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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Stewart Lyr Req: Famous Aviators (27) Lyr Add: UPSIDE DOWN (Linda Allen) 31 Oct 00

Okay, here's the lyrics of Linda Allen's song (just transcribed).


Well, I was just a kid that day in 1931
When I saw the airplane circlin' in the sky
Those planes were still a wonder, Thunderation! What a thrill
Never understood what made 'em fly.

There came a spurt and sputter and the airplane headed down
We all ran to the field outside of town
I got there tired and breathless just in time to see her dive
I was so scared - I never made a sound,

And it was
Upside Down
Doin' loop the loops and barrel rolls
Upside Down
Flyin' higher than a dream
Upside Down
Walkin' wings to make the young girls scream
Greatest thing our town had ever seen.

Clyde Pangborn was a young sensation seeker, we all knew
A barnstormer with more tricks than a kite
Then a Tokyo paper promised fame and fortune to the first
To make a non-stop transpacific flight.

Clyde Pangborn and Hugh Herndon flew from Samashiro Beach
To save on fuel they dumped the landing wheels
And it took 'em 40 hours in a monoplane to reach
Wenatchee and its tiny landing field.

In their plane they called Miss Veedol in the frozen Northern sky
There was trouble with some dangling rods of steel
So high above Alaska, Pangborn walked the icy wings
And he fixed that plane with hands too cold to feel

I tell you, I was there the day Clyde Pangborn came back home
The plane slid down the field and tipped her nose
Then we saw two grimy pilots walkin', smilin' to the crowd
I yelled so hard it hurt down to my toes.

The Wenatchee (Washington) Museum has a wonderful exhibit on the Pangborn-Herndon flight, which includes their plane's bent propeller. Newspaper editor, Wilf Wood's recolletion of seeing the plane circle overhead as a boy provided additional inspiration. Clyde Pangborn did indeed walk the wings above Alaska to release the rods which could have caused serious damage upon landing. (Linda Allen)

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