Coast-to-Coast in a Piper Cub
Young Pilots USA is proud to showcase a successful endeavor for summer 2021, which worked to broaden the aviation community and bring flight to more people than ever before, as well as expand our charitable ambitions as an organization.
In June 2021, Young Pilots USA founder and President Luc Zipkin, age 16, flew a 1946 Piper J3C-65 Cub, N7238H, pictured at right, from Goodspeed Airport (42B) in East Haddam, CT to Flabob Airport (KRIR) in Riverside, CA, a distance of over 2,500 nautical miles.
The Cub will be followed by a Cessna 180 Skywagon chase plane flown by Luc's instructor and dad, Eric Zipkin, in accordance with 14 CFR Part 61, which governs flight instruction and the issuance of solo endorsements. Luc will be flying the Cub solo the entire way.
Inspired by the 1966 Flight of Passage Piper Cub cross-country flight by Kern and Rinker Buck, 55 years later, Young Pilots USA will raise funds for the AOPA flight training scholarships, the Gary Sinise Foundation, and the Barstool Fund for Covid-19 small business relief.
Pilots, especially those familiar with the iconic Piper Cub line of aircraft, understand the unique challenge posed by flying a 75 year-old airplane across the country and back (and why, to our knowledge, it hasn't been attempted in over 50 years). Thanks to the generosity of many donors, the trip was fully funded, and we are currently seeking donations to sell our stock of Coast-to-Coast Cub t-shirts, the proceeds of which will benefit the three charities mentioned above.
There are lots of ways to support the project, ranging from a simple online contribution at the link below to a donation in kind (accomodation, fuel, aircraft parts, etc.) or sponsoring a particular leg of the journey. In any and all cases, please don't hesitate to reach out to learn more about the endeavor.
Youg Pilots USA is also actively seeking a qualified tailwheel pilot to ferry the airplane from KRIR to 42B between July and September 2021, all expenses paid, no compensation.
Top photo credit: Kristina Delp
Planned Westbound Route
Actual Westbound Route
$3,835 raised for charity so far...
Luc got involved in aviation at a young age through his family, who run an aviation business and have been pilots for 3 generations now, and flew gliders at first, soloing at 14 at Sugarbush Soaring in Vermont in a Schweizer SGS 2-33A.
After realizing that many young people in aviation left because they simply didn't have anyone their age around to fly with, he founded Young Pilots USA in 2020 to address this issue. He soloed the Piper J3 Cub on his 16th birthday in December 2020 and now flies it around the Northeast for Young Pilots USA business and for pleasure.
Outside of flying, Luc is a rising senior in high school, a leader in his local Boy Scout troop, and is passionate about vintage cars, currently restoring a 1966 Land Rover.
About The Cub
The Cub used for this trip, N7238H, rolled off the Piper production line in Lock Haven, PA in 1946, completely stock as a J3C-65 and in iconic yellow paint. Like many Cubs, however, she didn't stay stock for long. In 1956, 38H was upgraded to a Continental C85 engine producing 85 hp, increasing performance over the original 65 hp engine. At some point along the way, she got a 5 gallon auxiliary tank in the wing, a metal climb prop, and Edo 1400 straight floats. Eric Zipkin bought her in 2001 and kept 38H exclusively on floats until the early 2010s, when she began to train the next generation of tailwheel pilots on wheels. In 2012, 38H got a full fabric recovering, and in 2021, in preparation for this flight, she got a new engine and some repairs while the original is sent out for overhaul.