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Anyone interested in attending this airshow. This is a golden opportunity to come face to face with some real aviation history. When I was a little fellow my passion was military aviation and many of the gentlemen attending this airshow were fliers that I read about. This is an opportunity to meet some real heroes from WW2. I hope to go on Sunday and if the weather is good I'm taking Scarlett.

http://www.gml2007.com/index.asp
 

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That will be awesome. I used to work out at Rickenbacker, very nice, but under-utilized airport. I wish I could make it down there for this, that many P51's in one place isn't something you'll see every day.
 

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I came within a whisker of getting a ride in a tandem P51 about ten years ago. The deal fell through at the last minute. I have been to several shows where Mr Hoover puts one through some fantastic manuvers. Love the sound of that Merlin Engine.
 

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My Dad (RIP) flew P51s during WWII and a tour in Korea during the early years of that war. His WWII stories were great. Hie was stationed in Burma with the Flying Tigers.

One of his best stories was he was given a weeks leave to fly a damaged Mustang to another base for repair. On his way he saw four fighters going his direction and decided an escort would be a good idea. As he pulled up along side he was surprised to see the rising sun on the side of the planes. He gave the commander a quick wave and dove away. He figured they must have been going somewhere important since they didn't go after him.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My Dad (RIP) flew P51s during WWII and a tour in Korea during the early years of that war. His WWII stories were great. Hie was stationed in Burma with the Flying Tigers.
I wish that I could have met your father. I enjoy talking to combat pilots. I had the great honor to have one of the original Flying Tigers as a patient last year. Poor gentleman was quite ill and unable to remember many details but each word was golden. Several years ago I had the opportunity to sit and talk with a German Ace who flew 190's.
 

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Im a HUGE WWII aircraft fan. I do 3D models for flight sims and also build 3D models. I hope you guys enjoy the airshow! Seeing these birds fly, and speaking with the men who risked there life for the worlds freedom is always a great honor, and sadly an honor getting more and more rare as we loose both the warbirds and the men who flew them to time. I hope you post some pics! I would love to park my Wee next to a P-51 and take some snaps ;)
 

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Oh, if only I still lived in Western PA ... I'd be there in a heartbeat. Enjoy the show, and please post some pics.
 

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Last of a generation

I grew up an aviation enthusiast. I took lessons as a kid, soloed 3 days after my 16th bday. Couldn't afford to keep active and let it go. My dad had a model airplane hobby shop during my teen years and I was an active RC modeler for years. I've seen folks like Bob Hoover, Art Scholl, et.al. This event is a must see, if only for the 51 P-51 formation ending the day.

Good timing if you watch Ken Burns' WWII documentary this week.
 

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I grew up an aviation enthusiast. I took lessons as a kid, soloed 3 days after my 16th bday. Couldn't afford to keep active and let it go. My dad had a model airplane hobby shop during my teen years and I was an active RC modeler for years. I've seen folks like Bob Hoover, Art Scholl, et.al. This event is a must see, if only for the 51 P-51 formation ending the day.

Good timing if you watch Ken Burns' WWII documentary this week.
Did you get your shirt tail cut out? I've got mine framed and hanging in one of our spare bedrooms. I had to hang it up after getting my private ticket for financial reasons too.
 

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I took my flight training in the Grumman American Yankee. It was basically a red rock with a propeller on the front of it. I lost my shirt tail when I was 17 and had my Single Engine Land rating in Dec of '73 six months before I graduated from high school. At least once a month I would hook school and then buzz the school grounds. People were allowed to have fun in those days and the students in study hall were able to go outside and watch as I did several low skill aerobatics over the school. I flew for several years and even belonged to the flying club at Camp LeJeune when I was stationed there. My claim to fame was that I was nearly shot down by Navy gun crews and Marine helicopters one Sunday afternoon...But that is another story.
 

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Solo Shirt Back

Yepper, got my shirt cut. I *think* I still have it, but not sure. That was back in '78. Since then I've lived at least 15 places, maybe more. Lots of packing and unpacking in that time. My stuff is in boxes even now, waiting for my next home. Eventually I'll frame it as well. I think I still have the original Solo Certificate also. It was goofy looking, with a cartoon character on it that looked like Woody Woodpecker.
 

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okay, so i'll be the first to ask. what is this about cutting shirt tails?
 

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I have forgotten how the ritual started but when you solo for the first time your flight instructor cuts off your shirt tail.
 

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In my case, the instructer cut most of the back of my shirt out (about a 12"x12" section), then wrote on it in marker something like:

Mike XXXXXXX
First Solo
Citabria N622S
Moraine Airpark Airport
June xx, 1978

Then signed it.

I suspect it's done like that most places.
 

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Looks something like this:



My mom had it framed when I graduated :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm going to the Air Show tomorrow. I am taking my step son and a brother in law. Can't stay the whole day as I had hoped but at least I can go. About 30 min ago there was a fly over with a B17 and 4 P51's in formation doing a long slow turn circling my neighborhood. What a sight. Kind of put a lump in my throat.
 

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A P-51 Remembered
Author: Unknown

Old aviators and old airplanes never die. They just fly off into eternity.

This is a good little story about a vivid memory of a P-51 and its pilot by a fellow who was 12 years old in Canada in 1967. You may know a few others who would appreciate it.

It was noon on a Sunday as I recall, the day a Mustang P-51 was to take to the air. They said it had flown in during the night from some US airport, the pilot had been tired. I marveled at the size of the plane dwarfing the Pipers and Canucks tied down by her. It was much larger than in the movies. She glistened in the sun like a bulwark of security from days gone by.

The pilot arrived by cab, paid the driver, and then stepped into the flight lounge. He was an older man; his wavy hair was gray and tossed. Looked like it might have been combed, say, around the turn of the century.

His flight jacket was checked, creased and worn - it smelled old and genuine. Old Glory was prominently sewn to its shoulders. He projected a quiet air of proficiency and pride devoid of arrogance. He filed a quick flight plan to Montreal (Expo-67, Air Show) then walked across the tarmac.

After taking several minutes to perform his walk-around check the pilot returned to the flight lounge to ask if anyone would be available to stand by with fire extinguishers while he "flashed the old bird up. Just to be safe."

Though only 12 at the time I was allowed to stand by with an extinguisher after brief instruction on its use -- "If you see a fire, point, then pull this lever!" I later became a firefighter, but that's another story.

The air around the exhaust manifolds shimmered like a mirror from fuel fumes as the huge prop started to rotate. One manifold, then another, and yet another barked -- I stepped back with the others. In moments the Packard-built Merlin engine came to life with a thunderous roar, blue flames knifed from her manifolds. I looked at the others' faces, there was no concern. I lowered the bell of my extinguisher. One of the guys signaled to walk back to the lounge. We did.

Several minutes later we could hear the pilot doing his pre flight run-up. He'd taxied to the end of runway 19, out of sight. All went quiet for several seconds; we raced from the lounge to the second story deck to see if we could catch a glimpse of the P-51 as she started down the runway. We could not.

There we stood, eyes fixed to a spot half way down 19. Then a roar ripped across the field, much louder than before, like a furious hell spawn set loose---something mighty this way was coming. "Listen to that thing!" Said the controller. In seconds the Mustang burst into our line of sight.

Its tail was already off and it was moving faster than anything I'd ever seen by that point on 19. Two-thirds the way down 19 the Mustang was airborne with her gear going up. The prop tips were supersonic; we clasped our ears as the Mustang climbed hellish fast into the circuit to be eaten up by the dog-day haze.

We stood for a few moments in stunned silence trying to digest what we'd just seen. The radio controller rushed by me to the radio. " Kingston tower calling Mustang?" He looked back to us as he waited for an acknowledgment. The radio crackled, "Go ahead Kingston ." "Roger Mustang. Kingston tower would like to advise the circuit is clear for a low level pass." I stood in shock because the controller had, more or less, just asked the pilot to return for an impromptu air show!

The controller looked at us. "What?" He asked. "I can't let that guy go without asking. I couldn't forgive myself!" The radio crackled once again, " Kingston, do I have permission for a low level pass, east to west, across the field?" "Roger Mustang, the circuit is clear for an east to west pass." "Roger, Kingston, I'm coming out of 3000 feet, stand by." We rushed back onto the second-story deck, eyes fixed toward the eastern haze.

The sound was subtle at first, a high-pitched whine, a muffled screech, a distant scream. Moments later the P-51 burst through the haze. Her airframe straining against positive Gs and gravity, wing tips spilling contrails of condensed air, prop-tips again supersonic as the burnished bird blasted across the eastern margin of the field shredding and tearing the air.

At about 400 mph and 150 yards from where we stood she passed with the old American pilot saluting. Imagine. A salute! I felt like laughing, I felt like crying, she glistened, she screamed, the building shook, my heart pounded.

Then the old pilot pulled her up. and rolled, and rolled, and rolled out of sight into the broken clouds and indelibly into my memory.

I've never wanted to be an American more than on that day. It was a time when many nations in the world looked to Americas their big brother, a steady and even-handed beacon of security who navigated difficult political water with grace and style; not unlike the pilot who'd just flown into my memory. He was proud, not arrogant, humble, not a braggart, old and honest, projecting an aura of America at its best. That America will return one day, I know it will.

Until that time, I'll just send off this story; call it a reciprocal salute, to the old American pilot who wove a memory for a young Canadian that's lasted a lifetime.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It was absolutely fabulous. I'm gonna try to post some pics.
 

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I did not have my Strom when this airshow happend, but what the heck. I was lucky enough to get hired by Sony to shoot some interview with WWII Mustang pilots that were able to make it to town for the airshow. Honestly, I will never forget these men and the stories that they told. I was able to go outside and watch the airshow in between interviews, but I was the lucky one that got to meet all of the LEDGENDS.
 
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