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How to arrange warbird flight for a veteran?

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  • Member since
    January 2006
  • From: NW Washington
How to arrange warbird flight for a veteran?
Posted by dirkpitt77 on Thursday, March 19, 2015 11:17 AM

I don't know if I've asked this here. I did a search and don't see anything in my past posts, so I'll do it again.

    My stepdad served in submarines just after WW2 and then switched to the Air Force for the remainder of his military career, in the '60's. He's always been really into aviation and flew RC aircraft for quite a while too. 

     His health has really taken a dive in the last year, starting with lung problems caused by exposure to anhydrous ammonia 15yrs ago while working as an ag chemical transporter. Then last fall he had a heart attack behind the wheel of his moving truck during a move to Olympia, Washington. This is where he lives now. He is suffering from the after-effects of that and is stlll in physical therapy.

     During a conversation when I went to visit last fall, he said,'I'd give anything to go up one more time.' I'd like to make this wish come true for him before he passes, but I don't really have an idea where to start. Should I just start calling folks? Museums? Collings Foundation, etc.? Has anyone done this before or have any ideas on how to proceed?

   Thanks,

Chris

    "Some say the alien didn't die in the crash.  It survived and drank whiskey and played poker with the locals 'til the Texas Rangers caught wind of it and shot it dead."

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Thursday, March 19, 2015 12:49 PM

I know the B-17, B24, and the Mustang that show up at the Hillsboro Air Show as part of Portland Rose Festival do rides on a pay basis.  They also do them at the Eugene and Corvallis airports on the way up.   Don't know if they swing up any further north, but Olympia is only about 125 miles from dthe show.

I just don't know who to contact for that info, might try the Rose Festival or Hillsboro airport to see if they are coming this year and who they are.  

I know the Erickson Collection supposedly does flights in their Mustang, but have heard a tick on the spendy side. Erickson is in Madras Oregon about 60 miles north of Bend.

  • Member since
    February 2014
  • From: N. MS
Posted by CN Spots on Thursday, March 19, 2015 1:05 PM

Check with Honor Flight.  They take veterans back to locations they visited during the war.  I don't know about going on an actual vintage craft but it might be a good place to start.   I guess I'd also check with the few people who own one... Commemorative Airforce maybe?  www.commemorativeairforce.org

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Thursday, March 19, 2015 2:02 PM

Honor Flight is usually more to get the vet back to DC to see the memorials for them.  Have to be accompanied by someone as well. The vet's trip is covered, but the accompaning  persons expenses are not.

  • Member since
    February 2014
  • From: N. MS
Posted by CN Spots on Thursday, March 19, 2015 4:41 PM

I must be thinking about something else.  One of my coworker's fathers, a WW2 engineer, went back to Normandy a few years ago with the help of an organization and is going to Italy this summer with a few other vets.  When she gets back Monday I'll ask her the name of the group.

Mij
  • Member since
    September 2014
Posted by Mij on Thursday, March 19, 2015 7:23 PM

Bomber rides are cheaper and probably longer (I've seen prices between $350 to 500). I had a 20 minute ride in a Commemorative Air Force P-51 that would have cost me $1200 had I paid for it but I won it on a $50 raffle ticket. The P-51 ride had a full gambit of aerobatics (rolls, loops, hammerheads, etc) and would be a bad idea for someone not in good health. I suppose you could ask for a slow turn gentle ride but price would probably be the same.

On the bench

1:48 Testors SPAD XIII

1:48 Revell P-47D Razorback

1:48 Hasegawa Bf 109E Galland

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Thursday, March 19, 2015 7:29 PM

Yep, I think the B17/B24 rides were around $425/450 last year IIRC . More people to spread out the cost of flight time. I heard 1500 for around 20 min. in a Mustang.  Single ride would probably be tailored to the individual and what they are comfortable with.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, March 19, 2015 7:36 PM

It's been my experience that folks who own warbirds are some of the nicest and most generous people I've ever met. Wondering if you could ask around at local airports, try to find one,  hook up and tell your story?

-Greg

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, March 20, 2015 10:24 AM

If you go bomber, pick a Liberator. its the only one where you can move around much front to back. He probably wouldn't be up for walking the girder down the middle of the bomb bay anyways, but you can.

Modeling is an excuse to buy books

 

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Friday, March 20, 2015 1:17 PM

Greg

It's been my experience that folks who own warbirds are some of the nicest and most generous people I've ever met. Wondering if you could ask around at local airports, try to find one,  hook up and tell your story?

That's a BIG Bingo!!!

There are lots of T-6's around. Check with the local airport manager...if there is not a T-6 (or other warbird) based there, chances are that they would know of one somewhere nearby, and could probably put you in contact with the owner. As a courtesy, I'd recommend offering to pay for some fuel and their time...chances are good that they will refuse any payment though....but then again, fuel aint cheap!

The T-6 is a great ride! Having riden in a T-6, PT-17 (stick time in both), B-17 and B-25, I'd have to put the T-6 at the top.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Friday, March 20, 2015 4:21 PM

Totally agree with asking to pay for fuel. This is legal for the owner to accept (unless something in the regulations has changed in the past decade), and as fermis said, avgas isn't cheap anymore.

-Greg

  • Member since
    January 2006
  • From: NW Washington
Posted by dirkpitt77 on Friday, March 20, 2015 8:03 PM

Thanks, guys. Looks like I found an outfit in Olympia that can hook me up. Got an email back from them today, and I'll call on Monday to sort out the details.  They have a Stearman, which is his favorite plane, so we're gonna try to get him up in that.

  Thanks again!

 Chris

    "Some say the alien didn't die in the crash.  It survived and drank whiskey and played poker with the locals 'til the Texas Rangers caught wind of it and shot it dead."

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, March 20, 2015 9:26 PM

Now that will be an E ticket ride in a nice open cockpit! Sweet!

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Friday, March 20, 2015 9:29 PM

dirkpitt77

Thanks, guys. Looks like I found an outfit in Olympia that can hook me up. Got an email back from them today, and I'll call on Monday to sort out the details.  They have a Stearman, which is his favorite plane, so we're gonna try to get him up in that.

  Thanks again!

 Chris

A Stearman?!!!

Excellent! Hope it all works out for you guys. A Stearman is a whole 'nother experience...wind in your face...wind whistlin through the rigging..you can even feel the weight of the wings as you bank. You definitely feel like you are along for the ride while moving a machine through the sky, rather than putting in "inputs" to use a machine to move yourself through the sky (as you would in a Cessna for example)...if that makes any sense!

  • Member since
    March 2005
  • From: Lancaster, South Carolina
Posted by Devil Dawg on Friday, March 20, 2015 10:43 PM

Prayers are being said for your dad, Chris. I hope that everything that you're doing for him goes well. Everyone deserves a son like you.

Devil Dawg

On The Bench: Tamiya 1/32nd Mitsubishi A6M5 Model 52 Zeke For Japanese Group Build

Build one at a time? Hah! That'll be the day!!

  • Member since
    January 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Saturday, March 21, 2015 10:12 AM

Man.. that is awesome news. No doubt he will enjoy that ride. Post pics when you get a chance.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Saturday, March 21, 2015 10:40 AM

Sounds great!!! Good job on the research!

-Greg

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