Geedee and Rocketeers Collings Foundation Tour 2014

Discussion in 'Warbird Displays' started by Geedee, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. Geedee

    Geedee Well-Known Member

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    #1 Geedee, Oct 22, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
    Last year, Tony and I decided it would be kinda cool to ramp-up our aviation adventures and so to that end we started planning...

    It had to be exciting, it had to involve Warbirds and it had to be fun...no brainer then really. I signed up again for a stint with the awesome Collings Foundation 'Wings of Freedom Tour' and Tony said that he'd like to come along as well. I was out for three weeks and Tony couldn't quite manage that so left a bit earlier

    Fast forward to earlier last month and we're both at Heathrow ready to board separate 'planes to fly Stateside. Why not fly on the same A/C you ask ?...simples, we didn't want to deprive you of our acquaintance if anything happened :D ..actually, we both needed to fly with different couriers to top up our bonuses !

    I arrive at Logan International in Baaaaaaaston..thats how they pronounce it there !... with a 45 minute wait for Tony. My plane was slooow...check out the pic... and even tho' I'd booked a seat with extra legroom, that was a farce

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    We'd planned on meeting at the car hire desk to collect our no-expense spared hot rod for the trip to Hyannis out on Cape Cod, MA. Around about 3 hours later, Tony casually strolls into the car hire place with some lame-ass excuse them having to change a tire on the 747 he was due to fly over in !!. So we collected our transport....and I couldn't stop laughing long enough to focus the camera properly

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    And headed off. We were quite alarmed at the apparent state of transport and lengths of security that people had to go to, to keep things safe !!....

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    The trip was uneventfull....no, really, it was !...and we arrived in Hyannis and headed out for some grub. Met this guy walking along barefoot in the dunes, but didn't get the chance to find out more as the museum was closed at that time of night.

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  2. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Nice Gary. I like it when curve balls(or the cricket equivalent) are thrown in at the start of a trip, it sets the tone.

    Geo
     
  3. Jeff Hunt

    Jeff Hunt Well-Known Member

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    This could be another Bucket of Popcorn thread. Get comfy as I feel it will be an epic thread.

    Cheers,

    Jeff
     
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  4. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    I'm all eyes!
     
  5. Geedee

    Geedee Well-Known Member

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    #5 Geedee, Oct 23, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
    Curve-balls, buckets of popcorn, eyes...yup, more of that to come !

    I'd told tony what to expect on the Tour, and he's seen some of my photo's / vids from last year. However, we both had distinctly different Tour experiences this year as will become apparent as the thread progresses !:D

    So, up at sparrow-fart on the Friday and we go off to drop our hot-rod...hahahaha....at the car hire place on the airfield wgere the Tour was at. First off, we had to top the fuel off. It took us fifteen bleedin' minutes to locate the petrol cap flap release mechanism !. We looked under the dash, inside the glove compartment, under the seats, opened the trunk and looked in there, examined all the knobs and dials and switches we could find, ran our hands around the doors, even looked underneath the car, thumped, smacked and swore at the flap (that didn't work either but we felt better for doing it ! ) asked passers by, and eventually found it by dint of lifting the carpet in the passenger foot-well. Well, what a rather silly place to put it Grrrrr.

    Then it was a case of wait for the crew van to appear. When it did appear, it was like watching one of the old Keystone Cops movies where loads of people climb out...what I hadn't seen was the two cars that also arrived at the same time with more of the crew ! doh !!. Anyway, it was a few minutes of meet and greet (catching up with the guys that I knew from last year) then out onto the ramp and time to get stuck in.

    First priority is to at the same time, setup the gate access, set up the PX, setup the perimeter fence...11 paces between each cone !... take the covers of the 'planes and start their morning wake up schedule. And this all happens at the same time without anybody being told what to do...essentially if you see something that needs doing, you get on with it. There's none of the 'its not my job' at all. And ya know what, it works very well. For first-timers, it pays to watch and try and see what gets done as its all a bit confusing, but after a couple of days, you just fall into the routine .

    I should point out at this point that this thread is not going to be just my input...I've advised Tony that he's needed here so be prepared for a veritable onslaught of pic's / anecdotes.

    The '17 was booked for an early morning flight, so while Mac was pre-flighting her, Ryan came over and said to me 'Lets go get the 'Stang'. I called Tony over and we bundled into / onto a buggy and wazzed off to get Betty Jane out from the Hanger. She's kept inside overnight and when it rains, as keeping her nice and shiny is a real balls-ache when she's gotten wet as the rain makes a real mess of the non painted aluminum. So, she's tugged out of the hangar and Ryan says ' jump in'. Didn't need to be asked twice I can tell ya, so with me firmly ensconced in the rear seat, Ryan climbs in up front, fires up the Merlin and we taxyed back to the join the Bombers.

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    Now some of you may not have realised that 'BJ is a two seater...and not three !. So there's Ryan and yours truly, happily trundling back across the various taxy-ways....and Tony got left behind :lol: This we thought about when we got back to the ramp so promptly dispatched Steve to go pick him up from the other side of the airfield.

    With Tony once again on the ramp it was time to get '909 ready to launch so it was over to help pull the props thru' and help load up the first bunch of passengers.

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    Then it was a case of re-learning the PX, manning the gate and answering questions from the visitors until around noon time.
     
  6. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Great shots Gary!
     
  7. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    My bucket list just got bigger....
     
  8. Geedee

    Geedee Well-Known Member

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    Throw away the list and just have one entry ! :)

    Rightyho, at noon, things got to change. It was a 'move day', so at noon the PX gets shut down and packed away into the Bombers and the trailer behind the van, the barriers are packed away and any non flying peeps are ushered off the ramp.

    Those visitors who are flying are then given a pre-flight brief by the respective Bombers tail, then we load 'em up and get ready to go :)

    We were off from Hyannis to Worcester Regional Airport, still in MA.

    If I remember correctly, Tony flew in the '17 and I stayed with my Babe, the '24.

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    After takeoff, I made my way forward over the very narrow bomb-bay catwalk, under the cockpit and into the front turret...

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    Then it was back down to the tail turret with a quick stop at the waist gun slots, and finally get ready for the landing.

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    As soon as the engines were shut down, it was straight into unloading the tables and PX stuff from the bomb-bays, setting up the perimeter cones, getting the gate set up, parking the prop's in the right position and getting the cleaning rags out and giving the girls a quick rub down ! ...and then greeting all the visitors and answering questions etc for the rest of the afternoon until around 16:30 when the next stage of each day would start over ! :)

    And sometime soon, Tony will join in with his stuff ! :)
     
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  9. Jeff Hunt

    Jeff Hunt Well-Known Member

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    Is there any way you can add sound and smell to this photographic bonanza?:lol:

    Cheers,

    Jeff
     
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  10. Geedee

    Geedee Well-Known Member

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    Stay tooned buddy, stay tooned ! :)
     
  11. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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  12. Rocketeer

    Rocketeer Member

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    Hi guys.....I am late to the show...sorry....been working on my Camel project....
    Yep, I was really looking forward to going to the Tour after Gary's time last year. It did not disappoint!
    Anyhoo, as Gary said we went on seperate carriers. I fly on BA alot so went with them and got rather, well, jolly in the Exec Lounge. We were also late off due to the previous pilot jumping on the brakes lol!

    Was worried when got to Boston as no sign of Gaz....so made way to hire car pace and picked up the 'box'. Actually Fugly but a good car. We drove to Hyannis - pretty place. We stayed in an 'interesting' motel but survived the night without a visit form Norman Bates! We made our way to Hyannis Airport and dropped off the car. The first day was cool with us meeting the team, Gary reacquainting himself. Worked the Px, loaded stuff into the B17 and cleaned up the oil off the cowls. Seeing Betty Jane shining was wonderful, she had just been polished - what an awesome and beautiful bird she is. All too soon, we were packed up and off to Worcester. I flew with Gary in the B24.....I last flew in her in AZ last year. The coast of Cape Cod amd MA was beautiful.
     

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  13. Rocketeer

    Rocketeer Member

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    The chap on the transit to Worcester was a B24 Flt Engineer Vet - top chap....he had a notebook of his 32 raids. On his last mission, he stayed on to finish the rest of his crew's tour with them (he had already finished). They were shot down and made POWs. He was the first of many real life heros I was privilaged to meet
     

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  14. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Great shots guys!
     
  15. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Fricken awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (damn you)
     
  16. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Good to see your contributions start Tony.
     
  17. Rocketeer

    Rocketeer Member

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    Cheers, will post some more tomorrow
     
  18. Rocketeer

    Rocketeer Member

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    Worcester MA was an amazing stop with beautiful weather. A mix of pix here. Worcester is not far from the CF base so we had the 'new' Goose and Skyraider turn up as well as the awesomely beautiful A36 Apache Baby Carmen. Met another great Vet who wanted to experience pulling thru the B24 props again - a job he last did 70 years ago. The crowds were great and we had some amazing experiences. It was also my birthday on the Friday - so had a jolly nice lump of cheesecake!
     

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  19. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Lovely shots!
     
  20. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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