1941 Stearman Biplane and Local History Buff Cast in 1920s Reenactment at Berkley Airport
Myricks Airport in Berkley, Massachusetts is a historic grass airstrip an hour south of Boston, lovingly preserved by the non-profit Myricks Airfield Foundation. Across the Pacific producers Steve Lyons and Wilson Chao chose this location to film a period re-enactment from the 1920s, showing radio engineer Hugo Leuteritz flying with an airmail pilot in an open-cockpit biplane.
Mike DuPont, the owner of American Aero Services at the Taunton Airport, is pictured above flying the classic bright yellow 1941 Stearman biplane which he maintains there. Not only does he actually fly the plane in the documentary series Across the Pacific — from the rear seat, where the cockpit is located — but DuPont was cast as a1920s-era pilot transporting airmail under contract with the U.S. Postal Service. For the shoot, he wore an old-fashioned leather pilot’s jacket, leather flying helmet and goggles, to re-create the 1920s look.
Sitting up front for the historical reenactment was actor Jared Beaulieu playing Hugo Leuteritz, a young engineer who hitched rides on mail planes to see how the pilots navigated in those seat-of-the-pants days when pilots mainly relied on landmarks to find their way.
Dupont, a Berkley resident and aviation history buff says: “There were a lot of crashes, a lot of guys lost in the weather... pilots often flew along railroad tracks to orient themselves."
Observing the difficulties first hand, Leuteritz went on to develop radio equipment for Pan Am’s first airplanes, helping lay the foundation for all modern aerial navigation, a necessary tool for global air commerce,” Chao said.
DuPont said it was a great feeling to be cast in a first-rate documentary helping tell the story of aviation history.
“I really, really enjoy local aviation history in particular,” DuPont said.
Read the Story in the Taunton Daily Gazette: