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Flying High and fast – Volume II Chapter 36 – Boston Massachusetts

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JJ Meehan
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The Meehan Family

Sometime in the late 1980’s I got a call from Dick Novetzke asking if I could fly the President of DC Taylor and 4 other executives to Springfield, Massachusetts the following week.  I had visions of the Boston POP and said yes.  I then cancelled all my appointments and took 3 days off work.

We plan to leave early on Monday morning and return late on Wednesday.  The weather was forecasted as excellent for the whole time that summer.  My plans were to drop the DC Taylor Executives off in Springfield Massachusetts and then fly over to Boston to spend the next two nights.  I love history and enjoyed growing up in near Alexandria, Virginia at Ft. Belvoir which is just five miles from George Washington’s Home – Mt. Vernon.  In fact I attended Mt. Vernon High for two years.  Over the years I managed to visit most of the museums and historical places in the Virginia area but Boston is still my favorite.  To me this is truly the home of our nation.  You have Paul Revere, John Adams, John Kennedy’s Museum, Concord, Lexington, Bucker Hill, The Commons, USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) the Salam Witch Trials, and much more.

I like Chicago but Boston is my favorite place – I love it.  The following will not due Boston or my trip justices but I can tell you that I loved every minute and the weather was fantastic.  In the 36 hours I had in Boston I managed to visit as many places as possible.  Let’s start at the beginning.  We agreed to meet at the Cedar Rapids Airport at 5:30 am.  I had planned the flight non-stop to Springfield and it would take about 4 1/2 hours.  The following was the route of our flight.  The route of flight would be north of Chicago over Milwaukee, Wisconsin Saginaw, Michigan Niagara Falls, NY and then Springfield and Lexington MA.  I decided to land at Lexington instead of Boston Logan so that I could get out without delays on Wednesday.  In addition, I wanted to visit Lexington, Concord and Salam.


As I mentioned we met at the Cedar Rapids Airport at 5:30 am and departed just before 6:00 am CST.  The weather was perfect and the flight was one of the smoothest and longest I’ve made.  Later I’ll blog about a flight to Main that was longer but in all cases this flight had the longest legs of any flight since the plane could hold 6 hours of fuel and the weather did not require us to include an alternate.  We were able to fly non-stop from Cedar Rapids to Springfield, Massachusetts.  The flight was over some of my favorite places, Milwaukee,   Wisconsin, Saginaw, Michigan and Niagara Falls, New York.  The flight was over lake Michigan for about 140 miles.  This is probably the widest place on Lake Michigan.  I’ve flow this route hundreds of times in the process of getting to Saginaw and the eastern shores of Lake Michigan.  I had only flow over Canada and Niagara Falls one other time.  This trip is covered in Vol. II Chapter 8 – Michigan and Niagara Falls, NY.  As I mention in Chapter 8, the roads and farm sections in Canada can give you a vertigo sensation since they are not true north or magnetic north but run at 30 to 40 degree angles to true (magnetic) north.  Anyway it is beautiful county and seeing Niagara Falls from the air is always fantastic.  This time I even took the time to fly a circle around the falls.   The falls are beautiful.  The picture at the right is off the Internet.

We had just managed to complete 2 1/2 hours when we flow over Niagara Falls and we still had 2 hours of flying time. to Springfield, Massachusetts.  I was the only pilot on board and had to maintain my position at the controls for all 4 1/2 hours.  Needless to say I did use what they call a Jill’s John to relieve myself several times.  There was a potty chair in the back for the passengers.  There was one lady on board and she was pretty cool about the whole operation.  My bladder has never been able to hold much for long.  If you have ever flow to Hawaii or from New York to LA you will have a sense of how long the flight felt.  Normally I plan my flights for 2 1/2 to 3 hours max but in this case they had meetings and a schedule to meet.  For me it was an adventure.

We landed in Springfield at 11:30 am EST.   All the passengers headed to the restrooms and I had the ground service clean and replace the liner to the potty on the plane.  I also had them fuel the plane and arranged to pick up the Executives at 6:00 pm EST on Wednesday.   Normally I would give you a little back ground on the area but since was only at the airport in Springfield and have no personal contact, I will not bore you with a repeat of Wikipedia.  You can read about Springfield, MA if you wish at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Springfield,_Missouri.  Wish I had more time to visit the area but many some other time.

After I made sure they were on their way with their contacts in Springfield I climbed back into N610WA and headed to Boston (Lexington), Massachusetts.   The flight time to Lexington would be just over an hour.  I arrived just in time for lunch.  I made sure the plane was taken care of and refueled for the fight on Wednesday afternoon and I headed to downtown Lexington for lunch.  After lunch and a drive around Lexington I headed to Concord.

The following are a few photos of these two historical towns.  I can remember reading about the Battles of Lexington and Concord in my history books – Now I was here.  Both towns keep the small New England town atmosphere and both was very attractive today.


That night I had dinner at the “Barking Crap” on the Boston Lake Front.  This restaurant was featured in the Movie “Game Plan”.  The seafood was fantastic.  I made reservation on the Executive Floor of the Holiday Inn for my stay in Boston.  This was handy and allowed me to have access to most of the Boston Area.




Early the next morning (Tuesday), I was on the go.  I toured the downtown area including Boston CommonsBoston Massacre, The Old North Church, Bunker HillPaul Revere Home,




After lunch at Warren Tavern, I drove about 30 miles south of Boston to Quincy to visit the John Adams Historical Site.  John Adams was our 2nd President and his Site was worth the visit.  You got to see his birth home and his pride and joy – Peacefield.  Peacefield  was originally constructed in 1731 for Leonard Vassall, a sugar planter, and was used as his summer house. The house stood empty for some time before it, along with 75 acres (30 ha), was purchased by Adams on September 23, 1787 for 600 pounds. The Adams’s family moved in the next year and occupied it until 1927, when it was sold to the Adams Memorial Society. The National Park Service acquired it in 1947, and has been a National Historic Site ever since.  This library, on the grounds of Peacefield, is home to over 14,000 volumes which belonged to the Adams family. In his will, John Quincy Adams requested that the library be built out of stone so that it would be fireproof. The building was completed in 1870.




By 4:00 pm I was rushing to get to the John F. Kennedy Library.  I was lucky to have picked one of the few days that the Library would be open until 8:00 pm.  In “Fly High and Fast” – Vol. II Chapter 22: Kansas, I tell about President Dwight D. Eisenhower Library.  So far I’ve been able to visit all but one of the Presidential Libraries.  President Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) Library in Austin Texas is the only Presidential Library we (Jeannie and I) have not seen.  We live about 50 miles north of the President Herbert Hoover Library in West Branch, Iowa.  If you get a chance, I would recommend visiting them.  What fantastic treasures of information.





I was able to get last minute tickets to the Boston POP.  No time for dinner and I was happy to make it back to Boston in time for the show.

What a day.  I headed back to the hotel around 11:00 pm and after a quick drink and sandwich I was in bed.  I slept until 10:00 am the next morning.  After breakfast I headed over to the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides).  I arrived just after 12:00 pm and rushed to get a few photos and tour the boat.  I was in such a hurry that I left the car running and the door open.  Not a very smart thing to do in Boston.  When I got back about 30 minutes later, I found a gentlemen seating in the car.  He turned out to be a Police Detective.  After checking my license and verified that I the rental car was mine he told me that it was not very smart to leave a running car for 30 minutes in Boston.  My only excuse which is really no excuse was that I was coming to the end of my magical trip and I wanted to take in as much as I could.  I thanked him and head up to Salem.



Salem, Massachusetts was my last stop before heading back to the airport.  I wanted to see the city where the Salem Witch Trials were held and the House of the Seven Gables.  I did not have time to go through either attraction but Jeannie and I did visit the Salem Witch Trial Museum on a vacation to Boston in 2007.  Several of the pictures you see in this blog are from that trip.




After a quick tour of the city of Salem, I headed back to the airport in Lexington, MA.  I had called a head and they had been kind enough to get the plane ready for me.  I checked the weather and filed two flight plans.  The first was from Lexington, MA to Springfield MA and the second was from Springfield MA to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  I pre-flighted the plane and was airborne at 4:45 pm EST.  I landed in Springfield at 5:50 pm and my passengers arrived around 6:30 pm.  We departed for Cedar Rapids at 7:00 pm EST.  Our route was just the reverse of our flight from Cedar Rapids to Springfield, MA.  We did have a head wind.  The flight took just over 5:00 hours and we landed at 1:00 am CST.

This was one of my favorite trips and one that I hope you have enjoyed.  Please visit Boston when you have time.

You can find links to my other blogs on flying on my WEB Site –  “Flying High and Fast”

Please contact me with comments or questions at mfmeehan@live.com.


Written by jjmeehan13

June 27, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Posted in Flying

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