A Special Cub
EAAers finish, fly airplane for dying comrade
Gino DiNucci taxis in Walt Crosby’s Cub.
FROM EAA CHAPTER 282 in Clearwater, Florida, comes the story
of Walter Crosby, EAA 205800, who realized the dream of
seeing his restored 1946 Piper Cub fly for the first time in
more than 50 years. Thanks to the love and dedication of his
fellow chapter members, Walt got to see his cherished airplane
become airborne—just days before losing his courageous battle
On January 24, Walt was propped up in his hospice bed
so he could see out the window facing Clearwater Air Park’s
Runway 16/34. He saw his airplane, N88667, in the air with
fellow chapter member Gino DiNucci, EAA 14731, at the
controls. Gino later learned from Walt’s daughter that her
father had a tear in his eye when he saw the plane fly past.
Four days later, on January 28, Walt passed away at the
age of 74.
Gino, 70, explained that although they had been working for
many years on Walt’s Cub restoration, Walt ramped up efforts
about seven years ago after being diagnosed with colon cancer.
It eventually spread to his lungs and liver, and he was severely
weakened by numerous rounds of chemotherapy.
“We had our doubts that he would even make it (last year),”
Gino said. But by the end of summer 2011, Walt had improved
significantly and was again motivated to resume working on the
project with hopes to finally finish it before
the cancer could sideline him again.