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Organizers still working on funding for Brasher plane display

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BRASHER FALLS - Organizers who hope to land an A-4 Skyhawk plane for display across from the Brasher Municipal Building are still working toward their financial goal, according to Town Supervisor M. James Dawson.

Mr. Dawson said he had been in contact with David MacMillan and Gene Cummings regarding the project. James Kelley, who is currently in Florida, is also part of the effort.

“They have almost $12,000 in their fundraising kitty,” Mr. Dawson said.

The group has set a goal of $75,000 to land the Vietnam-era plan for display in Brasher Falls. They told town board members in November that they had about $10,000 in donations.

Mr. Kelley, Mr. MacMillan and Mr. Cummings hope to display an A-4 Skyhawk plane on the banks of the St. Regis River, across from the Brasher Municipal Building, as a tribute to area veterans.

They’re working with Munson “Sid” Snedeker, another Brasher Falls native and 1954 graduate of Massena High School. who spent a career in the U.S. Marine Corps before retiring as a lieutenant colonel in October 1981.

Mr. Snedeker and his wife, Ginger, own and operate G&S Warbirds, which can help individuals or groups locate planes and help find someone to ferry them to another location.

Mr. Dawson said the organizers have received a qualification packet that must be completed, indicating they understand that the plane is on loan and may not be sold. The plane would be on loan from the U.S. government and would need to be approved by a qualified organization. The qualification package must be completed before engineering drawings can be sent in for review.

“We’re working on that. Hopefully we can get this done by next summer,” he said.

The group has also been in contact with engineers at Clarkson University, who will assist them with the base for the plane.

The A-4 Skyhawk was a carrier-capable ground-attack aircraft developed for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. It was capable of delivering nuclear weapons using a low altitude bombing system and played a key role in the Vietnam War.

They chose that plane because of its smaller size, the men said.

The plane would be dismantled at its point of origin, shipped in a truck and then readied by the men for display in the town. It would have no engine and weighs between 6,000 and 10,000 pounds. They would need an area large enough to cover its overall length of 36 feet.

Mr. Kelley had told town board members in November that Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, had sent a letter to the National Naval Aviation Museum voicing his support for the project. The group will be seeking similar letters of support from U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand.

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