T50 Pheasant Hunting

Yes, you read that title correctly. I recently discovered photographs of my father with two other men standing before a Cessna T50 after a pheasant hunting trip. At least 12 birds are hanging from both propellers, so it was a very successful day, not including the few hanging from the center airspeed indicator!

Tony Riccio (left), other two men unknown.

I don’t recall Tony being a hunter when I was growing up, but this photo dates back to the late 1940s or early 1950s, and he was a much younger man. The group had a great time, from the smiles on their faces!

1947 Cessna T50 after a Pheasant Hunting Trip.

Unknown men, but very happy with their Pheasants!

So let’s stop and examine these photos. How did Tony land, or more importantly, take off a Cessna T50 in a grass field? The aircraft frame is light due to the steel tubing, wooden stringers, and fabric covering, which allows for slow operational speeds, but it’s not a bush plane. Am I correct, and would you admit to a similar experience? Leave a comment, and I would love to hear your story!

Tony (left), unknown photographer (center), unknown man (right)

But then again, it’s my father piloting this T50, and I’m sure he was out to impress these gentlemen and the poor photographer. So did he need a new set of trousers when they returned to the Air-Park? Unfortunately, there aren’t any photos stating such, and I wonder if he regretted taking the assignment.

Tony Riccio (left), other two men unknown.

Buffalo Air-Park owned this 1947 Cessna T50 with a serial number of 6652, and Tony was very proud to park it in a tie-down spot next to the office where everyone driving by could see it’s a beauty!

Tony Riccio (right), another unknown man.

The twin radial engines provide the necessary power of 245 HP each that rotates the variable-pitched propellers. The earlier models had fixed-pitched props. The cabin will occupy five, with a small cargo area in the tail section. Plenty of room for Tony, his two mates, a photographer, and their gear. Plus, the pheasants from that day’s adventure.

I love the nostalgic feeling when looking at these old photographs and thinking of a time so different from our current surroundings. Of course, it would be fascinating to experience the past personally, but that’s just smoke and mirrors, and I can only use my imagination. Or better yet, maybe share your “Time Traveling Device,” and we’ll go back together. I’ll even offer to buy us lunch!

Tony (center), two other men, unknown.

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Take care, my friends, and I’ll see you in the next post!