Fallen Fairchild airman’s friends finish plane in his memory

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by SHAWN CHITNIS & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on May 1, 2014 at 9:39 PM

Updated Thursday, May 1 at 9:51 PM

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash.  -- A special airplane is being dedicated nearly one year after a KC-135 Tanker crashed in Kyrgyzstan and killed three Fairchild airmen.

One of those airmen, Tyler Voss, was refurbishing an old plane before he died. A friend took over the task in Voss’ memory. They made it their personal mission to finish what Voss started.

READ:Capt. Mark Tyler Voss' biography

Matt Perroux worked every Saturday for a year to get the plane finished.

“It just didn’t feel right to leave it in the condition it was,” said Perroux.

Perroux started working on the plane with Voss before he was deployed. He gave much of his free time to working on the plane at the Experimental Aircraft Association hanger at Felts Field.

“It took an extreme amount of patience to keep that drive going and going,” said Perroux.

The next step is actually flying the plane. Before it gets in the air, its greatest test will be on the ground when Voss’ family sees it for the first time.

MORE: Felts field pilots honor Fairchild Capt. killed in Kyrgyzstan

“They lost a family member and if they can give something whole I’m glad to be part of that,” said Perroux.

The sound of the plane running gives Perroux a sense of accomplishment.

The plane was gutted and got a complete overhaul. Voss did get the chance to fly it several times before he died.

Perroux hopes the work he has done on the plane will be a moving tribute for a lifelong friend who lived to fly.

He hopes to get the plane in the air next week.
 

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