Flying history: Buzzing around in the Boeing Stearman biplane

Flying over Sacramento in the yellow Stearman biplane. Me in my extra
sexy leather helmet. And yes, I do have the goggles, too.

Warm October air. A calm California afternoon. Perfect for flying history.

That’s how I describe flying in the 1943 Boeing Stearman. The big yellow biplane is one of my favorite aircraft–certainly of the ones I’ve actually flown in–and I can’t help but feel viscerally connected to aviation history whenever we go up.

Of course, I appreciate it so much more now as a student pilot than I did just toodling around. See…

1943 Boeing Stearman N2S-5.
Mr. T let me try taxiing the Stearman which is, shall we say, quite different than the Cessna 182 I normally fly.
First off, it’s a lot bigger! The rudder pedals are spaced way far apart, which just feels weird. And, because it’s a tail dragger, you can’t see in front of you and must S-turn (aka swerve) to see where you’re going. Finally, my like-a-drunk-person taxiing skills are useful!
Taking off from Sacramento Executive Airport in the Boeing Stearman biplane.
Flying in a biplane is breezy and loud! Luckily, the warm day meant sweaters weren’t required.
Leaving executive, slowly. I’m so used to the 182 popping up that the long, slow climb seemed strange.
Instrument panel.
Flying over Sacramento, towards Lodi. The beautiful green patch below is Bing Maloney golf course.
Yours truly got to fly quite a bit. Turns out, I like a big stick. (HA!)
Me and Mr. T! In the Stearman, the pilot in command sits in the rear seat.
Word to the wise, ladies: If you have long hair, wear a bun in an open cockpit otherwise, your tresses will be a rat’s nest, as I learned the hard way!
Flying to Lodi Airport for lunch.
My special affinity for the Stearman extends beyond blogging. The amazing Beth Baugher shot several of our favorite engagement portraits in and around the Stearman (see here) and the plane graced our wedding invitation!
Flying over the deep water channel and Sacramento farmland.
Near Clarksburg, California.
Flying near where I landed on a grass strip in the 182.
Aviation photography confession: I LOVE capturing shadows on the ground.
Low and slow, where the Stearman excels.
Why I love living in Northern California: A sunny and clear October afternoon.
Rice paddies or a nature preserve, I’m not sure which. Regardless, we saw lots of bird activity.
Flew the Stearman after a lesson in the 182. There’s really no comparison!
Heading back to Sacramento Executive. Downtown Sacramento in the distance.
Yes, it takes a ladder to clean off the bugs.


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National Blog Posting Month:
Day 1- National Blog Posting Month on BlogHer: I’m in
Day 2- Project Green Thumbs Season 5, winter edition!
Day 3- Things I’d rather do instead of “killing my darlings”

Day 4- A grateful heart: A man who understands writing deadlines
Day 5- Velveting: The secret to restaurant quality Chinese chicken

Day 6- Note: “Tea bagger” is NOT the same as “tea party” 
Day 7- A moment in travel
Day 8- Fall in the desert
Day 9- The world’s best salted caramel brownies
Day 10- It’s not everyday someone throws a fish at you: Berryessa Gap Paella Cook-off
Day 11- Thank you, veterans

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