We had an amazing time today for Captain Johns Birthday that started out by us rolling down runway 22 at home base Luray as we departed for Bridgewater Airpark. The wonderful folks at Dynamic Aviation graciously arranged for a special tour for Captain John and I to see some very amazing aircraft. We landed slightly before 10:00am and we were given the red carpet treatment from start to finish! Two of the larger aircraft there we toured were of very special interest to Captain John… one, the Columbine II, a Lockheed Constellation, was the very first Presidential Aircraft given the call sign “Air Force One”. This Connie (short for Constellation) flew Dwight Eisenhower all over the world during his term as President. Captain John logged more than 5000 hours flying Constellations while Pilot for Eastern Airlines! It is absolutely amazing how Dynamic Aviation is bringing the Columbine II back to its original glory… with such precision, down to every last detail, and getting to see this up close and personal was fantastic!
The second large aircraft we got to tour was “Miss Virginia”, a completely restored Douglass DC-3. Captain John logged over 4000 hours in DC-3’s… also while flying for Eastern Airlines. It is absolutely amazing the quality and detail of workmanship Dynamic Aviation has put into these amazing aircraft, and we both want to thank them so much for allowing us to come for a visit on Captain Johns Birthday! We got to meet so many nice folks during our visit (sorry I cannot remember each of their names). They even presented John with a Birthday Cake and both of us a commemorative Columbine-Airforce One coin! And to the sweet lady I spoke to on the phone several times while arranging our visit… thank you so much for all your help and so sorry we did not get to meet!
After departing Bridgewater, we headed back to home base Luray where we each enjoyed a wonderful Reuben Sandwich and great conversation in our hanger lounge (this made the 3rd time this week we had Reubens while at the airport)… and that is allowed since it has been Captain Johns Birthday week! Then we headed out for one of the most dangerous parts of our day… the drive home!
I want to finish this story by saying what an honor it is for me to be a part of this amazing mans adventures, and even more so, to call him my Friend!
Happy Birthday Captain John!
PS: If you were to ever ask Captain John if he has been flying all his life, his answer would be “No… not yet”!
Hope you all enjoy the following pictures and videos as much as we did making them!