B-25 Interview #1 – Spike McLane

Aircorps Art Dec 2019

e-publications republished with the permission of B-25  MITCHELL  ASSOCIATION

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Issue Number 1 – March 19, 2013
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Q: When did you solo or receive your wings and how many hours do you have?

A: I started flying in 1970 with an aero club while serving in the Air Force as an aircraft crew chief. With my career through the airlines, I have accumulated over 22,000 hours.

Q: What other bombers or similar aircraft have you flown?

A: The B-25 is the only warbird that I currently fly, but I am also type rated in the Fokker F-27, Shorts 330/360, and the BAE 146. I also own and fly a replica WWI Nieuport 17.

Q: When did you first fly the B-25 and how many hours do you have in it?

A: I first flew the B-25 in May of 2009 and have approximately 300 hours. We tour the U. S. during the summer months and visit many communities.

Q: How does the B-25 compare with other aircraft you have flown?

A: The B-25 flies well, is quite maneuverable for a large plane, and a little heavier on the controls than most, but it can be docile and easy to fly once overcoming its taxiing quirks.

Q: What is the mission of the association that you fly with?

A: The Commemorative Air Force is a nonprofit organization that keeps alive the memory and sacrifices made by veterans of all wars by flying and displaying the aircraft they fought in.

Q: What are some of the challenges of maintaining and/or flying your B-25?

A: There is a lot of manpower required to operate warbirds. We can usually find the parts and remake the rest, but without volunteers, and generous donations, we would not be able to fly these veteran aircraft.

Q:What do you like the most about the B-25?

A: I like the power and agility of our B-25. The momentum it generates with its power for its size is quite a thrill.

Q: What do you like the least?

A: The constant upkeep.

Q: Do you have a favorite B-25 story?

A: My stories usually center around helping crew members crawl through the bomb bay with a little negative g!

Q: What are your final thoughts on the B-25?

A: It is a very good design for what it was intended. It excelled as a low level strafing and attack bomber later in the war. It would have been my first choice of combat aircraft in WWII.

Thank you, Spike.

Rick Mitchell
Editor and Founder

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