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on Jul 8, 2013 in Aviation

The Start of a Long Weekend


Sharon and I love the 4th, the vast majority of them being spent in Mammoth that does small town celebrations in the best of traditions. This 4th we had the opportunity to be at a hangar party in Minot, ND where a bunch of our friends from around the country were also heading. Well, it was a no-brainer where we were going to be for the 4th. And as you might imagine, a new hangar means they have planes to put inside and that of course was a bit of an attraction as well. The morning of the 3rd found us at the Minot airport on the ramp in front of Customs washing a C-53. It would be flying and on display the next day so just out of paint, it needed to be all spruced up. After doing more simple chores for the 4th, we headed out to Warren’s house for the afternoon.


Thirty minutes later we arrived at Warren’s, out in the middle of nowhere ND (nothing personal ND, but you have a lot of gorgeous open land in the middle of nowhere). We’re heading down the dirty road having driven past the century old cemetery to have a shadow swallow us up. I look through the sun roof to see a gorgeous 1930 Waco QCF pass overhead. I knew who was flying it. We continued down the road and on the rise prior to getting to the home, I parked. A few seconds later the wing tips of the Waco are just feet above my head as it heads to the landing strip in front of the two homes. And for the rest of the afternoon until dusk, we flew! Now when I was on the ground watching the Waco and Cub, I was of course talking. You thought I was going to say shooting…gotcha! Well, I did some of that as well but the point was to be with friend. I did have the D4 / 80-400 on a strap on my shoulder just in case. Well, there were lots of “just in case” shooting that was so much fun. It was kind like skeet shooting as I would be talking, camera at my side when all of a sudden an aircraft would come sneaking from behind, left, right and rip past just feet off the ground. It was killer panning practice and so much fun. Oh, and the pretty blond in the front of that cub is my gorgeous bride. She loves to fly and we had lots of it. And this, is just the beginning of the story. mtc