EAA’s 50 Flags to Kitty
Name: Michael Davis
|VIRGINIA PILOT MAKES "50 FLAGS FLIGHT"|
Virginia EAA "50 Flags to Kitty
Hawk" pilot Michael Davis (EAA # 399530) made his special designated
flight to Kitty Hawk and the Wright Brothers Memorial on Easter Sunday,
April 20. Mike is a longtime builder and restorer of aircraft, and he flew
to the Wright Memorial in his 1939 Piper J-3 Cub restoration. He
contributed the following remarks to EAA about the flight.
I finally made it to Kitty Hawk on
Easter Sunday. The weather at Kitty Hawk was very challenging (fog &
wind). That old J-3 Cub bounced all over the sky but she got me there and
back home in one piece. It took 3 1/2 hours and 15 gallons of fuel
one-way. Upon arriving at Kitty Hawk, I was welcomed by the National Park
Service, my wife and her family. We all took part in official NPS
welcoming ceremonies. Following the ceremony, the VA State flag was raised
and flown throughout the day at the National Memorial. I would like to
thank everyone for their support and involvement in EAA's "50 Flags
to Kitty Hawk" program.
The Danville, (Virginia) Register & Bee wrote about Mike's planned flight in its Friday, Aril 18, edition.
Flying for the Wright Reason
DANVILLE, Va. - Danville pilot Michael Davis will fly to Kitty Hawk, N.C., on Saturday in his rebuilt 1939 JC3 Cub single-engine airplane to deliver the Virginia flag to the Wright Brothers Memorial Museum. The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and the National Park Service have partnered for a "Countdown to Kitty Hawk" program to celebrate 100th anniversary of Orville and Wilbur Wright's first powered flight. Each state has been invited to send a pilot to Kitty Hawk to deliver their state's flag and their governor's proclamation stating the day the pilot arrives in Kitty Hawk is that state's "50 Flags to Kitty Hawk Day".
"The Wright Brothers were the first experimental pilots," Davis said. "I wanted to sort of recreate that by rebuilding a plane and flying it to Kitty Hawk. It is not exactly like the Wright Brothers did it, but it is close."
Davis will deliver a proclamation from Gov. Mark Warner that declares April 19 is Virginia's "50 Flags to Kitty Hawk Day."
Davis has been rebuilding old airplanes and making new airplanes with nothing more than artist's renderings for several years.
Davis and his father found the old 1939 JC3 Cub in a barn about five years ago. They learned the plane had been in a hurricane and had crashed. Davis said the aircraft was in rough shape. It took Davis two years to restore the airplane.
The JC3 Cub was built in 1939 as a training airplane for World War II pilots. The trainer would sit in the back seat while students would sit in the front. "It is kind of wild when you have a passenger," Davis said.
"You have to look around them to see the gauges."
The plane runs on regular, unleaded gasoline that can be purchased at any gas station. Its maximum speed is around 75 mph with a tail wind.
"It is so much fun to ride in this plane with the windows open and the wind flying around your head," said Davis' wife, Denise Davis. There are no electrical controls on the plane and the pilot must hand-crank the prop to start the engine.
"I was going to try to leave around 8 (a.m.), but with the weather like it is I will probably have to leave later," Davis said. "I don't have any instruments, so I have to be able to see the ground. I will have to wait until the cloud ceiling comes up to about 1,000 feet."
Davis was chosen to represent Virginia based on an essay he wrote about restoring his old 1939 JC3 Cub, and how he would be honored to participate in the celebration of 100 years of flight.
When Davis arrives in Kitty Hawk, he will be greeted by National Park Service representatives and take part in official welcoming ceremonies. After the ceremony, the flag of Virginia will be raised and flown throughout the day at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. On the actual anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first successful flight - Dec. 17 - the 50 flags will be used to create a permanent "50 Flags to Kitty Hawk " display at the site.
"Do you know when we got married?" Denise Davis asked. "Dec. 17. Every year for our anniversary we go to flight shows. Michael has always loved planes. I am so proud of him for this."
The highlight of the anniversary celebration will be on Dec. 17 when a pilot will fly an exact replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk. For more information on EAA's Countdown to Kitty Hawk or EAA's "50 Flags to Kitty Hawk" program, go to the official Countdown to Kitty Hawk Web site at www.countdowntokittyhawk.com.
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