Almost 64 years
after they shared a Canada-to-Florida trip in an Aeronca Chief,
Bob Good (left) and Bill Peppler reunite to reignite memories of
their 1947 journey. Photo by Ed Libitz.
Free gas and oil for pilots! The year was
1947 and Gulf Oil gave away gas and oil to any pilot who would fly in
the Gulf Oil Air Rally to the Miami Air Races.
A couple of youthful aviators took
advantage of that offer and shared a mission brought back to life more
than six decades later through a reunion at EAA AirVenture 2010.
The story began with 21-year-old Canadian
Bill Peppler and 17-year-old Bob Good climbing into a 1946 Aeronca Champ
and heading south from the Lexington Airport near Kitchener, Ontario.
Peppler flew as a ferry pilot for the
local Aeronca dealer, Gord Munro, delivering planes to new owners—so
he had lots of time in the plane.
Good was a new pilot and jumped at the
chance to go along. He left a note for his mother because he knew that
if he asked her permission she would
say “No!” to his request to make the trip. But his father—also a
pilot and a ham radio operator, kept track of the duo’s progress as
they made their way south.
Peppler and Good finished the 1,600 mile
trip to Florida, accruing many stories of their adventure.
And then, mission ended, they each went
their separate way, losing track of each other shortly afterward.
Fast forward 64 years to AirVenture 2010
where they reunited for the first time thanks to the efforts of a mutual
In an example of one of AirVenture’s
recurring time-capsule coincidences, these two octogenarians again
became young as they relived many of the special moments of their trip
together so long ago.