Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
Dear friends and fellow builders,
The summer flying is over, the lawn mowing is done, the garden veggies are in the freezer and the leaves are raked and hauled away. Winter is setting in once more in Pennsylvania so its time to tuck my 701 safely away.
Its been two years since my first flight and this little aircraft has taken me twenty seven thousand miles to places I would not have considered driving. Most important were the people I met along the way. Last year at the MID EAST FLY IN was Jeff, Robert, Larry, and Jeff from New York, fellow Zenith owners.
Then on to Missouri, to better know Zenith employees also to the high altitudes of Utah New Mexico, and Arizona.
Flying into high altitude landing strips, high winds, and hostile terrain gave me confidence as to what this plane could handle. Flying three-hour legs three times a day proved the cabin was comfortable enough to do a fifty-five hour nineteen-day trip.
This year due to weather we missed the MID EAST FLY IN instead we got to meet John of OHIO BUSH PLANES toured his private strip then on to Hartzell Propeller and a factory tour arranged by Larry.
We then went on to Zenith open house, and then to the famous grass strip at Lee Bottom where we got to meet Rich and Ginger the owners, then crossed West Virginia back to Pennsylvania.
This trip was twenty-five hours, just half of last years’, however the many fly-ins attended more than made up for flying time.
Unlike flying general aviation where most trips are flown at five to seven thousand feet, talking to controllers all day, going direct from point A to point B, rental cars, motels, and so on. Sport flying opens a whole new world. Most flying is to small grass strips and flying at three thousand feet or lower keeps you away from the faster traffic, and offers the best scenery. Being retired and not having a tight schedule and making provisions to carry camping gear and food leads to a carefree and enjoyable trip.
I find fly-ins are more than the “one hundred dollar hamburger”. In addition to supporting other EAA chapters the sight of a field full of aircraft attracts many non-flyers, who would not have stopped to look around. In addition to sitting under the wing to watch the skill of other pilots landing and departing, many of the non-flyers are entire families with children. Children as well as interested adults are invited to sit in my plane, put on the headset and be photographed. This breaks the ice with the parents and many will ask questions about flying. To my amazement more girls than boys take the offer. I think more women than men pilots are our future.
I write this in the hope that all you who are still building stay at it, for in the near future you too will have a plane that will take you wherever you decide to go.
Well its time to get the BobCat ready to move snow, continue with projects in my wood work shop,
continue restoring the old farmhouse, all the while dreaming of places my 701 will hake me in the future . . . .
I thank you for your friendship and wish all a HAPPY AND JOYOUS CHRISTMAS and a PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR.