Flying High Over the Northland in a WWII Navy Plane
The SNJ-6 Navy Trainer plane is at the Richard I. Bong airport for the Commemorative Air Force's inaugural event at their new location in Superior.
DULUTH, Minn. – Looking down from high above the Northland this weekend is an antique from WWII.
The plane is a SNJ-6 and it is at the Richard I. Bong airport giving people a rare opportunity to take in the treetops and Lake Superior from a completely different vantage point.
The history of the plane is as incredible as the views it shows.
“Anybody who went through training for WWII at some point would have flown this type of airplane and based on this type of training that determined what they got to fly for the war effort so we want to keep them flying and keep the memory alive,” said Colonel Eric Moore, the pilot of the plane of the Commemorative Air Force.
The plane is in town as part of the PBY Black Cats classic plane and car show hosted by the Commemorative Air Force Lake Superior Squadron who moved to the Bong Airport from the Duluth International Airport.
It is an all volunteer squadron dedicated to preserving planes from US wars and keeping their history alive.
“We are restoring that history and taking it back to flying status to bring it back to everyone that we can. A lot of other people like sharing their stories and it’s a great opportunity for the local community to engage and share their history,” said Robert Wolfe, the director of maintenance for the CAF Lake Superior Squadron.
Attendees of the plane and car show will be able to purchase flights on the plane giving them an up close look at the instrument panels and pedals.
Passengers will get a rare opportunity to even fly the plane while in the air displaying just how much skill was required to maneuver them in war.
“I didn’t become a pilot so the computer can fly the airplane I like being in charge of the airplane you get to determine where you’re going what altitude what you’d like to see and it’s a lot more freedom than flying in the airline,” said Moore, who is also a pilot for Hawaiian Airlines.
The CAF squadron also has a museum with artifacts showing the history of the U.S. Air Force, which as one eager flier who had a chance to take a ride in the plane says it is important to remember.
“We need to know where our roots come from a lot of people from the past have sacrificed a lot and it wasn’t just with our hands it was aircraft like this that help us win the wars we did win so it’s very important to make sure the aircraft we do have stays alive and keep them flying,” said Jessica McMahan, who flew in the aircraft today.
The classic plane and car show also will have a barbecue and music to enjoy while taking inthe sights from the ground and air.