Preparing History - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Preparing History

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A T-38 trainer jet that was damaged by landing issues two years ago is now being repaired at Sheppard Air Force Base and will soon be on display at the Wichita Falls Municipal Airport.

There are missing parts, mattresses and ladders on the ground in one hangar at Sheppard Air Force Base all there to restore a damaged T-38 aircraft.

The T-38 jet in this hangar was deemed un-repairable two years, but rather than put the parts and pieces in a junk yard, the base along with the city of Wichita Falls has decided to restore it.

"I think it's a great opportunity.  We've taken an aircraft, like I said, it was pretty much destroyed, completely un-flyable it didn't look like anything you'd expect it to look like," said Lt. Colonel, Chris Torres.

The repairs for the T-38 are about 75-percent to 80-percent complete. The aircraft is supposed to be finished in late August just in time for when then new terminal at the Municipal Airport opens in November.

"We have a number of people who have helped out with the volunteer work.  You have the 80th Flying Training Wing who've helped out and we have personnel from the 82nd flying wing that have helped out.  Some have maintenance experience and some who have no maintenance experience.  We also have folks from the DynCorp Maintenance Group," said Torres.

Volunteers work on the aircraft on Saturdays, from about 9:00 a.m. until noon.

Once the T-38 is complete, it will join the WWI Jenny Biplane for the historical exhibit at the new terminal at the Municipal Airport.

"You're going to get something that is historical you're going to have something that 10 to 20 years from now.  We can tell them that we worked on that," said Torres.

Everything as far as pieces of the T-38 aircraft has been donated.

"You'll notice the landing gear is not completely done and the flaps are not on there.  There are some open panels on there, but pretty much everything else is done," said Torres.

The historical exhibit at the Municipal Airport was not part of the original plan for the new terminal.  A group in the community felt the history needed to be included and asked the city to add it, saying they would raise the money themselves and pay for the addition.

Taylor Barnes, Newschannel 6