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Ryan PT-22

Updated: Aug 21, 2022


1941 Ryan PT-22 Army Trainer


Sunday June 20th at Blackhawk Farms


It was a relatively cool, overcast morning with heavy inbound thunderstorms inching their way towards our location.

According to weather radar the storms weren't due to arrive until early afternoon.

Being Covid deprived and unable to enjoy track days for so long, I decided to throw in the dice and head to Blackhawk Farms anyway to watch the Vintage races and the perfect excuse to try out my new Canon rig.

Due to an unplanned architectural photo-op detour in dowtown Beloit, I wound up arriving at Blackhawk at the half point of an hour long endurance race, trapping me at the outer perimeter of the track. As soon as I walked up to the chainlink fence trackside, a blue fuselaged, yellow winged Army WWII warbird appeared overhead doing a couple of lazy fly overs, the sound of its radial engine's exhaust note the perfect compliment to the cars below. What luck!

The visual of the aircraft and the vintage racecars on track looked like a photo from the early 50's! Amazingly, a few moments later, the plane landed in the grass overflow parking field only a short walking ditsance from where I was standing. I immediatley headed over to the plane introduced myself to the pilot Ron Johnson who was performing a post flight visual inspection of the aircraft.

During the course of our conversation, I was amazed by Ron's encylopedic knowledge of vintage aircraft. He is the Ryan's owner, restorer and pilot.

Ron has a collection of vintage aircraft, vintage motorcycles and vintage automobiles.

More to follow...

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