Cub Pilot Aims To Fly To 48 States


When Jared Calvert, a 25-year-old pilot from Texas, decided to tour the 48 contiguous U.S. states in his Piper Cub early this year, his plan was to not have a plan. “I wanted to take off and just go,” he said. After several years of working to restore a Piper J-3 Cub that had been sitting in a barn since 1950, he launched his trip, planning to stay at least one night in each state. But just 19 states into his journey, the Cub engine failed on a climb-out in Ohio, and the airplane hit trees and landed upside-down, a total wreck. Calvert was able to extricate himself from the wreckage and call for help, but the most painful part, he says, was the loss of that unique aircraft. This week, Calvert is back in the air, recovered from his injuries, and resuming his trip with a Cub loaned from a friend.

Calvert said he’s bought back the wreckage of the “Barn Cub” from the insurance company, and hopes to someday fly it again. But for now he’s on his way to the northern states, then down the West Coast and back to Texas before winter. Calvert spoke with AVweb’s Mary Grady about his trip, why he’s doing it, and what he’s learned from the experience; click here to listen to the podcast.