Rooftop adornment in Centennial just plane interesting

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Most people store airplanes in hangars. Thomas Moyer stores his on top of a building he owns near 7000 S. Broadway in Centennial.

Moyer, who is not a pilot, said he purchased the unusual lightweight plane about eight years ago from a muffler shop in Raleigh, N.C.

“It had been hanging from the ceiling there for quite some time,” said Moyer. “So I bought it and had it shipped here about eight years ago, just for something to do.”

When pushed, Moyer admits he has hopes of taking the small aircraft, which he identifies as a Mohawk O-2, and converting it to a light sport aircraft, which has less-restrictive licensing requirements to operate.

The FAA defines a light sport aircraft as an aircraft, other than a helicopter or other craft capable of vertical takeoff and landing, that has a maximum gross takeoff weight of 1,320 lbs.

Also, with its designation as “experimental,” the plane would not be subject to some certifications required by commercial manufacturers of aircraft.

“But it's been up there on the roof for quite some time now, and it's in pretty rough shape,” he said. “At this point, it would cost an awful lot money to repair the engines and make it operational.”

Moyer said much of the detail about the aircraft's history has escaped him.

“This was one of two prototypes that was made by company in North Carolina,” he said. “The company went out of business in the 1980s.”

At one time, product liability laws sent many manufacturers of general aviation aircraft into a tailspin, essentially making them liable for the product for eternity.

Lawsuits forced many smaller manufacturers out of business.

Although its wings have been removed and weather has taken its toll, Moyer said the little high-wing twin-engine plane was among one of the safest to fly at the time, and even had a parachute.

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