Aero Club members to hear about restoring antique aircraft


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Restoration of classic antique aircraft will be the topic of a presentation to the Sun Lakes Aero Club gathering Monday, February 18, at the Sun Lakes Country Club Navajo Room. The program will begin with coffee and camaraderie at 6:30 p.m., followed by the presentation at 7:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

Speaker will be Andy Estes who operates Desert Rat Aviation located at the Ak-Chin Regional Airport southwest of Chandler. His company provides aircraft maintenance and restoration for both modern and classic aircraft.

After years of working as a partner or an employee for other companies, Estes took his love and passion for creating beautiful handcrafted planes into his own hands. He opened Desert Rat Aviation in November, 2006, working out of a small Quonset hut until the business grew. Needing a much larger facility, he moved his operation to its current location in June, 2009. Estes is also an active flight instructor for a sister company, Desert Aero Club. Estes’ love of vintage aircraft and the type of flying that was common during the “Golden Age” of aviation led him to imagine a new “old style” flying club, now known as the Desert Aero Club – one where there would be a focus on flying just for the fun of it and sharing in the experience of old-fashioned “stick and rudder” piloting. The club offers training and rental in a 1951 Aeronca Champ.

Estes’ presentation is the fourth in a series of aviation-related topics given monthly, November through April, at Sun Lakes Aero Club gatherings. Next speaker will be Casa Grande resident Phil Brewer who will talk about his experiences flying the A-10 Warthog attack aircraft currently based at Davis-Monthan AFB at Tucson.