Plane view of town

Plane view of town

Bob Redner owns and flies a T-6 advanced trainer, which was used to train pilots during World War II.

Two hundred feet in the air at 115 mph over north Oakland County, pilot Bob Redner wanted to know if his plane was approaching the Clarkston area.
The two light-blue water towers of Independence Township fit the bill, and soon downtown Clarkston came into view, then Clarkston High School with its brand new football field.
“It looks great,” said Redner, West Bloomfield resident and a member of the Oakland County International Airport Open House and Air Show Board of Directors.
He owns and flies a North American T-6 advanced trainer airplane, and was giving demonstration flights to media representatives to preview the air show, which was on Aug. 27.
The T-6 was among the warbird aircraft on display at the open house at the main terminal in Waterford.
Redner flies for fun, having learned from his dad about 45 years ago.
“My dad had one of these before I was born,” he said. “I enjoy old airplanes. They’re easy to work on over and over again.”
The T-6 was the last airplane pilots flew before going to their final assignment during World War II, he said.
“All the World War II pilots flew it during training,” he said. “What makes it cool is it was designed to be their last trainer plane. It has all the bad habits of fighters designed into it so pilots become familiar with what to expect.”
For one, visibility on the ground is blocked by the engine, so pilots have to weave left and right while taxiing if they want to see anything.
“It’s an honor to fly it,” Redner said.
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– Phil Custodio

A view of downtown Clarkston from the north.
A view of downtown Clarkston from the north.

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