The following is a compilation of emails and
photos from the pilots .
What an awesome day. Down Jones Beach at 400 ft, up to 700 ft for a tour down 31 Left at JFK. Then back to the beach for a tour by Coney Island, over the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, and around Our Lady of Liberty. Then over Newark at 1000 ft, with a police chopper taking photos as we go. Can't wait for those pictures.
At Belefonte, PA a large , enthusiastic crowd greeted us. The trip over the Alleghenies was impressive.
Glad we had good weather over those rugged, tree covered ridges. Then on to Cleveland Lakefront, between downtown Cleveland and the lake. A rival to Chicago's Miegs Field before Mayor Dailey stole it. A bit crosswindy, but fun. Another big reception.
Big day tomorrow. On to Bryant, OH, Lansing, IL and Iowa City, weather permitting.
The three mail planes left New York this morning with a great send off from Republic field,
on hand were all media reporters and dignitaries from the Post Office and the Air Power Museum.
Addison Pemberton being interviewed regarding the re-enactment flight.
Here Mary Weber of the US Post
Office in full era costume
personally cancels the postage on many of the letters.
Our departure included a low pass
over JFK airport at the request
of ATC so they could see the very rare old aircraft in our flight.
Next the three aircraft passed over
the Statue Of
Liberty as we started our first day of the trip West.
Our first stop was at Bellefonte PA
where the folks provided a terrific
reception with media, and over 200 residents came out to see the
planes. This was one of the stops on the original flight 90 years ago.
Our last stop of the day was at
great reception with the Post Office on hand, local residents and many
others. We will overnight here and be off early in the morning to continue
the trip West to
Date: Sun, 14 Sept 2008 23:16:21
Well, we are still here in beautiful Rochelle Ill. now going into 5 days since we were
unable to launch today, we had a break in the weather, packed the planes, pulled
them through and then another storm started dumping on us. We have hope
that if there isn't fog in the morning that we will be able to make it to
In the meantime we continue to give tours to folks
visiting the hangers to see the airplanes.
One more shot from the Boeing 40C just in case you are not tired of seeing them.
Our goal is to make
Date: Sun, 14 Sept 2008 21:03:49 EDT
I just had to share this quote from the Renee Brown, Postmaster of Reno with
regard to the flight delays. 'Life is not about waiting for the Storm to pass -
it is about learning to Dance in the Rain.'
Westward Ho at last.
Sent: 9/15/2008 9:48:59 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time
Subject: Transcon airmail flight
Today the ceilings lifted barely enough for us to safely depart Rochelle
after spending 4 nights there waiting for a break in the weather.
We headed West towards our first stop at
One danger that we faced while
traveling with low ceilings that the original pilots
did not was the ever-present radio towers disappearing into the cloud deck above.
One of the more striking things is
as you are flying along are the large windmill
electric generators, I was thinking about the contrast in technology when flying
in a 1928 airplane flying over this very modern equipment.
Once we got about 100 miles West, the skies cleared and we were on our way again.
Our spirits were high once again as
you can tell as Larry Tobin
maneuvers his C3B in close and gives us a wave!!!
We traveled low to the ground over
due to higher headwinds at the upper elevations.
Ben Scott brought his 4E Stearman
Speedmail in for a photo while over the vast
Tomorrow we will rise early and push
to Rawlins WY and lastly to a overnight stay in Rock Springs WY.
be traveling with us to
Sent: 9/16/2008 9:44:15 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time
Subject: September 16 Airmail Flight
Today was the most spectacular day we have had regarding weather!
We started out this morning from
It was just beginning to become daylight as we pulled the planes from
the hanger, the air was dead calm
and not a cloud in the sky.
Everyone was excited about flying the mail today!!!
Addison waves goodbye to
over the horizon behind us as we once again head West.
Our first stop this morning was at
hand to process the mail, which was done efficiently as we had four legs to fly today.
Again as at other stops, a very interested group of folks from
welcome us and take a first hand look at the antique airplanes that were flying coast to coast.
Cheyenne, Wyoming was our next stop
where we were greeted by a very large group
of townspeople, the Post Office handled the mail while we visited with and enjoyed the
crowd. It was difficult to leave as there were so many questions from both young and
old, as well as many stories from people who had knowledge of the airmail planes
stopping here many years ago.
The Boeing 40c casts an interesting
seconds before touching down on the runway.
Our third mail stop today was at
7000 feet high and really reduced the performance of these vintage aircraft.
Very friendly residents came out to meet the pilots and see the aircraft.
We could tell that we were not over
fertile farmland below us, now our vintage aircraft passed over harsh mountains and
sagebrush. We began the day cruising at altitudes below 2500 feet above sea level.
we finished the day flying at 10,000 feet to safely clear the peaks.
Our final stop of the day was in
as we pushed the planes into a
hanger for the night. Today was probably the best
traveling day we have had but it also included the most stops in one day on the trip.
After the mail was processed we headed for the motel and for the first meal of the day!!
Tomorrow we will load up and head for
Subject: Trans con mail flight second to last day
Date: Thurs, 18 Sept 2008 13:20:34 +0000
Only one more day and the adventure will be drawing to a close!
Yesterday we got an early start from
When we departed
had all the students out in the yard to see us depart.
Dropping down from high altitude
over the rugged
The mail was quickly canceled and
the planes refueled.
There was a nice lunch for us and a great reception.
The Boeing 40C flying over the Salt
Flats on our way to the
Larry Tobin makes a right break over
the desert. The little C3B has to
pedal hard to keep up with the larger and more powerful Boeing and Speedmail.
The folks at Elko were very
interested in the aircraft and we had a
great time visiting about the trip across the
The Post Office processed the mail and we fueled the planes and were off for
Mary will be traveling with us to
Our next leg is our last, we will make the hop over the hills to
where there are programs and receptions to celebrate the completion of the adventure.
Sent: 9/18/2008 10:48:24 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time
Subject: Mail flight final edition
The mail has been delivered!!!!!
We arrived at
All of you that have sent mail via the trans con flight will be getting your mail soon.
Each letter was stamped at every stop across the nation.
A mix of old and new air traffic with Ben's Stearman and jet traffic
We stopped in at the Museum at SFO. Here is a shot from the C3B over the airport.
We did a harbor tour by air. Here the 40c flies by the
This scene was probably repeated many times 80 years ago.
Larry Tobin with SFO behind.
An interesting story regarding Larry is that on his last trip as a 767 captain for
TWA just prior to his retirement was a flight from
On this trip he flew his Stearman on the same flight
So with Ben and Addison passing by
the Golden Gate, we completed the
adventure of a lifetime flying 3 old bi-planes from
The trip took over 28 hours of flying time and 8 days, with the loss of 4 days in Rochelle Ill
Tonight, Bud Field hosted us and
invited nearly 100 guests to a dinner and a program
to celebrate completion of the
Date: Sat, 20 Sept 2008 14:41:30 EDT
From: Ben Scott
I just heard from Addison at
He said he was running full heat and it was a textbook carburetor ice day. He felt that Larry's heat muff just didn't have the capacity to cope. It could have happened in a lot worse places on the trip.
Subject: Fwd: : plane crash
Date: Sun, 21 Sept 2008 12:11:57 EDT
So glad good people were there to take care of Larry when he dropped in.
Subject: plane crash
Date: Sat, 20 Sept 2008 20:10:18 +0000
Larry and his family
First I would like to say I am so grateful that Larry is alive to tell his story and am blessed by meeting him. It was our pleasure to assist Larry with anything he needed during this ordeal, you are welcome at our home any time. Craig and I will watch over the plane until the insurance company and FAA have come to remove the plane.
Attached are a few photos of the crash.