This Luscome airplane was Pappy’s first; he bought it in the late 1940s. The story goes that Pappy had started the engine to warm it up, set the branches and got out. But the brakes let loose, Pappy grabbed a wing strut (this was his only plane that was top wing with struts) and the airplane swung around and dragged him along the tarmac. This tore his pants and shoe tops and skin. An employee pushed roll-up stairs, used by an airline, up against the plane to stop it. Pappy called the doctor who made a house call. He wasn’t hurt badly but was bedridden for a while.
“Pappy” Scharff owned single engine airplanes as far back as the 1940s and the banner image shows Em and Pappy, ‘dressed to the nines’, alongside the Swift. Lynton and his son, EL Scharff were flying sometime in the 1940s (perhaps after the war as EL served in the US Army and aviation fuel was precious to the war effort). The plane was a Luscombe (generic photos here and that company manufactured planes between 1933 and 1950.’ The adventurers landed in an oat field and became entrapped. “Pappy” recounted (to his grandson ?) that he must’ve “mowed up”an acre or two of the farmer’s oat crop trying to take off; and he paid the owner for his loss. They took down a fence and pushed the plane to a nearby road from which “Pappy” took off solo because he didn’t want EL to be injured if the plane “couldn’t clear the trees and power lines”.
It’s his two-seater bottom wing Swift (shown in this picture) I best remember, as Pappy would take me flying almost every time I visited Little Rock. My memories include flying over England, Arkansas and Paris, Arkansas which confounded my knowledge of geography as I was too young to think there could be more than one place with those names.
This is the Swift of the friend of Butch (not the one we know and love) in the same colors as Pappy’s. Steve sold it recently.
Later he bought a blue and white Piper Comanche (confirmed by two grandsons) but I have little memory of that. Those grandsons recall flying in the Piper with him.
More on the Comanche.
- Tail number: N 5108P
- Fixed wing single engine with landing gear Single Reciprocating engine
- Manufacturer: PIPER
- Model: PA-24-180
- Serial Number:
- Aircraft first registered in US:
- Owner: VERLINS AVIATION LLC
- Operator: VERLINS AVIATION LLC, at 7944 Cessna Dr # 9 in Peyton, Co.
Pappy hunted quail and ducks. I went quail hunting with him a number of times and duck hunting with some of the Blocks; Pappy wasn’t on that trip but I wore his hip boots. All but one of his male grandchildren went hunting. We’d travel in a Willys Jeep with his dogs, Fritz and Peg, in the back. After the dogs passed away, he gave the jeep to EL and EL & Betty became a ‘two-car’ family and achieved the ‘American dream’. That car had to be sold when the Army transferred EL to Okinawa, Japan in the early 60s.
In 1966, Pappy, his grandson and son, EL, sailed in the Carribean.
“Pappy” had a sailboat that he berthed at Lake Maumelle, in Big Rock which is 12 miles from Little Rock. It is only 14 square miles in size with 70 miles of shoreline; and the winds were quite meager but Pappy was up in years and he was able to handle the boat. My best recollection was snacking on pickled Polish sausage with cold beer; pickled Polish is not on my menu today for sure.
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