Flying With Dad: Nancy's Memories

Nancy's story as told to AOPA.

Photo courtesy of Nancy Pierce 

My Dad (Don Frankel) was an active pilot when I was born. He was part owner of a BT-13 and a Stinson.  He said he couldn't afford the P-51 (it was $10,000).I remember him telling me that he had been chosen for a program to see how fast a person could solo. This was in the early to mid-1940s. I believe the Army Air Corps was involved. I was surprised when I read his logbook that it wasn't accomplished in less than 5 hours, but it was still pretty quick. 

After I was born (2nd of two children), Dad had trouble getting life insurance because of his flying, so he quit. He was an aeronautical engineer and never ceased being interested, but, to my knowledge, he never flew as PIC again. 

Later in life he took up building and flying radio controlled planes. We talked at length about my flying and my plane.  He was especially intrigued because my plane is a homebuilt. On one occasion he rerouted my oil to bypass a faulty oil filter.  I was able to fly from his home in Wisconsin to mine in Texas with no problem after his modification. He could fix anything.  He always told me he was proud of me and pleased that I was a pilot and plane owner.

Thanks for the memories Dad!

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