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DeFuniak FL’s Shooting Star — DENIED!

30 September 2011

The tale of two T-33’s on US 331, Part 1 — DeFuniak Springs FL’s Shooting Star  — DENIED!

30º 44’01” N / 86º 08′ 59″ W

US 90 and US 331 (northbound) 1.9 miles (3km) west of US 331 southbound and US 90

The post which published two days ago is about a sister to this Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star. These two aircraft are less than 25 miles (40km) apart and mounted identically but could hardly be displayed differently. The T-33 in Florala AL is easily approached by the public and meant to be seen, touched and admired by visitors to a popular park. This T-33 in DeFuniak Springs FL lies behind a security fence at the local airport, so regular people cannot see it except through the fence, and has a sign meant to be viewed at arm’s length — not the room’s length that is from the fence! This aircraft is in storage, not on exhibit!

 DeFuniak Springs FL’s Shooting Star as viewed through the fence at the airport there, you can read the sign if you remember to bring binoculars — photo by Joseph May

DeFuniak Springs FL’s Shooting Star as viewed by a camera held above the barbed wire atop the chain link fence at the airport, note the unreadable display sign — photo by Joseph May

T-33 with barbed wire in the foreground, as good as this exhibit gets in DeFuniak Springs FL — photo by Joseph May

The view of this Shooting Star is not much better from the opposite side — photo by Joseph May

It seems easy to wonder why the fence could not have been installed to allow visitors to approach this aircraft but FAA regulations may not allow for such a plan — but why, then, has the city not addressed the matter and displayed this T-33 more suitably?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. shortfinals permalink
    30 September 2011 06:56

    This is simply….terrible! FAA regulations might mean no access….so the city should MOVE it a few yards. You might as well have NO aircraft ‘on display’. This is mean, as well as frustrating!

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      30 September 2011 08:58

      I thought so, as well. I’m sure the caretakers of the T-33 intend well but, with so few aircraft on exhibit in the area, it seems a shame that a parent cannot take a child to view this particular one except from far away (to a child’s perspective anyway). This display stands in such sharp contrast to another T-33 which is on display in neighboring Florala, Alabama (see post).

  2. David D Jackson permalink
    30 September 2011 07:07

    Did you drive on to the airport and then walk over and take photos? That’s what I did.


    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      30 September 2011 09:05

      Yes, I parked in the lot and walked over to the fence, held the camera high over my head and took a photo, viewed the photo in the screen and repeated as needed. All that effort caused attraction from airport staff who asked why I was taking the photos (thank to Homeland Security engendered paranoia). I said I was taking photos of the T-33 (which was as obvious as a nose broken off a statue). Their initial position was that my extra effort (all of which was legal) meant for suspicious activity. Yes, their aircraft is all but under a tarp.

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