How about a ride in a restored Stearman biplane for Father’s Day? Now, that’s what I’m talking about.
The Collings Foundation is a national organization that restores and maintains historic aircraft and automobiles. One of their locations is west of Boston in Stow, Massachusetts. They have a hangar full of gorgeously restored airplanes and race cars, including early biplanes, a World War II Avenger, a race car once owned by Paul Newman, a Rolls Royce Phantom, and lots more. They only open to the public a few weekends a year, and Father’s Day weekend is one of them.
They also offer rides in a pair of Stearman biplanes, and a T-6 trainer, taking off and landing from a lovely grass airstrip behind the hangar. We arrived late, but not too late for Allysen to hustle me over to the table where they sold the biplane rides. Yes, I could still get a ride.
I actually hold a private pilot’s license, but it’s been many years since I’ve flown, owing to a discrepancy between the cost of flying and the family exchequer. But really—a chance to fly in an open cockpit and feel the wind on my face? Not to be missed! (Alas, due to a nonfunctional intercom between passenger and pilot, I did not get a chance to take the stick and rudder. I would have liked that.)
Allysen took what video she could from the ground, and I took what I could from the cockpit, fiercely holding onto my cellphone, lest it go flying on its own. This is what I culled from our efforts. Let me just say, it was fantastic. I have the best family in the world.