Thursday, July 16, 2009

Although I've Never Flown...

I rode down a peaceful access road to a county park (The kind without rides.) this morning and once again wheeled past a row of small planes parked on the other side of the fence that separates the road from the Wyoming Valley Airport, also run by Luzerne County. I've eyed those planes every time I've ridden past them wanting to get a picture or two of the scooter next to a plane. Although the office is at the other end of the air field and there's an open gate right there through which I could have ridden up to the planes and taken some pictures, there's also a notice against trespassing and I take such things seriously. In this day and age when terrorism and aircraft are too often related, one is prudent not to take any chances.

I debated again, as I often did in the past, about going into the office and asking for permission to drive onto the field and get some pictures, imagining as I always did some guy behind a counter dismissing me as some kind of nut. Today, though, I got up the nerve to do it.

The place was empty except for a gentleman about my dad's age seated in a comfy chair reading the paper. "Are you the guy in charge?" I asked. "I am," he replied with a soft voice and the kind of smile that makes little kids love their grandpas. "What can I do for you?" he offered. Here it came. "I ride scooter and I'd like to get some pictures of it next to the planes on the other end of the field." It turned out that he'd been thinking of getting a scooter. Our conversation "took off" from there.

Photo by Ed

I was too fascinated to pay attention to what kind of plane Ed said this is when he invited me into the main hangar with the scooter and started telling me about this WWII fighter which is still in active service - taking folks for rides over the valley. He told me to watch for it overhead because it's in the air frequently and has a distinctive low drone to its engine.

Ed invited me to climb onto the wing and snapped this picture for me too. It's as close to getting into a plane as I've ever come.

Photo by Ed

A few folks came by to ask about rides and while Ed tended to answering their questions I wandered around the hangar peeking into the various cockpits. I returned to the Navy plane which seemed to be Ed's pride and joy to talk about and got this shot of myself and the Piaggio reflected in the nose piece of the propeller.

Ed told me various facts about the airport itself too which I'd never known. It was founded in the 1920's when local farmers donated the land to the City of Wilkes-Barre to make it into an airport. It remained as part of Wilkes-Barre till in the 1970's the city transferred ownership to Luzerne County. If it should cease to be used as an airport, the ownership of the land reverts to the heirs of the original land donors.

I spent some of the hour or so that I talked with Ed trying to convince him to go ahead and get a scooter. I'm going to head back before summer vacation's over to see if he did.

On the way out I stopped and took a few of the pictures by the planes I'd wanted to pose the BV with in the first place.

Just another sunny day of Scootin' da Valley!


bobskoot said...


that last picture is my favourite. A plane with a scooter front end, or . . . a scooter that flies. Just imagine the freedom you would have in the air.

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Roger said...

The plane looks like a Navy SNJ. Same plane in the Air Force is a T-6. I trained in these in the mid 50's. This fall for my 75th birthday, my wife is giving me a trip to Florida to fly one again. Wont have the Scoot along, but maybe I can borrow one just for a Pic.