If you're a regular viewer of the Antique Airfield website or an AAA member and faithfully peruse our flagship publication, the Antique Airfield Runway, then we're certain you've seen this picture of Travel Air D4D NC606K. The picture dates from 1954 and shows AAA Founder & President, Robert Taylor, greeting Mike Rezich and the Travel Air during the 1st AAA National Fly-in at Ottumwa, IA in 1954. During those formative years of the AAA, brothers Mike (AAA member #10) & Nick (AAA member #7433) were regular attendees at the AAA National Fly-ins in the Travel Air.
Alas, time marches on with Mike and Nick having "Gone West". However Nick's son Jim (AAA member #10093) and grandson Nick carry on the family tradition and Travel Air NC606K remains in the family. While it would be grand to see the Travel Air grace the grass here at Antique Airfield during our "Diamond Jubilee" and 60th Annual Fly-In, we understand that it's currently undergoing a rebuild/restoration and a ways from being finished and airworthy once again.
While the Travel Air will not be in attendance at our upcoming AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in, Jim will be via his Culver LCA "Cadet" once again. This particular "Cadet" also has a family connection, having been purchased when new by his dad Nick. Though it had a succession of owners throughout the decades, including Culver guru Larry Low (AAA member # 5459 deceased), Jim talked Larry out of the bright yellow Cadet several years ago and has been caring for and flying it since.
Jim has let us know that he plans on attending our "Diamond Jubilee" event in the Culver and that his son Nick will be attending in a Citabria, that as it seems with all the Rezich airplanes, also has a family connection. We'll let Jim pick up the story from here:
Just signed up on-line for the Culver and my kids will be bringing their Citabria. Since the Citabria hasn't been to Blakesburg before I have attached a photo. Frank gave my oldest son, Nick, the airplane as a college graduation present, and it was a basket case. We hauled it back from California and he rebuilt it. He was lucky to get a job with American Champion right out of college and was able to use all their resources. So he ended up with a nearly new airplane with 10,000 hours on it! It was a pipeline patrol airplane all its life, and Howard owner Denny Lyons ( Ed note; AAA member # 15296) flew it early in his career. Small world of aviation!
Also attending with Jim, Nick and family will be their uncle Frank, Mike and Nick's younger brother. Frank is well known to AAA members and antiquers and we're sure he's looking forward to the fly-in, especially meeting with his Howard and NAT friends during the event.
So 60 years after Robert Taylor acted on his idea to organize and bring together like minded individuals to save, preserve and fly antique aircraft, we now actively see third and even some fourth generation family members involved in the effort to "Keep the Antiques Flying" and that as they say, is a good thing!
Looking forward to seeing our AAA members here at Antique Airfield in a few weeks to help us celebrate our "Diamond Jubilee"!