Actually flying a real Stearman, on a picture perfect 75° day with all the fall colors spread out below. IT WAS AMAZING! After successfully circling the house and watching my parents wave from the front yard, I turned around & headed off to the northwest to try my hand at some fun stuff.
Ron kindly talked me through graceful power off stalls, fabulous 80° banked turns at 80 knots and thrilling nose over figure eights. We couldn’t go upside down at all as the chutes weren’t packed. I found it remarkable that I could hold my altitude better doing 80° banked turns in the Stearman than doing 50° banked turns in my Piper. I never wanted to stop. I flew all around the northwest suburbs of Chicago and had the time of my life. I think Ron might have let me fly till the tanks were dry, but after about an hour and a half, I reluctantly turned back the airport. I didn’t want to, but fuel is fuel and I didn’t want to take advantage of a good thing. So back we went. As we entered the pattern I turned the stick over to Ron to bring her in for a landing. And that ended my first Stearman experience.
I relayed my adventure to anyone who would listen throughout the day. Lay people and pilots alike appreciated the tale. But especially pilots…most stated how jealous they were and commented on if I knew how lucky I was. My response…I’m glad they’re jealous and I do know how lucky I am!
Even though it was my first time in a Stearman, I’ll make sure it won’t be my last. After all…I still want to go upside down!!!