July 4 parade flyovers planned in Latrobe, Brentwood with WWII-era planes | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

July 4 parade flyovers planned in Latrobe, Brentwood with WWII-era planes

Jeff Himler
1366520_web1_gtr-KahleyPlane1-010319
Submitted | Jack Tyson
David Kahley pilots his restored T-6G World War II trainer plane during a formation training clinic conducted by the North American Trainers Association in Culpeper, Va.
1366520_web1_gtr-KahleyPlane2-010319
Submitted | Jack Tyson
David Kahley pilots his restored T-6G World War II trainer plane during a formation training clinic conducted by the North American Trainers Association in Culpeper, Va.

An added level of excitement can be found in the skies above two area Fourth of July parades.

Weather permitting, David Kahley of Greensburg and fellow pilot Dr. James Koch of Virginia plan to fly in close formation above parades in Brentwood and Latrobe. Each will pilot a restored World War II-era T-6G plane.

According to Kahley, who flies his vintage single-engine plane out of Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity, the pair agreed to perform a 10 a.m. flyover of the 100-year-old Brentwood festivities at the start of the parade along Brownsville Road.

When Kahley learned from Gabe Monzo, airport authority executive director at the Unity airport, that neighboring Latrobe will be holding its 50th-annual Fourth of July parade this year, the pilots agreed to fly over that procession as well.

The Latrobe parade is set to begin at 10:30 a.m., moving north on Ligonier Street from Irving Avenue. According to Kahley, the pair should arrive overhead between then and 10:45 a.m. on their return trip to the Palmer airport.

“The airport is part of the community,” Kahley said. “I thought I’d support the local community, with Gabe’s suggestion to fly over the Latrobe parade. It seems fitting to add to the celebration.”

An aerobatic pilot, Kahley has been flying T-6 planes for about seven years and acquired his current aircraft three years ago.

“They made 18,000 of them,” he said, explaining the T-6 was a training plane inherited by the Air Force when it was created from the Army Air Corps. “There are about 300 that are still actively flying.”

In recent years, Kahley has taken part in commemorative flights over Arlington National Cemetery and Frederick, Md., and New York City’s Hudson River to mark the 75th anniversary of the Allied D-Day invasion of occupied France.

On Thursday, he’ll make his first flights over parades.

“We’re legally required to be 1,000 feet above the crowd,” he said. “It’s a safe distance, but people on the ground will definitely see us and hear us.”

To make their flight more visible, he and Koch will release smoke trails created by injecting paraffin into the exhaust system. “It burns and turns into a white smoke,” he said. “Depending on the angle of the sun, sometimes it will look light gray.”

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.