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Curtiss “Jenny” Plane Will Soon Be Grounded Forever

It's a legacy that started in 1916 in Wichita Falls but will soon be coming to an end.
It's a legacy that started in 1916 but will soon be coming to an end.

The Curtiss Jenny plane that was tested at the old Call Field Airbase is taking its farewell flying tour before being moved to what will soon become the Wichita Falls Regional Airport.

“Every time it fires up and flies, it almost takes you back in time. The sight and the feel and the sound of the engine is just very very interesting,” says plane enthusiast Joel Sansing.

It's an interest that has brought Joel Sansing and his grandson closer together.

“We both love airplanes, when he was a baby he lived right off the end of the approach here to Kickapoo Airport and planes would fly over the backyard while he was playing,” says Sansing.

Sansing says he's loved planes since he was two years old and planes like the jenny have let him pass that love on

“It's exciting because every single time I go on an airplane, I just like to be in the air and see all sorts of stuff, like birds flying and stuff and the sun and space,” says 8 year old Gabriel Bentley.

And sharing quality time bonding over planes with his grandfather has taught him some valuable life lessons

“He served in World War II as a bomber and it was just a great history for me because it tells me that my family's special,” says Bentley.

That rich history is exactly why Sansing takes his grandson to the museum where the Jenny now lives.

“Kids like him are the engineers of the future and the more we can do to keep them interested in what they want to do and what they'll need to do later, they better off we will all be,” says Sansing.

And even though he's sad to see the end of the Jenny's flying career, he's glad it will be preserved in a place that will keep it's memory soaring for years to come.

“The people in Wichita Falls has put forth the effort to support this plane and museum, it's a unique example, it's untapped and it's really a jewel that a lot of people haven't discovered and Wichita Falls should be very proud of it,” says Sansing.

You still have two more chances to see it before it's final flight to the Wichita Falls Regional Airport.

Saturday at 10 a.m., Pilot David Martin will take off in the 1918 bi plane from Kickapoo Airport and make a final tribute flight over Call Field Road, the location of the air field where many pilots died or were hurt in crashes.

Or you can catch it taking off again Sunday December 29th at 2 p.m. at Kickapoo Airport.

For more information call 940-696-8783.

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