Visit To A Small Airport


For my birthday, my other grandparents took me to a small local airport where the owners gave me a look around.  These are some of the aircraft that they own and do maintenance on:

They have two big yellow biplanes that are used for spraying farmer’s fields.  The biplanes seat one (the pilot) and have a tail drag landing gear (which means there are two wheels up front and one wheel in back).  They have the same radial engine that the WWII Harvard Trainer aircraft had, and the engine drives a triple bladed propeller (or airscrew).  These biplanes are agile and powerful, and have a metal skin.  Every once in a while I’ll see these planes thundering over fields full of crops, flying very low so that the pesticides do not just disintegrate and float away in the air.

The other planes they have at this airport are a few old Piper Super Cubs, that had been converted to plant trees.  Cubs are a very old type of light aircraft, with two seats one in front of the other.  These Super Cubs had been converted by taking out the rear seat and putting in a seed spraying mechanism that sprays the seeds out the bottom of the plane.  The device on the bottom of the plane looked like much like something you would find on the bottom of a grass seed planter that you push by hand in your yard.    Each spring the pilots fly these planes up North and then begin planting trees. They fly about three meters above the canopy, and can cover vast areas much faster than tractors or people with shovels.  They fill in spots where there has been a fire that burned all the trees down and they weren’t old enough to reseed themselves, or they plant trees for logging companies.

I had a lot of fun and learned a lot.  If you are interested in doing this kind of thing, find out the information to a small local airport and give the owner a call.  He might let you come over and show you around.




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