gives him an endurance of about
three hours, with reserve. Dave’s Starduster has a total fuel capacity of 46
gallons, burns 10 gph, and has an
endurance of four and a half hours.
So they flight planned to cover 200
nm every two hours or so. They
logged a total of 20. 5 hours by the
time they landed at Wittman Field.
Dave, reflecting on their journey,
shares that the flight “felt like a personal sense of accomplishment—the
proud father, having my son solo one
of these airplanes, for God’s sake, let
alone fly it 1,700 miles over some pretty interesting country. In Rock Springs,
Wyoming, the density altitude was
like 9,900 feet. And 40 miles east of Le
Mars, Iowa, we had to turn around and
land at the closest airport for weather.
We flew together pretty much; he
asked me to go a little faster because
he was hanging on the prop, and I was
running as hard as I could run it.”
Dan is equally proud of his father
as his father is of him. He says his
dad “is probably the highest time
Starduster Too pilot right now, and
he probably has more time at night
[about 100 hours] in this kind of airplane than anyone else. He’s been a
major advocate and has mentored a
lot of people who have Stardusters—
he wants them to be safe and enjoy
Together, Dave and Dan are enjoying the fruits of their labor—
including the award-winning recognition
they received at several fly-ins during
2008. Dan’s Starduster took the following awards: Reserve Grand Champion Plans Built at Arlington, Outstanding Workmanship—Homebuilt
Plaque at AirVenture, and Best of
Type at the Starduster Homecoming
at Flabob Airport.
This unusual father-son duo plans
to continue flying their Stardusters
well into the future. Brandishing a
broad smile, Dan says, “I’m going to
fly the wings off of it! I’ve already got a
little over 160 hours in the first year, so
I’m well on my way!” Indeed.
Sparky Barnes Sargent holds a
commercial glider certificate with a
private single engine land rating, and
she personally restored her 1948 Piper
Vagabond. She was the first female
recipient of the Bax Seat Trophy (2006).
Her first book, a collection of women
pilot biographies entitled A Hunger for
the Sky, was published in 2008.