Savannah, GA — An early ag airplane designed and built by the founder of Air Tractor, Inc. is on display this week at the National Agricultural Aviation Association annual convention in Savannah, Georgia. The Snow Aeronautical model S-2A, built in 1959, was the 25th production airplane built by the young aeronautical engineer and entrepreneur in Olney, Texas. The airplane is a restoration project destined to be a historical exhibit at the National Agricultural Aviation Museum and Hall of Fame in Jackson, Mississippi.
The history of this particular airplane is an achievement arising from a tragedy. The airplane was a project begun nine years ago by Air Tractor President Jim Hirsch’s son, Kenny Hirsch and his best friend Brandon Carter who both died together in a tragic accident. The NAAA established the Kenny Hirsch & Brandon Carter S-2A Airplane Restoration Memorial Fund in part because young Kenny, Brandon, Jim Hirsch and a friend, Ricky Ward had begun the project as a dream of Kenny’s budding interest as an aviation mechanic.
Thousands of dollars’ worth of donations poured in after the memorial fund was announced in memory of Kenny Hirsch and Brandon Carter. And many, many hours of effort went into repairing the S-2A’s fuselage and tail feathers and overhauling all of the fuselage components, including the landing gear, instrument panel and other subassembly components.
Now that the airplane restoration is nearing completion, Air Tractor and Jim Hirsch wanted to show the progress and thank the many people who volunteered their time and donated money to bring the airplane back to its original condition. Prior to Leland Snow’s death in 2011, Jim Hirsch recalled discussing the restoration project with Leland Snow. “He thought it was a great idea. He wanted to see it go,” Hirsch said.
Today Hirsch adds, “I remember that Leland was enthusiastic about bringing this airplane to the NAAA Convention. He thought that that would have been really, really cool. And I am sure Leland, Kenny and Brandon and would be really pleased that it is here this week in Savannah.”
A sign next to the airplane provides a listing of the people and organizations that have contributed toward the restoration.
How to Donate:
To contribute to the S-2A restoration project, please send donations to:
Kenny Hirsch/Brandon Carter S-2A Airplane Restoration Memorial Fund
c/o National Agricultural Aviation Association
1440 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
More information about Air Tractor and its products can be found at airtractor.com.
About Air Tractor
At its Olney Texas manufacturing facilities, Air Tractor produces a line of nine aircraft that includes 400, 500, 600 and 800-gallon capacity planes powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 engines. They are used for agricultural purposes, fire fighting, narcotic crop eradication, fuel-hauling, fighting locust plagues, and cleaning up oil spills in coastal waters. From North, South and Central America, to Australia, Indonesia and China to Spain, Italy, Croatia and Africa, Air Tractor aircraft can be found in more than 30 countries around the world and are supported by a global network of Air Tractor dealers.