Date: October 5, 1967
Location: Dayton, OH
By: Jack Jones
Newspaper: Dayton Daily News
The small airplane flown by UMATT, the Flying Peace Corps means food, transportation and medical help to thousands of natives in East Africa where the Dayton-based organization operates.
Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that when a UMATT pilot lands at one of the 100 or more sandy air strips in Kenya, Uganda, Malawi or some other Africa country, he’s likely to be welcomed by a crowd of friendly people.
A group of youngsters proved too enthusiastic, though, for Mike Stimac, president of United Missions Air Training and Transport, Inc., on Sept. 24, 1966.
As he landed on a rough mountainous air strip and rolled over a hill that blocked his view on touchdown, he saw the welcoming children had swarmed onto the runway.
To avoid hitting them he quickly slammed open the throttle and pulled up. The plane lifted missed the native children, but stalled and crashed into the side of a mountain.
Stimac walked away but that was the end of Cessna Skywagon “ Foxtrot.” The plane was the first flown across the Atlantic for UMATT – by famed distance pilot Max Conrad in 1965.
The plane’s navigation and radio equipment is in working order. Seventeen pieces of equipment arrived in Dayton today to be installed in another UMATT plane that will soon be on its way to join the growing Flying Peace Corps fleet in East Africa.
Last month as a result of an $18,000 gift from the Raskob foundation of Wilmington, Del., the Wings for Peace group got a new Cessna 182. Its number is “77 Romeo” and it’s been sitting at Cox Municipal airport without radios for a few weeks now.
Wednesday morning a big Trans World Airline jet pulled in at the airport. On board, by air freight from Nairobi, Kenya, were those radios, flown to Dayton through courtesy of the airline.
Stimac said 77 Romeo will soon be doing a big job in the Turkhana desert of North Kenya, bordering Ethiopia.
There it will carry doctors, nurses, medicine and patients among five hospitals and three dispensaries scattered in a territory almost 100,000 square miles in size.
A fund-raising “flea-market” sponsored by the Wings for Peace – UMATT Women’s committee – will be held at Wampler’s from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.
Visitors to the flea market are expected to include Conrad and globe-circling Jerrie Mock. There will be helicopter rides, parachute jumps and the group is giving away a prize of a flight anywhere in the United States.