Museum's Shows Offer Plane, Car Buffs Best of Both Worlds

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Byline: Lorilyn Rackl Daily Herald Staff Writer

Three weeks ago, Frank Ochoa Jr. was flying a Hercules C-130 in Bosnia.

On Sunday, the Air Force reservist was in his plane, but the mission wasn't quite as dangerous.

"I've been showing a lot of the kids where the paratroopers jump from," said Ochoa, one of the pilots at the Air Classics Museum of Aviation's second annual open house.

The event marks the second anniversary of the museum near West Chicago, the only one of its kind in the Chicago area.

Hundreds of visitors wandered around the grounds to check out some 20 aircraft on display, including a torpedo plane from World War II, a helicopter used in Vietnam and an A7E Corsair that dropped missiles in Operation Desert Storm.

If looking wasn't enough, people could take a rocky ride in a flight simulator.

"It was an exciting display of G-force," said Larry Galateo, a 24-year-old pilot from Burr Ridge. "I've had rougher rides, but that was good."

Sunday's weather kept about a dozen planes from joining the show, event organizer Walt Taff said.

But the event still had grown from last year.

"It's a shame about the weather, but we've still had a good turnout," said Taff, who estimated about 5,000 people visited throughout the day. …