Sad To See It Go

With no warning, the day I’ve been dreading arrived today. I’ve worried about today for too long and tried to figure out a way to keep today from happening, but when it was all said & done, there just wasn’t any stopping it. I sold the Happy Champ today. OK, I admit it’s not the end of the world when you own an airplane you dearly love and you have to sell it, but it’s really hard.

It seemed like I was saying goodbye to my best friend today

You know I bought a beautiful Rans S7 a few weeks ago and am tickled to have it and thrilled with its performance. So the Rans got moved into the hangar where the Champ used to be and I was out of hangar space. There just wasn’t any way around having to sell it — had to pay for the Rans and couldn’t wear our welcome out at our friend’s farm strip where they were temporarily hangaring the Champ – in style I might add! (thanks Phil & Tess!)

Here I am with the new owner of N7569E, Jerry Keller, and his friend who told Jerry I had the Champ for sale.

If there’s anything that makes me happy about selling it, it’s knowing that Jerry (a CFI) is buying it to teach his family how to fly; his wife, Jane, his children and his grandchildren all want to learn how to fly and Jerry wants to teach them in a taildragger!… on a grass strip!!… and it’s only 38 miles from me so I can stop in anytime!

Jerry mentioned since women are going to be flying it, maybe the "Ladies Love Taildraggers" sticker on the tail can stay!

I can’t resist adding a few pictures of some of my fun spent flying the Happy Champ. I think you’ll understand why I dubbed it “happy” – it made me, and everybody else that got a ride here and there, happy too. Some of my many, many fond memories of N7569E……

2009 at Sparta with Diana Votow

2009 flying to breakfast with Celia

2009 giving rides to the girls from South Africa & friend Darlene

Off to fly formation with my daughter Jessica. Boyd, Craig & Justin flew circles around us in the Mooney!

2010 Family portrait

2010 Winter Flying - heat wide open!


2010, Darrell at Shelbyville helping me with those long, cold hoses at my favorite spot to refuel

2010 Giving Kristie a ride - I was 19 the last time I gave her a ride. She was terrified then but liked it a little better this time, really!

2010 Young Eagles Rides

2010 Weekend mother daughter trip in the Happy Champ visiting Katie

2010 Susan and I celebrating my birthday -just flying around - 2 champs, 2 happy pilots!

So, we said goodbye today. It gave me a tremendous amount of pleasure for almost 4 years and flying it I found the kind of happiness you’ll never get with your feet on the ground.  Even though I’m sorry to see it go, owning it was a great experience and I wish the very best to Jerry and his family as their fun begins!


P.S.  Jerry, I’ve stopped crying now.

  • Kim Ewing
    Posted at 23:08h, 27 April Reply

    I’m sorry you had to say goodbye to the Happy Champ!! 🙁 I can’t imagine letting go of an airplane that seemed to be practically part of the family! But like the other posters said, enjoy your time with the Rans!!

  • Amy
    Posted at 20:43h, 27 April Reply

    SO SAD! 🙁 I’m majorly bummed to see the Happy Champ move on but best of luck and flying times with the Rans!

  • Anne Wright
    Posted at 22:25h, 23 April Reply

    Oh Judy, it’s sad to see the Happy Champ sold…I enjoyed my ride in her too! But you’re still flying, and will have many more years of happy memories ahead of you!

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