The shared interest has formed a special bond between the divided generations. They speak on the phone at least once a week.
grandpa bond over airplanes
Mallory Huntimer and her grandfather, Jim Huntimer of Dell Rapids, who built the plane with one of his sons. Mallory is earning her flying license by traveling to Tea from Omaha for lessons.
She flies single engine airplanes now and will move on to multi propeller planes next year. Mallory likely will begin flying jet engines in three to four years.
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"All we do is talk airplanes," Mallory says. "I'm his only grandchild who's a pilot, and it's something I can share with him that nobody else can."
"You get married and make the right decisions," he says. "I married a beautiful woman, a good woman. We built a house in Dell Rapids, then a guy in Sioux Falls wanted to know if I wanted to get back to flying."
you can always generally tell what a kid is going to make out of himself," Huntimer says. "I could tell from the start she had a love for it. She wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty. She'd crawl under there and work on the airplane."
Huntimer's wife, Alverda, encouraged him, and in 1960, he received his commercial pilot rating. Flying and heavy equipment are his two passions, so working for 23 years as an assistant superintendent at Myrl Roy's satisfied the latter passion. For the first passion, he flew for an equipment dealer, shuttled freight for FedEx and UPS, then traveled to Las Vegas and Texas to fly for people out there.
(Photo: Submitted photo by Peter J. Hauff)
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"I felt like that's where I was supposed to be. I was supposed to be sitting at the controls of an airplane," says Mallory, now 21 and a student at the University of Nebraska in Omaha. "Every time I'm in an airplane, I feel like that's where I'm supposed to be."
Mallory travels from Omaha to Dell Rapids once a month, spending the weekend with her grandfather and traveling to the Tea airport often.
Her grandfather understands that feeling. Huntimer was living near Chester during World War II when the air base was open in Sioux Falls. He found watching the small planes soar in the air fascinating. In 1946, he started flying on his own, before giving it up when he married.
one memorable trip sent Jim Huntimer to Panama City, Fla., where James was stationed, to build the fuselage. A grandson painted the airplane.
And now Mallory frequently flies it. Her goal is to graduate with a commercial pilot's license next month, then work toward the next license. Mallory studies aviation at UNO with a concentration in professional flight. She wants to be a corporate pilot and currently works as a intern for a rail line's corporate flight department.
It wasn't until she was 11, however, when that liking turned into a full fledged love affair. Navy Seal.
Yes, he did, Huntimer admitted, but Converse Hi Tops Womens it was expensive, and the Huntimers were raising a family that eventually numbered 12 boys and girls.
Huntimer once rented planes in Sioux Falls, then gave rides at a penny a pound per passenger. That taste of flying has altered some lives. Huntimer gave a neighbor his first ride as a boy. In the years since, the student has built his own airplane.
Lately, Mallory has flown mostly with her training instructor but wants to go up soon with her grandfather, especially since he's thinking of selling his plane. Together, in the clouds, under the sun, bonded by blood and flying, they'll share something known only to the two of them.
There was something special about Mallory, though, her grandfather says.
he returned to Dell Rapids and began pursuing the dream of owning his own plane. He started building the Vans RV7 single engine plane in 2012. Son James did most of the work, but Converse Sandals
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