“1945 J-3 Cub, 518 hours. 501-337-9939. email@example.com. $42,000.” That’s the ad as it appears in our classified section.
518 hours? Really.
I called Tom Sabus, who placed the ad via mail, for a little more information.
“I was visiting the Aerospace Education Center in Little Rock, Ark., when I found out the place was closing up,” started Tom. “I asked them what they were going to do with the aircraft and they said, ‘we’ll sell ’em'”.
The J-3 sat in the museum for more than 26 years after the widow of the former owner donated it to the museum.
“I asked them how much they wanted for the J-3,” continued Tom. “Too much it turned out.”
They told him to make an offer, which he did. “Two months later they called and said it was mine.”
Tom hired R.G. Davis Aviation in Malvern, Ark. to disassemble to Cub and “check it out.”
Upon inspection, R.G. Davis found the J-3 to be in fine shape.
“The museum was climate-controlled. As it turned out, the motor needed nothing and the fabric was in good shape,” said Tom. They did replace the tires and cables and re-calibrate the instruments.
Why sell it?
“I turn 80 next year and the FAA is giving me grief with my medical,” said Tom. “I learned to fly when I was a teen, and I’ve had a good long run.”
Besides, he couldn’t locate a hangar within 100 miles of his home.
How’s it fly?
“Don’t know,” finished Tom. “I haven’t flown it. But the guys at the shop said if I do I better be prepared to keep it, because I won’t want to sell it. It’s like a brand new old Cub.”
It isn’t often a plane built in 1945 comes on the market with just more than 500 flight hours. Interested? Give R.G. Davis Aviation a call at 501-337-9939 and after you buy it, give me a call and tell me how she flies.
UPDATE: Mr. Tom Sabus was killed in a head-on collision in early April. According to David Jeffers, office manager for RG Davis Aviation, the sale of the J-3 will proceed as planned. The phone number noted above with connect a caller with RG Davis Aviation.