An Airplane in Every Barn

A once-thriving organization of rural pilots is struggling to survive.

An airplane-dependent Colorado ranch profiled in a 1952 Look magazine article. (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division/Look Magazine Photograph Collection)
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Flying Farmers fun has included flights to Mexico, convention gatherings at locations across North America, tours of military installations and national parks, and, of course, fly-ins. Retired Kinsley, Kansas farmer Charles Schmitt and his wife Clara have loved every minute of it. “Those were the best years of our lives,” Schmitt said as the luncheon in Jenkinson’s hangar ended. “I said as a kid that if I could fly an airplane—or farm—I’d be happy, and I got to do both.”


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