Pilots flying World War II aircraft to St. MaartenFour North Dakota pilots and one from Iowa are planning to fly World War II aircraft to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten next week.
MINOT, N.D. (AP) — Four North Dakota pilots and one from Iowa are planning to fly World War II aircraft to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten next week.
The Minot Daily News reports that the planes and pilots with the Texas Flying Legends Museum are taking part in the 25th anniversary of the St. Barths Bucket Regatta.
Participating are Warren Pietsch of Minot; Bob Odegaard and Casey Odegaard, both of Kindred; Henry Reichert, of Bismarck; and Doug Rozendaal, of Clear Lake, Iowa. Aircraft include a P-40K Warhawk, a Goodyear FG-1D Corsair, a P-51D Mustang and a B-25J.
“All four airplanes will travel together as a formation,” Pietsch said.
Pietsch described the trip as significant and said he has never done anything like it before.
The 70-year-old aircraft will be flown 1,100 nautical miles from Houston to St. Maarten for the three-day race, and then back to the museum in Houston, said Museum President Chris Griffith, of Scarborough, Maine,
“However, to accomplish the trip to St. Barths and back, we would have to cross more water than had ever been attempted since World War II in these planes,” Griffith said. “Combined with the necessary licenses required to make such a trip even possible, we had to pull all our resources together to make this happen.”
The group will be making two stops between Houston and Fort Lauderdale, and three stops between Fort Lauderdale and St. Maarten.
Griffith said the trip will take about 14 hours of flying each way.
The planes will perform a formation fly-by every morning over St. Barths during the regatta. Every afternoon they will perform a 20-minute air show over Shell Beach, St. Barths, after each day's race.
Planes with the Texas Flying Legends Museum are flown from Texas to North Dakota each spring, to Maine each summer and back to Texas in the fall.