All about the immortal J-3 Piper Cub and L-4 Grasshopper, built by William Piper at Lock Haven, which evolved into the PA-11 Cub Special, PA-18 Super Cub, and the Legend Cub and other lookalikes of today
Flight of Passage is one of my favorite books of all time. When I read it, I bought three more copies to mail to flying friends. Written by the grown-up younger brother, it tells the story of two boys who rebuilt a Piper PA-11 over the course of a winter and, the following summer, flew it across the United States, the youngest pilots (aged 17 and 15) known to have accomplished that feat. It's a story of brotherly love and a remarkable, one-legged, outrageous father who could fly anything, anywhere, and who embued his boys with the confidence that they could do the same. And they did! If you haven't read it, do yourself a favor and do so without delay. It's available at Amazon.com in paperback, Kindle, and second-hand hardcover editions.
And now the story is headed for the big screen. Two independent film-makers have crowd-sourced a $22,000 grubstake to make a short film that will help sell the idea to a production company. You can read about the project (and contribute, if you like) at the Indiegogo website
Some do it young, some do it old: "Dan, enjoyed your Tales," emails David Hourdequin. "Soloed on my 71st birthday and got my Sport Pilot rating soon afterward followed by tailwheel and towered airfield endorsements. Now I'm finishing my second kit plane.... I feel quite inspired that you flew till you were nearly 80. I'll be 73 in August when I'm looking forward to some cross country flying in my own plane, 'Five Alpha Delta' until my time is up. We're never too old to enjoy and share the passions of our life. Thanks for living that out and writing about yours."
David is referring to my collection of Taildragger Tales: My Late-Blooming Romance with a Piper Cub and Her Younger Sisters, which I put together a couple years ago from the articles and essays I've written over the years -- my hapless first lessons, a week of aerobatics in Arizona, bush flying in New Jersey (yes! New Jersey), and cruising the New England countryside in Zero Six Hotel. The little e-book has caught on caught on lately with cubdrivers and would-be cubdrivers. It's available at Amazon stores worldwide - at the Apple iBooks Store - at Barnes & Noble - at Inktera - at Kobo - and at Scribd. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford