Taking to the sky in a famed B-17 “Flying Fortress” World War II bomber or a vintage Ford Tri-Motor aircraft highlights a salute to Air Force and commercial pilots at Miami Executive Airport (formerly Kendall- Tamiami) Feb. 19 through 22.
The two aircraft will fly out of Landmark Aviation FOB base at 14150 SW 129 St., near the Wings Over Miami Air Museum.
Miami skyline tours in the famed “Tin Goose” propeller-driven craft that drew overflow crowds in 2014 will again be offered in a plane designed 88 years ago, the first allmetal commercial air carrier. Known as the “Tin Goose,” the Ford Tri-Motor brought visitor line-ups during one of 65 national tours that include more than 1,700 flights yearly.
Side-by-side on the tarmac will be an authentically restored B-17 bomber to rendezvous with South Florida WWII airmen, several of whom will spin eyewitness stories of the battles in the skies over Europe more than 70 years ago.
Flights on either the Tri-Motor or the B-17 will be conducted from 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. depending upon demand, according to Richard Santé, coordinator for EAA Miami Chapter 620, sponsor of the event.
“We welcome visitors any time to linger around the airplanes, talk with the crew, meet World War II veteran airmen, take photos and watch exhibits while waiting for the next flight out,” added Sante, a member of the Experimental Aviation Association, a national organization of enthusiasts that promotes recreational flying and provides information on aviation history and research.
This is an exceptional opportunity to listen to eyewitness accounts of gunners, navigators, bombardiers, pilots and radio operators from their combat stations.
“Let’s salute these gallant veterans as they share their precious memories reunited with the B-17 Flying Fortress in which they served their country with selfless courage to defend the freedom we enjoy today,” Sante said.
Each flight lasts approximately 30 minutes (15 minutes airborne) in window seats of the Ford Tri-Motor that carries up to nine passengers with cameras welcome aboard the aircraft. Adults must accompany children (under age 16); tots aged 2 and under can be carried free of charge in an adult’s lap.
Advance reservations on either aircraft can be booked online through the following two websites B17.org and FlyTheFord.org at advance pricing of $70 per adult ($50 for children), a $5 saving from same-day $75 fares. Details are available by toll-free call at 1-800-359-6217.