Going Flying…

Well, Here I am from Penhold.

Startup has been great. There are cadets on the ground and life is busy.
I have been going for walks again, when I can.

Before coming I had a great walk and swim at Blue Lake, and posted pics on my facebook feed.

Walking on the prairies is different, and I think I talked about it last summer. One of the first highlights, which I think I talked about also last year was seeing a wild rose. There is just something about seeing a blooming provincial flower, in the province where it is recognized as the provincial flower. I see lots of wild roses at home, and always have, and hopefully always will. Often, I pay them little attention, but have always kind of liked them. But when I see them here in Alberta, where I know they are the provincial flower, it warms my heart in a different way, and really does kind of makes my soul sing…

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Ok, enough with the ‘mushy’ flower talk, I know, I am a geek.

I did get to go on an adventure, something that will likely be a highlight of my life for a long time.

A B-25 Mitchell bomber was on the ground at the Red Deer Airport, I took a tour, and paid a ridiculous amount for a flight in it. But let me tell you, it was so cool!

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Although I work a lot with Air Cadets and am a member of the RCAF; I really believe and feel that I don’t know enough about aircrafts and/or flight. However, I have always liked this aircraft because of the shared name. By no means is it my favourite bomber, or my favourite WWII aircraft. My favourite WWII bomber would either be a Halifax and/or a Lancaster. I’ve read many stories about both of these, a great story about a crew and a base that was transitioning from a Halifax to the Lanc’s; B is for Buster by Iain Lawrence. However, I think my favourite WWII aircraft would probably be the De Havilland Mosquito.

That being said there was a B-25 here, and I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to fly in it and experience, so I did. This wasn’t just any plane, nor did it just ‘share my name’. This aircraft is a flying museum, that served in World War II and has a long history since

This B-25J Mitchell Bomber; MAID in the SHADE, was delivered to the 437th Bomb Squadron, 319th Bomb Group, 12th Airforce based at Serraggia, Corsica in the Fall of 1944. Between then and early 1945 the aircraft participated in 15 missions to northern Italy and Eastern Europe. The B-25 was returned to the US and placed in storage in early 1945 when the 437th BG was transferred to the Pacific theater and re- equipped with Douglas A-26 Invaders. It was further used by the US Military to assist in the transport of VIPs. In the 1960s, the aircraft was purchased by Dothan Aviation in Alabama and converted to an agricultural sprayer. Throughout the 1970s the aircraft passed through several owners before being bought as scrap metal for $18 000 and being donated to the now Commemorative Air Force. This B-25 was assigned by the CAF to the Arizona Wing in Mesa, AZ in 1981. Extensive restoration work was then begun by the Wing’s volunteer staff and resulted in a complete teardown of the airframe to remove corrosion and the results of damage from agricultural spray. After 28 years of restoration the aircraft was flown in late May, 2009, and landed at the Red Deer Airport on the 4th of July 2014.

It was on the ground mainly as a static display, of which the lines were long to tour the plane. However, 6 ‘charity’ flights were for sale for up to 36 people, who could experience the chance to fly through history, to an era long ago forgotten.

I chose to fly in the nose section. As part of the 21 minute flight (but 2 hour process) we got to rotate through 3 different seats, including the crew chief seat behind the pilots and the gunner seat in
the front turret, of which there was a fairly lengthy ‘crawl’ through a small, narrow corridor under the pilots.

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Two highlights on the ground included, as part of the preflight operations, I was asked to assist in hand turning the propellers. Then, after the flight, we were put to work, polishing the plane and rubbing/cleaning off all the oil that had spewed out of it during flight.

Anyways, Very cool Experience that I’ll never forget. The smile on my face for the rest of the day was pretty huge…. I may have also annoyed some snapchat friends with too many snaps… Lol

Take Care, and stay tuned for the rest of my adventures….

Capt. Mitchell

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2 Responses to Going Flying…

  1. Julija Graham says:

    Awesome! You’re such an adventurer!

  2. Jai says:

    What a cool experience! 🙂

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