Monday, September 2

Two Weeks in Covington

Photo by Darrell Everidge, Covington News
When the Flagship came to Covington, GA two weeks ago, she was looking quite spiffy, on the surface at least. Her aluminum exterior was still showing the buff job she received in Tulsa, courtesy of American Airlines maintenance workers, and her new paint job from Mena, Arkansas really stood out. She was coming off an extensive inspection in Florida where everything had been removed from the interior and put back willy nilly.
Thanks to a few uncharacteristically cool days her custodians, Gene and Sheryl Christian were able to clean the interior nose to tail and repack and organize her contents. Gene also polished the props until they were like mirrors and washed all of the windows inside and out, among other things.
Gene and Jim with Swift they once owned together.  

Lee Depkin, photographer for the Newton Citizen, had encountered Gene at an EAA breakfast and published a photo that had folks dropping by all week to take a look. When Sheryl was there, she gave tours stopping to discuss the galley and duties of the stewardess in detail right where the donation jar was prominently displayed.  As a result, a decent amount of money accumulated over several days. Gene, of course, was in heaven as there is nothing he likes better than showing off the Flagship. Many of the visitors were friends from his days of corporate aviation so it was a reunion of sorts.
Brian Fazio and Darrell Everidge of the Covington News came by and published a great story on the
Photo by Lee Depkin, Rockdale Citizen
Flagship and Gene the second week. Darrell's photo was the best I have ever seen. It reminds me of a vintage post card. (First photo in this article) They publicized the fact that the plane would be open for viewing this past Saturday afternoon in conjunction with an EAA cook out.
There was a good response to this and the Christians were grateful to daughter and son in law, Emily and Taylor Martin, without who they would not have been able to handle the crowd. Friends Jim Jones and Paul Visscher
flew in from Madison, GA in their respective planes while Paul's brother drove their 92 year old father, Fred over. Fred had piloted DC3's for Southern Airlines back in the day. Several other flying friends and even the realtor who sold them their house eight years ago showed up. It was old home week. Emily reported the sale of around ten shirts and several hats.
One guy arrived with his Stearman and asked if we could tow him to Galesburg  as he also will be leaving Thursday to attend the Fly In there. On Wednesday, the crew consisting of Peggy Fairchild, Steve Jacobson, Zane Lemon, David Gorrell, Rick Smail and Dan Gable will converge from across the nation for a Thursday morning departure.

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