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.
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.
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.
Of the aircraft and pilots participating in the tour most are AAA members and include among others:
|Clay Adams||Travel Air 4000|
|David Mars||Travel Air 4000|
|Gary Lust||Travel Air 4000|
|Stu MacPherson||Travel Air 4000|
|Bruce McElhoe||Travel Air 4D|
|Hank Galpin||Travel Air 6000|
|Rich Hornbeck||Waco ASO|
|Dave Allen||Waco ASO|
|Alan Lopez||Stearman 4E|
|Tom Lowe||Stearman C3R|
|Ron Rex||Stearman 4D|
|Carl Williams||Alexander Eaglerock|
|Ted Davis||New Standard D-25|
|Jim Hammond||Stinson Jr. S|
|John Thomason||Waco 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.