Wings of the Tern Blog

June 8, 2010

Proud of the Cessna

Filed under: Current Posting — wingsofthetern @ 12:57 am

The following Air Scout adventure was  left on the editing room floor and did not make it into my book.

We were all very proud of the Cessna and liked to show it off at every opportunity.  One event that gave us the opportunity, to do just that, was put on by the Optimist Club.  One of the members owned a business at an outdoor mall in North Hollywood and he volunteered much of the parking lot to display all of the youth organizations sponsored by the club.  Getting the airplane to the malls parking lot took some planning and preparation and we were all really excited about it.

The activity began, by one of the boys flying the airplane over to the Burbank Air Terminal the day before.  Several of us volunteered to help tow the airplane the couple of miles from the airport to the mall, and together with some of the adult advisors, we met up at the airplane just after midnight.  After the evening’s traffic died down on the public streets, a police escort showed up to help with the move.  To tow the airplane, we attached the regular Cessna tow bar onto the nose wheel.  Two of us climbed into the trunk of one of the cars and held onto the handle of the tow bar as we slowly moved down the street.  The first attempt almost ended in catastrophe when we got going a little fast.  The Cessna began to shimmy back and forth, and it broke free of the tow bar.  The airplane headed for a parked car, but we all managed to jump from the trunk, in time, and got it stopped. after that, one of us rode inside the Cessna, so as to be able to hit the brakes in case of another problem, and we slowed up on the tow speed.

Our work was not done when we arrived at the mall. We still had to hang around, in our cars, to insure that no one messed with the airplane.  So, with the adults in one car and four of us boys in another, we spent what remained of the night in the parking lot next to the Cessna.  Although we all could have used a little shut eye, there just was too much fun stuff going on, all day, to break for home.  After all, there was breakfast with the guys then people began to show up to see the airplane, so we stayed to answer questions about it and the squadron.

Other youth groups, also sponsored by the Optimist Club, began to show up and set up their displays.  The Sea Scout unit had a pretty good size sailboat, and the Ham Radio Club had lots of radios.  Other Cub, Boy Scout, Girl Scout and Explorer units had camping gear and hobby stuff set up as well.  By afternoon, the malls parking lot was full of people mingling around among all the displays and booths.  Again, a nap would have done well at this point.

After all the festivities ended for the evening, we again parked next to the Cessna to watch over it.  We talked and kidded in the car with only a brief escape to talk to a couple of, run a way, teenage girl’s that we spotted walking down the street.  Shortly after 0200 hours, we again towed our aircraft back to the Burbank Airport and I finally got home to bed.

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