My family says it's genetic that I should fly...

I grew up around planes, and flying and lovely airplanes were a part of my life from childhood.  I have to thank my father for this, since he really grew up around planes, and started flying back when it really was an adventure, in a glider towed behind a Model T Ford!  When he finally got his license, in the 1930's, it was signed by Orville Wright.  My Uncle, Paul, flew fighters in the Pacific in WWII.  My Uncle Jack sold Cessna's when it wasn't exactly a great business to be selling planes.  

But it was oil and minerals that put airplanes in my life.

My father's business had about 40 of the most incredible aircraft you could imagine. These were all working planes that travelled the world in search of oil and minerals. Most of the large oil fields in the world, like those in the middle east, the North Sea and the Alaskan North Slope, were initially surveyed with these very planes. Today, most of them are probably in a collection somewhere, in the Smithsonian, or crashed. These included P-38's, B-25's, four B-17's, several DC-3's, a couple of staggerwing Beechcraft, and many more, depending on what was in the hanger and not out working in Africa or Alaska or the Middle East. 

When you grow up around airplanes as beautiful as those I saw as a child, you don't settle for a Cessna or a Piper when you get one of your own. This is a 1951 Navion Super 260, and it was a dream to fly and a pleasure to own. And, in the end, it probably saved my life. Or, as the FAA inspector told me - "You wouldn't be talking to me today if you'd been flying a Cessna or Piper." But that's a whole other story...


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All photos are © copyright Peter Jensen, all rights reserved