Sunday, September 14, 2014

Aging Out of the Pedal Plane Air Force

Date Aircraft Route of Flight Time (hrs) Total (hrs)
14 Sep 2014 N21481 SDC (Sodus, NY) - FZY (Fulton, NY) - SDC 1.2 1336.6

A loose group of aircraft from the Williamson Sodus Airport navigated crystal clear air under a 2500 foot broken ceiling to attend the EAA pancake breakfast at the Oswego County Airport. Flying in Warrior 481 with me was The Bear, relegated to the back seat, and new club member and student pilot, Matt.

Everyone had a wonderful breakfast, including Matt for whom this was a first experience with the hallowed aviator's tradition of fly-in pancake breakfasts.

Photo by John C.

As great a time as we had, this journey was also bittersweet for it marked the end of an era. As a result of her current height, The Bear has aged out of her beloved EAA 486 Pedal Plane Air Force. She no longer fits in the aircraft!

In celebration of this milestone, I offer a pictorial retrospective of The Bear's career as a pedal plane pilot.

Dual instruction with Kristy on May 11, 2008.

Unpowered solo in 2008 (note that the legs are not long enough to reach the pedals).

By April 8, 2010, The Bear was successfully navigating the ramp solo in all three available aircraft.

On September 11, 2011, The Bear conducted a joyous flight to reclaim aviation from those who sought to turn airplanes into instruments of terror a decade previous.

In July of 2012, the cockpits were becoming a bit snug.

And in 2014, she needed to be lowered into the cockpit via Daddy-Hoist(TM) and was unable to pedal without smacking her knees on the bottom of the instrument panel. Just look at the size of those feet! Thus ended a distinguished, six year career in the Pedal Plane Air Force.

I guess she'll need to move up to something larger one of these days.



  1. Might as well start building her a Fly Baby, then... :)

    1. Oh...I hope my wife doesn't see that comment...