First flying at the end of WWII, the Piper PA-17 “Vagabond” is a small, two seat plane that sold for $1900, in 1948. I have a good friend who has one up and flying and looking like it just came out of the showroom in 1948 that I’ve fallen head over heels for. The plan, to do an A2A this coming weekend but I want more than to just fly alongside and photograph this cute little plane, but take a step back in time. In other words, make the uncommon from the common.
Looking at advertisements for the PA-17 from the day, I got sense of who Piper was marketing it to. With that, I did some online searching of the area we’ll be flying to find a “rural” background reminiscent of those ads. Then had to look at charts to see if we can get down to 500AGL. Then had to look at the sun direction and level during the day. This gives me a general flight plan to talk over with the pilots. And with that, I’ll go through my preflight checklist in preparation for the photo mission.
But here’s the deal and what you’ve got to be prepared for, it all could be scrubbed! I have had one heck of a lot of A2A photo missions scrubbed this year because of everything from weather to the price of gas to planes just not wanting to fly. That’s part of the process that you have to be prepared for, you gotta mentally plan on as well. I love the whole process which includes the planning a 1948 flying ad!