AUBURN, Indiana--It’s great knowing smart, handy people…like Phil Allison. Phil’s a corporate pilot in Auburn, flies this beautiful business jet for Metal Technologies. In his spare time, though, Phil likes to have a project.
Eight years ago he bought a dismantled World War Two Stearman biplane and rebuilt it from the ground up. Now he rolls it out on the tarmac every chance he gets and roars off into the wild blue yonder. Before the Stearman was even finished though, Phil already had his next project in mind.
This is a 1959 Cessna 150, but a very special one to Phil Allison. This plane once belonged to his dad; it’s the plane his father learned to fly in back in 1961…that’s his dad there. And it’s the plane Phil learned to fly in a year later.
“It still has the original engine, the serial number it was shipped with, the original propeller. The original gauges are all in it,” Phil says.
A couple of years ago Phil tracked the plane down in Wilkes Barre Pennsylvania. It hadn’t flown since 1987 and was sitting outdoors in pieces. Phil negotiated with the owner and trailered it back to Auburn last month. Phil says he’s going to restore it to the way it looked when it was brand new.
“When my father owned it and I first flew it the plane was raw aluminum with red trim on it,” Phil says, “and I’m going to put it back that way.”
Phil says the project should take about four years. He says he’ll finish it in time to teach his grandson how to fly it, the third generation of Allisons to get his wings in this little Cessna.
“So what do you think your dad would think of all this?” we ask. “His initial reaction would be ‘you’re gonna waste money doing what to what?’” he jokes. “But I think he would appreciate it now.”
Eric Olson reporting, out in Your Country.
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