Fly In Vintage WWII Plane Thanks To Tulsa Aviation Group

Friday, June 15th 2012, 5:12 pm
By: News On 6

Would you like to take a spin in a piece of aviation history? Well you can, thanks to the Tulsa Commemorative Air Force Squadron.

It took 13 years, but they have restored a PT-19 flight trainer, and you can experience the joy of open cockpit flight just like our World War II aviation heroes did 70 years ago.

Ralph Everett has taken a 20-minute ride aboard a piece of aviation history. It's thanks to the hard work of the Tulsa Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force.

Rick Wells, News On 6: "Was it everything you thought it would be?"
Ralph Everett, passenger: "Yes it was. Oh, I enjoyed it."

He took a ride in a little beauty that is the latest addition to the commemorative air force fleet of World War II airplanes. The CAF has 160 some odd restored flying aircraft based all over the country. The tulsa Squadron spend 13 years restoring this PT 19 flight trainer.

"The airplane itself was based with the 68th primary training detachment in Jackson, Tennessee beginning in 1942 - 70 years ago - through 1945," said Colonel Jim Dagg.

Colonel Jim Dagg is with the Tulsa Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force. Everyone in the CAF is a Colonel. He's also one of the pilots.

6/12/2012 Related Story: Tulsa CAF Is Offering A Ride In A Vintage War Plane

The pilot on this particular day is Colonel Bob Prater. He's a commercial airline pilot in real life. The PT-19 has no flight attendants.

"Don't have all that," Colonel Bob Prater agreed. "The thrill, just the shear job of flying a World War II aircraft, open cockpit tail dragger."

It's all about fun, and folks were keeping him and the plane busy.

Photojournalist Chris Howell jumped in the back seat to have a ride. They flew from Jones Riverside up the Arkansas River to Tulsa and back. The proceeds from these rides help keep the plane flying and finance other CAF restoration projects.

Many 70 year olds are enjoying retirement. This vintage plane has found a new life as a history lesson.