Join the book's author as he flies adventure filled cross-country flights in a 1946 Piper Cub. Flying low and slow across seemingly endless prairies, through narrow mountain valleys, and over high mountain passes in the Rocky, Cascade and Appalachian Mountains, totaling some 71,695 miles, he and his passengers experience the extremes of Mother Nature's personality. As a purist, Frank navigates solely by aeronautical chart, plotter, stopwatch, airspeed and compass. His "seat of the pants" flying in a vintage tail-dragger gives the reader a feeling for what aviation was like in an almost bygone era.
In the fall of 1969, with the ink on the Author's Private Pilot's Certificate hardly dry, he and his brother embarked on a cross-country trip from Madison, Wisconsin to Denver Colorado in his newly restored Cub. This flight, captured in this book, introduces you to the vagaries of the weather and the difficulty of navigating at low level using only a map, a compass, and airspeed. It also reveals the capabilities of this lightweight, low powered airplane. Even though the Cub's 12-gallon fuel tank restricts its range to around 100 miles per flight leg you will see how long distance flights are accomplished. As you follow the Cub's progress across the countryside, it will become apparent that staying on course depends upon recognizing: contours of the land, creeks, radio towers, roads, and railroad tracks. This is classical "seat of the pants " flying. The many facets of this flight provides you with the basic framework underlying the many cross-country flights flown over the past nearly four decades that are presented in this aviation book.
With Madison as the starting point, the flight paths of these trips have taken the Cub across the Appalachian and Great Smokey Mountains of the east. Over the prairies of South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Colorado where the Cub seems to flow in unison with the undulating landscape. He and his daughter flew the Cub over the seemingly endless deserts of Arizona and then east across the Rocky Mountains at Denver. He and his pal, the late Bernie Neuman flew the Cub to Seattle, Washington going over four mountain passes and on the return trip went through the Columbia Gorge at low altitude. On these flights many adventures (some routine, some harrowing) were had, these include: flying in atrocious weather, landing in farmer's fields, fighting high winds, and coping with density altitude in 100 degree temperatures. None the less the Cub came through all of these with ease.
Flying a Piper Cub cross-country the way the author, and many others like him do, represents a type of flying that is slowly disappearing from the aviation scene. Through this book, you, the reader, will be able to sense the uniqueness of flying cross-country in a Piper Cub and feel that you were a participant in the adventures.