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History lands in Kingsville this weekend
by Bee-Picayune staff
Apr 13, 2012 | 2771 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Christina Rowland photo 
The N2S Stearman, a historic, World War II U.S. military training plane, will be on display at the Wings Over Texas Air show in Kingsville April 14 and 15. The warbird is one of two historic planes maintained by the nonprofit 3rd Coast Squadron. The group’s goal is to keep history alive by keeping the historic warbirds flying.
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A piece of history will be on display for all the public to see at the Wings Over Texas Air Show April 14 and 15 at Naval Air Station Kingsville.

A 1941 N2S Stearman maintained by the 3rd Coast Squadron will be on display.

The banana-yellow, open cockpit, 275-horsepower single engine plane was used as a training plane for U.S. military pilots during World War II.

The plane is maintained by 3rd Coast Squadron, one of several Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Squadrons in Texas.

According to their website, 3rd Coast “believes in and adheres to the Commemorative Air Force’s mission of teaching and preserving history through restoring the aircraft and memories of the people who paid the ultimate price for our freedom from WWII to the present.”

The nonprofit organization owns two WWII planes that it uses to educate the public. The other plane they maintain that will not be at the at the Kingsville air show is a T-50 (UC-78) Bobcat.

Both planes were actually flown in WWII and have been restored to the original condition by the CAF. Third Coast maintains the planes through donations and funds raised from taking people for rides in the planes.

Third Coast also has a full museum in Alice that houses artifacts and oral histories from veterans from WWII and other wars. The museum, like the planes, is maintained by donations.

In addition to being able to see the N2S Steerman over the weekend, gawkers and history buffs alike to have the opportunity to fly in the piece of history for a fee.

Third Coast Squadron travels to several air shows around the state each year with its volunteer members to educate and show people their WWII aircraft.

If a flight in a historic plane or just seeing one leaves someone yearning for more, there are several flight schools around the area that teach people to fly including Skyview Aviation, owned by a member of the 3rd Coast Squadron.

The school is a Corpus Christi-based flight training school that offers everything from introductory discovery flights all the way to full ground schools, private licenses and instrument rating. The company all has planes and pilots for rent.

More information about the 3rd Coast Squadron can be found at www.thirdcoastcaf.org and information about flying lessons www.skyviewtexas.com.

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