July 26, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin -
Twenty-nine Piper Comanches with the International Comanche Society
arrived at Wittman Regional Airport at 11:30 a.m. today, making their
third or fourth mass arrival to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
The pilots met in Watertown, Wisconsin, the
night before their mass arrival.
"When you come all together, you get
to park all together, and then in the evening swap war stories," said
J. J. Miller who flew in with the group.
Miller joined the group when he was
thinking of buying his own twin Comanche. "They have real good
support with technical advisors on the parts," he said. He decided
the plane was what he wanted because it would still climb on one engine,
and because, "It's just an economical airplane."
Brothers Robert and George Fox, of
Muskogee, Oklahoma, and Springfield, Massachusetts, came in Robert's
Comanche. This was George's first time in a small plane.
"It took him two months to talk me
into it," George said. Once they got flying, however, he decided it
wasn't so bad. "My brother didn't even scare me," he said,
chuckling. "I was flabbergasted at how much control my brother
Alex Zawaski flew his Comanche in with the
group as well. His airplane is a bit unique in that it has wingtip fuel
tanks. This is because it was modified to carry as much fuel as possible
for a flight around the world. Zawaski is only the 53rd person to fly
around the world in a single-engine plane. When asked why he decided to do
it, he said he'd already flown to Europe and Alaska. "So, I figured,
what was left? To fly around the world."
The flight started October 6, 1991 and
lasted 72 days. The first stop was in Newfoundland, and then he went on to
the Azores, Spain, Crete, Egypt, Dubai, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Thailand,
Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia,
Guadalcanal, Micronesia, Tarawa, Hawaii, California, and finally home to
The Comanche society, formed in 1972, has
3,000 members from every continent of the world except Antarctica. The
Piper Comanche line was produced from 1957 to 1972.