Last week when Bill Tracy posted on Facebook, “This weekend looks good for supper at Butler Ohio. Anyone interested in flying in?” I had to give it some serious thought. After all, it’s 4 hours round trip in the S7 and even though I love to fly, I love it best when I’m not flying in a straight line! But the chance to fly to a beautiful grass strip in eastern Ohio and meet up with a bunch of the infamous 🙂 Ohio Bush Pilots turned out to be too good to pass up.

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So, with the Boydster in tow, we headed east getting bumped up and down and looking for that sweet spot where the quartering headwind would be just a little less painful. That didn’t really work out but you can’t blame me for trying to shave a couple minutes off a flight.

IMG_2622Turns out when you’re having a good time 2 hours can slip by pretty quickly. I lost track just how many beautiful older and newer taildraggers flew in to the 3000′ private grass strip in Ohio …. and nary a nose-dragger in the bunch. If you like Scouts, Carbon Cubs, Super Cubs, Piper Pacers, Piper J-5s and Rans S7s you’d have been in the right place.IMG_2624 With 10+ airplanes flying in from distances of 25 miles to over 200 miles you’d think everybody would filter in a few at a time. Not so. We all seemed to converge on the tiny community called Butler in a few short minutes. That part was great and must have even surprised a few people on the ground because when we departed after lunch several families came out to see us off.

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I picked the right day to fly with the Ohio Bush pilots because the girls came close to out numbering the guys for a change. Most of the ladies aren’t pilots but that’s OK – they were having a good time flying with their boyfriends & husbands, something we all know a lot of women won’t do. AND, one lady taildragger pilot who did attend was Jamie Swihart who flew helicopters until recently and now owns a beautiful Piper Pacer with her husband.

John Graham Facebook 4There’s a bicycle trail that runs right by the airport which makes it a quick, scenic and easy walk in town.

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The really wonderful part of the walk is the remarkable glimpse you get of this tiny town.

IMG_2613You hear people say all the time, “it felt like I stepped back in time” but really, I felt like I stepped back in time! Seeing ‘Mail Pouch’ on this old barn did make me stop admiring the walk and start watching where I stepped for a few minutes. 🙂

IMG_2615Wish I’d had a little more time to explore but the great old barn wood and foundations kept me interested both directions.

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After departing I did a little flying with the Tracy’s checking out the rolling hills of eastern Ohio.

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And it just wouldn’t have been right to fly that close to John Graham’s strip and not stop by and check it out. It’s a beautiful airport that anybody would be envious to own. I will say that people with their own strips have always been a mystery to me; so much work, so much money, how do they find the time to fly? I still don’t have the answer to that but I do know that not many people fly more than John does, Whatever the answer is, he knows it.

 

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There were many highlights to this great day, but one of my favorites was coming back to the airport and finding this tshirt on the front seat of my S7. I had to laugh! It must be official – surely this meant I’m an official Ohio Bush pilot now?! Wouldn’t you guess? I ran Bill Tracy down – I ran John Graham down fishing for an answer. “Am I really an Ohio Bush pilot?” “Isn’t there some kind of induction ceremony?” Isn’t there some formal affair that everybody’s coming to so I can accept?”

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And that answer I’m still waiting on.

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