Retirement Planning

It’s June, which means it’s good fightin’ weather. Good fighting weather should also mean good flying weather and long days. Let’s look at some facts:

  • The retirement age for “single pilot operations” commercial pilots is 60,
  • For me this falls at the end of May 2024.
  • A week later on 6 June, it will be the 80th anniversary of D-Day.
  • We have a WW2 veteran Cub, which flew in Normandy.

You see where this is going? There’s bound to be some sort of meet up of veteran aircraft for the 80th anniversary:

There was an event for the 75th anniversary, called L-Birds to Normandy:

Our aircraft attended in 2019, all the way from Yorkshire, and sharp readers will remember the patch which now adorns the inside of the cockpit to commemorate that trip. The same L-Birds team is planning 2024. Don’t think Eisenhower will be attending though, even though it looks like he was a big Cub fan:

The 2019 event was cut short by the weather, which included stormy conditions over the beachheads, and Richard’s visit in our aircraft was curtailed as he headed for home in Yorkshire to outrun the storms. We’ll be coming from even further away, so will need a bigger weather window.

For my birthday this year, Brenda bought me a copy of “Utah Beach to Cherbourg” which is a collection of US Army papers from just after the war. Fascinating reading, especially the bits about the 79th Inf Div, to which our Cub was attached. We have researched some of the locations and loaded them into Skydemon, and we hope to fly over them again 80 years on:

Another inspired birthday present was from a WW2 re-enactment supplies website. The aircraft now has an authentic looking pack of chewing gum wedged in the windscreen. It took me ages to decide whether to put it upside down or the right way up…

Brenda refuses to tell me the details of the website; I can only hope she is planning something for Christmas. I can’t wait for Christmas!

Cub photo by Wallace Shackleton (as usual!)

And a trip to Normandy in the Cub for the 80th anniversary? I can’t wait to retire either!