Nostalgia War Planes

    After enjoying your wildlife safari, why not treat yourself to another adventure: this one of a more man made, historically significant, and slightly dangerous kind:

    War planes!

    No, I’m not talking about modern day jet fighters, with mach-billion speed and a tight cabin. I’m talking about old fashioned bi-planes where if you forget to strap in, you could be in for a quick trip to the ground. Old war plans fascinate me, so, lucky for me, there is a pilot in Jefferson, Oregon, just a hop skip and a jump from Salem and an hour or so from Portland, who will show you all about these planes and then take you up in one.

    Pilot Mark Carpentiero will fly you up in Stanley—an authentic 1930 New Standard Bi Plane—for a pretty penny. With four seats available, you can enjoy this unique experience with your whole family, or with a group of friends. Built by Ivan Gates of the Gates Flying Circus and Charles Healy Day, the New Standard Biplane was constructed explicitly for barnstorming and Stanley is one of the few New Standards still in operation.

    This might be an old plane, but, rest assured, you are in good hands. Pilot Mike Carpentiero has amassed more than 8,000 flying hours and has more than 20 years of flying experience in everything from modern day fighters to gliders.

    He began flying Gliders in 1984 out of Hemet Ryan airport in California. He joined the Marine Corps out of college in 1988 and completed his Naval Aviator training in August of 1992. While stationed aboard an aircraft carrier in Southeast Asia, he completed more than 150 carrier landings and hasreceived multiple flying awards, including two Air Medals, Southwest Asia Service Medal, NATO Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, and Aerial Achievement Medal. In January 2002, Mike retired from the military to follow his dream–Nostalgic Warbird Rides. Mike is now doing what he loves–sharing the ecstasy of flying with others.

    I have to admit, I was a little nervous. My fear of flying has been well documented in this web space. However, after meeting Mike and going over all of the safety precautions and safety features, I felt like I was in good hands… and my flight went off without a hitch. I got to see the lush green fields of the Willamette Valley, the peaks of Bachelor and Hood, I got to feel the wind on my face and experience the exhilaration of flying, without the insulation of a giant aluminum tube. Ya, I spent $150 for the intermediate flight, but it was money well spent. Next time, I’ll pony up three bills for the advanced flight.

    Nostalgic Warbird Rides is close to Portland, yet gives you the opportunity to see another part of the state from a whole new angle. For more info and to book your flight, visit

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