Flying in a Stearman
As soon as he turned on the radios and intercom, Kevin began a running commentary about nearly everything involved with the flight. He alerted me when he was about to call the tower. He pointed out interesting things at the airport as we taxied to the runway. He talked me through the engine and pre-takeoff checks during the run-up short of the runway. He talked about the takeoff procedure. And throughout the flight, he added interesting facts and other observations that helped me feel like I was a welcome addition to the flight, rather than just a bag of mail.
Addison Airport is normally busy, but when we arrived at the end of the runway and began the pre-takeoff checks, we were sitting in the number-one spot for takeoff and, as soon as Kevin called the tower that we were ready, we were cleared to the active and cleared for takeoff.
Kevin pushed up the throttle and steered the Stearman onto the runway. We had barely rounded out the left turn to line up with the centerline when the wheels began lifting off the concrete. The Stearman clearly wanted off the ground, preferring to fly rather than wear out the tread on its tires.
page 9 of 12 pages