Vintage warplane flights in Chattanooga

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CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Tours and flights on restored World War Two bombers are going on through the weekend at Lovell Field.

News 12’s Ashley Henderson takes us on a flight aboard a legendary B-24 bomber.

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“We believe in the mission of honoring the veterans, inspiring the new group, educating new people, and as volunteers, that drives us to come out and do this.”

Dozens of people were already waiting to tour the aircraft this morning, and a lucky few, actually stepped on board to fly in this B-24. It’s a rare, almost 80 year old bomber. The fights aren’t cheap, because the planes are expensive to operate. For every hour of flight, they need 100 hours of maintenance.

ALLEN BENZING – AIRCRAFT COMMANDER B-24/B-29
“I don’t care how many movies you watch, or how many men you talk to, there’s no way you can really put yourself in the position that they were in. But you are mindful of it, and of course, when you have a veteran from the war on board, you can see that far away look in their eyes, you know that they’re in a very different place, remembering a very different experience.”

Tyler Shell’s Grand-dad was a B-24 Pilot, who was forced to make an emergency landing on a small island in the Pacific.

“I grew up hearing stories of all the missions he flew and that, you know, I mean some of the incredible acts of bravery that these men did and it’s – it’s really amazing to see it in person.”

Art Washburn has a story about his dad, who was a tail-gunner.

“On his twenty-third mission they had dropped their bombs and was heading back about 5 miles out and they got hit, a direct hit of – from flak – burst into flames, – and it blew up in mid-air, that’s how he got out, and he had a chute on that day.”

Some people just wanted to see what it was like to fly on a World War 2 bomber.

HARRY MACKEY — FORMER SINGLE ENGINE PILOT
“The experience is just – of all that power and knowing that airplane’s eighty years old or better, it’s great!”

In Chattanooga, Ashley Henderson, News 12 Now.

You can learn more about the schedule and costs here.

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