Hal Flies the Tiger Moth!

When  Michelle and I came up with the idea for an online aviation journal, the first person we contacted was Hal Bryan. And without the input from Hal, and his good friend, Mike Singer, Why Fly would never have happened.

Hal has been a wonderful friend to us ever since Jonathan Bach damn-near insisted we meet. And Jon was right. Hal has become like family to us, so when we realized his birthday was coming up (today—May 20th), we wanted to find a special way of celebrating that event on Why Fly.

It didn’t take us long to figure out what to do. Hal loves all airplanes, but holds a special place in his heart for the de Havilland Tiger Moth.

Well, a few years ago, Hal came “down” to Guelph Air Park in Ontario, Canada (he was living “up north” in Seattle at the time), got checked out on one of The Tiger Boys’ Moths, and was even made an honorary “Tiger Boy.”

Hal’s been coming back ever since, but on one special trip, he brought along his wife, Muffy, his father, Harlan, and got to take both of them flying in his beloved Tiger Moth.

We had our camcorder with us that day and caught the event on video. We were never quite sure what to do with the footage—until a few days ago. That’s when we got the idea to celebrate Hal’s birthday with a film from that very special day.

We had hoped to have the video completed and posted by early this morning. But—as seems to happen all too often—our editing computer picked yesterday to fry its video card. It took most of the day to get the thing fixed and we’d all but given up on the project.

However, I woke up at 4:30 a.m. this morning, thought, “Might as well try for it,” and although there are less than three hours left in Hal’s official birthday—as long as nothing else goes wrong—we might just squeak in under the wire.

(Oh, wait! There are four hours left. Because Hal & Muffy now live in Oshkosh, which gives us an extra hour. Yay!)

So …  Hal … from all of us at Why Fly—with a special added shout-out from all your friends at “The Tiger Boys”—the very happiest of Birthdays.

Hope this video is “The icing on your birthday cake.”

And sincerely trust you had a good one, Puppy.

We hope you enjoyed this taste of Why Fly content. To gain access to ALL of the content on the site, become a member!


  1. Nicely done.

  2. Agreed, Scott – they did a wonderful job as always! What else can I say but … thank you?!?!

  3. Francois Dumas

    Wonderful video and a great present. Felt as if we were there !!!

  4. Great video guys. Fantastic camera work and a heartwarming subject. Kudos! …oh, and Happy Birthday Hal!

  5. So, go ahead…rip my heart out!!! What joy, to feel like we were there in the cockpit with Hal. Hang on while I wipe the tear from my eye. Great video! And a Happy Birthday to you, Hal!

  6. James null Flint

    Hi Hal,

    I changed my middle name to “null” to honor the many wasted hours trying to do a manual loop orientation and distance check in a T-bird as the world whizzed by. Wonderful video.

    As an alert and experienced aviator I was wondering why you never brought your gear up and never did manage to land on the hard surface runway thoughtfully provided for your use. Oh well there is time for all that to develop as you progress.

    Feliz cumpleanos,

    Pa F

Leave a Reply