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Suzanne Fedoruk: National Air Tour 2003


The National Air Tour 2003 Announces
Pilots And Aircraft For Historic Flight Re-creation

More than two dozen pilots and rare aircraft to fly 4,000 miles across 21 states this September; Sponsorship from Ford Motor Company and participation from the “Spirit of Goodyear” among other announcements made at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

OSHKOSH, Wis., (July 30, 2003) — It takes a rare group of experienced aviators to fly aircraft from the ‘20s and ‘30s more than 4,000 miles across 21 states. At EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, organizers for such a feat, known as the National Air Tour 2003, today announced the list of pilots from more than 20 states and Canada, and the vintage airplanes to make the historic journey.

“I have been flying for sixty years — all for fun. Flying my 1931 Sikorsky around the country is on my life’s list of things to do. The National Air Tour will be one of my proudest accomplishments,” said Pilot Richard Jackson of Rochester, N.H. “And best of all, I get to do it with a group of wonderful antique airplane folks and their magnificent aircraft.”

The National Air Tour 2003 is the historic flight re-creation of the National Air Tours that took place from 1925 through 1931. In the mid-1920s, at a time when there was not even a single road reaching across the United States, the Tours were conceived to promote the safety and reliability of air travel. In this centennial year of powered flight, the Tour celebrates the legacy of the National Air Tours as well as the innovators and innovations from the era.

Departing on Sept. 8 from the Dearborn, Mich. area, the National Air Tour 2003 will fly to 26 cities on a route that was planned, but never flown for a 1932 tour. The Tour is expected to return to the Dearborn area on Sept. 24, weather permitting. The National Air Tour 2003 will bring living aviation history to people in 26 cities, through the media and over the Internet at

Pilots and Aircraft on the National Air Tour 2003
Tour pilots are gathering from across North America to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime event. The all-volunteer list includes experienced aviators from more than 20 states and Canada. Many pilots and their crew have been restoring their airplanes for years. It takes thousands of hours and laborious processes to bring the vintage airplanes, which are often older than their pilots, back to flying condition.

The aircraft on the National Air Tour 2003 are the “best of the best” of America’s vintage fleet. All the aircraft have extensive, interesting histories such as American Airline’s oldest surviving airplane, the Stinson Tri-motor. This list includes one-of-a-kinds, Sikorsky flying boats, Ford Tri-motors and aircraft designed simply for pleasure rides.

Aircraft participating in the Tour were chosen based on their relevance to the original Tours and the era. Tour aircraft will display assigned numbers that were carried by the same make and model and in some cases the same airplane, in the original Tours. Following is the list of National Air Tour 2003 pilots and aircraft.

#1: 1927 Ford 4-AT-4, NC-1077
Rotating pilots

#2: 1928 Travel Air, NC-9024
John P. Coussens, Stanwood, Wash.

#4: 1928 Travel Air 6-B (6000), NC-9038
Hank Galpin, Kalispell, Mont.
Ray Sanders, Kalispell, Mont.

#5: 1929 Ford 5-AT, NC-9651
Kermit Weeks, Fantasy of Flight
Jack McCloy, Fantasy of Flight
Polk City, Fla.

#6: 1931 Stearman 4E Speedmail, NC-485W
Addison Pemberton, Spokane, Wash.
co-pilot: Larry Howard, Greenacres, Wash

#7: 1929 WACO ASO, NC-608N
Richard Hornbeck, Bowdoinham, Me.
Crew: Roger Poor, Mont Vernon, N.H.

#8: 1929 Buhl Sport Airsedan, NC-8451
Rotating pilots

#9: 1931 New Standard, NC-9125 &
#21: 1929 New Standard, NC-9756
Rob Lock, Waldo Wright’s Flying Service
Bob Lock, Waldo Wright’s Flying Service
Powell, Ohio

#10: 1931 Bird CK, NC-914V
Bob Newhouse, Rockford, Ill.

#11: 1929 Paramount Cabinaire, NC-17M
Rotating pilots

#12: 1928 Fairchild FC-2W2, N-13934
Rotating pilots

#13: 1932 Great Lakes 2T-1A, NC-12847
Ted & Beverly Beckwith, Tullahoma, Tenn.

#29: 1931 Stinson Tri-motor, NC-11153
Rotating pilots

#31: 1930 Stearman 4E Speedmail, N663K
Wm. Ben Scott, Reno, Nev.
Kelly Scott, Reno, Nev.

#32: 1929 Laird LCRW-300 Speedwing, NC-4442
Jim Rollison, Vacaville, Calif.

#33: Bushmaster Tri-motor (official participant)
Rotating pilots

#34: DC-3, N34 (official participant from the FAA)
Pilots and Crew for the FAA:.
Michael F. Ahern Stanley T. Cole
John H. Boatright Jorge A. Malcun
Kim Brown JC Pierce, Jr
Richard Delafield Scott Thompson
Thomas H. Dorman
#14: 1929 Sikorsky S-38, N-28V
Thomas Schrade, Las Vegas, Nev.
Waldo Anderson, Edina, Minn.

#15: 1932 WACO UEC, NC-12471
John Swander, DeSoto, Kan.
Forrest Lovley, Jordan, Minn.

#17: 1929 Ford 5-AT-5-CS, NC-414H
Alan Stephen, Grand Canyon Airlines
North Las Vegas, Nev.
John C. Dillon, Grand Canyon Airlines
Grand Canyon, Ariz.

#18: 1930 Stinson SM-8A, NC-469Y
George Alleman, Placerville, Calif.

#19: 1931 Sikorsky S-39-C, NC-50V
Dick & Pat Jackson, Rochester, N.H.
Bill Thaden, Kittery Point, Maine

#20: 1929 Fokker Super Universal, CF-AAM
Clark Seaborn, Calgary, Alberta
Don McLean, Calgary, Alberta
Bob Cameron, Calgary, Alberta

#23: Ryan M-1, NX-2073
Andrew King, Elkwood, Va.
& Phil Chastain, St. Louis, Mo.

#24: 1929 Travel Air 6000, NC-377M
Rotating pilots

#25: 1929 Robin J-1, NC-511N
Richard Pingrey, Selah, Wash.
& Teresa Sloan, Ellensburg, Wash.

#26: 1929 WACO ASO, NC-662Y
Dave & Jeanne Allen, Elbert, Colo.

#27: 1929 Travel Air E-4000, NC-397M
Clay Adams, Rosemount, Minn.
& Ted Davis, Broadhead, Wis.

Rotating Pilots for Ships #1, 8, 11, 12, 24, 29, 31, 33 and accompanying ships
Brent Blue, Jackson, Wyo.
Roger Gomoll, Blaine, Minn.
Chris Grotewohl, Kansas City, Mo.
Greg Herrick, Jackson, Wyo
Ed Hoit, South Parry, Wash.
Gary Lust, Driggs, Idaho
John Mohr, St. Paul, Minn.
Ryan Mohr, Minneapolis, Minn.
Jim Obowa, Lino Lakes, Minn.
Nkali Pontecorvo, Key West, Fla.
Nathan Rounds, Meansville, Ga.
Kimberly Sailor, Chicago, Ill.
Harry Thibault, Shoreview, Minn.
Scott Smith, Jackson, Wyo.
Richard Sugden, Jackson, Wyo

In addition to the official ships on the Tour, modern aircraft will support the vintage airplanes just as accompanying ships did for the original Tours. These aircraft include: two Aviat Husky A-1Bs, as advance and observation aircraft; a DHC-6 Vistaliner, for media use; a 1966 Bushmaster for cargo; a Pilatus PC-12 for crew transportation; Antonov biplane for cargo and photo ship; and a Bell-47 helicopter for film and medical use. There are three additional aircraft whose participation is pending.

Ford Motor Company Sponsors the National Air Tour 2003
Ford Motor Company is celebrating 100 years of powered flight and its aviation heritage by sponsoring the National Air Tour 2003. It was Ford Motor Company, under the direction of Edsel and Henry Ford, who helped our nation realize the potential of civil and commercial aviation. Edsel B. Ford II, grandson of Edsel B. Ford, is the honorary chairperson of the 2003 Tour.

The original National Air Tours were conceived by a group of Detroit businessmen to promote the safety and reliability of aviation and received significant support from Edsel and Henry Ford. By supporting the Tours and lending the Ford trusted name, they helped convince a skeptical public that passenger flight was a sensible means of transportation.

Goodyear Blimp to Greet Tour Return in Dearborn
Goodyear built its first helium-filled public relations airship, the “Pilgrim,” in 1925 — the same year as the first National Air Tour. By 1930, there were six Goodyear blimps flying and participating in public events. In fact, a Goodyear blimp celebrated the start of the 1929 National Air Tour in Dearborn.

To honor Goodyear’s role in the original National Air Tours one of three Goodyear blimps operating in the United States, the “Spirit of Goodyear” based out of Suffield, Ohio, will welcome the return of the National Air Tour 2003 over the skies of Dearborn and Detroit, arriving on Sept. 23, operating from Sept. 24-25 and departing on Sept. 26.

About Tour Organizer, the Aviation Foundation of America
The National Air Tour 2003 is being organized by the Minneapolis-based Aviation Foundation of America. The foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity designed to preserve and promote America’s aviation heritage at a grassroots level through initiatives such as historic flight re-creations, airport preservation projects and educational programs. The Aviation Foundation of America is an official partner of the U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission along with the FAA, NASA and the Experimental Aircraft Association.

For additional information about the National Air Tour 2003 including a complete list of Tour stops and historic photos, please visit

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