Stearman pilot Sarah Wilson, who is participating in the American Barnstormers Tour, files this report from the tour’s second stop:
Ahhhh..smooth air and high overcast for the flight to Lincoln Airport (Y14) in Tea, S.D. Our flight of six had a 20 knot tailwind enroute, leaving us with plenty of time to take some air to air and chase each other down low in the fields. I have to say the flights to each stop are the best part of any tour. Looking over my shoulder and seeing the Stinson, Fleet, and Texaco Waco off my left wing and the New Standard and Travel Air down low in the fields off my right, its hard to believe all these beautiful planes are captured today in the same patch of sky. Lucky me.
Francis is waiting for us on the ramp when we land at Tea, waiting to fly the Stearman…now! He’s so excited he follows us back and forth on each trip to unpack the baggage and tote things to the tent. This is his Father’s Day present and, like most of the dads on the ramp, he can’t wait to take his flight. We hear again and again, “This is the best Father’s Day ever!”
Tea is relaxed. The ride haulers buzz on and off the ramp in a steady but unrushed pace. The static planes pilots chat with small groups of people under the shade of their wings. “Tiger” Morton has time to go buy two unicycles and he and “Diavolo” practice their formation biking on the ramp for our entertainment. This leads to a trip to Wal-Mart and the Harrigans come back with Hula-Hoops and giant bubble wands to entertain themselves in the lemonade stand. It’s fun, it’s just fun. We even get to have three group dinners together, something we ususally can’t coordinate if we are really busy and fly till dark.
On the last day we fly our hangar hosts and airport organizers after we shut down rides and extend thank yous for their hospitality and keeping our planes safe from the nightly storms. Each stop requires months of work and the organizers become old friends before we even meet them face to face. This being our third tour I like knowing the Barnstomers have 10 states full of extended family to visit anytime we travel back through. Lucky us.
For more information: AmericanBarnstormersTour.com