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Pilot Wally Gray invites residents to see the area from above the earth's surface in his open cockpit plane. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

Pilot takes to the air in WW II-era plane

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Pilot Wally Gray revisits history as he sails through the Park Rapids skies in his open-cockpit Stearman biplane.

The Texan with Minnesota roots is piloting a plane developed by Lloyd Stearman in the 1930s. Boeing purchased the Stearman Aircraft Company in the mid '30s and began production of the plane that would be used to train World War II pilots.


Gray's dad, Bud, a member of the Army Air Corps, flew the plane in 1935. "As a kid, I thought everyone's dad flew."

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