Love Field plane pull continues centennial celebration

By Daisy Silos | DFW Newsflash | October 2017

Twenty teams tugged for a chance to be the Dallas Love Field Centennial Plane Pull champion. Each team of 12 members paid a $300 registration fee to participate in the event, which was held to commemorate the air field’s 100 year anniversary. All proceeds from the event went towards the Dallas Love Field Centennial Aviation Scholarship. This is the first time Love Field has hosted a plane pull competition.

“We’ve seen other plane pulls, sports teams do them on occasion,” said Mark Duebner, Director of Aviation for the City of Dallas. “We thought it would be a fun way to tie aviation to a friendly competition for a good cause. Everyone is having such a great time, we may end up doing it again next year.”

Each team pulled a 160,000 pound Virgin Airbus A-319 with a 117-foot wingspan 50 yards across the Love Field airfield. The three fastest teams were awarded a trophy and the first place team also became the world record holder for the Dallas Love Field Plane Pull.

“It takes a little effort to get it rolling, but the teams did great. It took our fastest team about 28 seconds to pull the plane 50 yards, so we’ve had some really strong competition,” Duebner said.

Hensel Phelps Construction was one of the first teams to pull the plane. The team coordinated their attire and wore hard hats with bright orange shirts to represent their construction vests.

Hensel Phelps landed in sixth place pulling the plane in 31.6 seconds. Ashley Cole participated with the construction company in the plane pull and said those 30 seconds felt like a lifetime.

“It was tough, but it was fun,” Cole said. “At the end, I said, ‘Oh gosh are we at the end yet?’ It felt long, and I was just trying not to fall down.”

The three fastest teams were mere seconds behind one another. Associated Air landed in third place with 30.26 seconds, Destination Dallas took second place with 28.78 seconds, and winning first place with a .05 second lead was Shotz at 28.73 seconds.

Second place winners, Destination Dallas is a gym located in Plano that finds ways to give back to the community. When team leader Greg “Thumper” Hutchison first received an email about the plane pull event, he recruited a team that he refers to as the pull squad.

“It was a complete adrenaline rush. I think our performance was really good and everybody gave 100 percent,” Hutchison said. “We do a lot of charity events, and when you’re doing it for a good cause, you can’t beat that. When you’re able to help a good cause like this scholarship fund, it makes you feel good in your heart.”

The newly crowned record holders, Shotz is a part of Go Time Performance Energy, which produces a natural flavored energy drink. Team leader Kirk Hardwick was not surprised when they won first place.

“We were given strength from our Go Time so it was no surprise,” Hardwick said. “The plane was a lot heavier than you would think, but everyone was working together. We had a plan and we just got some momentum to cross that finish line.”

Hardwick hopes Love Field makes the plane pull an annual event so the team can defend their record.

“If this continues, absolutely we’re in,” Hardwick said. “We’ve got to defend the crown.”