FLYING PT-17 Stearman


I am an old WWW2 cadet of Army Air Corp. (not Force) who was taught to fly the bye wing open cockpit by civilian instructors. Remember the stall, spin, up side down, slip, loop, engine shut off, clime, glide, elementary 8, and don’t forget the chandelles. Instructor saidâ€give me a Channnndelleâ€. Now 60 years later friends from church (Kelly & David Havrilla) have a friend Chris who owns a Stearman PT-17 and asked if I would like a ride. Yes I said and my mind started working, Remember wearing fatigues running out to the plane, strapping on a parachute jumping on wing, bouncing in rear cockpit, a civilian young girl starts cranking the engine, you turn the little switch and “off we go into the wild blue yonder†NOW that was 60 years ago. Yester-say we went to the Ann Arbor airfield to meet, Chris and a beautiful Blue and Yellow, white PT-17 plane. I walk slowly out and raise one leg up to the wing and dave pushes the rest of the body up on the wing. Grab the two handles, act like I am chinning my-self but really trying to get this body in the open cockpit. Once in the cockpit, Chris put the helmet and radio on my head. Kelly hooks the safety straps on me. Chris starts the engine and “off we go into the wild blue yonder. Once up a few thousand feet and Chris spoke the sweets words “ Art we will not do any acrobatics to-day, take over the controls. Turn left, that is easy that is the hand the watch is on. Now Chris said he would take over and land.. Then the tower comes on and said to go around again,some-body is on the runway. I thought must be Kelly, she wants to go up too.




Now that must have been a real "rush"for you. So are your still on cloud nine? More details please. How did it feel after all these years? What was it like to take over the controls? Was it just as you remembered it?


I'm so glad that you took them up on their offer. How very nice of them to offer and to take you back to days-gone-by. And two thumbs up to you for taking them up on their offer. I can see that you still have the fly-boy mentality flowing through your YOUNG bones! Whohoo! B):D:D

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

Geeze!!! Was that you Art?.

I heard this funny noise outside yesterday and thought somebody is in trouble. By the time I got out on the deck, all I could see was this object I took for a wounded bird going down, down, down,end over end, before it disappeared behind the tree line. I just supposed it was a hunter jumping the season. Well, anyway, i'm just glad you remembered to take your flight manual along. Not the same as being in your Hupmobile is it?, Captain Midnight.




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