Piper Cubs return home for annual fly-in

Being Tim Farris’ wingman

June 18, 2013
By ERIN TIERNEY (etierney@lhup.edu) , For The Express
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By ERIN TIERNEY
etierney@lhup.edu

I stroll down to Piper Airport, simply expecting to take photos of eager pilots arriving for The Sentimental Journey.



Tim Farris of Chapel Hill, N.C. camps out by his 73-year-old Cub at Piper Airport yesterday.
Moseying around, I catch eyes with two fellas hanging out, tents set up under the wings of their Cubs, enjoying the weather.

"Hey, you want a ride?"

Next thing I know, I'm riding front seat, zooming 85 mph through the air in a 73-year-old Piper Cub.
I have never experienced anything like it in my life.

In a Cub, you're suspended in the air, as if tethered to the clouds by an invisible string.
You see your town below.

Looking down from the seat of a plane, Lock Haven looks like a Plasticville replication from the train set you when you were a kid.
The new perspective makes everything look incredibly different - the streets, the buildings, the winding Susquehanna River.
You see what the inside of your neighbor's pool looks like when it hasn't been treated yet. You see the quiet little patches of graveyards you never knew existed all scattered alongside tiny hillsides.
From an aerial view, the town you live in is entirely new.

Wouldn't it be something to wake up every morning knowing you have the opportunity to hop in a plane and feast your eyes on a new perspective? Lucky for Tim Farris, he does. Tim flew in from Chapel Hill, N.C. to get his Piper Cub back to its roots, awaiting the excitement that will ensue during this year's Sentimental Journey.

There's a special kind of love that a man has for his Cub, and there's a certain kind of pride that comes with owning such a beautiful object-much like owning a '57 Chevy or Harley-Davidson. This kind of transportation, though, is an entirely different animal. Tim glows with this certain kind of pride, and rightfully so. This thing's a beaut.

Tim says that not only is flying a Cub incredibly fun, but it's therapeutic.
"It's the best way to clear your head after a long day," Tim says. "You take your Cub up for an hour in the sky, and you come back down without a care in the world."

He stumbled upon his plane in an old barn in North Carolina, and flew it a few years before taking up the project of restoring it entirely. He pulls out a photo album from the backseat of his cub, the pages overflowing with the restoration process.
I see a dog running through the plane's garage in one of his photos.
"You ever take your dog on airplane rides?"
"Yeah," Tim laughs, " my dog thinks it's just a more fun version of a car ride."

So how does one get into such an propelling hobby? "Everyone in my family was really into flying," Tim says. "My grandfather even has stuff in the Smithsonian (Air and Space Museum)." While it is true that most little boys are likely to be found painting model planes in their grandfather's basement, they don't all grow up to own the real deal.