VIENNA, Ohio (WKBN) – A couple from New Hampshire is on a mission to educate. They brought their knowledge to the Youngstown Warren Regional Airport.
A program there this week gives you a chance to fly in a vintage World War II airplane. It can help you get a sense of what some of the “greatest generation” went through at that time.
Husband and wife Andy and Sandy Travnicek share a lot in common. They were both military pilots in Afghanistan and now fly for commercial airlines. They also volunteer with the Texas-based Commemorative Air Force.
“It’s a mission to educate people, both on the history of our country and what was done, but also to show people what’s available,” Andy said.
Both are qualified to pilot an AT-6 Trainer, which was used during the second World War to teach young fighter pilots. It was also part of the famed WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) Squadron.
At the time, women couldn’t fly in combat but were used to ferry planes from one base to another.
WASPs had to be high school graduates, at least 21 and have 500 hours of flying time — qualifications their male counterparts never needed.
“For me, it’s really hard to imagine…how much on the cutting edge they were at that point,” Sandy said.
When giving flying demonstrations to patrons, the Travniceks take turns in the front seat of the plane. They said spending time volunteering with the CAF also helps them in their professional careers.
“Having someone to share it with certainly makes it all that much more rewarding,” Sandy said.
“It’s nice to do something that Sandy enjoys also, and we can spend more time together where we’re not worrying about chores around the house,” Andy said.
The CAF’s “Air Power History Tour” runs Wednesday through Sunday at the Youngstown Warren Regional Airport in Vienna.