Repeater range could be quite good. LOS distance is 1.1nm x square root of height of eye (USN math). On a periscope that was 4' of scope -> 2.2 nm. Not far huh.
But if the plane is at 6500', LOS to horizon is about 88 miles. Yes that is only 20 min, but it's 20 coming then 20 going. A lot of my flying is 100 mile circle of home, for a lot of it I could hit a repeater, and potentially make a phone call by patch. Add another 10 miles for a repeater antenna on a 100' stick.
Not to mention the popularity of flying over an obscure grid square and making a grid collector's day! What fun.....
Ser 140142, RV-14A flying - N1463
Ser 83825, RV-8 building - N8638?
USN Ret, Urologist, AME, Repeat Offender