A text message from a relative let me know that the Collings Foundation’s B-17 had crashed in Connecticut. Such a terrible shame for those who died or were injured and those associated with them. The loss of an historic airframe is also very sad. I have seen the Collings Foundation tour on a number of occasions are different locations including earlier this year. I hope they will continue with the other aircraft because it brings so much joy to so many. Here is a selection of my shots of Nine-O-Nine.
The Collings Foundation made its annual visit to the Seattle area recently including flights from Boeing Field. The weather had been rather uninspiring but I figured I would head along and hope for some gaps in the clouds. The Mustang and the P-40 didn’t fly while I was there. The B-24 and the B-17 did though. Sadly, the B-24 only flew once. The discussion was whether Seattle being a Boeing town meant that everyone wanted to fly on the B-17, despite the rarity of the B-24. The clouds had a habit of parting at just the wrong time and place with good light up the approach and down the runway but not where I wanted it to be. Even so, it was still nice to see these vintage planes again.
The annual visit of the Collings Foundation to Livermore with their vintage warbirds is a popular event with many people turning out to look at the planes and, in some cases, fly in them. This year I didn’t plan on spending a lot of time there but I did head down for a while to check out how things were progressing. It was a hot day so the heat haze was playing havoc with shots as usual but there was still enough to see.
I had pondered what other spots might be useful for getting a shot or two and tried wandering down the street. However, the area is not pedestrian friendly so that idea didn’t progress too far. I did wrap up the day by driving to the public golf course at the end of the field to see whether I could get a different perspective on the departures. It wasn’t a bad spot but not somewhere I shall try again unless there is a good reason. You get a brief view and have to grab your shots before the planes are behind the trees.
As mentioned in the previous post, the Collings Foundation were at Waukegan with their B-17, B-24 and P-51. Pete and I had headed up there to take a look at what was going on. This was the last day of the tour at Waukegan before they moved on to Palwauckee. They were supposed to be flying during the day and then departing in the early afternoon. Things were looking promising with the B-24 taking off while we were over at the Warbird Heritage Foundation hangar.
The P-51 was apparently being a little troublesome but was also scheduled to take someone on a ride while we were there. A friend of mine, Chris, volunteers for Collings and he was working with them that day so i took the chance to catch up with him. I give him regular abuse as he got a ride in P-51 Baby Duck once before when I was shooting it. I must be a lucky omen for him!
We needed to head back to Chicago for Pete to be ready for the return flight but the warbirds hadn’t yet departed. We decided to give them a few extra minutes. The B-17 had headed out first but the B-24 was obviously waiting to make sure the P-51 was away. Unfortunately, the engine was not looking too willing when it came to starting. Fortunately, a bit of ground power did the trick and they were away. As it turned out, Chris had made it in to the back of the P-51 so I got him in another one. I hope he recognizes my role in all of this!