To most of us, flying is simply a fast and efficient way of getting from here to there. But it can be so much more. Accelerating across the water at the point of a sparkling vee of spray, lifting off to look down through big windows at the shining towers of a city beside a deepwater bay, skimming close over a jigsaw puzzle of islands and inlets, soaring around the ice-draped peaks and looming volcanoes that make up some of the most impressive mountains on the planet… Now that’s flying.
That this remarkable experience can be had by simply buying a ticket on Kenmore Air is due entirely to a single gust of wind which shortly before the outbreak of World War II flipped over a tiny, two-seat Aeronca floatplane on Seattle’s Lake Union. Seattle seaplane pioneer Lana Kurtzer salvaged the plane, stacked the pieces behind his shop and forgot about it until 1944 when a pair of young Navy Reserve aviation mechanics asked if he’d be willing to sell it.