Among the television shows that I watched when I was growing up was Sky King, an aviation themed children’s adventure series set in the Arizona desert, which in the series seemed to attract all kinds of bad strange people.
Actor Kirby Grant plays the title role, A former World War II pilot named J Schuyler “Sky” King, now a flying rancher cowboy who lives in and manages the fictional Flying Crown Ranch near the fictional town of Grover, Arizona, and will hop on his plane named the Songbird to solve anything at a moment’s notice. Kirby is helped by niece Penny played by actress Gloria Winters. In the earliest episodes he also had a nephew nicknamed Clipper. Both Penny and Clipper are also pilots, but still need uncle’s helping hand. The airborne views were impressive, with the twin engine Cessna making sharp aerial maneuvers over the desert landscape.
Sky King, which ran from 1951 to 1959, was adapted from a radio series which began in 1946 and continued until 1954, running alongside the TV series for 3 years. Sky King is still a classic among the aviation community, and is credited with getting many young people interested in aviation. Sky King was on syndication with CBS until 1966, and sadly Kirby Grant died in a car accident in 1985 on the way to a launch at Cape Canaveral, where he was to be honored by astronauts.