Saturday, September 01, 2012

Veteran pilot still excels in flight

Scott Ferguson and his twin engine Cessna 310L. Ferguson took first place as the most outstanding Cessna 310 at the recent Oshkosh air show. 

By MARTIN MULL - The Billings Outpost

In 1958, newlyweds Edward “Scott” and Marian Ferguson hopped in a back-to-back two-seater Beechcraft T-34 Mentor airplane at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington, D.C., and flew east toward the Atlantic Ocean. Once over water, First Lieutenant Ferguson banked the training plane right, maintained a bird’s eye 500-feet altitude view, and the couple motored on down the coast to Key West, Fla. for their honeymoon, stopping overnight in Sea Island, Ga.

“When we taxied on the runway down in Georgia, a fellow comes and rolls out a red carpet for us,” Scott Ferguson reminisced with a smile. “And Marian, well, she has kind of liked airplanes ever since that day.”

Yes, the young, handsome Air Force officer chalked up some good romance points coordinating that trip 54 years ago. Back then he belonged to the base’s Aero Club for military pilots, where he could rent the retired Air Force trainer for $5 a flying hour.

The couple have flown together since then, going through about a half-dozen family planes beginning in 1964 when Ferguson purchased his first aircraft, the now-popular Beechcraft Staggerwing, a biplane.

Nowadays, the 81-year-old escorts Marian in their award-winning twin engine 1967 Cessna 310L, which seats six.

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