No whitewash: Aircraft paint job details corrected

Tue, 10/27/2009 - 3:52pm
By: Letters to the ...

I was thrilled to see the story about Joe’s Lockheed 12A in The Citizen, and even more thrilled to see it come up on the Yahoo local news page. Unfortunately, much of the excitement was lost as I read through the article. The most troubling error in the piece was the following quote: “Once in Canada, they added the lightning bolt striping on the fuselage that Amelia had on her plane.”

Joe’s airplane was painted locally by Terry Flott and Barry Hitechew, the owners and operators of Midway Collision here in Fayetteville. Barry and Terry are both FAA-licensed airframe and powerplant mechanics in addition to being excellent auto-body repairmen and painters.

They were the natural choices to do the paint for Joe’s restoration the first time and were called on to strip the lightning bolt stripe and re-polish the fuselage for the filming of the movie and then to re-paint the stripe once the filming was completed.

The aircraft was painted with temporary “movie paint” for the filming in Canada, but it wasn’t in the original lightning bolt scheme. All of the movie paint had to be removed and the airplane had to be completely re-prepared for the lightning bolt to be re-applied as it is today, and that was all a local effort.

I believe Barry and Terry deserve much more credit than they’re receiving. Good aircraft don’t win awards if they don’t have good paint. Joe’s Lockheed won awards with the first paint job, including an “Outstanding” award at the world’s largest air show, EAA Airventure in Oshkosh, Wis., and it continues to win awards with the second paint job applied after the filming. None of which was done in Canada.

Joe’s work on the restoration is outstanding, but the paint too is outstanding. And the paint has been done twice now.

I just wanted to see the credit was given where it was due. I’m thrilled to see aviation included in the local newspaper, I would be ecstatic if it was actually accurate as well.

Roger Harden

Fayetteville, Ga.

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