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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedPiper Comanches arrive en masse
By A.J. Forst, EAA AirVenture Today
July 26, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin -  Twenty-nine Piper Comanches with the International Comanche Society arrived at Wittman Regional Airport at 11:30 a.m. today, making their third or fourth mass arrival to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

The pilots met in Watertown, Wisconsin, the night before their mass arrival.

"When you come all together, you get to park all together, and then in the evening swap war stories," said J. J. Miller who flew in with the group.

Miller joined the group when he was thinking of buying his own twin Comanche. "They have real good support with technical advisors on the parts," he said. He decided the plane was what he wanted because it would still climb on one engine, and because, "It's just an economical airplane."

Brothers Robert and George Fox, of Muskogee, Oklahoma, and Springfield, Massachusetts, came in Robert's Comanche. This was George's first time in a small plane.

"It took him two months to talk me into it," George said. Once they got flying, however, he decided it wasn't so bad. "My brother didn't even scare me," he said, chuckling. "I was flabbergasted at how much control my brother had."

Alex Zawaski flew his Comanche in with the group as well. His airplane is a bit unique in that it has wingtip fuel tanks. This is because it was modified to carry as much fuel as possible for a flight around the world. Zawaski is only the 53rd person to fly around the world in a single-engine plane. When asked why he decided to do it, he said he'd already flown to Europe and Alaska. "So, I figured, what was left? To fly around the world."

The flight started October 6, 1991 and lasted 72 days. The first stop was in Newfoundland, and then he went on to the Azores, Spain, Crete, Egypt, Dubai, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Guadalcanal, Micronesia, Tarawa, Hawaii, California, and finally home to New York.

The Comanche society, formed in 1972, has 3,000 members from every continent of the world except Antarctica. The Piper Comanche line was produced from 1957 to 1972.

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