Air Force Captain Flies Under The Mackinac Bridge

Captain_Bob

Well-Known Member
A conversation in the "Real or Fake" thread prompted me to post this. I'm originally from Michigan and I had family who helped build the bridge... so this story is one I've known for a while but was just reminded of it.

http://www.north-lights.com/Bridge/pilot.html

Note his remarks for why he did it, and his remarks about his new Navigator...

Then, you tell me... Don't you just think that all things being equal... it could have been MikeD??
LOL!

If nothing else... it's a great aviation story.

Enjoy,

Bob
 

cointyro

New Member
Crazy, crazy, crazy. I'm glad he had his wings revoked. It is horrible PR for the Air Force.

Of course, some part of me still says "Wow that's cool!"
 

aloft

New Member
Different time, different culture. Retired Navy Captain Butch Voris (first commander/leader of the Blue Angels) once told me that he wouldn't last a week in today's military.
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
I love Makinac!! Great little island!! No cars. Just bikes and buggies..... and freakin' HUGE houses!!
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
Different time, different culture. Retired Navy Captain Butch Voris (first commander/leader of the Blue Angels) once told me that he wouldn't last a week in today's military.

[/ QUOTE ]

Exactly right. You just can't get away with things today like before; there's no sense of humor anymore, for one thing. Case in point: At the old Williams AFB (Williams Gateway Airport), one of my collagues was telling me that when he went through pilot training there as a student; one day the Base Commander drove one of the buildings on base in his Base Commander car (blue AF car with white top and Colonel emblem on the front license plate). One of the student pilots happened to look inside his car where it was parked and noticed he left his keys in the ignition, so the student stole the car and left it behind the base hospital. After the commander got his car back a few hours later (when it was found), he laughed it off and ststed that that's what he gets for leaving his car unattended with the keys in the ignition.

Today, there's be a damn lynching! NO sense of humor left in today's leaders. Everything went to hell in a handbasket post-Tailhook '91.
 

jtrain609

Anarcho-Bidenist
Airplanes are up on the island too, but no gas. They've got a nice little 4,000 paved strip into there, but you need to go to St.Ignace (83D I believe, nice little airport except that they have the towns waste water treatment plant on the airport grounds...kinda smelly on downwind) to get gas. Nice little trip from here, gonna take skibum up there one day.

Cheers


John Herreshoff
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
Do that John! (take skibum up there). I fully intend on taking my wife some day.

Now that you mention the airstrip, I do recall seeing aircraft on final when we were cycling around the island. Too cool!

Of course, you won't see this Florida (raised) boy up there in the winter. No way... no how.
 

lilrkt

New Member
Yeah, the island is great. I got married there 2 years ago. I have flown in there a few times. Every time I pass that bridge I think of how fun it would be to go under it. Too bad our PW/PC society doesn't know how to have fun anymore. What's the point to life if you don't have a little fun now and then.
 

Joe

Well-Known Member
Since we're talking about how uptight people can be these days, I think I heard something about a Continental plane that was being used as a military charter to bring a bunch of soldiers back home and as sort of a "welcome home" deal the pilot circled the Statue of Liberty a few times and of course, people freaked out. He was cleared by ATC though, so he wasn't violating anything. Just your ordinary folks complaining about airplanes.

Edited about a minute later: I just found this story online...

[ QUOTE ]
Jet shakes Statue of Liberty

A low flying jet that shook the Statue of Liberty and cruised over Manhattan has sparked fears of a repeat of September 11.

New Yorkers jammed emergency phone lines after seeing the Continental Airlines Boeing 777 at as little as 2,000ft above the city.

It turned out the plane was carrying US troops home from Iraq and was giving its passengers a better view of the Statue of Liberty.

Air traffic control officials said they regretted any concern the flight caused and promised it would not happen again.

They also said the plane never flew lower than 3,000ft, but city officials said it was at 2,000ft.

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg said: "Considering the world we live in and New York City's recent history, one would expect a little more concern, sensitivity and notice from when they authorise a plane to fly at that altitude over lower Manhattan."

[/ QUOTE ]

...and here's another one...

[ QUOTE ]
Jet buzzes Statue of Liberty

By DAVID SALTONSTALL, MARTIN MBUGUA and GREG GITTRICH
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS


A jumbo jet — larger than either of the planes that exploded into the twin towers — flew low along the Hudson River and buzzed the Statue of Liberty yesterday before veering toward the heart of midtown.


This time, terrorists were not behind the controls. The plane was carrying U.S. troops on their way home from Iraq.


But almost no one watching from below knew that — and the jittery city braced for the worst.


Mayor Bloomberg got only a two-minute heads-up from the Federal Aviation Administration that they had given the pilot special permission for the unusual flyby.


"Considering the world we live in and New York City's recent history, one would expect a little more concern, sensitivity and notice from the FAA when they authorize a plane to fly at that altitude over lower Manhattan," said a clearly annoyed Bloomberg.


For nearly eight minutes, fire officials thought a plane might have crashed in the East River.


The first 911 call came in at 8:32 in the morning. The frantic voice on the phone said there was "a plane down in the river."


Several more emergency calls poured in, and the FDNY immediately dispatched three engine companies, two ladder trucks and a battalion chief to the edge of the East River near Broad St.


The FDNY's Marine Co. 6 also rushed to the scene, along with specialized airplane-crash units.


When the first crew arrived, they thankfully found nothing amiss, said FDNY spokesman Paul Iannizzotto.


Officials said the pilot of Continental Airlines Flight 3021 had made a special request to fly low around the city. The idea was to offer the heroic passengers a better view of the Statue of Liberty and the city's famed skyline.


The FAA insisted the jet never flew lower than 3,000 feet, a height it called safe. City officials disagreed, saying the plane was cruising about 2,000 feet.


The wide-bodied aircraft — a Boeing 777 — began its descent near West Point, flew south along the Hudson, circled the Statue of Liberty, doubled back up the East River and crossed over into midtown. It then queued up to land at Newark airport.


Similar flybys have been approved for jets carrying home troops from Afghanistan, said FAA spokeswoman Arlene Salac. But it won't happen again. "We have issued orders to our local facilities that we will not be using this procedure," she said. "And we regret any concern that this has caused residents of the City of New York."



Originally published on May 15, 2003

[/ QUOTE ]

When I think about it though, if I saw an airliner flying low over a city and nobody told me it was okay and for a special occasion, I'd be a little freaked out too... They probably should have let everyone know beforehand...
 

cointyro

New Member
"Too bad our PW/PC society doesn't know how to have fun anymore. What's the point to life if you don't have a little fun now and then."

Putting yourself at risk and possibly killing motorists on the bridge and damaging the bridge is absolutely not what you should risk for "a little fun." Even aside from this, the PR is terrible... it really shows irresponsible thinking. How'd you like it if some guy buzzed your house from 20 feet but he misestimated slightly and clipped your roof killing your wife and child while you were at work? He was just trying to have a little fun now and then.
 

tonyw

Well-Known Member
The terrorist have succeeded in one thing. Airplanes used to be a symbol of freedom and people would look up at them and say, whoa, how cool.

Now when people see a plane flying, they wonder if someone's going to crash it into a building.
 
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