Allegiance Avaition News & Education
I have a confession to make. I met my best flying friend online. Our wives refer to each of us as finding each other on an airplane dating site, but regardless of how we met, we have shared many memories together over the years.
I have lost track of who contacted who, , but after the first phone call and subsequent flight in Jim’s dad’s restored 1959 Cessna 150 that he somehow managed to borrow during the winter months, we knew that each of us had found a friend for life. Over the past couple of years, Jim and I have shared many flying adventures, almost all of which we have been late for. We are often referred to as “The most inefficient flight crew ever to walk the earth.” Although condescending perhaps to some, it is a label we both wear with pride! There is something about being at an airport and around airplanes that seems to make time stand still.
I was recently approached by a customer of mine to help him find a new Light Sport eligible “legacy” taildragger. Initially, he had his heart set on finding the right Aeronca Champ (7AC) despite having some very specific purchase requirements. He was looking for longer range tanks, preferred an electric start of some type, and wanted an upgraded engine. After scouring the market, we were unable to find something that either one of us was comfortable with. After exploring the J3 Piper Cub option, we found the perfect airplane in Advance, NC. If you have never heard of Advance, don’t feel bad. I spent a few years of my life in North Carolina, and I hadn’t heard of it either!
This cub was rebuilt by a well known builder after being found stored in a barn since about 1946. In addition to the 85 hp engine (which was a -12 series), the airplane had vortex generators, a total of 36 gallons of fuel through two wing tanks and the header tank, an electric start (no generator or other electrics) and a slew of other upgrades/modifications. Research on the airplane revealed everything had been documented correctly and the price was right.