LETTER TO THE EDITOR
In reading your article, “A trip back in time,” my mind went back to 1960 when I traded for a 1939 Taylorcraft. I had only been up in a small airplane a couple of times. The T-craft was a little airport bum and little did I know of the maintenance problems I had traded for. In an effort to get the annual signed off, I found out. Three months later I had a lot more experience with log books of the aircraft type. The AI, incidentally, charged me $15, which covered two trips to the airport for the inspector. My, how times have changed.
Now we get to the pilots log. The man that I got the plane from included instructions through solo and the dual cross country in the original deal. The man was hard to find when I was ready for dual, so I went to the Westheimer Airport in Norman, Oklahoma, and hung out until someone came by who admitted they had T-craft time. They became my instructor for the day. Finally one fine day the instructor came by. After about 45 minutes he said, “If y-y-you w-w-w-ill stop at the intersection I w-w-w-ill get out, I t-think I’m making you nervous.” He got out and, WOW, what a feeling! I can relive it right now. There was a nice breeze right down the runway everything and went just right. I made the required three takeoff and landings, he signed my logbook and I was legal to fly and my education started in earnest. That is when I found out about the thrill of Oklahoma winds and crosswind landings.
After my dual cross country I flew every time I could afford the gas, which cost about 32 cents then. After about 70 hours of fun, I bought time with a real instructor. It took him about 10 hours to work out all the bad habits I had. I took my checkride at what was then Riverside Airport in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1965.
Looking at my log book lets me stroll, or maybe I should say glide, back through the years and the 10 different aircraft that I have owned, plus probably a dozen or so more that I was privileged to fly. It also brings back the good times at Oshkosh, and the Swift Fly-Ins in Athens, Tennessee, and the many, many friends, many who have gone West. What a trip it has been since I first swung the prop in that old T-craft!
Thanks for you and your article that guided me back. Who says you can’t go back?
CLARENCE “MUTT” WAY, Farmersville, Texas