Eric Blom, PIAP logo

A Ride in an Aeronca Champ Piloted by Bruce

I've been in a few planes in my life from gliders and seaplanes to commercial jets and turbo props, but, my coworker Bruce provided me with my first opportunity to fly in a plane piloted by someone I know and to fly over the Cascade Mountains.

Bruce is glider pilot, but, is learning to fly the Aeronca Champ (a tail dragger) so that he can tow other glider pilots into the air. Bruce already meets the FAA requirements, but, his club requires more hours, so, he is flying when he can to complete his certification for the club.

One evening Bruce offered to take me flying with him. From my perspective as a passenger this was a great day for flying. We took off about 5:45 PM on a sunny Summer evening in the Pacific Northwest from Harvey Field in Snohomish Washington. Bruce made a few practice take offs and landings and then we flew out to Mt. Pilchuck and back to Harvey field for some more practice.

While on the ground Bruce let me take the controls while we taxied. Experiencing first hand how tricky it is to control this tail dragger on the ground gave me a lot of respect for Bruce's skills as a pilot. Bruce also let me take the controls for a few minutes as we flew back from Mt. Pilchuck. This was an exciting experience for me as I have never had the opportunity to take the controls of a plane; thank you Bruce!

August 18th, 2005

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Bruce performing the pre-flight check on the Aeronca Champ. The Areonca Champ The Areonca Champ does not have a starter. The engine must be started by manually spinning the propeller. The view from the rear seat.
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The Aeronca Champ moon roof. We have taxied to the runway. Ready for our first take off Bruce checks for traffic. The runway at Harvey Field is very close to the road. Lined up and ready for take off.
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We are airborne! It didn't take much distance to get off the ground and only about 50 mph of ground speed. A view of a corn maze from the air. A view of cows from the air.
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Bruce makes his final trun to line up with the runway at Harvey Field. The runway and taxi way at Harvey Field can be clearly seen in this picture. We are headed straight for that red car, watch out! The runway numbers, 32, at Harvey Field can be clearly seen.
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And were are back on the ground! Having practices take off and landings a few times Bruce heads for Mt. Pilchuck. Mt. Rainier Mt. Pilchuck in the foreground. The white fire lookout at the top of the mountain can be seen in this photo.
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A clear picture of the white fire lookout atop Mt. Pilchuck. I didn't realize until we had finished flying for the day that the plane was held together with duck tape! A sky diving plan at Harvey Field.
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This is a very small plane. Unfortunately there isn't much in this picture to a feeling for the size of the plane other than the red and white wing in the background. A helicopter at Harvey Field. With the tarp and duck tape this helicopter looks like it was in an accident. It also looks like a house fly to me.

Click on a thumbnail above to see a larger version of the picture.

The pictures in this gallery were taken with a Nikon D70 Digital SLR camera. Any use of these pictures without permission from the photographer is strictly prohibited. Email me to request permission to use any of these pictures or if you would like a higher resolution version.

Last updated: 9/5/05