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Home | Lifestyle | Andrew Medley’s The Motoring Life: Off we go…Flying in a B-17 Bomber

Andrew Medley’s The Motoring Life: Off we go…Flying in a B-17 Bomber

Flying has been a very fun hobby of mine for nearly two years now, anyone that knows me — knows that the only reason I’d sell my Porsche is to buy a plane. It is just plane good fun, and many people happily go broke just to do it.

If you’ve never done it, I highly recommend it. If you are afraid of flying in a small plane, try it. You just might fall in love.

One one of my more recent flights, my instructor and I were planning to head out and practice variable cross wind landings.

As we taxied onto the tarmac from the hangar, a bright silver glint caught my eye almost immediately after coming clear of the buildings. I kept look at it, but since we were headed to another takeoff area, I didn’t think twice about it after we departed the area.

Media Day for the B-17G Flying Fortress flight and tour. War Eagles Museum  Santa Teresa New Mexico
Media Day for the B-17G Flying Fortress flight and tour. War Eagles Museum Santa Teresa New Mexico

Upon return, after the flight, as we taxied back to the hangar we ended up midway down the runway and as we turned off, there she was…Aluminum Overcast.

What a beauty…I felt like a kid again almost instantaneously. I grew up in love with this plane, between it and the A-10, there was nothing else I cared about as far as military aircraft went. My instructor informed me that it was on site thanks to the local EAA chapter having organized it to be available for rides and tours.

Fast forward a few days and it came up in a chat with fellow writers and photographers for the El Paso Herald-Post – come to find out there was a media day scheduled. I am pretty sure my editor could almost feel me tugging on his leg to be one of the lucky ones to go – my hope was granted, dream came true and check mark that one off my bucket list.

I am not going to tell you much about how the ride felt, because despite the live video that I made, during the flight, the amazing photography that our very own Ace Acosta captured, and anything that I could possibly describe in words — it won’t cut it. You have got to go experience this for yourself.

Media Day for the B-17G Flying Fortress flight and tour. War Eagles Museum  Santa Teresa New Mexico
Media Day for the B-17G Flying Fortress flight and tour. War Eagles Museum Santa Teresa New Mexico

The pilots and crew set the mood, describing how things were, the kind of men that flew in these great machines and the dangers that they underwent in service to our great country.

It was like a trip back in time, hearing and feeling the engines fire up, bellowing smoke — the raw smell of fuel and cold breezes throughout the cabin.

It was raw, very real and beautiful.

The aircraft itself appears massive but entering, you find out just how small it really is. It was very purposefully built for war, and was very efficient at it’s job.

I started off in the back of the aircraft, but soon after takeoff, we were given permission to

Media Day for the B-17G Flying Fortress flight and tour. War Eagles Museum  Santa Teresa New Mexico
Media Day for the B-17G Flying Fortress flight and tour. War Eagles Museum Santa Teresa New Mexico

move about and explore the plane in-flight.

It was tight, and despite the cold air, wind attributed to turbulence that if sitting, would be moderate, but walking around during it (in tight spaces) proved challenging.

I creeped through cold and loud bomb bay to get to the cockpit, and only pictures could describe the amount of visibility and greatness one would feel in command of such an aerial vehicle.

It was an honor to have been able to fly in one, and I am sure that many of my future articles about flying will constantly reference this experience.

Sign up and get your flight — based in Santa Teresa Airport January 20-22 for flights and ground tours. Visit B17.org for more information and to get advanced tickets.

View the gallery HERE.

About Andrew Medley

The Motoring LifeSon, Husband, Father, Martial Artist, Eagle Scout, Performance Driving Instructor, Expert Marksman, Rally Master and Pilot-in-Training. Andrew moved to El Paso from North Dakota in 1987.FULL BIO

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