Cole Palen (The Black Baron) @ Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome
Cole Palen: The man behind the magic that occurs at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome every weekend in the Summer. These photographs of this remarkable man are a snapshot back to a time when Cole was everywhere, and seemed to be doing everything. On this particular day, we watched Cole come over the field in his magnificent red Fokker triplane, and noticed that his prop was dead. At first we thought it was part of the act, but quickly realized that this was no act. The field crew grabbed the tail of the little plane to keep it from nosing over, (without the prop wash over the wing, the plane was unstable) and the plane was safely brought to a stop. One member of the flight crew came back with a part of the engine in his hand--one cylinder! My wife and I took pictures of the incident and have these portraits of Cole as he explained that the plane would be up and running the next weekend! That was the way it was at Rhinebeck. You never knew what was going to happen. Whenever I see the old triplane on display,(it is no longer flown) I look for the rivets where the cylinder ripped through the cowling-- right in front of Coles face!! The old photos of Cole shown below are some of our most treasured images.
Things look ok during take off. The original is an Ektachrome 200 slide.
Cole Palen making a point!
This page was created on March 6th, 1999, and
updated last on 11/09/99.