trip, Bjarni Tryggvason. A former astronaut, Tryggvason served as a payload specialist on the space shuttle Discovery in 1997 and now heads up CHAA’s air displays. “The flight experience program- brings history to life,” adds CHAA Vice-President Bill Shepard. “There’s something incredible about helping people climb in the cockpit and go back in time. To be able to facilitate that kind of experience and be there when it happens is pretty special.” And while the view from a Har- vard is undoubtedly spectacular, the most memorable part about flying in one is the thunderous sound pro- duced by its 600 horsepower Pratt & Whitney R-1340 radial engine. “That telltale roar is created when
lowing leaves in the fields. The Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team (CHAT) regularly performs at airshows, but for local aviation buffs, even their informal practice sessions can be spectacular. “When you see four pilots master- fully taking their three-ton aircraft and performing tight aerobatic ma- noeuvers together in a bright blue summer sky, there’s nothing like it,” says Hanna. “It literally takes your breath away.” An all-volunteer organization, CHAA relies on membership dues, donations and money raised from backseat rides to help keep their op- erations going. With a 20-minute ride requiring the purchase of a $50 Association
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Verne Reynolds gets ready for the ride of his life with experienced Harvard pilot and ex-astronaut, Bjarni Tryggvason (bottom left).
membership and then a $250 dona- tion, the experience doesn’t come cheap. But if the smile on Verne Reynolds’ face is any indication, it’s definitely money well spent. “I loved every minute of it,” Reyn- olds says, taming his windblown hair with his hand. To learn more about how you can get involved with CHAA, visit www.harvards.com.
the tips of the 9-foot propeller ex- ceed the speed of sound,” Tryg- gvason explains. “Put a few planes together in formation and you can definitely hear them coming.” Throughout the summer and fall months, the roar of the Harvards is nearly ubiquitous across Oxford County. CHAA pilots fly most every weekend and as a result, the sight of yellow planes overhead has become nearly as common in the area as yel-
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2016-06-03 10:27 AM
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