Santa Paula Times

(Photo top left) Sammy Mason gets a hug from his mom after one of his ten solo flights, including the Cessna 172 behind them. (Top right) Sammy Mason takes off in his friendís Piper Super Cub for a solo flight. (Bottom left) Sammy Mason pauses before taxiing out in his dadís Grumman Ag Cat for hisr first solo in the craft. (Photos by Craig Mailloux) (Bottom right) Sammy Mason takes off in a friendís Mooney Mite for his first solo in the craft on his 16th birthday. (Photo by Pete Mason)

Newest Santa Paula Pilotó16-year-old Sammy Mason

February 12, 2010
Santa Paula News

Wednesday, February 3rd was Sammy Masonís 16th birthday and the first day he was eligible to fly solo in an airplane according to the FAA rules for student pilots.† Sammy celebrated by flying not one, but ten different airplanes at the Santa Paula airport.

Sammy grew up at the airport, having first visited when he was a few days old.† His parents, Pete and Rowena Mason, have a business at the airport and Rowena is president of the Airport Association.† His dad is his flight instructor.

At the age of 14 Sammy soloed in a glider and started his flight training in powered airplanes.† On his 17th birthday he will be eligible for his flight exam to earn his private pilotís license.† Then itís time to work towards his instrument rating, as well as multi-engine and commercial ratings.

On his birthday,† Sammy flew a variety of planes, first his folkís Stearman bi-plane, then a variety of classic and not so classic aircraft.† The most challenging was a Grumman Ag Cat, an ungainly craft used originally for aerial spraying. †

Young Sammy was named for his late grandfather, the original Sammy Mason, who was well known in aviation circles as a Lockheed test pilot.† Numerous members of the Mason family call Santa Paula home.

Planes soloed by Sammy Mason On his 16th birthday

Stearman bi-plane

Piper J-3 Cub

Piper Super Cub

Piper Clipped Wing Cub

Bellanca Scout

Piper PA-11

Cessna 150

Cessna 172

Mooney Mite

Grumman Ag Cat