It is with great pride that Penobscot Island Air announces that N707KW is “back on the line”. The new green and white paint job is beautiful, the detailed gold that outlines the letters and numbers of the tail number are perfect, but that is not the whole story behind this special Cessna 206.
“KW” as we refer to this plane, was always Kevin’s favorite plane to fly. However, the last time Kevin flew “KW” the paint scheme was blue and white and certainly not as shiny and sparkly as it is today.
Last fall, Cody, a member of our Maintenance crew, suggested that we paint “KW” in the classic green and white paint scheme of Penobscot Island Air. It’s a long process, but Cody managed the entire project with a great deal of help from Ethan, Sam, Steve, and Pete. Once the painting process began, the paint hangar was essentially “off limits” to most of us at PIA!
One afternoon, Cody asked if I wanted to see KW. I responded, “I would love to but only if I am allowed”. Permission was granted by Cody.
The day was beautiful, a sunny winter day…Cody and Ethan had pulled the plane out of the hangar where it had been for the last few months…there was N707KW…. green and white and very shiny. I was about 20 feet away from the plane and both guys asked me what I thought…choking back the tears I said…”KW is beautiful”. “Well, get closer so you can really see” one of them said to me. As I walked toward the plane, right there on the pilot’s door was Kevin’s signature. It is exactly how Kevin signed his name…Big K with a long squiggle…Big W and another long squiggle. To the left of Kevin’s signature was a crest with the words “You Count”, a phrase Kevin so often said. There was nothing that I could say.
As I started to slowly walk back to my car, Cody asked me what I thought about the words on the wings. “Words on the wings, I didn’t see any words on the wings” I replied. “Come back and look again” Cody said. There, on the edge of the wings were the words “Flying With The Angels”. Cody then pointed to the tail and said, “See the angel wing on the tail” Through my tears, all I could say was “Thank you…thank you for showing me the words on the wings and the angel’s wings on the tail because I guess I could not see anything beyond Kevin’s signature”.
On May 19, 2022, Scott Story, our Chief Pilot and I went on the “maiden flight” of our newly painted N707KW. Cody, opted to stay on the ground and watch the beautiful plane fly… It was certainly a very proud and emotional time for all of us.
It requires a great deal of skill and talent to strip and paint a plane, there is no doubt. There are no streaks or drips on N707KW…the guys did an awesome job, that is for sure. I see that and know that when I look at N707KW. But what I really see is all of the heart and soul that went into this project…the thought, planning and compassion. So, it’s more, much more than a beautiful, shiny new paint job, one that matches the green and white paint scheme of Penobscot Island Air. It’s about a truly great group of people who created a beautiful, flying tribute to Kevin.
I can just image Kevin now with a huge smile on his face saying to these guys….” Honey, you guys did a damn good job! You Count”. (with maybe a few other colorful words added!)
Thanks for a job well done!