Dec 19, 2010

Montana Flyin

This summer we made the long trip from Oregon to Montana to visit my brother & sister-in-law.  My brother-in-law shares my same general interests of all things with wings, and he had his eye on a fly-in he'd read about in the local paper.

We traveled out to Three Forks, Pogreba Field for the 33rd annual fly-in.  The day was extremely hot, and with the wives and babies in tow we set off looking at all the interesting aircraft present.  As one might imagine, a little bit of everything was present.  There were antique, modern, homebuilt, and war-birds represented.  You can check out more about the Three Forks Fly-in at http://www.belgrade-news.com/

We noticed one really spiffy looking older aircraft, a 1928 Travel Air, sitting on the tarmac.  At one point we noted some people climbing into the airplane, and soon the engine fired and it soon took off .  It looked like the pilot was giving rides, so we thought we'd try our luck.  When the plane returned we headed on over and asked if we could catch a ride, about that time a lady came over and asked if her and a friend could get a ride.  The pilot politely answered that he wasn't really giving rides, but that he'd just given one to a lady that had never ridden in an airplane.  We asked him what he normally charged, and then we tried to bribe him with more money!  He finally broke under pressure, and told us he'd take us up for normal fee (which was crazy cheap).  We all hopped in and went on what turned out to be a very interesting ride.

About eight minutes into the flight, a Montana thunderstorm started to brew.  The temperature dropped and the plane started to bounce with the crazy air currents.  The tower called and offered the idea that it'd be good to land.  The pilot was already working on heading back to the airport, and I was getting a little nervous as we got lower.  Turning on final to line up with the runway, I noticed that we were being pushed sideways in a crosswind landing.  Also, I noticed that the airplane was not lined up with the runway.  The airplane touched down on the grass strip between the runway and the taxiway, and rolled out over the bumps to a stop.  Getting out of the plane the pilot was muttering about how that wasn't any fun, and he told someone to tie it down as he went off to have some drinks...

A National Air Tours Plane Link
1928 Travel Air



Three Forks from the air
Baby child hanging out with the airplanes!




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