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The view: Central Ohio

The pilot: Caleb (student pilot in photo) receiving instruction from Dad (Shaun, instructor)

The airplane: Piper PA-17 Vagabond

The mission: Dad giving son Caleb a flight lesson while flying home from visiting Grandpa and Grandma’s house. Grandpa & Grandma live on grass runway (6CM).

The memory: My Grandpa and Dad learned to fly in short wing Pipers. Then my Dad taught my two brothers and me to fly in short wing Pipers as well. Now my son Caleb wants to learn to fly so what better airplane than another short wing Piper to learn in – a Piper Vagabond. Between all of us, we own a couple Tri-Pacers, a Piper Cub and a Piper Vagabond. Caleb’s grandparents (my parents) live on a grass runway northeast of Columbus, Ohio. I live southeast of Columbus so we fly our Vagabond up to visit Grandpa and Grandma. It’s a great opportunity for me to share and train the next generation in the joys of flying. Plain (or plane) and simple, we are short wing Piper people. Great fun!

Shaun Eckels
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3 replies
  1. Michael S.
    Michael S. says:

    Some of my first flights as a youngster was in a Tri-Pacer. Great travel plane. Remember flying into Chicago Meigs Field and Indy Motor Speedway in it as a little kid. A good friend of mine had a Pacer. Beautiful aircraft! Most of my flight training was in a Cherokee 140. I guess you could say all short wing Pipers. I have many fond memories from those days back in the 50’s and ’60’s. My older brother who was my CFI soloed a Tri-Pacer and a PA11 at 16. Ultimately became an 18000 hr corporate pilot. He always had great memories of short winged Pipers. He even owned a Tri-Pacer for a time. We saw a pristine restored Tri-Pacer out of Tennessee about 10 yrs ago that won a Lindy at Oshkosh. It’s N number was only 2 digits from the one he soloed in some 40 yrs earlier. Even had the same colors, interior, and panel. That was a fond look back in time. Enjoy your short wing Pipers. Good aircraft!

  2. Doug Tinlin
    Doug Tinlin says:

    Hi Shaun. What a great picture. Way back in 1996 or so at BVI you gave me a tailwheel endorsement in my new to me Cessna 140. I still have her. Glad to see you’re still having fun and your son is flying too. Take care and fly safe.

    • Shaun
      Shaun says:

      Hi Doug. Great to hear from you! I very much remember you and your airplane. So glad you still have it. My dad also has a C140 now. Lots of fun.

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