The author-aviator atop the Arc de Triomphe, Paris

Michael McCafferty

European Biplane Tour - 1997


Summer 1997. Three months of touring Europe in my open cockpit biplane! Leaving in early April, I flew the Waco from San Diego to the factory in Lansing Michigan, a very, very cold trip. At the Waco factory they disassembled my biplane and put it in a 40-foot container and shipped it to LeHavre, France. From there it was trucked to LeBourget airport in Paris, where it was reassembled and displayed at the Paris Air Show June 15-22.

After all that, it was just pure fun flying throughout France, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, England and Ireland. Truly the adventure of a lifetime!

Each of the following entries was written at the end of each day of the trip and emailed to friends back home.


Click on the Date to read the journal for that day.
Dates with "+" contain photographs.

Date Place Title
05/23/97 The Fun House Waiting for the Slow Boat to France
06/05/97 Paris, France A Day of Challenges
06/06/97+ Paris, France A Lesson in French Hospitality
06/07/97+ Paris, France An Excursion into the streets of Paris
06/08/97+ Paris, France The Calm Before the Storm
06/09/97+ Paris, France Let There Be Wings!
06/10/97+ Paris, France Taxi Ride from Hell, Haircut in Heaven
06/11/97 Paris, France A Very Short Story
06/12/97+ LeTouquet, France Only Pilots Know Why Birds Sing
06/13/97+ Paris, France Friday the Thirteenth
06/14/97+ Paris, France Who Is This Guy? What Makes Him Tick?
06/15/97+ Paris, France The Paris Air Show - Opening Day 1997
06/16/97+ Paris, France The Air and Space Museum
06/17/97+ Paris, France Another Rainy Day in Paris
06/18/97+ Paris, France An Old Irish Prescription
06/19/97+ Paris, France Observations From A Sidewalk Cafe
06/20/97+ Paris, France The Loose End of a Long Red Tape?
06/21/97+ Paris, France Meditations at the Babylon Cafe
06/22/97+ Paris, France A Street Party of Epic Proportions
06/23/97 Paris, France Anticipation
06/24/97+ Paris, France Another Day On, and Under, the Ground
06/25/97+ Nangis, France To Fly Is To Be!
06/26/97+ Porto Vecchio, Corsica Of Corsica
06/27/97+ Bonifaccio, Corsica More Than Just A Pretty Face
06/28/97+ Ajaccio, Corsica Mono-kinis
06/29/97+ Ajaccio, Corsica The Global Perspective
06/30/97+ Porto Cervo, Sardinia Please Stand By...We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties
07/01/97+ Porto Cervo, Sardinia There Is No Language Barrier!
07/02/97+ Porto Cervo, Sardinia The Animal & The English Lord
07/03/97 Paris, France Sensory Overload
07/04/97+ Nangis, France Good Friends and Good Flying
07/05/97+ La Ferte Alais, France Testosterone Alley
07/06/97+ Nangis, France Just Playing
07/07/97+ Bourg en Bresse, France The Blue Wizzard
07/08/97+ Cannes, France Oh! Are We Stylin' Now!
07/09/97+ Cannes, France ... And We Didn't Get Arrested!
07/10/97+ Ascona, Switzerland Riding The Edge Of The Storm
07/11/97+ Zurich, Switzerland The Gods Must Have Been Sleeping
07/12/97+ Lichtenstein Wingovers for Nici
07/13/97+ Birrfeld, Switzerland Lost in the Alps!
07/14/97+ Augwil, Switzerland A Day Without Alps...
07/15/97+ St. Moritz, Switzerland Shall We Do Lunch in St. Moritz?
07/16/97+ Geneva, Switzerland A Bit of a Dip in the Strip
07/17/97+ Donaueschingen, Germany The Wake Turbulence Monster
07/18/97 Stuttgart, Germany To Go Or Not To Go?
07/19/97+ Stuttgart, Germany Our Magical Mercedes
07/20/97+ Leutershausen, Germany The First To Fly
07/21/97+ Luxembourg Luxem-bored
07/22/97+ Oostende, Belgium The North Sea
07/23/97+ Texel, The Netherlands An Absolutely Perfect Grass Runway
07/24/97 Dan Burg, The Netherlands McCafferty's First Law of Meteorology
07/25/97 Amsterdam, The Netherlands Foot, Bicycle, Taxi, Rental Car, Ferry, Bus, Train, No Biplane
07/26/97+ Borkum, Germany Party Capital of The North Sea Islands
07/27/97+ Borkum, Germany A Walk On The Beach?
07/28/97 Copenhagen, Denmark Leap of Faith
07/29/97+ Roskilde, Denmark Aliens!
07/30/97+ Gromitz, Germany Future Aviators
07/31/97 Hamburg, Germany The GPS Of The Future
08/01/97+ Nordhausen, (East)Germany Unplanned Landing In (former) Communist Territory
08/02/97+ Zurich, Switzerland Runway Snake!
08/03/97 Zurich, Switzerland Rest And Reflection
08/04/97 Donaueschingen, Germany Preparations
08/05/97 Donaueschingen, Germany Tribute To Lowell Williams
08/06/97+ Rheims, France Stress Test
08/07/97 Rheims, France Why Am I Here?
08/08/97+ Rye, England Happy To Be Alive!
08/09/97 London, England Great Hotels, Great Memories
08/10/97+ London, England The Conservative Club
08/11/97 London, England Down And Out, And Just Around The Corner
08/12/97+ New Romney, England Back At The Beach Again
08/13/97 New Romney, England Hangar Flying
08/14/97+ Duxford, England Mustangs Forever!
08/15/97+ Duxford, England The American Air Museum
08/16/97+ Cambridge, England Punting And Picnicing
08/17/97+ Duxford, England A Most Incredible Day
08/18/97+ Duxford, England Today Well Lived...
08/19/97+ East Anglia, England They Saved The World
08/20/97+ Duxford, England The Land Warfare Hall
08/21/97+ Duxford, England Great Planes
08/22/97+ Duxford, England Playing On The Grass And In The Air
08/23/97+ Duxford, England How To Double The Fun Of A Spitfire Ride
08/24/97+ Duxford, England And Just When You Least Expect It...
08/25/97+ Duxford, England Nice People, Nice Day
08/26/97+ Cambridge, England Floats For My Biplane!
08/27/97 Cambridge, England Ghosts Of Greatness
08/28/97 Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England Cloud-Slop
08/29/97+ Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England Discoveries, Old and New
08/30/97+ County Donegal, Ireland Roots
08/31/97+ County Donegal, Ireland Reflections From Within
09/01/97+ Doon Well, Ireland Miracles, Monarchs, and McCaffertys
09/02/97+ Letterkenny, Ireland Incommunicado
09/03/97 Letterkenny, Ireland Typically Irish Weather
09/04/97+ Termon, Ireland Meeting The Relatives
09/05/97 County Donegal, Ireland Flight of Fancy
09/06/97 Bunbeg, Ireland "The Craic Was Mighty"
09/07/97+ County Donegal, Ireland The End

all contents copyright 1997, Michael McCafferty


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