Saturday, July 26, 2008

B-17 Liberty Belle


Living Legends. There are foundations out there that do their best to keep the living legends flying.

Liberty Belle is a B-17G that in August of 2007, I managed to full filled a life long dream. I was able to take a 30 minute flight when she came to Lubbock, Texas that year.

I managed to snag the flight seat behind the pilot's on the flight deck and took many, many pictures. It was loud,vibrating, and the best thing that I had ever done in my life. My father had recently passed away the month before, and he served as a mechanic in the USAAF - serving on the home front during World War Two. He also worked on other planes besides the B-17. The B-24, B-25, B-29. Trainers such as the BT-13 and AT-6.

A thirty minute flight just is not long enough. I would love to be able to fly on another warbird if the chance ever presents itself.

Edit (07-27-2008): Upon showing off this new creation of mine, friends who have heard me tell this tale told me that I was missing the most important thing from the post itself. So here it goes....

The day that I flew on the B-17, I was not able to get time off from work. I work the late shift at a company called Convergys. We handle technical support for the cable TV company Comcast. As I parked my pickup truck in the parking lot and headed for the front door - I heard those four engines. Searching the skies I finally spotted the Liberty Belle as she headed in my direction from the south going to the north. Liberty Belle flew right over my head as I stood rooted there in the middle of the parking lot. Tears formed in my eyes as she flew overhead at about two thousand feet.

Was it just plain dumb luck. My father sending me a friendly wave from the grave. The hand of God. All of the above or none of the above - just a practical joke that the universe plays on us humans from time to time. Well, whatever it was, that night's shift went a while lot smoother for that flyover than if it had not happened.

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