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Going Nuts with the Ercoupe


I was a kid in a candy store today with the Ercoupe. Somehow several months managed to slip by since I last flew it in October, last year. The instrument panel underwent a re-do over the winter. What was spiffy before is even better now!

There’s a panel bracket-mounted portable touchscreen iFly GPS that is really cool. It was on the yoke before, but I always took it off and never used it. Some switches were relocated, such as the master switch that was previously behind the passenger.

This evening’s weather was perfect and a bunch of my extended family members were camping near Stevens Point. So why not call them up and see if they wanted rides? I flew over to STE in early evening. I was like, yippee, I’m going somewhere! It was about a 35-minute flight. I had Young Eagles paperwork with me.

And around and around the patch I went! Everyone including me had a blast. Even the youngster who took a lot of convincing at first. I took each person on a short flight around a large traffic pattern. There was a handy picnic table where everyone could watch and wait. Two Young Eagles rides and three adult rides later, one of the kids wanted to go again, but I had to fuel up and get going before it got too dark.

I took a picture of the Ercoupe by the fuel pump with another Ercoupe sitting behind it in the grass. I think that yellow Ercoupe has been sitting in that same spot for years. It needs to come out and play.

Back in the air again I had a nice solo flight back down Highway 10 towards Neenah.

My return flight was very close to “eventful.” It was getting dark when I got back to Brennand Airport. That wasn’t a problem, though, because I had landing lights and could still see fine in the twilight. The problem was, this was prime time for deer, apparently. For the first time ever, ever in all my thousands of landings at 79C, a DEER ran blazing across the field at a million miles per hour… just a few seconds after I touched down on the runway. He… she… it… whatever, came so close to the airplane that I was sure I would hit it. It crossed in front of me as a brown streak of fur in the landing lights. It came out of nowhere so fast that I couldn’t even react fast enough to put on the brakes.

That was one lucky deer.

I put two hours on the Ercoupe, which is much more than my usual 20-minute joyrides. I would have flown even more if it wouldn’t have gotten dark.