I found myself in the proverbial Right Place, Right Time a couple Thursdays ago, and took advantage of the unique opportunity that presented itself.
The scene - the St. Augustine Airport, where the evening's event included a private air show and dinner al fresco on the tarmac. The warm afternoon cooled had down to a perfect spring evening in Florida and I was checking out the assortment of small planes on display.
I was drawn to this biplane, a replica Waco YMF.
As I was taking photos, I removed a pamphlet from the plane's cargo door [because it was interfering with the photo I was framing]. Upon closer inspection, it was brochure for airplane sightseeing tours. I overheard someone say - "We can do plane rides tonight, if anyone is interested. In this plane here". Without hesitation, I spun around in the direction of the comment, raised my hand and said - "I'll sign up - how much?"
Long story short, I ended up riding in this gorgeous, open top biplane above the St. Augustine Bay.
1. Climbing Higher, 2. Waterways, 3. Castillo de San Marcus, 4. 116/365+1 View of St Augustine from A Bi-plane #plane #aerialview #Yolo, 5. Ships Below, 6. Pennisula
Here's some video I shot with my iPhone. I was literally clutching it for dear life while shooting this:
It was an amazing experience, "bucket list" worthy. Pilot Dave took great care of us (and insisted that I be in the picture with him when we landed):
If you are ever in the St. Augustine area and want to experience something completely different, breath taking and exhilarating, check out St. Augustine Air Tours. From their website, more information on the plane we rode:
The Weaver Aircraft Company was founded in 1920 by George "Buck" Weaver, E.J. "Sam" Junkin, and Clayton Brukner. The trade name Waco (rhymes with taco) was coined from the title letters of Weaver Aircraft Co. Originally located in Lorain, Ohio, the company later moved to Troy, Ohio, drawn by the concentration of aviation related businesses that had sprung up around nearby Dayton, home of the Wright Brothers. The first Waco YMF rolled out of the Waco factory at Troy Ohio in early 1935. In late 1942, Waco ceased production of powered airplanes.
In 1983 the founders of Classic Aircraft Corporation envisioned their childhood dreams coming true with the reincarnation of the Waco YMF Biplane. In the history of aviation, no company had ever taken a fifty year old design and manufactured it new under the original FAA type certificate. To accomplish this mission they hired experienced aeronautical engineers to re- draw over 1400 drawings and build new tooling for production. This was done while maintaining the sanctity of WACO.S original design. The WACO YMF is not a rebuild or a kit plane, but a brand new FAA certified production aircraft.
The first new production WACO YMF Classic rolled off the assembly line and received FAA certification under the original WACO type certificate in March of 1986. Today.s production aircraft has been greeted with overwhelming enthusiasm for its craftsmanship and the sheer joy brought to so many by making the thrill of flying in an .open-cockpit. biplane a reality.
Finally, the link to all the photos I took that evening:
Linked to Mosaic Monday, hosted by Mary at Little Red House.