The Dec. 7 commemoration gave me a chance to visit two of my favorite airplanes. This Aeronca 65TC was being flown on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, by Roy and Martin Vitousek and got caught up in the attack. There is still bullet damage in the rear fuselage longerons. I supervised restoration a couple of years ago (most of the grunt work carried out by Dr. John Rand and students at Kapiolani Community College, bless ‘em!) and we finally hung it in the airport this month, using a plan I drew up almost a decade ago. The other is the aerospace museum’s B-25 Mitchell parked at Hickam, which is looking pretty ragged. 12 years ago, we repainted the nose to the more accurate falcon-head marking of the 345th Bomb Group, but it was soon painted over by orders of the base commander. He feared complaints from animal-rights activists!
By the way, many local airline and airport workers aren’t happy with the way the Department of Transportation handles the airports — they perceive conflicts of interest and poor supervision and graft — and they’re dogging the DOT with a Website called AirportScandal.com. The site apparently has nettled the Lingle administration.