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The Jenny refuels at Columbia/Adair County Airport

Click on headline for complete story with linked photo album, links to related material. - EW

By Ed Waggener

It was a supremely special event today at Columbia/Adair County Airport. "It's the first ever Curtis Jenny to land at I96, and I feel safe in saying it will be the last one to ever land here," Superintendent Alan W. Reed said.

"On approach to land, we were all transported back in time. The Jenny was nearly a lone survivor - nearly a ghost ship - but here she was at our local airport. We were able to touch her fabric and flying wires and marvel in supreme reverence," he added.


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This story was posted on 2016-07-09 15:58:31
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The Jenny refuels at Columbia/Adair Co. Airport - I. Waiting



2016-07-09 - Columbia/Adair County Airport, 735 Country Club Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener .
10:20amCT, Sat 09 Jul 2016 - There was a lot of anticipation as a part of the welcoming party for a famed World War I era biplane, the JN-1 developed by aircraft pioneer Glenn Curtiss, was scheduled to refuel at Columbia/Adair County Airport today, on it's return home to Bowling Green, KY, from London. The crew called ahead to make sure the fueling station would be available after flying the more than one hour trip. Above, from left clockwise: Clayton Janes,Luke Janes, their father, Air Board Chairman Chris Janes, Bruce Willis, ACHS Aviation Academy Director Matt Willis, Samuel Willis, and the current head Willis, Warren, in front. They were hoping to make an early visual sighting, but they were also hoping to hear the vintage aircraft. When someone said they thought it was in earshot, another, disappointed, said, "That's the drink machine." - EW

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The Jenny at Columbia/Adair Co. Airport - II Still. Waiting



2016-07-09 - Columbia/Adair County Airport, 735 Country Club Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com (c).
At 10:25amCT, and still waiting, the group posed for a group photo, and Prof. A.W. Reed, an icon of Adair County Aviation walks onto the tarmac. From left, facing camera: Grandpa Don Neat and Warren Willis, Luke Janes, Chris Janes and (), (), Samuel Willis, (), Buddy Sewell, and ().

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The Jenny arrives at C/AC Airport - III



2016-07-09 - Columbia/Adair County Airport, 735 Country Club Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
A couple of minutes later, the Jenny arrived, ready to make a straight on east-to-west landing. - EW.

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The Jenny sets down at C/AC Airport -IV



2016-07-09 - Columbia/Adair County Airport, 735 Country Club Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
The Jenny ready to set down on the C/AC airport runway.

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The Jenny up close - 1st glimpse of pilot, passenger - V



2016-07-09 - Columbia/Adair County Airport, 735 Country Club Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com (c).
At 10:28amCT, the as yet unknown pilot and passenger had taxied back to the turn off the runway to the fueling station. Waiting flyers were commenting on the "bicycle wheels," the wood framed and canvass covered construction, and sheer beauty of the craft and the skills needed to control the "tail dragger" their term for a plane which lands nose up, tail down. - EW

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The Jenny - Curtiss Aircraft JN-1, moves into fueling area - VI



2016-07-09 - Columbia/Adair County Airport, 735 Country Club Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
The slow moving prop was straight up and down, and the bi-wings were perfectly framing an airport area neighborhood, as it made its final turn into the fueling station. - EW

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Refueling The Jenny at C/AC Airport - VII



2016-07-09 - Columbia/Adair County Airport, 735 Country Club Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
With passenger Lucas Hughes, left, helping, pilot Dorian Walker refuels the Curtiss JN-4 fuel tank. It was only at this point that the names were learned. Hughes is a former WKY television personality who now works at the Bowling Green Airport. Walker, of course, is the famed Bowling Green documentary filmmaker, who owns Peridot Productions with his wife, Elaine Nogay Walker, whose credits also include a stint as Mayor of Bowling Green, Kentucky Secretary of State, and Director of the State Parks system. Walker's big feature film, "Teen Witch," has become a cult classic. - EW

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The Willis family with The Jenny: VIII



2016-07-09 - Columbia/Adair County Airport, 735 Country Club Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
Warren Willis, who has already flown with his dad, Matt Willis, and Samuel Willis, with some of the one mile of cable which is part of the Curtiss JN-1 construction. Warren Willis has already flown as a passenger and loves planes. - EW

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The Jenny carried the U.S. Mail - IX



2016-07-09 - Columbia/Adair County Airport, 735 Country Club Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
Dorian Walker noted that The Jenny was not only a training aircraft, it also carried the U.S. Mail - up to a maximum of 350 lbs. - EW

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Aviation education visionary, Supt. Alan W Reed with JN-1 - X



2016-07-09 - Columbia/Adair County Airport, 735 Country Club Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com (c).
The stop at Columbia/Adair County Airport today was a specially moving experience for Adair County Superintendent Alan W. Reed, as this fall a number of Aviation/Aerospace programs will open at Adair County High School. "It's the first ever Curtis Jennyto land at I96, and I feel safe in saying it will be the last one to ever land here," Superintendent Reed said. "On approach to land, we were all transported back in time. The Jenny was nearly a lone survivor - nearly a ghost ship - but here she was at out local airport. We were able to touch her fabric and flying wires and marvel in supreme reverence," he added. Mr. Reed will be sharing the exciting prospects for the academic and vocational education in the district when he speaks at 11:45amCT, Tuesday, July 12, 2016, at Cranmer Dining Center, 430 Helen Flatt Drive, Columbia, KY, at the July C/AC Chamber luncheon. He will be updating the chamber on the the Community Learning Center and what it will offer, as well as the new outdoor classroom and walkability of the campus, and new programs and ideas for our schools. - EW

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Jenny, JN-1 crew and Columbia/Adair welcome party - XI



2016-07-09 - Columbia/Adair County Airport, 735 Country Club Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com (c).

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A close up view of cockpit of The Jenny - XII



2016-07-10 - Columbia/Adair County Airport, 735 Country Club Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Supt. Alan W. Reed.
This is the cockpit of The Jenny, the seat occupied by Dorian Walker, the craft's pilot. Mr. Reed and several other aviation/aerospace enthusiasts at the Columbia-Adair County Airport were given the opportunity to experience the feel of the plane from this vantage point.

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The Jenny in Columbia: Don Neat, Warren Willis, and Buddy Sewell



2016-07-10 - Columbia/Adair County Airport, 735 Country Club Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
Warren Willis, the youngest aviation enthusiast at the refueling stop, may already know that he was a witness to history Saturday, 9 Jul 2016, when the The Jenny, the Glenn Curtiss history making aircraft refueled at the Columbia-Adair County Airport. With them, right, is man who has been making aviation history for many years, Mr. Buddy Sewell of Cane Valley, KY. - EW

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The Jenny - pilot, passenger aboard, ready to leave I96 - XIII



2016-07-10 - Columbia/Adair County Airport I96, 735 Country Club Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com (c).
At 11amCT, Saturday, July 9, 2016, passenger Lucas Hughes, forward, was strapped in as pilot Dorian Walker made last minute checks on the Chevrolet-powered Curtiss JN-1, "The Jenny" getting ready to taxi to the east end of the runway for take-off, a last fly around, and their their more than an hour flight to Bowling Green, KY, home base for the WWI aircraft. - EW

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The Jenny, leaving, in front of a familiar A-Frame. IV



2016-07-10 - Columbia/Adair County Airport, 735 Country Club Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com (c).
Pilot Dorian Walker taxis in front of landmark A-Frame residence before making the u-turn for take off in the other direction.

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The Jenny lifts off headed west for Bowling Green, KY - XV



2016-07-10 - Columbia/Adair County Airport, 735 Country Club Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com (c).
The Jenny lifts off past another landmark neighbor, prior to one circling Columbia/Adair County Airport I96 in a farewell, then headinng west . . .

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Farewell flight, The Jenny over The Pines at Lindsey Wilson - XVI



2016-07-10 - Columbia/Adair County Airport, 735 Country Club Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
The Jenny gets the attention of golfers at The Pines at Lindsey Wilson, as it takes a farewell turn around the airport.

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The Jenny along the way home, by Chris Reeder - XVII



2016-07-10 - Western Adair County, KY - Photo by Chris Reeder.

I caught this shot of "The Jenny" directly above my house just minutes after its take off from the airport. Just thought I would share. - - Chris Reeder

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Clayton Janes builds remote control P-51 Mustang. XVIII



2016-07-10 - Columbia/Adair County Airport, 735 Country Club Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com (c).
The Jenny wasn't the only aircraft drawing interest Saturday, July 9, 2016, at the Columbia/Adair County Airport. Clayton Janes, a student at Adair County High School and the son of C/AC Airport board chairman Chris Janes, was displaying his electric motor powered, P-51 Mustang, the WWII fighter-bomber. The model is built of foam board, from plans - not a kit. At the time of the photo, the slide in engine component was getting a battery charge.

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C/AC Airport now a campus; needs more parking, bus turn around - XIX



2016-07-10 - Columbia/Adair County Airport, 735 Country Club Road, Columbia, KY - Photo By Ed Waggener.
The Columbia City Council has voted to pay half the cost for a culvert and in-kind work to fill in the drainage ditch to make approximately nine more parking spaces at the Columbia/Adair County Airport, pending like approval by fiscal court. The airport will provide classroom space for the new Aviation/Aerospace Academy at Adair County High School as well as for Metcalfe County's Aviation/Aerospace program. Columbia/Adair County Airport Board Chairman Chris Janes said that at the time of the improvements, a new bus turnaround can be provided. The C/AC Airport also has a gift of a free courtesy car, if insurance is provided. The City of Columbia has agreed to do so; Fiscal Court has not yet. The airport is a a key element in Economic Development, and the air board is hoping that enough magistrates will come through that both the additional parking and the courtesy car can become a reality. One person, not an air board member, has written to CM on the subject, but would permit a statement only on condition of anonymity at this time, "The airport is not doing well, like a lot of our infrastructure, due to lack of love and care from its joint owners, city and county government. The fiscal court seems to have little interest in meeting its obligation, as half owner, to help it grow and prosper. This is, yet, another sad statement on the leadership from the majority of our magistrates. Eventually we will pay a big price for the lack of effort." - CM. Clicking Read More accesses story with photos on the historic refueling of the JN-1.

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