“Duck Hunting in Greenland, 2013-14,” noon, HFF (May 3)


Safety Team Leader Nicholas Bratton will describe efforts underway in Greenland to recover the remains of three servicemen who perished in a 1942 crash of a Grumman Duck rescue aircraft. Once the servicemen are recovered, the U.S. Coast Guard will deliver what’s left of the aircraft to HFF for restoration to airworthy condition and display as a living memorial.

Nick participated in the 2012 expedition to locate the aircraft, then returned with a combined civilian/military crew in 2013. Weather ensued. This May, Nick will return to Greenland to set markers for the 2014 expedition to recover the missing servicemen. With Nick’s departure in mind, following his presentation we will have a brief send-off celebration.

This extraordinary tale and collection of photos will be more fully appreciated if you first read Frozen in Time by Mitchell Zuckoff. In November of 1942, a C-47 cargo plane crashed into the ice cap. Four days later, a B-17 assigned to the search and rescue mission became lost in a blinding snow storm and also crashed. Miraculously, all nine men on the B-17 survived. With the weather worsening, the U.S. military launched a daring rescue mission, sending a Grumman Duck amphibious plane to find them. After picking up one member of the B-17 crew, the Duck flew into a severe storm, and the plane and the three men aboard vanished. The two Coast Guard servicemen flying the Duck are the only unaccounted for, “Missing in Action” in the history of that service. Come hear the fascinating story of efforts to recover their remains and their aircraft.




“Opening Day,” 9 a.m., HFF and Paine Field (May 17)


Exhibits, reenactors, classic vehicles, music, food and flying will highlight this event marking the commencement of flying season.

To become a member and participate in any or all of these activities, please call Visitor Services at 425.348.3200 or email visitorservices@historicflight.org.




“70th Anniversary of D-Day,” HFF (June 6)


To mark this important day, HFF has organized a very rare “Diamond Four” formation of P-51 Mustangs to visit twenty cities and towns in Western Washington on June 6th, the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Lead by HFF’s D-Day veteran (four sorties over the beaches of Normandy), P-51B “Impatient Virgin,” the formation will launch from HFF at 10 a.m. and conclude operations at approximately 3 p.m. with a noontime tour of downtown Seattle. Special visits include Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Gray Army Airfield. Operations will extend as far north as Bellingham, as far south as Olympia. Visit HFF to witness return of the aircraft.









Mustang in the Air

Mustang in the Air
















Bad Kitty (Grumman Tigercat)

Bad Kitty (Grumman Tigercat)
















Four Ship Formation

Four Ship Formation

15 Responses to “News-Events”

  1. Spent a lovely afternoon today with my WWII peeps at the Historic Flight Foundation for their event, “The Art of the Flight Jacket.” I have to say that I am really loving this era.

  2. Betty and Dave Ruckhaber says:

    Today’s presentation by Lou Sapienza, “Duck Hunting in Greenland,” was fabulous! It was so interesting to hear the story of how the team discovered the crash site of the WWII Coast Guard Grumman Duck rescue aircraft beneath the ice in Greenland. It was so amazing to see and hear, firsthand from Mr. Sapienza, what it took for the expedition to locate this wreck after 70 years, and to see his beautiful photographic images of the area and event.

    We appreciate all of the very interesting live presentations by individuals and panels, and all of the events at Historic Flight–and, of course, the beautiful display of live, vintage aircraft.

  3. Bill Gildea says:

    I’m interested in the P-40 recovery project. My mother was stationed in North Africa during WW II as a captain in the army nursing corps. She used to love to tell stories about hitching rides with the P-40 pilots to Cairo. They would ride on the pilots laps which happened to be the only available place to sit. I can’t help but wonder if mom rode in this plane. Her unit was eventually overrun by Rommel and she got to meet the “desert fox” who, incidentally, had no interest in capturing any of the hospital personnel.

    Another interesting bit of trivia about our armed forces was when the unit put on a party, they would load the beer into the bomb bay of a B-24 and fly around for several hours at high altitude to chill the cargo!

  4. Paul Sorensen says:

    Thank you John for participating in our Props & Ponies show here in Bellingham! The 3 Mustangs fly-by was a rare event and appreciated by all who were here ( and wowed – I’m sure everyone around Bellingham
    who saw it! )
    Also want to mention the Spitfire burning up the grass along the runway, as you made your final pass before leaving for home.
    The sound of that particular Rolls in the Spitfire is just awesome!!

    Thanks again.

  5. Betty and Dave Ruckhaber says:

    We were present at Sunset Hills Memorial Park in Bellevue, WA, at their Memorial Day Ceremony. Capt. Frank Selden was just finishing his presentation when the audience and participants began hearing the distant sounds of a B-25′s engines. It came closer and closer, and almost as an exclamation point on Capt. Selden’s presentation, Grumpy came into view with the rumble of his powerful engines. The audience cheered and applauded as Grumpy circled the cemetery in honor of those who have given their lives for our country, and who have served or are serving our country. We were so proud to be there to witness this incredible and meaningful tribute! Thank you, Historic Flight Foundation!

  6. John Veit says:

    Please remove the ifrst 2 papra’s of my note of May 23, 2012, or the whole note.

    Thank you.

  7. John Veit says:

    Why not make it extra easy for airplane buffs to post pics and videos to your site. Some may even be worthy of exposure.

    Mine are “the greatest ever taken”, until I compare them against professional ones, and then they may not seem that good, but some are still good and hey are mine to share.


    Thank you for your site and your organization.

    We are lucky to live close to unique facilities like yours and Paul Allens.

    Best of luck, keep breathing regularily, and have a good year.

    Your red and yellow nosed P-51′s are a real treat.

    Thank you and best regards,

    John Veit

  8. John Veit says:

    May 19, 2012 – Aviation day

    Enjoyed the goings on, though the parking/busing routine probably caused some old folks and mothers with small kids to wonder what they got themselves involved in.

    Actually, it worked OK, and the buses from one side of the field to the other were very timely.

    Visited Kilo-7 and found it to be very friendly, casual, and festive.

    All of the volunteers who set up the displays for the benefit of all, deserve a big thank you.

    I found the group of chaps who were sitting around a table in British uniforms, much as in the days of old, to be unique and special. One said he was from Jamacia or thereabouts.

    This is a link to a page of a couple of photos of them. If you know who they are, copy and send them to them, with a thank you.

    Anyone is welcome to use the photos as they wish.

    Link: http://www.pointshooting.com/goodguys.htm

    I also got some pics to add to my collection of pics of the war birds that were on display.

    I also got some short videos of two of the fly-bys that I cobbled together into 2 short video clips. Hopefully they capture the ACTION and NOISE that was enjoyed by those heard on the sound track.

    It’s more then just nice that the Flying Heritage and Historic Flight organizations are maintaining these artifacts of our heritage and freedom in real and tangible form and available for us to experience first hand. Thank you.

    Here are links to the video clips. You are welcome to download / use / share them as you like.

    Grumman F7F Tigercat and F8F-2A Bearcat fly-by at Paine Field, WA – May 2012

    Link: http://www.pointshooting.com/f7fand8.wmv

    YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfg0Zwfm3O8&feature=youtu.be

    Fly-by of P-47D Thunderbolt and a Hawker Hurricane – May 2012 – Paine Field

    Link: http://www.pointshooting.com/p47hawk.wmv

    YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zyThy0rZZs&feature=youtu.be

  9. JohnS says:

    The lad was a passenger in a two-seat trainer. The pilot-in-command is retired Navy and a veteran of perhaps twenty Reno Air Races. Between the two of them, they figured out the T-6.

  10. Judy Prescott says:

    I have been told that among your other accomplishments you let a young 13 year old boy fly in your planes and actually handle the controls while in flight over the past two- three months. Isn’t that illegal!?

  11. Matt Hoskinson says:


    You and Tim did some great work here. It all came together and the MiG looks awesome. The video was fun to watch. My kids and I loved it. This is the kind of thing that gets the boys thinking about what they want to be when they grow up.

  12. Paul Sorensen says:

    Good to meet you at HFM Saturday! Thanks again for bringing up the B-25 Mitchell and also allowing Greg Anders to fly in the P-47.
    The MIG-29 is a beautiful restoration! I keep going back to your video on this site of the first flight – just awesome!

  13. Michael Mettman says:

    Congratulations on the recent flight of your beautiful MiG 29UB!

    I’m from a small town east of Toronto, Ontario and remember when the Ukrainian MiG’s came to Canada. I was fortunate to fly in a C-130 Hercules and remember so well the MiG slipping out from below us and pulling lead on our left wing. I hope you don’t mind my asking a couple of questions. I’m curious about the weight balance with the removal of the “gun” and the IRST System from the Windscreen area. Was it difficult to compensate for this? I remember when the first MiG 15 was brought into the United States, I got a chance to speak to the pilot/owner and he mentioned that his aircraft actually still had the armament installed and he had to contact the Federal Authorities, which removed them.

    He says he actually had a machine shop make replica’s of the guns to actual weight and size so he could keep the C of G.

    Again I hope you don’t mind the questions and really do compliment you on acquiring a beautiful aircraft.

    Kindest Regards,

    Michael Mettman
    Bowmanville, Ontario

    P.S. Your Tigercat is outstanding too!

  14. Alex Wilkinson says:

    I just love history. I’m 20 years old and looking into aviation maintenence at EvCC. I hope to build and old plane that brings some history back to life

  15. John Veit says:

    I added some pics of your P-51 to may page of airplane pics and videos, and also put together a video of the 2 P-51′s + B-25 fly-by.

    Here’s the link to the page of pics that has links to fly-by videos:


    Below are links to P-51 + B-25 video’s. I made two. One is 15 megs with good quality, and one with 22 megs of better quality. If you like feel free to download the videos and add them to your site. You can also edit them as you wish. Lastly, I have put together a HD video that is very big and needs to be cut down and edited. I may work on that later. I plan to upload the smaller video to U-tube.



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