bush pilot 1 Through The Lens: A Bush Pilot & His Planes

The North Texas sign outside the home of a former bush pilot. (credit: CBSDFW.COM)

Driving down North Richland Boulevard in North Richland Hills I saw a sign in the yard that said, “airplanes for sale.” I pulled up and went in the open garage to meet 88-year-old Vernon Metz.

Metz told me the story of when he and his wife were missionaries to Africa and that he had been a bush pilot for several years there. When he got home he wanted something to do and so he got involved in his church and did some woodworking, something he had learned in Manual Arts class all those years ago in high school.

He has built bookcases and toy cars and other things. One year he took a bunch of the toy cars to the fire station and donated them for needy children. But in recent years the old pilot in him came out and Metz started building planes. He found a design in a magazine for a small bi-plane that caught his interest. Not one you can fly but a small toy plane that little boys and girls can ride on.

Metz’s motto is “don’t retire from something, retire to something.” He says he didn’t want to just sit down and die so he stays busy doing things to bless other people and thinks everyone should do something whether it’s drive for meals on wheels or teach Sunday school at church. That is not a bad philosophy for life. Metz says as long as he is able to do something he will keep at it. I hope I’m still keeping busy when I’m 88.

Mike Kinney

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