July 28, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin - Johnny
Carsonís 1963 Cessna 172, N2997U, made an appearance at Aero- Shell
Square yesterday. The pioneering late-night host flew it for several years
as he was coming to fame on the Tonight Show. As he became busy
with his career, he sold the plane. It was the only plane of the several
he owned that he flew.
The current owner of the plane, Dave
Huntington, of Syracuse, New York, and Carsonís nephew, Jeff Sotzing, of
Fullerton, California, were on hand to talk about the plane and Carsonís
time with it. Huntington didnít know the plane had been Carsonís until
Tom Poberezny, EAA president and chairman, gave him a call. Interestingly
enough, the previous owner had known about it, but didnít mention it
when he sold it to Huntington.
The plane will be parked in Row 57 in the
Vintage area. Sotzing will formally dedicate a Johnny Carson exhibit in
the EAA Museum tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., which will feature his uncleís
original flight bag.
Included in the exhibit is old footage showing
Carson flying with aerobatic champion Art Scholl in one of Schollís de
Havilland Chipmunks. The footage has not been seen publicly since it
originally aired. Carsonís flight bag serves as the centerpiece of the