Cubbitude – Father’s Day, 10 Weeks Early

Cubbitudenoun: the emotion experienced when exposed to flying antique airplanes of the Piper J-x or PA-1x series, or other like machines. Tends to reliably displace feelings of disappointment, resignation, or frustration with everyday life.

Regular readers know my ugly mug. But note the guy in the back seat here:

Two Old Guys, a Nice Old Airplane, and a VFR Saturday to Kill

That would be my dad in the rear seat, and we’re in my friend’s Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser, my second most favorite airplane ever.

Why does this matter?

Forty-plus years ago, dad strapped me in the right seat of a straight-tailed Cessna 150 on a summer day at a small strip in the midwest. That little metal airplane shuddered to life, taxied out, ran up, and started rumbling down the turf runway under a wall of noise. After a time, the rumbling from the landing gear stopped, only the smooth engine noise remained, and the fence alongside the runway slowly receded from view as we climbed away in the sun. That picture is burned into my brain, and is an indelible part of my identity.

Fast forward back to the present day, I’ve been spending a fair amount of time with my friend Don in his -12, flying from both seats on occasion. I just love this machine. It has upgraded power, oversized tail surfaces, flaps, high-lift wingtips, and best of all, 31″ bushwheels. In short, it’s a fabulous little gadget for going places that ordinary aircraft really shouldn’t tangle with, and that’s what makes it complete magic for guys like us.

(In fact, I’d like to write up a pirep on it sometime soon…)

With my dad in town on a visit, and Don’s offer to use the airplane for a short time, I couldn’t resist taking my dad out for a little fun on an absolutely perfect Saturday. So, off we went for some local cruising in some out of the way places, including a stop at a backcountry strip popular around here.

I consider my notable good fortune in that I could take the guy that introduced me to the sky so long ago up in a unique machine to some places that few get to experience. It was simply a perfect way for me to say “thanks so much for setting me on this path, I’m glad to be here”.

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4 Responses to “Cubbitude – Father’s Day, 10 Weeks Early”


  1. 1 Frank Van Haste April 7, 2010 at 4:28 am

    You are indeed notably fortunate, my friend, to be able to share that with your Dad. Treasure each and every one of those opportunities against the day when they won’t come around any more.

    Fly safe(ly),

    Frank

  2. 2 Michelle April 7, 2010 at 7:50 am

    Great, heartfelt post. Your Dad looks on top of the world (literally) !

  3. 3 Mike Engel April 21, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Hey, I know that guy in the back seat too! He took me up 30-some years ago and coached me through a landing. Thanks Marion!

  4. 4 Julie Terstriep April 30, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    That’s my neighbor! I think that’s got to be one of his biggest s**t eating grins on his face I’ve ever seen.

    My dad took me up many, many years ago (and yes friend, you ARE older than I), but I’ve never had the skill to take my dad up and fly him.

    This is great. Still remember our wonderful early morning flight to Payson, AZ back in ’06!


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