The Patuxent River Navy Flying Club recently made a new addition to its fleet of aircraft available for patrons to fly by bringing aboard a Beechcraft T-34B Mentor.
While new to the flying club, the Mentor itself is a Navy veteran as it was selected by the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard in 1955 to replace the SNJ Texan for pilot training.
This particular Mentor came to Pax from the flying club at NAS Whidbey Island, Wash. When the PRNFC club manager, Joe Dziewit, learned it was coming available, he made arrangements to bring it to Pax.
In January, the club president and chief flight instructor were off to ferry the aircraft from the West Coast to Pax. When they taxied up to the club ramp at the end of their transcontinental journey, they were tired but said they were thankful for having the opportunity to see so much of the U.S. in a way so few ever experience.
Originally designed as a Navy and Air Force flight trainer, the Mentor has tandem seating for student-pilot and instructor with a bowed canopy resembling those of old Warbirds.
“In flight, clear Plexiglas is the only thing between you and the heavens,” Dziewit said. “Like an old Warbird, the T-34B has the classic throttle and stick configuration, and is responsive to the controls.”
Because of the Mentor’s powerful engine and complex controls, high performance and complex aircraft endorsements are necessary to fly this airplane. Instructors at the Patuxent River Navy Flying Club can help people earn these endorsements.
The PRNFC has several Cessna and Piper aircraft as well as this T-34 available for rent and for flight training to current pilots and those who want to fly. PRNFC also offers a Private Pilots Ground School twice each year.
For more information, contact Joe Dziewit at 301-862-1110 or stop by their monthly meeting at 5:30 p.m. every second Tuesday of the month at the flying club; building 336 at the intersection of Cedar Point Road and taxiway ALPHA near the post office.