The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

April 7, 2014

A historic flight

OTTUMWA — What would you do for your favorite ice cream?

This past weekend, it took a World War II training plane and a cold-weather flight, but it was well worth the time and effort.

Kevin Conaway, a former Ottumwan, and his friend, pilot Chris Goodrich, have a special affection for Graham's ice cream, as Conaway grew up with it, and his parents, Kerry and Kathleen, bring it to them in Omaha on every trip. So why not combine a love of flying and the opportunity to showcase a historic plane with a quick Graham's run?

"It grew out of a casual comment," Conaway said. "I just mentioned this winter that it would be kind of fun, when Graham's opens back up, that we'd just fly back and get some. Then we made it a trip and planned it all out."

The trip was originally scheduled for March 21, but a mechanical issue forced them to postpone two weeks. It was actually a blessing, they said, because it was significantly colder then than it was this past weekend.

The Fairchild PT-19A, which stands for Primary Trainer, was accepted into the Army Air Corps on Oct. 31, 1941. At that time, its total cost was just $9,718. Its assignments then included Randolf AAF, Texas; Stamford, Texas; and the 2534th AAF Base Unit. It served most of its life assigned to the 308th Elementary Flying Training Detachment, the 31st Flying Training Wing.

"If you have the serial number, they kept all the records. Personnel records are harder to find," he said, making it difficult to tell who exactly would have flown this plane. "They know what bases it was at and what units were there, so you can make some assumptions."

There were more than 3,000 PT-19s built for the war effort, but now fewer than 90 remain in flying condition worldwide. The plane was sold as surplus in October 1944 and was restored to flying condition in 1996. It is now owned by an association in Tarkio, Mo., where the two flew out from Saturday. The instrument panel is very basic — no updated navigation or instruments for this plane — and, perhaps thankfully, no thermometer.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0723 OTT Grass photo -L -T Is your grass too tall? OTTUMWA — Do you let your grass grow to 12 inches before it's mowed? Do you park a vehicle in your front yard on the grass? If you answered yes to either of those questions, you could be violating the Make Ottumwa Shine Committee’s proposed amendment

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill OK'd for data recovery OTTUMWA — Almost a month ago, the city’s Engineering Department’s server failed. After receiving and installing the necessary parts, attempts to restart the server failed, resulting in a drive being shipped to Data Recovery Services in St. Louis in h

    July 21, 2014

  • Man killed in Wapello County BLOOMFIELD — A man was discovered dead Monday of a gunshot wound in rural Wapello County. However, no further danger related to the shooting is expected. Authorities aren't giving full details of the incident, but a press release said that at 1:21 a.

    July 21, 2014

  • Forensic scientist: Residue doesn't determine who fired gun DAVENPORT — A forensic scientist who testified today in the trial of a Wapello County man accused of murdering his wife said that gun residue should be collected if possible. Seth Techel, 23, is on trial in Scott County, Davenport. He faces charges o

    July 21, 2014

  • Welding academy at Cardinal becomes reality ELDON — Many high school seniors find themselves making the decision to pursue college coursework or enter the work force upon graduation. A new program at Cardinal High School (CHS) eliminates this decision by offering courses that will allow studen

    July 21, 2014

  • 0722 stick horse color photo -L -T -M 4-H Expo encourages creatitivy OTTUMWA — Typically during the 4-H Expo, horses are kept at the horse arena in Ottumwa Park, but Saturday kids galloped around Bridge View Center on homemade stick horses. Children at the expo spent Saturday morning creating their own cowboy vest and

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gunshot victim found dead BLOOMFIELD — A man was found dead of a gunshot wound in rural Wapello County. However, no further danger related to the shooting is expected. Though authorities aren't giving full details of the incident, a press release said at 1:21 a.m. Monday the

    July 21, 2014

  • NEST program educates parents OTTUMWA — With any new job, you typically go through a training period that prepares you for the future. The Wapello County Iowa State Extension Office is offering both first-time and experienced parents helpful training through its NEST program. NES

    July 21, 2014

  • 0722 OTT hottest day map Heat arrives, but won't linger OTTUMWA — As hot as Monday and Tuesday seem, it’s not really a surprise. This is July, after all. A heat advisory went into effect at noon Monday and will remain in effect until 7 p.m. Tuesday. Forecasters think a front Tuesday night will bring much

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Witnesses: No tension between couple DAVENPORT — Two people who saw a murdered Wapello County woman with her husband the day before she died say they saw nothing unusual about the couple’s behavior. Seth Techel, 23, is on trial in Scott County, Davenport. He faces charges of first-degre

    July 21, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook