1 July 2009    B17 and B24 rides from Provo, Utah to Denver, CO

On July 1, seven lucky folks got a free 2+ hour ride in the Collings Foundation bombers from Provo Utah, to Denver Colorado.  WOW.

Photos from Bill Standerfer from N222AB of the B24  (amazing photos with a very high quality camera)

Photos from Roy Schutt from inside the B24

Photos from Sue Wolber from N1541W of the B24

Photos from Emily Cleary from inside the B17

Photos from Jim Schafer of the bombers arriving at BJC

Photos from Bob Proulx of the ferry aircraft N222AB and N1541W

Typically the media and military veterans get first choice of the seats when the bombers ferry from location to location.  But, nobody from Denver wanted to drive 7-8 hours to Provo to get on this ferry flight.  So Rob Pehkonen the organizer offered seats to local Civil Air Patrol volunteers, who have been working crowd monitoring for years, every year the bombers come to the Fort Collins-Loveland airport.  This year was no exception, we'd already had about 20 people volunteer to work this July 4th weekend.

Rob drew random names for the lucky seven to get the seats.  Local pilots Sue Wolber and Bill Standerfer volunteered their fast airplanes to ferry folks over to Provo at oh-dark-thirty.  The bombers wanted to depart about 8am out of Provo to get over the mountains in the cool morning air, so we planned to meet at 5am at FNL for wheels-up at 0530 and arrive Provo around 0745.

When we arrived at Provo, the B17 crew was very anxious to depart immediately so after a very quick restroom break Jenny, Jacob, Jordan, Emily, Ed, and Rod hopped onto the B17 and departed.  Sue and Bill waited for their planes to be fueled.  Fortunately the B24 crew wasn't in quite such a hurry, so Bill and Sue talked with the B24 crew, briefing on options for routes through the mountains, and air-to-air frequency for coordinating the flight.

Sue and Bill both launched right before the B24, and had an incredible flight to Denver flying alongside the B24.  And the pilots were a blast to chat with :-)  The bomber formed up on Bill's Baron so Bill could get some incredible photos.  Later on the descent from Cameron Pass the bomber formed up behind Sue's Bonanza, who wasn't aware he was quite that close... crept closer... and then said "boo!" over the radio.  WOW what a sight to see the huge bomber up close!!  It was an honor and a privilege to fly with the bomber. 

Thanks to Rob for getting us these seats and organizing everything, thanks to Bill and Sue for ferry aircraft, and thanks to all the parents who were willing to ferry their kids to FNL at 0500 :-) 

Updated 6 July

5 July 2009  CAP working crowd control at Fort Collins-Loveland - photos from Terry Thompson

6 July 2009  Sue and Bill got a ride in the bombers from Fort Collins-Loveland to Pueblo