Sunday, October 7, 2012 10:28 PM
I Don’t Just Don’t have the words!
Hi Bar and Dannie,
I’m not sure how to describe the impact of your fly-by yesterday. It was actually emotional. It had a feel… like a mix between patriotic, though this was not a big national holiday, to heartwarming nostalgia… to absolute awe. It was different for everyone, depending on a person’s age maybe, but to all it was a complete surprise and just plain breathtaking. Despite the hints and posts about it, this was nothing people expected. When the formation first came into view over the river, which was just before the bed race started, it was the coolest thing people had ever seen. And yes, we’ve all seen formations of airplanes, at air shows, on video, on TV, but this was so out of the norm… not over our bridge… not over our little town of Milford. Every eye went skyward and shouts of “LOOK” “OH MY GOD” went up everywhere. “HOW COOL!!!” Unless you’ve been to a big air show somewhere. the throaty sound of four radial engines passing overhead is something that’s never heard today and it grabbed everyone. And right behind them, four more biplanes in very loose formation in pursuit. It was just awesome! And slowly they flew on…
Everyone loved the formation flyby. There were smiles and private conversations and comments of warm appreciation, then suddenly the bed race was on. Everyone was cheering the beds, one after the other in quick succession… when somewhere near the start of the fourth bed, all of the sudden, in a slight left bank, like out of nowhere, Bar’s white Travel Air came zooming in from the north, diagonally across Bridge street and paralleling the street toward the river, loud and beautiful. Right behind another, and another… four vintage biplanes in trail came roaring in low over the town. The engine roar just added to the spectacle, especially Yuval’s Stearman as tail end Charlie. It could felt in your stomach. Every cell phone I could see was looking at the sky. People were pointing and necks were cranked… and for those few seconds, the only thing going in the world were these historic biplanes roaring in overhead. People waved and they cheered. Simply unbelievable! It was breathtaking. If there was a disappointment, it was the anticipation of the next four, which wasn’t to happen.
The bed race continued, of course, and in less in than 3 or 4 minutes the bed race was over. Then high overhead, the formation appeared again and people just watched as 8 pre-WWII biplanes flew on, eventually disappearing… probably forever for most of us in Milford that day. You could feel it in the crowd. We all knew our parents or grand parents must have seen things like this, but for us today, unless we’re at an air show, or watching a movie, this is nothing we should ever see in our lifetime, especially live over our town… but there they were, just like our parents must have seen during the war. What a privilege…
I’ve spoken to several people who said it brought tears to their eyes. It made their hearts flutter. No one could quite put their finger on what made these emotions come up… but they did. It did for me. I’m not sure how to thank all of the pilots and aircraft owners who participated. I can continue to contribute what I can to promote Van Sant Airport. It’s a national treasure in my eyes.
What else can I say, but thank you Bar and Dannie. Thank you, all of the pilots who chose to take to the air in those winds. Thank you for doing this for our town. When I made the call to Van Sant at 2:02, I was looking at the trees on the high ground above Milford. I knew we were right on the edge of not being able to safely bring these airplanes home if the winds continued… When Dannie answered the phone, I asked her, “How does it look, Dannie?” “They just got off the ground,” she told me. OMG, the Milford Alive biplane flyby was on.
Attached are a few photos downloaded from several online news paper articles about the event. I’ll be looking for more and I hope Bert got something of the flyover on video. He said he was not in a good position to get really good footage. I can’t wait to see Yuval’s video.