ABA Banking Journal - June 2014 - (Page 56)

first person STEPHEN CHRISTY Dream of flight Lifelong wish for wings fulīŦlled in a wrecked vintage plane Airplanes fascinated Stephen Christy since childhood. He read everything he could about aviation. Pioneer Charles Lindbergh was one of young Christy's heroes. "I was always interested, but I never had any money to buy a plane," says Christy, who is president and CEO of Mascoma Savings Bank, Lebanon, N.H. Christy's father was a Presbyterian minister, and the family moved every five years or so when his father moved to a new church. It was not a profession that built up family wealth. Christy had an uncle who flew B-47s in the Air Force, and who owned several planes over the years. One was a Piper Comanche, and another was a twin-engine plane that the uncle and his Grounded no more, banker Stephen Christy and his 1948 Cessna 195, an Art wife, also a pilot, flew to Europe in the '70s. Deco "tail dragger" whose history and eccentricity impressed him. "That was before GPS," says Christy, 64, with admiration. "We take many things for explains. The luggage "wants" to granted in aviation today." reverse direction, as does a tail-dragChristy's uncle and aunt knew of his interest and offered to teach him to fly. ger out of alignment. Pilots need a But the planes they owned proved too advanced for a beginner, and money tail-dragger endorsement on their again stymied him. He couldn't afford fuel for lessons. licenses to operate one. The closest Christy came to reaching the clouds was a seasonal job over eight In 2001, the previous owners of summers with the Mount Washington Cog Railway, in New Hampshire. The the Cessna 195 had not only had a tourist rail line has climbed New England's highest peak for over 100 years. ground loop, but flipped-in part due Christy learned to run locomotives up the extreme grade. However, he much to a cross wind. No one died, however preferred working in the railway's shop, overhauling engines and other work. He the plane sustained significant damactually helped build one locomotive from scratch. age. It took shops in three different Born in Atlanta, Ga., Christy fell in love with New Hampshire and its cooler states to fix the parts that were bent weather, and joined the bank in 1973 as a teller, still grounded. or broken. But in 1990, he decided it was time to do something about his dream of flight, The plane's history, and its eccenor put it away. He began taking flying lessons, and in time, went in on a plane tricity, might have put off some peowith several other pilots. In time, he sold out of that, and bought his own planes. ple. But Christy had long admired the The opportunity for his current plane came in an unusual way: a wreck. Cessna 195, built between 1947 and The single-engine, aluminum-bodied plane, a 1948 Cessna 195, is a "tail1954. He likes its Art Deco design dragger." Such planes have two fixed wheels under the fuselage and a much and its impressive radial engine. smaller wheel that keeps the tail off the ground for takeoff and landing. Tail "Jets don't do anything for me," draggers can be tricky, Christy explains, because too much variance in steering says Christy. "And the average pilot on the ground can cause a "ground loop." That's a 180-degree turn. (The 195 can't afford to own and operate one." is especially long for its size, making it still more challenging. Online discussion -Steve Cocheo, executive editor and groups debate methods of handling 195s on the ground.) digital content manager To get the effect, try pushing a two-wheeled Rollaboard-style suitcase, he 56 | ABA BANKING JOURNAL | JUNE 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - June 2014

Chairman's View
Editor's Column
The Economy
Bank Notes
Picture This
Affordable housing pioneer
Pass the Aspirin
Tech Topics
Lines of defense
Top performing community banks
Compliance Clinic
Compliance Inbox
Around the ABA
Legal Issues
First Person

ABA Banking Journal - June 2014

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