Ticket to Ride

From the moment I met Tyler, I knew he was a lover of anything with horsepower. He told me he grew up wanting to be a Pilot, a Train Engineer, or a Boat Captain.

His hobbies when I met him were driving his Chevy C-10, riding his 4-wheeler, and working on his Private Pilot’s License in a Cessna 150.

As I was cleaning the house today, I stopped to read one of my favorite memories Tyler has that we always have on our bulletin board. His grandparents bought him a ride with Olie Pash in his Super Decathlon for Christmas when Tyler was 13 years old. The local newspaper wrote a story about it and someone was sure to cut it out, laminate, and give to Tyler so he always had it. I wish I knew who did it, maybe I’ll find that out soon! πŸ™‚

Reading over this again makes my heart swell and I couldn’t help but smile. He has been so passionate about flying airplanes since he was a little kid and him having this opportunity was probably another huge reason why he became a crop duster.

It’s too hard to read from the pictures, so I thought I’d type it all out for anyone that wants to read it. I have a feeling it may remind other pilot’s spouses of memories they know of leading up to their spouses becoming pilots. πŸ™‚

Written by: Rita Miller, Adams County Free Press

Thirteen year-old Tyler Evans tried to be enthused about another new shirt for Christmas as he unwrapped the gift box.

What he found inside, however, was his wildest dream.

The certificate offered Tyler a thrilling ride in a stunt plane with well-known Southwest Iowa pilot, Ollie Pash, of Harlan.

“It was a total surprise,” said the Corning Middle School seventh grader and son of Jill Evans of Corning and Lowell Evans of Oakland.

Tyler’s grandfather, Terry Evans, of Corning, friend of Pash, arranged the flight.

“I’m a big plane fan. My grandpa has a Cessna 210,” Tyler said with pride.

Mild winter weather allowed the flight to take place January 4 at the Harlan airport in Pash’s Super Decathlon.

After logging 72 hours on his computer flight simulator and many more hours in the air with his grandfather, Tyler was able to help Pash with the pre-flight check list.

Tyler hadn’t met Pash before. “My first impress was I knew he was a nice guy. Once we were in the air, he kept asking if I was OK.” Tyler said.

There are no electronics in Pash’s stunt plane. Tyler liked that, as well as the tail-dragger design.

“I had straps on my shoulders, at my waist, and around my knees,” said Tyler.

Pash gave Tyler a good taste of stunt flying, executing the hammerhead, Cuban eight, square loop, barrel roll, and upside-down maneuvers.

Soon enough Tyler understood the reason for the knee straps.

“We were pulling about three ‘g’s. If my knees hadn’t been strapped, they’d have been flying all over the place,” he said.

Tyler’s mother was one of the spectators on the ground. “I was a little bit worried, but I knew he was having a wonderful time,” she said.

The stunt maneuvers split the airspace over a nearby highway.

“I wondered if the people in the cars were watching and thinking we were going to crash,” said Tyler.

The flight lasted about 45 minutes, but to Tyler it felt more like seconds.

He recognizes how much this Christmas gift meant to the giver.

“My grandpa was having as much fun as I was. He was really excited,” said Tyler.

Waving to his family on the ground while flying upside down over the runway was especially exciting to this future pilot.

“I was smiling the whole time. I could’ve stayed up there all day,” Tyler said.

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