Fri, Jul 09, 2004
Welcoming Back An Old Friend
If a city can associate itself with
an airplane type, Port Clinton, Ohio, certainly identifies with the
Ford Tri-Motor. Over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, EAA's Fly
the Ford mini tour visited the northwest Ohio city along Lake Erie,
which served as the original home base for Island Airlines,
operators of three Fords. Demand for rides aboard EAA's
meticulously maintained Tin Goose has been outstanding. All day
Saturday, Sunday, Monday and again Tuesday, thousands of people
turned out to see and ride the EAA Ford Tri-motor at the Erie
Ottawa Regional Airport.
"We've been flying like crazy," EAA Director of Aircraft
Operations Sean Elliott said Tuesday morning. "We did 24 flights
Monday, probably heading for the mid-twenties again today."
Literally thousands of Port Clinton area residents flew in
Island Airlines' Ford Tri-Motors that provided service out to
several nearby islands. The planes also served as aerial school
buses for many children in the 1950s and 1960s.
EAA Chapter 1247, nicknamed the Tin Goose Chapter, is very
involved with tri-motor history. Members recently started a
tri-motor restoration project.
"The people I talked with said it was a real neat opportunity to
kind of get reacquainted with the Ford," Elliott added. "They
thought it was really cool to see one over the skies of Port
The airplane relocates to Ohio State University Airport in
Columbus (OH) on Wednesday, July 7, with public flights July 8-11.
It's on to Kalamazoo, Michigan, for flights July 12-14 and then to
Chicagoland's Aurora Municipal Airport July 16-18 before returning
to Oshkosh for EAA AirVenture.
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