Spirit of North Carolina departs Wilmington after two decades

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — History took to the sky Monday afternoon at the Wilmington International Airport.

After more than a year of delays due to mechanical issues, the Spirit of North Carolina left for the North Carolina Aviation Museum in Asheboro.

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The plane has been in Wilmington for the past two decades, but its history goes back much farther than that. The plane has served many purposes for more than 75 years.

The A-26 attack bomber spent its early years fighting in four American wars, including World War II. Since then, it has performed in numerous air shows across the country.

With all of that history, many people expressed mixed feelings about the plane’s departure.

“It’s officially left the area,” Crew Member Dana McAtee said. “It’s kind of bitter-sweet to us. We knew this day would come. But like all things, it had to come to an end.”