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  • Writer's pictureJosie Cray


Updated: Dec 6, 2022

When I purchased N9384J(uliette) in January, I had no idea how long the road to renovation would be - especially since I was and am willing to pay others to do the work. I know, I was covered in the stink of naiveté.

While her engine is new and she doesn't look like her 56 years on the outside, you are immediately transported back to 1966 once you sit inside.

Have you ever been inside an old Volkswagen Beetle? Just thinking about it conjures up memories of driving to high school, freezing in the winter because there was no heat. Jumping out at red lights to slap the wipers on the windshield to dislodge the accumulated ice and quickly re-scrape the frosted windows. Then there was summer, and the odor of years and owners gone by seeping from every corner to assault your nose. Not to mention, the feel of every imperfection in the road on your backside through the old worn-out seats and poor, primitive suspension.

Or maybe you're more familiar with the feel and smell of your elderly grandparent's basement or attic - the stale mustiness that you know has permeated each and every item stored there along with any drywall or carpet. The images and odors that come to my mind every time I see an episode of That 70s Show and Eric Forman's basement.

This, my friends, is what it feels like to sit in Juliette. Juliette, the classic trainer that every pilot can say with fondness: "I've put many an hour in a 180 just like her".

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