Lime Springs area aviators

Tim Swift, pilot, and his Young Eagle passenger have just landed. Tim is from Washington, Iowa, and has given many youngsters a ride. His airplane, which he built himself, is a Long EZ. It was designed by Burt Rutan, probably the most creative and prolific aircraft designer ever. Tim will probably be at the Cresco Young Eagles event.

by Keith Williams

This article is about some pilots I know who are from Lime Springs. While most were not youngsters when they got their first plane ride, remember that each of them got a first airplane ride sometime! And Lime Springs kids can get their first ride September 17 —at absolutely no cost!

During and after WWII, I saw some interesting things in the air. One time, I remember an airplane flying low and pulling either two or three gliders! They were used to drop troops into enemy territory. They each had a pilot, of course. But he didn’t have to undergo much training!

He didn’t have to know how to navigate; the airplane towed him to where he was supposed to go. All he really had to do was know how to land the glider. Once! The troop gliders were considered expendable. Just land ’em and leave ’em there.

The most exciting aviation activity I saw in those days was when “Don Bowers” flew over Lime Springs and put on little air shows for the home town folks. I put his name in quotes, because whenever any serviceman performed over Lime Springs, to me it was Don Bowers —no doubt because that was the only pilot’s name I knew.

I believe R. Kenneth Jones was also a military pilot —and may have done some of the performing I attributed to Don Bowers. I remember that a military trainer was given to the Cresco High School so the students could learn about airplanes. We went there to see it one day.

I seem to remember that it was flown to Cresco by R. Kenneth. (I welcome comments regarding this from folks who know the facts better than I and have a better memory.)

A more recent local pilot-hero was Pete Garrison. He flew in the Korean War and with the Air National Guard after the war. While I didn’t see it, I know that he flew over his hometown at least once in a military plane. Pete’s accomplishments as a military pilot and as an aeronautical engineer with McDonnell Aircraft were very impressive!

The most recent is Wayne Roberts. In fact, Pete played a key role in Wayne’s becoming a USAF pilot. Pete told Wayne where he could find the Air Force recruiter’s office! Wayne flew really fast airplanes really low over Vietnam, taking pictures. His key to longevity: do it right the first time; don’t go back for a second look!

After a career in the USAF, he was a flight instructor in Arizona for several years. Mainly, he taught future German airline pilots to fly. During this time, he owned a plane and flew it to Lime Springs on more than one occasion. He also flew business jets, so had a varied piloting career.

Lime Springs resident Neil Mahr is a pilot. I’m not aware of others, although there no doubt are some.

Each one of these pilots got a first airplane ride someplace. Lime Springs youngsters can get a FREE airplane ride as part of the EAA’s Young Eagle program Saturday, September 17, between 9:00 and noon at the Cresco airport. Kids between the age of eight and 17 are eligible; bring a parent to sign the form and plan on having a great time!

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2 Responses

  1. kenny peter wasn’t a military pilot,but he was a pilot,and a very good one.

  2. Ken Peter was another L.S. pilot; I’ve flowen with him several times, once once on a trip to Canada and the return trip was partially during a bad storm. My two youngest kids got their first plane ride with Ken out of the Cresco airport. They talk about it to this day–30 some ys. ago.

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