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Thread: P-51 Ride for WWII Bombardier

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    P-51 Ride for WWII Bombardier

    We had a speaker at our Pilots Assn meeting, Pete Johnson, who was a B-17 bombardier over Germany in 1944 and gave much praise to the P-51 escourts that kept the ME-109s away on his missions. Afterward, I thought how much this spry, 96 yr old gentleman would appreciate a ride in a P-51. I found that a ride could be available in Southern Calif for $1800 at Camarillo. That price is just too high for me to cover; something more like $250 I could do for perhaps a ~10 min ride?
    Seems to me that for those crew members of WWII bombing missions, the warbird community might arrange a short ride for those still alive at a price that family members/friends could afford.
    I know that maintaining/flying these planes is expensive and folks with money get the rides now. But I know how much a ride would be appreciated by someone who put his life on the line as a 19 yr old kid and is coming to his life's end shortly.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Where are located? Might be able to put together a kickstarter or gofundme.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    I and other pilots have often done rides at no charge for vets who are in his category. Contact the CAF folks at Cama, and also if they are flying a B-17 they may be able to find him a seat on a regular flight.

    On the true but wish it wasn't side, $250 is not a realistic price for a 51 flight, frankly $1800 is about half the going price for an hour flight. If you go to a flight school and rent a pilot and plane, say a C 182 its going to be likely over $200 an hour. What do you think insurance cost is for a 51 for a year?
    And what is the engine O H cost or a set of prop blades?
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 12-20-2019 at 09:34 AM.

  4. #4
    BusyLittleShop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Sacramento California
    Bill is right about price... I anted up $2,400 for 30 minutes flight training in the Collins Foundation P51B... 60 minutes was available for $3,400... mercy but they aren't making money on us wannabe Fighter Pilots... its over $5,000 an hour to a WarBird flying...

    Perhaps you and Pete can catch the sight and sounds of their Wings of Freedom Tour...

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