“I’m Lou. I’m from Atlanta, and I’m going to have a lobster roll,” a smiling Lou Furlong of Atlanta, Georgia told the Wiscasset Newspaper before he stepped out of his Cessna 180 at Wiscasset Municipal Airport Friday.
Furlong spent June in Montana. He said the Rocky Mountains are pretty, but he’d take the coast of Maine anytime. “Once you’re a little northeast of Portland and just flying the islands it’s the prettiest scenery of any I’ve seen in the United States.”
One after another, he and 28 other pilots of taildraggers, planes with wheeled tails, landed midday. The fly-in for lunch at Montsweag Farm Restaurant across the Woolwich line was part of a gathering in New Hampshire. Those who took the planned foray to Wiscasset had a windy ride.
Bangor dentist Bob Ericson said he tried to take Laconia Notch but it was like being in a dryer: Very topsy-turvey. “So I just went up to 8,000 feet and came across.”
Like other pilots interviewed, Ericson had landed in Wiscasset before and liked the airport. “The facilities are nice, it’s easy to find, the fuel is easy to get to. Can’t say enough good.”
“It’s a beautiful area,” New Gloucester’s Clifford Dow said. The owner of a 1979 Piper Super Cub and an airstrip, Dow arrived first and with a passenger, son Travis, 12, aspiring pilot.
Husband and wife pilots and Wiscasset hangar owners Steve Williams and Lisa Reece greeted Friday’s group. And Wiscasset Public Works Director Ken Snowden and public works employee Earl Babcock manned the terminal building. Airport Manager Rick Tetrev was out of town and filled them in on what to do, Snowden said.
Williams, a member of the advisory committee for the town-owned airport, helped push a plane into place. He said the lunchtime fly-in was a good use of the airport and a chance to welcome other pilots. “And likewise when we go to another airport, there’s another Steve Williams doing the same for us. We (pilots) all have a lot in common, a common interest.”
That’s what fly-ins like Friday’s are all about, according to participants. “I have met so many fabulous people,” Dow said.