Photo courtesy of
Mort Crim and his Dova Skylark
August 2, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin
- At EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009, we’ve seen feats of engineering,
heard what’s new in the world of aviation, and witnessed aerobatics few
people in the world could pull off. In addition to the more awe-inspiring
things professionals at AirVenture have accomplished, general aviation
pilots are also accomplishing remarkable feats.
Veteran TV and radio journalist, writer, and
pilot Mort Crim decided to pursue one of the items on his “bucket list,”
by flying a long, cross-country trip in his light-sport aircraft (LSA). It
begins today at AirVenture and continue through the Dakotas, Montana,
Idaho, and then along the West Coast, through Washington, Oregon,
California, and finally east through Texas to his home in Jacksonville,
The 7,400-mile trip will be a celebration of
his 74th birthday, which was on July 31. While at AirVenture, he planned
on serving as master of ceremonies for some Theater in the Woods programs,
but mostly he came to enjoy himself. “You know, I just enjoy it all,”
Crim replied, when asked about his favorite part of AirVenture. He also
mentioned how he enjoys running into old friends.
The plane he’s using for the cross-country
trip is the Dova Skylark. “I think that all the light-sport aircraft fly
very similarly,” Crim said. “I like the low wing and the bubble top.
The aesthetics are probably what sold me, though. It’s just personal
Crim got into flying when he was 15 years old,
when a friend of the family took him up in a Cessna. At age 19, he
received his pilot certificate, and at 67 he received his airline
transport pilot certificate for his own personal satisfaction. He has
flown all kinds of planes, from LSA to the pressurized Cessna 414 Golden
Besides checking off an item on his life list,
flying cross-country in an LSA will accomplish something else: showing
people that LSA are not simply toys, but a viable means of transportation.
It will also show that neither age, nor health should be a limiting factor
for those who want to fly. He’s survived two bouts of cancer and is
enjoying every minute he’s healthy.
“I think the LSA flying rule is the most
exciting development in flying recently,” Crim said, noting that the
sport pilot certification has allowed more people to enjoy flying longer,
and especially has benefited younger fliers who are just starting out.
Sport pilot also benefits older fliers who otherwise might not be able to
fly because of heavier restrictions.
Crim worked as a news anchor in Philadelphia,
Detroit, and Chicago for more than 30 years and covered Neil Armstrong’s
moon landing heard by millions of ABC radio network listeners. He also
substituted for Paul Harvey in the 1980s. Now in semi-retirement, he
continues to do voice work, including TV commercials and books on CD,
writing, and speaking.
Crim is working on his eighth book, which will
be about his experiences in flying throughout his life. The cross-country
trip will provide the words and images for its final chapter.
As AirVenture ends, another year of aviation
accomplishments begins, and Crim’s 7,400-mile journey is just one of the
stories AirVenture’s aviators will bring back to tell next year.