My P-51 Mustang Ride in
Think back. . . . . . . . . .
It's 1944 and the skies are filled with B-17s and B-25s.
Your job is to escort them and keep them from harm.
The German Luftwaffe is bent on keeping the allied bombers
from invading their home territories and your lives are on
the line. The allied forces are counting on you!
Of course, I would be dressed a little different!!
I discovered on June 16th in the year 2002, there was an air show at the Olympia Airport. It was called the "Gathering of Warbirds" and it was hosted by the Olympic Air Museum. I kept seeing a P-51 Mustang flying around and I knew they were taking people for rides. Of course, I had to check it out. It would be a dream come true to ride in a P-51. When I arrive at the airport, I was able to stroll out to look at the warbirds. Among them was "American Beauty". It is a beautifully restored P-51 Mustang and it belongs to the Olympic Flight Museum. You can check out their website at http://www.olympicflightmuseum.com/
I checked with the museum staff to arrange my ride in the American Beauty. They signed me up as a member of the museum and put me on the waiting list. A couple of hours later, the pilot (Bud Granley) and I were taking to the air. Unfortunately, I got so caught up in the excitement, I forgot to snap photos from the cockpit while in flight. I can at least describe the flight. The Bud took me through some nice maneuvers. The takeoff was awesome. When you see the plane taking off, it does not seem like it is very fast. When I was in it, and Bud poured to coals to it, I was really pushed back in the seat like being in a dragster. At 1490 horsepower, that Packard Merlin engine really turns it up. We did 2 barrel rolls, some wingovers, some dives and some high "G" turns. It was an incredible flight and I will never forget it. Here are some before and after flight photos.
After returning from the flight, Bud and I got our picture taken together while the ground crew was preparing the next lucky rider. He is an excellent pilot and is a very nice gentleman.
Man What A Memory ! ! !
Here is a little background on Pilot, Bud Granley.
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