On Friday, the last day of May, Scott made the journey to pick up the newest member of our family, N7053B. Five Three Bravo is a 1956 Piper Tri-Pacer, serial # 4307 out of nearly 8000 produced between 1950 and the early 1960’s. Considered nearly bullet-proof, the 150 horsepower Lycoming O-320 engine still powers many new airplanes today.
Some would question why one would desire a 57 year-old airplane. These flying antiques are the only high-wing, tricycle gear that Piper made, and are surprisingly modern and capable in some respects, besting the performance of the super-common Cessna 172 that is still in production. They were built at a time when paved runways were uncommon and thus have stout landing gear, and a back seat that comes out easily making them a great choice for Idaho flying and camping. Short-coupled and resembling a tripod, they are not much in the looks department — often nicknamed “The Flying Milkstool”, but they are charming in that “so ugly only a mother (or father) could love” sort of way.
So Scott left Friday afternoon in a one-way rental car to make the 8-hour drive to the airplane. Woke up Saturday morning to meet the owner, get a quick checkout flight from an instructor, then fuel up and head for home.
So welcome to our new family member, Five Three Bravo!
Dry lake beds somewhere west of Burns, OR
All smiles on the flight home.