Boy Falls in Love with Flying

Bette-Jo Johnson For the Moody County Enterprise
Posted 7/3/23

Local Story

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Boy Falls in Love with Flying


On a hot dry field, in the summer of 1939 a young boy fingered the money in his pocket. He had been saving all summer for this special day.
Today was the day!
Without his parents’ knowledge or approval, Albert Moore handed over his ten dollars and with great anticipation climbed into a plane. As the plane picked up speed and caught the wind under the wings, it lifted off the ground gently. The pilot was a WWI veteran who took extra delight in trying to prove that this boy had eaten too much ice cream. But all Al did was beam an even bigger smile.
By the time the wheels hit the ground, he was hooked for life. When asked how much trouble he got into with “sneaking off” without parental permission, he said, “None. Dad was in love with planes, too!”  
Little did Albert know that on his 12th birthday in 1941 the plane he would one day own was being commissioned by the Army Air Corps. His whole life he took great pleasure in all things aviation, especially the WWI and WWII era. He was a lifelong supporter and/or member of the Flandreau Airport Board. “We went from nothing but a field of grain to this! Isn’t it grand!”  
In 1977, one of his dreams came true when he purchased his very own airplane. Since there weren’t enough hangars at the Flandreau Airport, Al stored his plane in Madison and used that as his base.
Unfortunately, two years later, he disassembled it and put it into storage. Tucked into his sheds securely, very few people even knew he owned a plane or knew how much he loved to fly.

Airplane’s history
This incredible piece of history was only one of about 500 Stinson 10A airplanes “Voyager” ever built. They were built for the military and the Civil Air Patrol (CAP). Only about a dozen are still registered with the FAA. A plane must be registered in order to be certified as airworthy. They were built between October 1941 and 1942.
They had three primary purposes.
Initially designed to do reconnaissance, the window is shaped to allow better access for the cameras to get pictures of the surface. They were exceptional at spotting German subs off the Atlantic Coast. Soon the Stinson 10A’s were armed with small bombs and the Germans dubbed them “Yellow Mosquitos.”
The plane was designed for three passengers or could be modified to carry a stretcher - the first of medivac airplanes.
And, as they were the first plane to be designed to have the fabric attached by screws to the metal frame instead of manual sewing, it was much faster to repair when damaged. This made it desirable as a trainer. As a tail dragger, the controls were harder to master - but if you could master those controls, it was easier to fly anything else.

Airplane’s destiny
Fast forward to November 5, 2022, on the only non-windy day in six weeks, the doors were opened to Al Moore’s shed, and the plane emerged seeing the light of day again. The tires still were able to hold air and the original Franklin 90 hp engine is still with the plane.
The airplane is currently for sale. If anyone wants to talk to family members about, they are holding an estate sale on Monday, July 10 and will be available to talk about. The airplane itself is not on the auction and is not onsite. It’s currently being store until a new owner can be found.
Al was known to say, “take your kids to the EAA Young Eagles events and fuel the love of flying.”
The boy grew up and his love of flying never dimmed.