It's nice to know that our local grass airfield is still offering their biplane rides. It's a sign of summer around here when you see this little red fellow buzzing over the tree-tops.
Come to think of it, I haven't seen many private planes at all in the skies this summer. Every time I hear a buzzing and look up, it's this guy. No doubt the economy and high fuel prices are hitting recreational pilots as hard as everyone else.
I once had dreams of a private pilot's license and invested mumble mumble dollars in nearly forty hours of flight time, stopping just a lesson or two and an FAA exam away from the wings when business opportunities placed other demands on my capital. Those hours aloft were some of the best of my life, and I can flip through the logbook and remember every one of them. But it would be hard to come up with a less practical hobby than flying private aircraft. Even most professional pilots don't make enough to provide a decent standard of living.
It would have been a nice day to be aloft. Our own transportation was a little more prosaic.
But our fuel costs were also far more down to earth. And we had a better view of the boats in the canal.