I mentioned in an earlier post that I went for a biplane ride at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome. The plane is a 1929 New Standard in pristine condition. Up to 4 passengers sit in front of the pilot in an open cockpit. They give you a leather cap and goggles to wear to protect you from the wind. My son asked what the goggles were for. I told him that they keep the bugs out of your eyes. As you can see in the 2nd picture above, he was really worried about the bugs and kept his hands over his eyes during the takeoff. This was his first flight in any kind of plane, and I was a little worried about his reaction. He was a real trooper, and gave me a big grin and a thumbs up once we were off the ground. The views from the plane were great, especially with the foliage almost at it’s peak. The bridge you see in the slideshow is the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge . At one point I turned the camera back at the pilot. Not thinking, I left the flash up to give a little light on his face. After 2 shots, I realized that it was probably not the best idea to blind your pilot with a bright light. It was an amazing way to share my son’s first flight. He is still talking about “Airplane Day”, and I hope it is a memory he will cherish as much as I do.
My wife wanted to have lunch in the city for her birthday. We went to the Boathouse restaurant in Central Park. It was a beautiful fall day… perfect for a gondola ride. The gondola was made in Italy, and donated to the city. The gondolier was quite informative, and was full of facts and trivia about the park. I hear he will also sing on request.
I made my visit to Old Rhinebeck on Oct. 8th. The weather was perfect and my son and I had a great time. I even took my son up for a bi-plane ride. I noticed a little bit of a decline in the operations there this year. Some of the classic planes were not flying, and the shops had a glaring lack of shirts and other nick-nacks. After I got back, I did a little research and found this thread over at theaerodrome.com. Seems like they are having some management problems, and the decline has been going on for some time. I hope that they can stay afloat… I’m sure the real estate vultures are circling where the planes should be flying. All photos were taken with a Nikon D200 and either a 300mm f/4 or 18-35mm lens.