Visitors from Brazil

A highlight of January at AKM was a serendipitous encounter with visitors from Brazil on Sunday the 15th. I had been working in the WELCOME! Room (ground floor office) updating the Points In Time chronology of aviation file, but had also been upstairs in the Research Room, making 60-minute-long filing sessions between retreats to the computer and the desk downstairs. Mike, the pilot I had seen relaxing in the lobby came into the office to get a closer look.

Mike’s Cherokee’s right main tire had gone flat as he taxied to the ramp, and he was waiting for a friend to fly his Bonanza over and return him to Taylorville, Illinois about 30 miles southeast of Springfield.

After I showed him the office and the rest of the museum upstairs, I did something I’ve never done since starting this enterprise at the airport almost a year and a half ago: I sat down in the other comfortable chair in the lobby and talked flying with him probably another 15 minutes. I was in no rush to finish anything in the museum, and he was good company, intelligent conversation.

I hadn’t been back at the computer for long when I heard friendly conversation in the lobby, and soon a group of five friendly people filed through the open door. They were Mike’s friends: husband and wife and a younger couple: Joao  Chiminazzo and his companion whose nickname is “Tati,” from the land of Sergio Mendez and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Several years ago,  Joao was a high school exchange student and guest of the couple who had just arrived.

Joao and Tati

It became clear everyone was in a hurry to return to home base, and the happy conversation was extremely fast. It was like visitors from a foreign country talking one hundred miles an hour in their native language while you (remembering what you can of two years of college foreign language classes) try to follow and recognize every 12th word, or think you do. Only we were all talking English. Joao and Tati spoke better English than some yard care specialists, but we were all very animated. Earlier in the week, the couple and American hosts had spent almost an entire day visiting Springfield’s Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. Joao is a big history fan and was very impressed with that museum and the rest of downtown Springfield. We have something in common. So am I.

Joao was surprised I was so interested in Brazilian aviation, and now big a fan I am of the Embraer company who makes some excellent business jets and airliners we see every day at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport. He said general aviation is not nearly as popular in Brazil as in the US because of the high cost of aviation fuel.

Too soon it was time to go. The couple would be returning to their homeland the next day, and they had to finish getting ready. He gave him his e-mail address, and asked me to send him pictures I had taken during their visit. I promised I would, and a few days later, I did. He responded soon after, and we are planning some kind of exchange of aviation resources. I told him I want to purchase aviation magazines published in Brazil; also model airplane kits and postcards of Brazilian aircraft. He’s working on it. Reasonably soon, I am confident AeroKnow Museum will have some interesting additions to the collection, and I will update you when we do.
Pictured above from left to right, are Tati, Joao, their hosts for their visit to the US, and my new Cherokee pilot friend.

It was a pleasure meeting the convivial Brazilians and the equally convivial Taylorvillians!

Gentle winds and CAVU to all.

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About Job Conger

I am a freelance aviation, business and tourism writer, poet, songwriter. My journalism appears regularly in Springfield Business Journal and Illinois Times. I am author of Springfield Aviation from Arcadia Publishing and available everywhere. As founder/director of AeroKnow Museum (AKM) and a volunteer with American Aviation Historical Society (AAHS), I created this blog to share news about AKM activity and aviation history.
This entry was posted in aviation, aviation, Brazil, Illinois, Springfield, Taylorville, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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