Montgomery Delivers Pennsylvania State Flag To Wright Brothers Memorial
Right Plane, The Right Reason, A 'Wright' Experience!
When Gina Montgomery delivered the Pennsylvania state flag to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on May 29, she did so in honor of two important people in her life…and she did it flying a Pennsylvania-built 1946 Piper J-3 Cub.
Gina, Everett, Pennsylvania, and her son, Sam, took off from Blue Knob Valley Airport, Duncansville. They covered over 310 miles in 5 ˝ hours, to present the flag to the National Park Service at the Wright Brothers National Memorial as part of EAA's 50 Flags to Kitty Hawk program. Pennsylvania's was the sixth state flag to be delivered for the program that celebrates 100 years of powered flight.
Montgomery applied to be part of the event as a way to honor two late aviators…her husband, Bob, and her flight instructor, Tim Jeffery, both of whom succumbed to cancer within the past two years.
Bob thrilled; Tim taught - Bob was a self-taught aerobatic pilot who learned to fly in a Cub. He thrilled many people with his aerobatics in a variety of airplanes. Tim was an excellent flight instructor. Both men lived aviation and firmly encouraged Gina to complete her flying lessons, even after their own battles with cancer started.
"Bob and his brothers bought the plane so our sons could learn the basics of flying," Montgomery said. "No radios, no electronic starter, a tail wheel. You hand prop it and fly by a compass." It was the second Cub they owned, purchased in 1996 in Lock Haven, PA.
Seven friends in three other planes piloted by EAA Chapter 400 pilots joined Gina and Sam at Kitty Hawk for the flag presentation. NPS's Fent Davis noted that it was "the largest group to deliver the flag to date."
"The flight itself was a great learning experience for me," Gina added. "As a fairly new pilot with under 100 hours, I never would have attempted it without Sam. I learned so much, and am glad we were given the opportunity to represent Pennsylvania. A few times I wondered whether it was a mistake to have left the GPS at home, and when the batteries died in our handheld radio and our headsets during the flight…with no communications, and with the door open, it seemed to really connect us to what the Wrights experienced."
Gina appreciated NPS officials' hospitality. "They were excited from the moment we arrived. From the photos at the planes to the flag raising ceremony, they allowed us to know how important our part in touching history was to them!"
Photos of the are posted on the Blue Knob Valley Airport web page, www.members.aol.com/bkvairport/kittyhawk.htm
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