Member hauls two Air Force One replicas to political conventions

| 8/25/2008

Submitted photo

Donald Snare, an OOIDA member from Gainesville, GA, got quite a few long looks as he hauled this replica of Air Force One to the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

OOIDA member Donald Snare said he received some puzzled looks from people this past week as he headed down the highway with his oversized cargo consisting of a full-scale replica of the fuselage of Air Force One.

He said there was one incident involving a guy who hit the car in front of him in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Salina, KS, where there was a reception for one of the aircraft replicas. The motorist couldn’t stop looking back at the airplane.

“I sure have gotten some looks from people as I pass by. They kind of have this look of disbelief on their faces,” he said.

Snare was charged with delivering two Air Force One replicas – one to Denver and one to Minneapolis – to coincide with the two national political conventions. A second Air Force One replica was created in a month’s time so a model could be on display at both the Democratic and Republican conventions.

Both have now been safety delivered, according to Snare. He delivered the first Air Force One replica on Tuesday, Aug. 19, to Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium in Denver, which is where it is expected that Barack Obama will accept the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

Snare said a camera crew followed him on the more than 540-mile trip from Augusta, KS, to Denver. Snare told Land Line on Monday, Aug. 25, that everything went smoothly until the very end, where it was a little “tricky” getting the airplane into the stadium.

“There were a couple turns that were a little tough. They weren’t meant for trucks carrying the fuselage of an aircraft,” he said.

Using some scrap lumber to protect the curbing, Snare said he was finally able to make the sharp turns and deliver the replica as crews from a half-dozen television networks looked on.

The full-scale replica of Air Force One in Denver is part of the American Presidential Experience, the largest traveling exhibit of presidential memorabilia. Click here to watch a YouTube video of Snare delivering the Air Force One replica in Denver.

After stopping back through Augusta, KS, to pick up the second Air Force One replica, he headed up to Minneapolis. On Sunday, Aug. 24, he delivered the second replica to the Minneapolis Convention Center, where he is now working to stage it and get it ready for display. The replica will be on display as part of CivicFest, which is scheduled from Aug. 29 through Sept. 4, in conjunction with the 2008 Republication National Convention.

Although Snare said it’s been an exhausting process, he said it’s been a rewarding one as well. In all, he said he will spend almost a month out on the road hauling the replicas to and from where they need to be.

“It’s complicated to try and make sure everything meshes as far as my schedule,” he said.

Snare, who is from Gainesville, GA, said he got the job of hauling the first replica a few years ago after responding to an online ad that asked for a driver to haul the aircraft from Branson, MO, to Columbia, SC. He has also been to Williamsburg, VA, and to Omaha, NE, with the replica.

He’s had the job ever since.

“Since I hauled it the first time, the owner of the exhibit hasn’t called anyone else to haul it. He just calls me, which is a good feeling,” he said.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer