Sunday, November 19, 2006

Paris

The preparations for the trip were a long time in coming. The airplane was fueled and supplies were packed. The thoughts turn toward the long distance flight. A flight to Paris is a quite a trip. Lindbergh made the flight in about 33 hours. Will my flight to Paris be as adventurous? Will the winds and weather affect the length of the trip? I have told my friends that I wanted to make the trip for years. The airplane I have chosen for the trip is my 1956 Cessna 170B. All the way to Paris in a 170? No... I am not crazy. The 170 has plenty of fuel. It even has room for a passenger on the trip! Lindbergh wrote a book about his trip to Paris in a book titled "WE" as in himself and the airplane. When I say that "WE" made the trip, I mean my mom and myself! Paris would be a one hour trip. OK... no... we are not flying to Paris, France but Paris, Texas. Our host for lunch would be our family friends, The Copeland’s, not the French Ambassador!

Mom and I launched off from my home airport about 9 am. We could not have asked for a better fall day to make the trip. With light Northeast winds blowing across North Texas the visibility had to be over 50 miles! Smooth flying and some colorful leaves made for a pleasant trip to Paris. We only made one small detour to fly over an airstrip named Flying Tigers. Many years ago it was home to a collection of World War Two aircraft. Most of the vintage aircraft are gone now but when I flew a high turn over the airstrip the only vintage aircraft visible from the air was a Convair. I shot a quick picture and turned North.

The hangar at Parson Field came into view and I was able to make out the direction of the runway. Landing to the Northwest the approach is offset to the west to avoid a few trees. I made a slight correction after passing the trees and settled onto the smooth grass with just on small bounce.

Billy Copeland greeted us upon shut down by saying "This is a monumental event! The Linn's have finally come to visit!" After saying we would fly up to visit we finally made the trip! After a tour of the hangar and the house we enjoyed watching the other aircraft arrive. Cubs, Champs and a wide variety of vintage aircraft settled onto the grass as onlookers commented on what a perfect setting this was for a fly in event. 32 aircraft were in attendance and about 70-80 people enjoyed the lunch.

After lunch we said our quick farewells and took off for home. The Dallas skyline was clear on the horizon but I couldn’t help but laugh to myself and think, why didn’t we see the Eiffel Tower!? The flight home was just a few minutes faster with the tailwind. 2 hours and 12 minutes total flight time for the round trip with an average speed of 110 MPH. Lindbergh's flight to Paris was a little longer than our trip to Paris! Hopefully someday I will make a flight from New York to Paris.

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