Phil Boyer (back row, center), Lee
Gilbert (hat) and some of the operations
crew for the Sentimental Journey fly-in.
Much like swallows to Capistrano, every year Piper Cubs return to their birthplace in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. "Sentimental Journey" it's called, and it's "an inexpensive, low-key, family-oriented fly-in, with lots of good food, good music, and just plain fun," said Lee Gilbert, a member of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Board of Visitors and the "operations boss" for the fly-in. "At one point you couldn't see the grass for all the Cubs parked wing tip to wing tip."
Starting last Wednesday, more than 350 aircraft flew in. Many of them Cubs, but not all, of course. Aircraft from across the country, and people from as far away as New Zealand, made the pilgrimage. "It was a real joy to get back to grass-roots flying," said AOPA President Phil Boyer, "something that I think will see resurgence as the new light sport aircraft become available.
This is Sentimental Journey's twentieth year. The fly-in was first conceived to celebrate Piper's fiftieth anniversary in Lock Haven, but the company moved to Vero Beach, Florida after 49 years in Pennsylvania. But Lock Haven is still the home of the Piper Museum.
For more on this year's Sentimental Journey, see " Sentimental Journey marks 20 years" in AOPA's Members section.
June 28, 2005