|Updated: 6/18/2012 9:27 am
||Published: 6/17/2012 8:27 pm
The Army never gave Jerry Admire the chance to fly.
Grounded at Ft. Polk, in Louisiana for two years, Admire had to sit back and watch as pilots flew over. Even so, not a day went by that he didn't imagine himself in the cockpit clutching the yoke of a PT-19.
"When the guys decided they wanted to become pilots, they had to fly one of those first," said Admire.
The Spirit of Tulsa Commemorative Air Force Squadron specializes in fixing the PT-19 planes that carried out missions in WWII. They restore whatever has rusted and make sure the plane takes flight again.
"Obviously all the parts aren't new," said, Rob Prater.
Prater, and several volunteers grinded away at the old paint job for years. After multiple tune-ups, planes that had been grounded took flight.
"I love it; I’ve always been in aviation since I was a little kid,” said Prater. "I’m fortunate enough to get to fly it."
The best part: he gets to take vets for a ride.
"The flight is fantastic, everybody ought to do it. I’d do it again," said Admire.
It was a Father's Day gift for Admire. His kids got together and paid the $85 that scored him a trip about 2,000 feet up, and all over town.
"We went around downtown Tulsa. We saw Drillers Stadium, the BOK Center and the University of Tulsa,” said Admire.
Neither the plane, nor Admire's dreams grounded. Instead, both are restored.
During the summer, the third weekend of the month, the Spirit of Tulsa Commemorative Air Force Squadron will offer rides to the public.