15AC-005 – N1003H (42)

The below pictures 01-04 must be the earliest photographic documents of N1003H, as they were taken during and after its manufacture at the Aeronca factory, back in 1948! In 1971, Konrad Jockus of Kalamazoo, Michigan, purchased this Sedan from John Roully in airworthy condition. At the time, it was red and cream and came with floats and wheels. Since it was getting worn and torn, Konrad refurbished it for the first time in 1973. In 1981, Sedan 15AC-005 adorned the cover of the Vintage Airplane magazine's December issue, as a seaplane, mounted on EDO 2000 floats and in its new white and yellow paint scheme (photo 05). Photo 06 was taken at the National Aeronca Association's Fly-In at Hook Field, Middletown, Ohio, USA, June 1986. Then, on June 6, 1989, N1003H was substantially damaged, after suffering an engine failure, right after take-off from Plainwell, Michigan. It remained grounded until 2009, when Konrad and his friend Mike Hoag restored their two Sedans, N1003H and N1010H, simultaneously, helping each other out, as they went along.

In June 2012, we were able to document it in its new, splendid and fabulous green and cream paint scheme, with Konrad and his wife Linda posing under its wing (photos 07-20). The next occasion for us to meet with N1003H came up two years later, during the 2014 Aeronca convention in Middletown. In 2013, it had changed hands from Konrad to Steve Comer, who now brought it to Hook Field from its Indiana homebase (photos 21-36).

Another two years later, in January 2016, Benton Gibson sent us the following email: "I purchased N1003H from Steve Comer. Steve is a gentleman through and through and was most supportive in assisting me to acquire his Sedan. Studying the documentation and reviewing many photos, I have begun to piece together N1003H's history prior to 1971, when Konrad acquired it. For now, I believe that the Sedan is in its third restoration. Konrad and Mike have done a superb job with the restoration! I am grateful, as it is again a beautiful aircraft."

And in February 2017, Ben added: "My wife Kathey and I are having a great time flying our Sedan. During the 2016 Aeronca convention at Middletown, we were able to meet with Mike and Konrad and found them to be just great guys. In fact, we met many other Aeronca folks, all of whom welcomed us, as we arrived. While I am quick to assign credit for the restoration to Konrad and Mike, it is always a pleasure to have folks admire their work, wherever we travel. Middletown was no exception, and they even awarded the beautiful green Sedan the "People's Choice Award". I will say that circumstances were in our favor. There were only five Sedans present. Joe had his beautiful airpane there as well. Mike and Konrad, of course, were judges, so they had to be a little circumspect, as several of the Sedans were Mike's restorations! That kind of narrowed down the options for them. When we arrived, Konrad directed us to a premier parking spot, right near the main walkway! Kathey is a very charming lady, who is quick to engage anybody who comes by. Of course, the Sedans do attract much attention. As the People's Award was by popular vote, with Kathey's friendly chatter.... Well, N1003H was an easy win! Nonetheless, I did savor it some... 

All of that reminds me of a story that Konrad Jockus shared with me, and one that Kathey used effectively at Hook Field, as she sat under the wing of the beautiful green Sedan: Kathey had heard the story, but did not realize that it was a Jockus fabrication. Kathey is a terrible liar, so this story would not have worked, if she had known the truth, while sitting there. Of course, there are always a few "types" that come by and point out restoration details that are inconsistent with original factory production. Well, when guys pointed out that the airplane was the wrong color, as all the Sedans in 1948 were red and cream and not dark green, Kathey would explain to them something about how an order came in from Ireland for ten Sedans. "Sean Murphy" was in charge of the paint shop and refused to send red airplanes to Ireland. That is, how ten of them were painted shamrock green! I figured that such a story would effect instant affinity for N1003H. Kathey was not too happy, when I later explained to her that Konrad's story was pure BS, but I liked it. She grimaced a little...

By the way, I have been fortunate to locate and purchase an authentic pair of wheel pants for N1003H. Picture 37 is me in the Sedan, 38-39 is N1003H at home and 40-42 were taken during Suzy Kryzanowicz's (my owner/partner) check-out in the Sedan. We both very much enjoy flying N1003H!"

Here is an interesting and beautifully illustrated article about this specific Sedan.

(This page last updated: 08/2019)

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Photos © Aeronca (01-04), Vintage Airplane (05), Charles Pyles (06), Matthias Sieber (07-36), Benton Gibson (37-42)

copyright © 2007 - 2020 Monika & Matthias Sieber