Sky’s the limit for grandfather, grandson duo flying vintage plane

Data pix.

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. — For decades a vintage bumble bee yellow plane has been flying over Downers Grove. But the real story may just be the two people sitting in those old leather seats of the cockpit.

Arnold Zimmerman has flown the plane over South Carolina, Maine, Wyoming and Arizona and much of it with his grandson Joe Ermel in the rear seat.

“Joey started flying with me when he was a youngster, about 2-years-old,” Zimmerman said.

The duo says they lost count of how many times they've taken the tail dragger up.

They have logged miles and cemented a special bond between a grandfather and his grandson.

“That's the best part,” Ermel said.  “My grandpa has so many stories and I just love listening to him. It just a lot of fun.”

On his 16th birthday, Ermel soloed the same 1946 Champ his grandpa started out in back in 1955.

“I flew over my school and saw the sunset over Chicago,” he said. “And I was like man, nothing can beat that. ... I think it's just amazing what my grandpa has done.”


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