. It is not intended for the public, but rather for people who love to fly.
An interest of mine is organization. How can a small private airport forestall chaos when scores of planes head toward Smoketown?
The pilots guided themselves by sight, with minimal radio control. I learned that planes fly around an airport counter clockwise. The pilots lined themselves up without a problem.
Landing is supposedly the most difficult part of piloting a plane, due to unexpected gusts. One bi-plane touched down rather wobbly, so the pilot gunned the plane up for a second try.
Vern and Jordan examine planes.
The center of attention here is a blind, diabetic codger who has sky jumped more than a thousand times. He exhibited his skill shortly after this photo was taken.
We saw examples of the three classes of planes: ultralights, light sports, and general aviation craft. Among the manufacturers represented — Aerona,Boeing, Bucker, Canard, Challenger, Christian Eagle, Diamond, Firestar, Kitbox, Kolb, Lockheed, Patts, Piper, RV-8, Sessna, Waco and Zodiac.
The owner of the airport shown above is now reclaiming a Fairchild that once flew in the northwest and arctic. He gave a presentation on the painstaking care now being put into the plane which he hopes to fly sometime this autumn.
Here is his Fairchild.
The artistry in planes involves lines and textures and colors.
There is something to applaud in people finding a hobby that helps them enjoy life. We as heirs of Calvinism and Puritanism work much too much, fret much too much and play much too little. We can’t all own planes, but there is a hobby appropriate for each of us. One of mine is photography.
The plane owners took ever so much care of their toys. This pilot flew in from western New York. Rain dribbled some spots on the wings which he wanted to remove before I took a photo.
I am not one of the jumpers. Wish I had the guts to do it.
The older jumper whose photo I showed earlier added smoke to his jump.
Another successful jump.
The event did not feature aerial cowboys but there were several fly-overs.
A pilot wrote some directions and taped them onto his instrument panel.
Like the MotoCross cycle race in Indy, this event was graced with good will and cooperation. No one jumped the line. Pilot followed protocol.
Many of the attendees were 50 and older, although we saw two or three 20-somethings.
This is Mel’s plane. He offered to take us up.
Jordan gets the big seat.
This is Lancaster County, the part not yet paved over.
“The Garden Spot of the World” looks A-OK from the air.
From up above it’s hard to imagine that the people on that farm must deal with the nitty-gritty of life. Everything looks Edenic.
This photo, of a farm between The Gap and Strassburg, might become a wall-hanging.
Time to close shop. To bring a summer weekend to an end.