In Reply to: Re: Remebering Pearl Harbor posted by John in Mich on December 09, 2020 at 21:35:04:
After I got out of the navy in 67 I went home and got a job with a company based at the Monterey (CA) airport. Back then there were still a lot of WWII aircraft around. There were a couple of P51's that often flew in and out of Monterey-they belonged to people who lived in the area. Always took off with the wheels coming up the moment they lifted off the ground and then went nose up at full power sounding great.
I took some flying lessons then-my mom knew someone with a Cessna 140 he wanted to sell and suggested I might like flying. I was learning in both a Cessna 150 and a Piper Cherokee. I liked the Cherokee a lot more than the Cessna, the 150 felt like hanging from a kite to me while the Piper was a low wing and was more fun.
One evening we were coming in just at dusk and there was a P51 in front of me and I got to follow him in as he landed.
My instructor was retired Navy-he had been an enlisted pilot during the war. One day as we taxied out to the runway we passed a F4 Corsair that was parked there and he just remarked that plane was a real killer to fly-obviously from experience. One evening he demonstrated his skill-we were landing and we noticed another plane landing on our runway from the opposite direction as we touched down-and not far away. He immediately grabbed control, banged in the throttle and banked us over to starboard in a quick climb that made that Piper feel like a real plane. I didn't finish lessons-I just didn't have the interest then-but I loved seeing the fighters that were around in private hands back then.