Every now and then you have the opportunity to witness something truly interesting, entertaining or historic. I remember once on a family trip to Washington D.C. we waited for hours to watch then President Clinton go by after an event. Seeing the President was something that my father thought would be historic, and it was. From time to time I’ve traveled off the beaten path to visit a historic place or see something interesting.
But you don’t always have to go too far to find history. Just last month something historic came to me. It was Wednesday, September 25th and I was in my office at the Barnstable Municipal Airport tending to my normal duties. The day was due to be exciting as HYA-based Cape Air was expecting the first two of their new fleet of aircraft.
These brand new Tecnam P2012 Traveller aircraft were developed and are produced in Italy. The interesting and somewhat historic part of my day would be that these were the first two of the type of aircraft coming to the United States. Prior to that day all of the development and test flying was conducted in Italy. These first two production aircraft were being ferried from Europe via stops in Iceland, Greenland and Goose Bay, Canada. This was setting up to have the first US landing of a Tecnam P2012 Traveller aircraft occur at the Barnstable Municipal Airport (HYA). Very fitting as HYA is Cape Air’s headquarters of course.
For me, this was something unique, Cape Air has operated a sizable fleet of Cessna 402s over its 30 year history. (Fun Fact: 10/16/19 was Cape Air’s 30th birthday!) This new aircraft will be around for some time as the 402s are phased out and beyond. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go out on the airfield and witness the very first landing by the aircraft type in the United States, especially not when it was happening at the airport where I work!
So along with a photographer from Cape Air, I made my way out to the edge of the safety area and waited… It didn’t take long and N133CA was contacting the Tower for landing clearance. In rapid succession N133CA and N244CA landed safely, and quietly at HYA. The aircraft taxied to the ramp and following a visit with Customs, the Cape Air family made their way to visit the new birds. It may not seem like something that interesting to many, but I will always be able to say that the first time a Tecnam P2012 Traveller landed in the United States, I was there watching! Another fun fact, the first Tecnam P2012 Traveller to land in the United States was N133CA, and it landed on Runway 33 at HYA on September 25th, 2019!
-Fly Safe, @MTElia1B9