Written by Danielle Wallingsford Friday, 04 May 2012 08:21
The world’s oldest flying DC-3, The Flagship Detroit, will soon pay another visit to the city of Scottsboro at the 6th annual Word Field Municipal Airport Fly-In. The DC-3, built in the 1930’s, is an American Airlines passenger plane. According to David Womacks, retired American Airlines pilot and participating fly-in pilot, it’s the first passenger plane that ever made the airlines any money.
“Before that they mostly made money flying mail,” Womacks said. Kids will have a chance to tour the 70 year old and fully restored aircraft for free on its May 5th visit. The Flagship Detroit Foundation will be selling memberships for $150 and this will include a 45 minute ride on the historical airplane after the fly-in.
Besides the DC-3 there will be approximately 12 Yak-52 and CJ-6 planes. The Yak-52 is a Russian built warbird designed after the WWII Russian fighter planes. The CJ-6 is a Chinese trainer plane. Other planes, including a P-51, T-28 and T-6 will also be on display at the fly-in.
This year the pilots will do a special formation in honor of Bud Henegar. Bud, who recently passed away, was one of the original planners of the fly-in event. Four planes will fly together in a V and then one will abruptly rise and fly to the west, this is called “missing man formation.” This formation is used to honor a pilot who has recently passed away. Womacks said this is their way of saying “well, he’s flown west,” meaning to heaven.
The annual fly-in is a thank you of sorts, to the City of Scottsboro. “It’s a way to show the people of Scottsboro how the city has modernized the airport. We do this because the city has spent a lot of money on the airport, this is our way of contributing back to the city,” Womacks said.
Everyone will have an opportunity to chat with the pilots and look at their planes and kids can enter a drawing to win a free 10-15 minute airplane ride. There will be several vendors at the event, selling t-shirts and refreshments. So, David Womacks suggests, “Bring a lawn chair, come spend the day and have fun!” The fly-in lasts from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 5.
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