Dick's First Flight

Fifty years ago today, Sep 9, 1964, I took my first flight lesson!  Fort Sill, Oklahoma.  I flew in a PA18, N6482D.  It was an army plane used for surveillance- sort of like a Piper Cub, only with a 125 hp engine. Several had been donated by the army to the army flying club.  Yes, I was in the army at that time.  That plane no longer exists.  The N number is now assigned to a different plane.

The original Piper Cub had a 65 hp engine (I think, but not sure) and the Super Cub came out with 95HP.  So the 125 hp engine on the PA18's we had at Fort Sill made them pretty peppy.  Flying solo I could get off the ground in about 400 ft and land in less than that.  Fun to fly, but noisy and we didn't have noise canceling headsets back then.  Also, no starter so we hand-propped it to start.  If alone we'd leave the tail tied so we could start and not risk the plane escaping us before we could get around the strut and into the cockpit.  

This is about what it looked like.  Fuselage and wings are fabric covering over a metal frame.

This is about what it looked like.  Fuselage and wings are fabric covering over a metal frame.