Push To Talk – The Hundred Dollar Hamburger

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September 2012

Will Fly to Eat. Give me a sectional and dreams of a great burger.

I was walking through all the airplanes at this great little fly-in I attended. There were several classic birds there including a cabin-class Waco, a tricked-out Luscombe 8 and two beautiful Cessna 140s. Admiring the loving restoration, I couldn’t help but notice how tiny the cockpit was and how close the seats were back then. Were people that much smaller five and six decades ago? The answer, I discovered, is you betcha.

Our country’s prosperity, which brought with it a better diet and better health care, has resulted in Americans growing taller and living longer. Twenty years ago, America had the tallest people on the planet. Now, with the rest of the world catching up, folks in the United States are only the ninth tallest folks on earth. Before you chalk up just one more thing America has fallen by the wayside on, we now have another category in which we are number one. Americans are officially now (drumroll, please) the heaviest people on earth.

As aviators, of course, weight is a huge part of our sport. We have to weigh things before we put them in our airplanes, and we have to balance that weight relative to the aircraft’s center of gravity lest we become test pilots.

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