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Ownership of iconic Stearman biplane changes hands

Modified: Tuesday, Feb 14th, 2017

Members of team Aero Legend, from left, Winette Tomeny, Sam Spayd and Terry Tomeny stand in The Stearman’s hangar. The Tomenys recently purchased the 73-year-old biplane from Spayd. mark Brennan/Siuslaw News

Florence residents have become accustomed to the muffled whirr of the old plane’s engine and its bright blue and yellow paint job passing overhead. They look skyward hoping to catch a glimpse of this airborne relic from another time.

And a lot of them make their way to the Florence Municipal Airport to take a trip skyward in the colorful biplane that was built in 1943.

The ownership of this well-known aerial wonder has recently been transferred to transplants Terry and Winette Tomeny.

Often referred to by locals as “The Stearman” the biplane’s longtime owner, Sam Spayd, has decided that he is ready for a change in his personal flight plan.

“I’ve had the airplane for 20 years and I am very accustomed to flying it. So I am looking for a different type of plane to purchase and fly. Basically, I am looking for a new challenge,” he said.

Spayd’s decision to find a new plane came at a good time for recent retirees Terry and Winette. The Tomenys had been looking for a place on a lake with a nearby airport and they heard about Florence.

Terry came for a visit and realized this was the perfect spot. They relocated, moved the piper cub they owned to the airport and started getting to know their hanger neighbors, which included Spayd.

For the complete article see the 02-15-2017 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-15-2017 paper.

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Keywords: Stearman bi-plane, Sam Spayd, Aero Legend, Terry Tomeny, Winette Tomeny

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