Many of us have flown in planes, but have you ever flown in one that doesn't have a roof? NewsChannel 3's Dana Brancato did just that in a rather famous plane in Southport. The name of the plane is Carolina Belle. She was built in 1942 and originally used in World War II as a military training plane. After her retirement from military service the Carolina Girl had a number of different uses. Pilot James Banky said, "This plane has a lot of history. It's been a crop duster at one time, been in private hands. " She even made a cameo in a hit movie. "The movie was called 'The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood,' and this was the airplane in the flying scene." For the last five years though the Carolina Belle has spent her days taking people on joyrides over southeastern North Carolina. "They've never flown before, or they've always wanted to fly in a biplane, or they see it and it looks cool this and that," Banky said. Though Carolina Belle is 65 years old the pilot says she's in just as good of shape now as she was for her inaugural flight. "It flies good," Banky said. "You could land it on the beach. Somebody said well what if your engine quit? I said well land on the beach and break out the champagne." If you want to catch a ride you can find the Carolina Girl and her pilot James Banky at the Brunswick County Airport.
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