Okay, so last night, I get to TPF and Matt and I do the "where do you want to go?...I don't know... where do YOU want to go???" Song and dance when Matt says "have you ever been to Sebring?"
I hadn't, so that was the destination.
Matt flew over there and it was only about a 45 minute flight. We land on RWY 36 and are taxiing up to the FBO when I see this huge cat sitting on the tarmac by the FBO, not bothered by the plane and I say "hey look at that huge cat."
Matt: WHOOOOOAAA MAN - LOOK!!!
Now, I'm thinking... "man, Matt sure is excited about this big cat"
So, I look over and I see a B-17 parked about 200 yards away from the FBO.
I look at the letters on the side of her "ADF" and I say "hey, I think that's the Memphis Belle!"
But, then we both start talking about it and decide no, it's not the Memphis Belle because that's a static display in a museum......isn't it???
So, we go inside and talk to the folks about getting the crew car so we can go get something to eat..... and, "oh... mind if we go take a look at the B-17?"
Line Guy: Sure, no problem. Just don't open it up and get inside. Interesting story. It was on it's way to Avon Park (which is only about 10 miles away) and it lost an engine, declared an emergency and landed here. They've pulled an engine and here it sits until it's repaired."
Me: Cool. Thanks.
So, Matt and I walk out to the crew car, get in and head over toward the B-17....
We get close and .......
It's the Memphis Belle!!! (it was on its way from the "Great Orlando Rotary Airshow" Nov. 21-24 to the Kitty Hawk 100th Anniversay, Dec. 11-18... hope it makes it)
I think we both about wet ourselves!!!
We jump out and immediately start walking around her. MAN was that AWESOME!!!
Sure enough, her left inboard engine is off.
We both decide we "need" to touch the nose art, and discover to do so, we're going to have to jump.
Well, that was no big deal with me at 6"3" and Matt at 6'1".
Then it struck me.... I don't have my camera.
So, Matt and I leave and go get something to eat at the "Sebring Diner" (great food), then as we head back, we pick up a disposible camera at a gas station.
It was 7:15 p.m. and dark as pitch when we got back and there were NO lights anywhere near the Memphis Belle, so I put the brights from the crew car on her and we commenced to taking photo after photo.
Once I get them developed, I'll post them (if they turn out, that is).
We talked about it off and on during the flight home. What I got a kick out of was Matt's enthusiasm over mine. Matt is 17 and the boy knows his aviation!
He said at one point "You KNOW neither one of us will ever get this chance again EVER in our lives!!! This is AWESOME!!! I thought I'd never get to see the Memphis Belle!!"
GOD I love aviation!!!
Now, THAT's what it's all about!!!!