Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The self-proclaimed last barnstormer in the United States



Self-proclaimed last barnstormer in the United States flies Imperial County skies

Last year I blogged about a pair of father and son pilots who had been flying around America in their 1943 Boeing Stearman biplane giving flips to old Air Forces pilots.  At the time I marvelled at the at the extent of the two fliers' travels, the adventuresome nature of their journey and the romanticism of the old barnstormers from the Twenties and Thirties.  Well, here's another magnificent man and his flying machine - and the last "full-time" barnstormer in the United States, apparently!

Unique Vintage Biplane Rides in the Desert Southwest

Whereas the Stearman chaps were on a personal journey across the country, offering flights in their newly-restored aeroplane along the way, this fellow does it for a living!  It's incredible to think that in 2012 America barnstormers still exist to offer flights to members of the public in the same aircraft that were plying the same trade 80 years ago.  Whilst we might now look upon such flights as a vintage attraction, it's worth bearing in mind that even today it will be some passengers' first flight in an aeroplane.  It is truly remarkable - and laudable - that someone is continuing the tradition, a tradition virtually unchanged from the 1920s.

A 1929 New Standard D-25, similar to the one flown by Mike Carpentiero

Once again the idea of flying where one will in a country the size of the United States is a source of wonderment to me, made all the more delightful by the time-honoured method and mode of transportation.  Distances of hundreds, or even thousands, of miles is almost inconceivable to a chap whose own country is barely 600 miles long and the huge expanse of country pilots like Mike Carpentiero fly over needs to be seen to be appreciated.  That he does it in an 82-year-old biplane, stopping at aerodromes along the way to take people up, makes it all the more nostalgic.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for blogging about this! My sons LOVED the video!

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  2. I've actually seen this fellow flying around occasionally, as the air traffic corridors for Phoenix Sky Harbor and the old Falcon Field pass over near my place. I've also seen quite a few older birds flying around since the Arizona wing of the old Confederate Air Force is based nearby: http://www.azcaf.org/

    It's always nice to hear a distinctive old engine purring and glance up from your typewriter to see a perfectly preserved warbird from the 40's proudly charging across the azure skies. (:

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