“My dad’s logbook,” he said. I took the book and flipped through the pages. Don Tallman’s temporary certificate, dated October 31, 1973, fell out.
Here’s what I knew about Don’s pilot background. He learned to fly at Easton/Newnam Field (KESN) in Easton, Maryland. He flew a few years, long enough to take his teenaged son Doug on a couple of trips. He wanted to get a commercial certificate so that he could fly charters for Maryland Airlines, which at the time was owned by his friend and designated pilot examiner, William Newnam. But a heart attack grounded him in 1974. In the 1980s, he talked briefly about jumping through the hoops to get his medical back, but his health had been deteriorating, and it didn’t happen. When I joined the family in 1983, aviation was a closed chapter in his life. He died in 1994.
Here’s what I learned about Don Tallman, private pilot, from his logbook…
- He flew mostly tailwheel aircraft, including N9863Y, an Aeronca 7FC, and N8307V, a Citabria. Later he moved to N7940L, a Beech Musketeer, but most of his time was in taildraggers. And except for one 20-minute flight in a 172, there’s not a Cessna to be seen.
- He logged about 112 hours. This includes some right-seat time in a Shrike Commander. (You know who else flew a Shrike Commander? Put your answer in the Comments section.)
- Most of his trips were short hops, but he did mix it up with big iron on occasion with visits to Baltimore-Washington International, Stewart Air Force Base, La Guardia, and Teterboro.
Don would be surprised to know that Easton has a control tower now. He’d no doubt be flummoxed by the price of avgas at KESN–$4.92/gallon as of April 30. He might be perplexed that there are no more taildraggers for rent at Maryland Air, which is still in business. But he was a gadget guy, and he would have loved a chance to tool around Easton, Oxford, and St. Michaels in a 2004 Cessna 182T with Garmin G1000 glass cockpit. And he’d be pleased to know that the first airplanes he flew, N9863Y and N8307V, are still on the FAA’s registry.
Tags: Jill Tallman