Vintage Plane (Gently) Crash Lands Near Beaver Co. Airport

According to CBS news:

A pilot and his passenger walked away after their vintage 1940’s airplane crash landed in a wooded area near the Beaver County Airport on Friday evening.

News stories tend to exaggerate because it looks like he just needed to emergency land in the woods (which thankfully left the pilot and co-pilot fine, and the vintage craft only slightly bent).


Everyone was fine, everything’s okay.  So, why bring it up?

When I see a plane from the 1940s, I have to mention it!

This is a late 1940s Ercoupe.  Ercoupes use tricycle gears–basically backwards-for-the-day landing gear which keeps it from tipping forward when landing.  You have one wheel in the front and two in the back.  I think the two-seater planes like this look adorable, but that’s the less technical side of me speaking.

Here’s an example of the taildragger style plane, the popular style back then:


(from Wikipedia)

The other thing that fascinates me about the Ercoupes is that you can put the windows down and catch a breeze.

I’ve heard flying an Ercoupe is an amazing experience.  I’ve always wanted to learn to fly and fly around into a two-seater plane, so I hope I get the chance to some day.  But I’ve noticed the Ercoupe owners also have a special relationship with their planes.

Check out this video of a Ercoupe its pilot set to music.  Besides the good action shots of the plane, it also is a great example of this special relationship.  It reminds me a movie montage of a couple’s relationship.

But Ercoupe also had great ads.


(From Retro Pop Planet)

You can see the tricycle landing gear in action up there.  In addition to the plane, I would love the outfit of the woman on the left running towards the plane.


(From WikiMedia)

22 miles to the gallon!  That’s better than my Chevy Malibu.  And ‘d love to take a free demonstration flight, if only I could find a Ercoupe dealer-airport.

Have you ever flown a Ercoupe? Or been the “co-pilot”?  Please tell me, and make me as jealous as you can!

Disclaimer: I don’t know if you can tell, but I like Ercoupes.


About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. A very minor correction — a tricycle gear is what we see on almost all modern planes, two main gears and one up front. An Ercoupe is a tail-dragger, where the wheel is under the tail.

    The closest I’ve come to flying an Ercoupe would be flying the two-seater Cessna 150. In that plane, the windows don’t roll down, but they do pop outward from the bottom to about a 30 degree angle. I can imagine it’s a much more exciting feeling in an Ercoupe!

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      Whoops, what I should have said (which I will edit) is it was backwards from its day. Trail-draggers were popular then but the Ercoupe ended up being a pioneer in stability from its use of the Tricycle Gear.

      How much of a breeze do you get from the Cessna with the windows popped out like that?

      • With the windows out, you get quite a bit more noise but only a bit of wind. Of course you can always stick your hand or arm out like in a car cruising down the freeway. That said, the Cessna 150 cruises at about 100 MPH, so it’s not too different than speeding and doing the same thing in a car.

  2. Matthew, did you look at the picture? An Ercoupe is NOT a tail-dragger.

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