Happy Fall everyone!
I hope you all had a beautiful last three months, I know I sure did.
This summer I happily found my cell phone loaded on a weekly basis of photo’s and videos from my boy Jake. Of course, I totally loved it but since I didn’t want to make the rest of you go cross-eyed looking at every item showing his daily life in Shipshewana I’ve selected some favorites; three photos and one video. Consequently, they’re the last of what he sent during his last week there.
1. Jake didn’t go up in the crop dusting planes. Why? Probably because Ralph said “No” to Jake just holding on to the wing. Okay, the actual reason, for those of you who don’t know, there’s only one seat in a crop-duster.
2. He didn’t fly much until the month of August when the crop-dusting slacked off.
3. When he did fly it was always with another pilot and flew in:
- WWII 1943 PT17 Stearman,
- AT6 (a step up from the Stearman),
- 1966 Beech Craft V35 six-seater, nicknamed, “V-tail”
- Piper Super Cruiser PA12 which is commonly used as a Bush Plane in Alaska.
4. Jake has a real deal pilot’s log book now.
5. He flew with Ralph (his employer) and all the other pilots at one time or another but it was Eric who was certified to give him his first log-book entry instruction in the WWII PT-17 Stearman, a big deal I hear to have the Stearman as a pilot’s first entry.
6. He personally did “take-offs” and “landings” in the Stearman but not solo – yet.
7. While in mostly in the Stearman he got to experience “stalls, barrel rolls, loops, wing-overs and a skid” better known as flying sideways or “crabbing”.
8. He logged 15.6 hours in the cockpit.
9. He refueled, loaded and washed crop dusting planes from the beginning of June till the end of August.
10. He mowed a lot of runway grass and then some.
11. He logged an exorbitant amount of hours on the ground.
12. He flew to Illinois on a “parts run”.
13. He flew to Beaver Island off Traverse City to pick up another pilot who needed a ride.
14. He buzzed the hanger at Shipshewana.
15. He terrorized the neighbors.
16. He flew here and there and everywhere.
17. Number 15 might not be true.
By all accounts it appeared to me like it was a wonderful summer to be seventeen and a guy named Jake!