Jerrie, Grandpa Could Ring Earth Together

Date: October 8, 1967
Location: Dayton, OH
By: Dennis Shere
Newspaper: Dayton Daily News
Page: 19

Aviatrix Jerrie Mock of Columbus showed no outward traces of her harrowing auto accident in July.

She broke into a broad smile as the audience applauded, then stepped to the microphone and said:

“… I just hope there isn’t someone here who doesn’t want to go up in the air, to look down and see the world below.”

Then it was Max Conrad’s turn to speak. He turned and surveyed the “Sing Out Dayton” ensemble standing behind him.

“You know,” he told the audience, “really my first love is music. I just try to make a living flying …”

Jerrie, the only woman ever to fly solo around the world in a single engine plane, and Max, the famous “Flying Grandfather,” came to Dayton Saturday to slump for Wings of Peace – UMATT.

They appeared at the Dayton-based “Flying Peace Corps” flea market at Wamplers.

UMATT, United Missions Air Training and Transport, is pulling all stops in an effort to raise $7,000 to pay insurance premiums for six planes operating in East Africa.

According to Jane Hamilton, vice-president of the organization, the money must be raised by Nov. 1 or the planes will be grounded.

Both Jerrie and Max have a deep interest in the UMATT project and took time from busy schedules to be here.

“When you fly over those countries (in Africa) and realize how people are seperated in the bush, you know how difficult it is to bring civilization to them,” Jerrie explains.

“You have to have little airplanes to get from place to place.”

Jerrie is devoting “seven days a week” writing a book about her flight around the world. She hopes to pilot either UMATT’s seventh plane to Africa or a twin-engine amphibious aircraft to a Catholic parish in New Guinea.

Jerrie, her son, daughter and mother-in-law escaped serious injury in July when their automobile went out of control on I-71 near Washington C.H. She suffered deep lacerations on the face, arms and legs.

Saturday she sparkled, laughing and smiling with visitors at the flea market. The spray of fall flowers she held matched her autumny, tweed suit.

Max, 65, with 10 children and 27 grandchildren, delivered an airplane to nairobi for UMATT in 1965.

“The task (of reaching people in the remote bush lands of Africa) seems so insurmountable,” he said.

“But I have met people like Mike Stimac (president of UMATT) and others who are giving their lives for it. It’s a cause worth fighting for.”

Max, who writes songs as he flies, has made a record called “Flight Inspired Music.”

Some admirers in “Sing Out Dayton” presented him with their album Saturday, but he wouldn’t take it without paying for it.

He claims he is “fading out” as a pilot, stepping aside for younger flyers.

But Jerrie thinks otherwise. She would like to accompany Max on a pole-topole flight around the world.

Conrad said he is the closest he has ever been to winning approval for the flight.

He will be meeting with Navy officials in Washington, D.C., Monday. The Navy furnishes support for U.S. Antartic operations and has previously refused to okay Conrad’s request.

Conrad said he wants to fly solo, but may have to add a navigator to get Navy approval.

The “Flying Grandfather” said he has been working off-and-on for five years to get permission. The flight would begin at Chicago, carry him across the South pole and over the Pacific and northern Canada to the North pole.

He feels “75 per cent sure” of getting a Naval okay.

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