plane

Having seen better days, Miss Nettie, a T-33 training aircraft, hopes to be refurbished through the funding of community donations. If she is not returned to specifications, Nettie stands to be retrieved by the Air Force and likely scrapped. CCHS will hold fundraisers in the near future in an effort to save the school's mascot. A table is planned to be set up at Friday night's CCHS-SMHS football game where donations can be made.

Normally military aircrafts come to the rescue of civilians. In this case, a T-33 training aircraft, known to the community as "Miss Nettie," is counting on the civilians of Crossville to come to her rescue.

Given to the city of Crossville by the Air Force in 1962, Miss Nettie has served as the mascot for Cumberland County High School since Crossville, Pleasant Hill and Homestead high schools consolidated and became CCHS.

In the Air Force turning over the T-33A to city government, part of the agreement was that Miss Nettie be kept at her "historically correct painting schemes," according to Christie Warner, CCHS teacher.

After going through various stages of disrepair, Miss Nettie must now be restored or else the Air Force will retrieve her and she will likely be scrapped.

In order to ship the jet for repairs, Miss Nettie must be disassembled, have a casing built around her, and lifted by a crane, said Warner, saying CCHS will have to pay for the crane, disassembling equipment, and flatbed trucks.

This will act as a learning project for the vocational department and building trades at CCHS. The school will incur the deconstruction and shipping costs, estimated to cost $17,000 to $20,000.

The actual restoring process will cost CCHS nothing, as Miss Nettie will be shipped to the North Central Flight Institute in Clarksville, TN. There, the jet will be taken on as a learning project for the winter.

The entire restoration project is estimated to take about a year, said Warner.

Once Miss Nettie returns, she will be mounted on the hill behind the north in-zone of the CCHS football field.

The jet was originally brought to CCHS through the help of a high school cheerleader, Nettie Stevens. At the building dedication ceremony for CCHS in 1962, U.S. Senator Albert Gore Sr. served as the speaker. Following his speech, Stevens approached Gore asking him if he could possibly find a jet for the school. After others went to work on the matter, the T-33 training aircraft was officially loaned to Crossville city authorities and dedicated as the school's mascot. Miss Nettie was originally set up in front of the gym.

According to CCHS teacher Janet Burnett, students from the class of 2006 began searching for contractors able to do the restoration. Until now with the North Central Flight Institute, the school was unable to find any contractors.

Burnett said polls have been taken with the 42 CCHS alumni on staff and also with alumni from the community who said they didn't want the jet to be taken away.

The school has already expended some funds for the project, but is counting entirely on donations. Warner said that she hoped alumni would be willing to donate and that corporate sponsors might be willing to contribute to the project.

For those interested in saving Miss Nettie, a table will be set up at the CCHS-SMHS football game on Friday night. Should anyone be interested in mailing a donation, money can be sent to the high school at: Cumberland County High School, ATTN: Miss Nettie, 660 Stanley Street, Crossville, TN 38555.

For more information, contact Christie Warner at (931) 248-1126.