Call it the Rinker Buck effect, but as one teenager finishes an epic flight in a J3 Cub, another is getting set for his own "flight of passage." As we reported in a recent podcast, 18-year-old commercial pilot Samuel Daigle set out from Whitehorse, Yukon, Aug. 6 on a ferry flight in a Cub to Montreal. He finished the 4,000-mile trip Friday. On Monday, Nate Foster, 17, of Reiserstown Md., plans to leave Ocean City, Md., bound for Monterey, Calif. (about 3,000 miles) in a Cub he and his father restored. Foster got his private pilot certificate on Friday. Both teens cite Buck's 1966 memoir Flight of Passage, which recounts Buck and his brother's flight from New Jersey to California, as inspiration for their flights. "It sounded like they had the absolute time of their lives," Foster told the Baltimore Sun. "When else am I going to get a chance to fly to California?"
Foster has about 150 hours and his pilot father Whit says he trusts his son to make safe decisions in marshaling the tube-and-fabric across the plains and over the Rockies. "But you worry about teenagers every time they go out on Saturday night," he told the Sun. "He'll have to make his own decisions up there, but that's true no matter what you do in life. He has good judgment." By comparison, Daigle is an old stick. He got his private license in November of 2009 and was working as an instructor before the ferry flight came up. Still, the big cross country accounts for about 15 percent of his 300 hours.