When visiting Dallas (at least twice a year through the 80’s and early 90’s) I would make one day a special day and visit the viewing plaza next to the Addison Airport. Always a special treat to sit there in the comfort of your car and enjoy the General Aviation community taxi their various aircraft to the active (cluster near the end of the runway…compacted at the end of the runway at times!!). I had dreams of getting a pilots license. Eventually, I got it and was lucky enough to be “one of those” clustered at the end of the active at ADS. But I am jumping way ahead!
I had heard that one and maybe other Starships were in and around the Texas area and the Beech Starship was a real heartthrob to me. What a sweet, first-ever-glass-cockpit private aviation sweetheart! The twin pushers and canard design was just…well…beautiful.
I finally moved to the Dallas area in 1995. One of the first nice, free days I had available allowed me to load up the SUV and take my two dogs over to the viewing area at an Addison plaza. This was a busy weekend (what would you expect for the busiest General Aviation airport in the country!), I parked the SUV, flipped the tailgate, sat down to pet the dogs, looked up and, yep, you can just about imagine what I am about to write: taxiing down toward the 15 active was a Beech Starship. My heart just about popped out of my chest. This was about the most incredible stroke of luck I had ever had. The Starship crew was cordial and waved at my sincere hand greetings. With scanner in hand, I quickly dialed up the tower to hear the Beech get it’s clearances and invitation to take the active and depart. Hearing the twin pushers wind up and see that magnificant plane roll and rotate was magic (!).
Today, I hear the Starship over my house on the approach to Addision and midway to TKI. Of course, it is the Piaggio Avanti (such an unmistakable whine to the engines!) passing over and my awe is just as strong for this wonderful plane. But not a time goes by when I hear the Avanti that my heart doesn’t go back to the days at the Addison plaza when my dream boat came strolling to the active.
I have had my limited hours in 172’s. But it is the dreaming that makes aviation so much fun. There is so much to dream about and no law against it!