HFM July 2016 Fly Day Report
by Joe Kunzler
The Heritage Flight Museum held their monthly Fly Day air show at their base in Burlington, Washington on July 16th. The museum holds these events to support their mission, “to help educate the public so that they might understand and appreciate the contribution military aircraft, and the people that flew them, have made to our heritage, national security and freedom.” This HFM Fly Day focused on preparing the museum’s Pearl Harbor-veteran, Interstate Cadet for its journey to EAA AirVenture 2016 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin – and setting up the onboard GoPro video cameras to record the historic stick and rudder cross country flight. World-class aviation photographer Lyle Jansma lent his unique talents in aerial videography to the Heritage Flight Museum staff regarding both the GoPros and working with the embedded Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine reporter John Fleischmann covering the flight. For more information on this historic Interstate Cadet, please see our previous story HERE.
Heritage Flight Museum also launched a three-ship of T-6 Texans to provide missing man formations for the nearby San Juan Islands and later, HFM memorial services for recently deceased veterans.
Later on in the HFM Fly Day, current US Navy pilot Alex Bock would take to the skies in a Boeing N2S-3 Stearman and do some low approaches, which provided some great photo opportunities at Skagit Regional Airport, a former Naval Outlying Field.
HFM Executive Director Greg Anders gave a sporty demonstration of the Douglas A-1 Skyraider’s capabilities. Tagging along were a blue and yellow T-6 and bluebird SNJ.
The Interstate Cadet made a ceremonial departure from Skagit Regional Airport for the HFM volunteers and remaining guests. As the Cadet lifted off and did several spirited low approaches in the hands of HFM Exec Director Greg Anders and HFM Librarian Michelle Dietsch, it created the perception that the Cadet was again performing flight training duties like it once had in Hawaii on December 7th, 1941. According to the Lost Aviators of Pearl Harbor website, the Cadet’s former owner, Cornelia Fort, on December 7, 1941, “She and her student were in the pattern for some landing practice. … As Cornelia and her student were turning to align with the runway, Cornelia saw off to the side a fighter type aircraft coming right at her and her student. Grabbing the flight controls, she pulled up sharply, narrowly escaping a collision with the fast moving aircraft.” The pictures below are intended to be an accurate representation of the July 16th, 2016 reenactment:
Heritage Flight Museum concluded the Fly Day by providing support for the Boeing Company’s 100th birthday celebrations at Seattle’s Boeing Field with an A-1 Skyraider flypast. The Skyraider kindly took off from Skagit Regional Airport on time and then did a quick flyover of the Heritage Flight Museum campus pulling vapors for volunteers as you can see below.
HFM’s next fly day is Saturday August 20th; the fifth annual Props & Ponies event will celebrate the Ford Mustang and North American P-51 Mustang. As of publication time, there are still some registrations available HERE for classic Ford Mustangs (1964-1973). Although it is well documented the mustang horse, rather than the P-51, was the inspiration for the Ford Mustang, the event will again celebrate, “The car that changed the way we drive, and the aircraft that changed the course of a war.”
WarbirdsNews wishes to thank Joe Kunzler very much for his latest contribution. If you wish to see more of his photography, please click HERE.