By Ted Davis
I started taking flying lessons out of Aurora State Airport (KUAO) 6 years ago when I turned 50 after I bought a 1973 150 to train on.
As I got to know local pilots and hangar owners, I met Craig who more than 30 years ago bought and restored N5501E — the first 150 ever made. He took it to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh and won a Lindy in 1996. He then sold the plane to CJ Surry in Texas who owned a flight school and aircraft rental company. After CJ bought 5501E a friend brought to his attention that he also had the last 150 ever made, N714SV. CJ sold his business but kept the two planes. CJ later passed away and Joe Gillipsie in Texas bought them. Joe decided to sell them and when Craig found out he told a fellow pilot, Norm, at Aurora that 5501E was for sale. So, Norm bought it and Craig flew it back from Texas for him.
Craig saw me one day and said I had to see this plane, which I did and fell in love with it. Craig told me that Joe was selling the last 150 — 714SV. I immediately contacted Joe, bought the plane, and got it up to Aurora (which is a whole other story!). Once back in Oregon I told Norm that if one of us decides to sell we should give the other the first right of refusal; he agreed. Six months later Norm approached me and said he was downsizing and offered me 5501E. We worked out a deal and bought it in my wife’s name so that we each owned a piece of aviation history. We thought it was important to have these two aircraft back together for historical purposes.
I got my private pilot certificate in May and passed my checkride in 714SV. My wife, Andrea, is starting her lessons and will fly 5501E!
See more pictures of Ted and Andrea’s 150s and read about the type in the November issue of Cessna Owner magazine.