Real-life veteran aviators provide up-close, personal tours of vintage planes at Lyon Air Museum

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- If you're a fan of aviation history, there's a treasure waiting for you in Santa Ana. And depending on which day you visit the Lyon Air Museum, you'll likely get to meet some real-life aviators and veterans who serve as tour guides.

The Lyon Air Museum was founded by General William Lyon. It features military aircraft, rare automobiles, military vehicles and motorcycles as well as other military memorabilia, with an emphasis on World War II.

David Wensley is one of the veterans who works at the museum as a tour guide.

"I heard there was an opportunity to volunteer here and be one of the guides. I was retired at the time, and I didn't have anything high on my priority list to do, and I love to be around aircraft," e sahid.

Wensley was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force, flying Air Defense during the Cold War period. He says being at the Lyon Air Museum is a great opportunity to educate others and also to be around airplanes again.

"I enjoy taking people around and showing them what we have to display," he said.

Bud Carter is another tour guide who is also a veteran.

"The whole idea of the museum is to present World War II airplanes to the public, and it fits me perfectly because I was World War II. I know all of these airplanes, and I get to talk about it. So, it's a pretty fun job," he explained.

"I ended up flying the B-25, pretty much at the end of the war. They didn't need pilots overseas, they didn't need to send me to combat, so I was flying this B-25 out of Douglas, Arizona," Carter said.

"When you're around people who have a similar background, similar experiences, you get an immediate sense of well being. A feeling that you have shared experiences and shared viewpoints. Once you become a pilot, it gets in your blood and it stays in your blood for the rest of your life, and you want to be around aviation whenever you get the opportunity," Wensley added.
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