Tom's Flight Dreams
I've topped the winds-swept heights where never Lark or even Eagle flew...
“When they hear of it, he thought, of the Breakthrough, they’ll be wild with joy. How much more there is now to living! Instead of our drab slogging forth and back…, there’s a reason to life! We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can be free! We can learn to fly!”
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Richard Bach, 1970
The “objective” of this trip was to attend the Gathering of Mustangs in Columbus, OH. Billed as the largest gathering of Mustangs since the end of WWII, it promised to be a great time. On top of that, I had a few friends I wanted to see, as well as to visit the large Canard gathering held each fall in Rough River, KY. Click on the link below for a blog and photos from the trip.
I’ve been flying since 1985, and in that time, I have gotten to go all over the US and Canada, seen some incredible sights, and met some memorable people. This page is dedicated to some of those flights.
One aspect of being an airshow pilot that I really enjoyed was the cross-country flying. Often, it was the people I met while stopping for fuel or a rest that were more memorable than the people I met at my destination. It’s not the kind of thing you plan – it just happens.
My first big trip in the Long-EZ was the wandering around the country in 1991. At the time, I termed it the Grand Odyssey, since we had to overcome so many adventures in order to return safely home. It provided the seed of my later voyages.
When I retired from flying airshows, I found that I really missed the traveling and meeting people. To help satisfy that itch, I started the tradition in 2001 of “Going Flyabout”, a concept that I borrowed from the Australian Aborigines who “Go Walkabout” a 1-2 year odyssey of wandering the land.
I owe special thanks to Kay and the boys for being as understanding while I have taken these trips.
Even though I had been planning
this trip ever since Sean was born, doing it was better than I had hoped. We
set out for Oshkosh with a plan to then continue where ever the weather and the
credit cards could take us. After 15 days and 6,598 nautical miles, we returned
home, with minds full of wonderful memories.
As with most good “wanderings” the only real objective I had was to end up at the National Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport, to see the Space Shuttle. Despite having been a Shuttle nut and space junky since I was only a few years old, I had never seen a shuttle up close, so I resolved to end this problem. This trip is the tale of my wanderings in search of a Shuttle, as well as all the great friends I met up with along the way. Click on the link below for a blog and photos from the trip.
1991 Grand Odyssey
In the spring of 1991, I had just gotten off active duty from the Navy, and had a few weeks before I was supposed to start my first civilian job. I wanted to get out and explore the country from the air in my plane, and take Kay, then my girlfriend, with me. We loaded up Invictus and set out on a 17-day Odyssey that took us all around the country, from the Pacific Northwest, to the Gulf Coast, out over the Atlantic, across the Great Lakes, and back home. We crossed the Rockies and the Bitterroot mountains, the Appalachians and the Great Plains.
Where the Long-EZ has taken me...
Since getting the Long-EZ, she has taken me all over the US and Canada. So far, we have visited 48 States (missing: AK, HI) and 5 Canadian provinces. Some day, we will visit them all...
Second time around with one of my sons was completely different - different perspective, different area covered, but still a great time. Alex and I spent a little more time relaxing as we wandered the Northeast, and even linked up with Kay and Sean in Idaho on the way back