It seems that every day brings more bad news about the state of our economy, especially about gas and food prices continually on the rise.

Photo by Gilles Auilard

Around local aerodromes pilots still gather, but have been curtailing their flying while grumbling about how they cannot afford to get out and go flying just for the fun of it, too expensive they say.

The crew of the 2008 ABT - Photo by Gilles Auilard

At the same time everyone seems to be wrapped up in the news of our upcoming landmark presidential election and the latest natural disaster, whether floods in the Midwest, fires on the West coast, or drought on the East coast. 2008 you say? Well yes, but it could just as well describe the early 1930's.

So it seems appropriate that Clay Adams and his American Barnstormers Tour is making it's way throughout Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri in 16-18 (depending on reports) gas guzzling, round engine antique airplanes from the 20's and 30's.

Tour organizer Clay Adams about to give another load of passengers a taste of open cockpit flying - Photo by Fred Larson

This years tour started on June 15th, though the first stop, Iowa City, had to be cancelled due to the floods here in Iowa. However the intrepid group moved operations to the next stop, Ames, Iowa, where they set up shop for four days of operations instead of two.

Hank Galpin and Ray Sanders came all the way from Kalispell, MT to fly in the ABT

Of the aircraft and pilots participating in the tour most are AAA members and include among others:

Clay AdamsTravel Air 4000
David MarsTravel Air 4000
Gary LustTravel Air 4000
Stu MacPhersonTravel Air 4000
Bruce McElhoeTravel Air 4D
Hank GalpinTravel Air 6000
Rich HornbeckWaco ASO
Dave AllenWaco ASO
Alan LopezStearman 4E
Tom LoweStearman C3R
Ron RexStearman 4D
Carl WilliamsAlexander Eaglerock
Ted DavisNew Standard D-25
Jim HammondStinson Jr. S
John ThomasonWaco YKS-7

We find it very encouraging that this intrepid group has defied the pessimists in the sport aviation community and appear to be having a grand time traversing the country flying their antique airplanes.