Rick Rousos THE LEDGER
Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In Expo: Slow and Steady Gets Pilot to Annual Fly-In
April 24, 2015
  • Share
  • It’s called the “Flyin’ Turtle for a reason.

    Many pilots brag about how fast their planes are, but not Connie Edwards, 81, from Big Spring, Texas. He laughs about how slow his seaplane, a 1940s-era Catalina 5-A, flies.

    “Birds strike the back edge of the wings,” Edwards said.

    Edwards said it took him eight hours to fly the Turtle 1,000 miles to Sun ‘n Fun.

    “Other people “get somewhere” in an airplane, Edwards said. “When you get there in the Turtle, you’ve arrived.”

    Going slow is not so bad, Edwards said, “because the Turtle is a party barge” that can seat plenty of people.

    According to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the long-range patrol bomber “is heralded for its yeoman work in search-and-rescue operations, especially by the thousands of sailors and downed airmen who owe their lives to one.”

    Edwards said he named the Turtle after a plane that sunk in 1942.

    The plane has been sturdy, he said, and he’s flown it everywhere, including a number of times to the Cayman Islands.

    At 82, Edwards hasn’t slowed down. He still does all the flying. But he won’t be flying during the Fly-In, which is “time to drink beer,” he said.

    “The Turtle is a unique old airplane,” Edwards said. “It’s a flying boat.”

    But don’t believe everything he says, Edwards said.

    “Texans always tell it like it is — even if it isn’t.”