The family flying station wagon

There are many men who will tell you that when they suggested the idea of buying an airplane to their wives, it very nearly resulted in divorce. But Kenneth Spivey Jr., from Vestavia, Ala., says he had a completely different experience when it came to the purchase of his Cessna 170B.

“My wife actually MADE ME go buy this airplane!” he insists.

According to Spivey, he learned to fly in his early teens as an offshoot of his father taking up flying. “I soloed on my 16th birthday in Dad’s Luscombe 8A,” he recalled.

It wasn’t long before the younger Spivey was out of college and had bought himself a Cessna 140. He married Sylvia, his high school sweetheart, and they used the airplane for trips. “We flew the Cessna 140 to the Florida beach and back for vacations,” he said, noting it worked out fine until the children, two sons, arrived.

“We were still going to Florida for vacations. The children flew with me and my wife would drive down. This went on for a few years, then she figured she was losing out so she told me that we needed a four-place airplane.”

The airplane, N8317A, spent two years in restoration. It is painted candy-apple red and off-white. The detail of the cockpit, especially the upholstery, will take your breath away. A more detailed story on the Spivey family airplane will appear in an upcoming issue of General Aviation News.



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  1. Doug Rodrigues says

    With me, after new radios, STOL kit, flap gap seals, Cleveland wheels and brakes, Lyc.0-360 engine conversion with C/S prop, new headliner and upholstry, new plexiglass, it was, “It’s either that damned airplane or me?!!!”  What’s up with women?  My answer…” I was flying before you knew me. If you’re going to put it that way, I’ll keep the airplane!”  

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