I got to make the trip to Saratoga Springs for the SWPC convention last week. I had a fantastic time and got to look at some incredible airplanes. But first, I had to endure one of those all night adventures checking out the airplanes, airports, and airspace all the way from Anchorage, to Seattle, to Chicago, to Albany. Somewhere in the passage of time, I snapped this photo of an airport convenience store...just because...
Thanks to the wonderful generosity of Frank Shaw, I was picked up at Albany and we talked about airplanes for the next two days steady. Frank has been looking at buying a shortwing, and had some questions. It sounded like he had a really great one or more lined up to consider...he may soon be joining the ranks of pilots with Tri-Pacers.
We actually got some pretty crummy weather for the first bit of the convention, but you wouldn't have known it based on how the last couple days looked. Here is a front view of the nicest Pacer I've ever seen.
I got to ride along on the poker run, in the beautiful Pacer above, and was amazed again at the beauty of everyplace from the air. We headed over to Bennington to pick up our card.
The beautiful bird sitting on the Bennington Ramp.
We flew up to Glen Falls and stopped for a bite. Neither the pilot nor I had eaten at all, so we were happy to stop and contemplate our cards. They weren't bad. But they weren't particularly good either. Hmm. We headed down to Fulton County to try to improve our luck. On the way, we passed this quarry.
At Fulton County, we got to take a quick tour of the 195 Factory. They repair, refurbish, and pretty much re-everything Cessna 195's. Beautiful aircraft, like a page out of another era. For some reason I don't get that same feeling from my Tri-Pacer, but they really are something, these big Cessnas.
The weather got better as we went, and the sun was really out and at it by the time we headed back to Saratoga Springs.
I was especially grateful to my friend Peter Lubig, whose responsibilities kept him from occupying the seat I got to ride in for the poker run. Thanks Peter!
There were a number of other beautiful aircraft, but the other one that deserves special mention is Gilbert and Barbara Pierce's Clipper. Wow.
That paint job is just stunning. Gilbert doesn't know it, but I'm going to fly down to see him when I'm ready for a recover...well...probably not...but it does seem like a good idea, doesn't it? We lost the poker run, but we had a great day. I was supposed to have about a 20 minute slot, and I think I busted past that a bit, but had a great time and answered a lot of questions. Hopefully they enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed a chance to share my adventures a bit.
Then, at Oh-ridiculous-dark-thirty, I headed back to the airport and home. Special thanks to Mark Ohlau for taking the time to get me there on his way to his flight.
And especially, a special thanks to the Shortwing Piper Club, president Peter Lubig, and the Northeast Chapter president Andy Seligson for inviting me and making it happen. I had a great time and finally made it to a real fly-in...but without my airplane. Have to go find a fly-in to fly to sometime...