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Historic Airfield Inspired Two Baltimoreans to Earn their Wings

≈On a beautiful and warm Saturday, we departed Easton’s Newnam Field with our partner – aviation attorney Robert Schulte – for lunch at the Flying Machine Cafe. Crossing the Chesapeake Bay in his 1958 Beechcraft Bonanza, we made a quick stop at Martin State Airport (MTN) to pick up our guest, WBAL Radio Show host Jimmy Mathis. Although Mathis had recently received his pilot recertification, his aviation ‘story’ begins 21 years earlier when – at 16 years of age – he became the youngest pilot to fly cross-country solo: a record he still holds today.

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Listening to Jimmy interview Rob for his radio show, I learned how both pilots were inspired to learn to fly by early visits to, and growing up near, Baltimore’s MTN,  former home of the renowned Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company. The pioneering aircraft manufacturer once produced the B-10 and B-27 bomber, A-10 Warthog, China Clipper and PBM flying boats for five decades here. Though Jimmy and Rob hadn’t met previously, both pilots’ passion for flying was fueled by their proximity growing up near this historic field. Listen to their interview here.

Here are a few photos from our day exploring the Mid-Atlantic. MSN’s distinct tan brick terminal is an art deco landmark.

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The flight from MSN to CTH and back crossed rivers, rolling hills and miles of farm fields.

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Landmark Aviation‘s friendly crew helped secure Rob’s Bonanza while we made our way inside.

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The Flying Machine’s expansive windows overlook the tarmac, outside seating and a manicured lawn.

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We nibbled on complimentary, hot buttered popcorn and local craft beer (ice-tea for the pilot naturally!) before settling on assorted soups, salads and sandwiches.

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Jimmy had high praise for his meatball and provolone sub while Brent ordered the classic $100 hamburger. I went semi-healthy with a grilled shrimp garden salad.

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Owned and operated by Michael Bem, an aeronautical engineer by profession and pilot and restaurateur by passion, the Flying Machine Cafe is located at the Chester County Airport, 1 Earhart Drive in Coatesville, PA. It’s open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on weekends, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. For information visit www.flyingmachinecafe.com or call 610-380-7977.

 

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