AUGUST 28, 1939
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Friday was a most exciting day. By 12:00 o'clock, I was down at the dock in Poughkeepsie where there were three airplanes already anchored to the seaplane float, which I had seen the National Youth Administration boys building last Monday in the old Moline Plow Company's abandoned workshop. As we stood there, more planes flew in until finally Aubrey Williams arrived with Captain Fogg, flying the Civil Aeronautics Authority plane. After a brief ceremony, the party followed me up here for a picnic and then Mrs. Gray and I joined the caravan and flew as far as Albany.
There are comparatively few seaplanes in this country. Yet for commuting in and out of the city. and for flying over rivers and lakes, there is no pleasanter method of travel. These are little planes which hold four people comfortably and the cost of operation is only two cents a mile, cheaper than an automobile. The initial cost of buying a plane is high, but with good care and an average amount of use, a plane should last five or six years.
Because there have been so few of these seaplanes, it has been difficult to use them conveniently. As Captain Fogg explained, you might pick out a dock and land there hoping to take on oil and gas, only to find there was none available. On calling up the nearest oil company, you would be informed that all the trucks were out and by the time you eventually corralled what you needed, you would have lost so much time that other means of travel would have been equally rapid. With good arrangements, however, this could be easily changed and it would take about thirty-five minutes to fly from Poughkeepsie to Albany, and probably some forty-five minutes to fly from Poughkeepsie to New York City.
The Civil Aeronautics Authority and the National Youth Administration are cooperating in different states all over the country to establish seaplane floats on navigable waters. This should serve as an incentive to many people to buy these little planes and create employment in a new industry.
Germantown, New York, was our only stop between Poughkeepsie and Albany and I saw the yellow triangle, which denote a seaplane base where supplies can be obtained hereafter. It was interesting to see how much community interest surrounded the little ceremony of presentation of this float by the NYA boys to the mayors of the different cities. Everywhere, sizeable crowds were gathered and the citizens seemed interested in this new development.
As a work project, this is of value to young people, for they get a little experience in carpentry, welding, reading blue prints and it ties up with aviation which fires the imagination of every young person today.