Last weekend we had the privilege of volunteering at our local regional airport. The 1928 Ford Tri-Motor came in for a four day tour. It tours the country all year. There are a couple of these planes on tour. John called when the Ford was coming in and said get over here NOW! We got to see it land and be the first ones to roam around inside it and take a zillion photos. We joined the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) and signed up to volunteer for the weekend tour.
The tour is operated by an all volunteer staff that travels with the plane. One pilot brings it to its destination and then he goes back home and a new pilot flies in to pilot the plane for the tour. Our pilot was Ed Rusch and he is from Port Clinton, Ohio, which is the home of this particular plane. He then flew it to Kentucky for its next tour and he went home from there. He would then meet up with the plane again in Oklahoma. The pilots are all retired pilots and volunteers. They don’t get paid for doing this. The ticket agent was also a volunteer too, all members of the EAA. She drove over from NC. They try to find volunteers close to the tour I think. I helped Kristin at the ticketing table. We got to ride for free since we volunteered! It was so cool! Everyone was so nice. Now we’ll be able to volunteer at all the functions our airport sponsors. We are going to join our local aviation chapter. I told him he better watch out or John will have him flying a plane before he knows it and he said, ‘you never know!’ A whole new chapter in our life in our retired years!
This plane was the first commercial passenger plane! Henry Ford recognized the potential for mass air travel! You can read about this plane HERE.
Want to go on the flight with me? Watch my video HERE.
Here it is landing at our airport! I’m not very good at photography, sorry!
I found a neat little video from inside the cockpit HERE. Looks like a rough ride for the pilot! If this plane ever comes to an airport near you GO! Even if you don’t ride it you can look at it and go inside and sit down in it and take pictures. HERE‘s a little video about the tours and our pilot Ed is in it! It was like stepping back in time. We sure take the comfort of our modern planes for granted! Although this plane did have a lavatory in it! No stewardess though.
Have you ever seen this plane or another vintage aircraft?