Father's Day weekend: Take a WWII warbird ride

The Capital Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) is bringing its WWII Warbird Showcase to the Frederick (MD) Municipal Airport June 19 and 20. The organization is based in Culpepper, Va.

It is a chance for area residents to take a Warbird Ride in one of three vintage aircraft; for a price. Choose between the TBM ‘Avenger’ “Doris Mae,” L-5 ‘Sentinel’ “Gayle Ann” or an open-cockpit Coast Guard N2S-4 ‘Stearman’.

Photos by John Lackey, Capital Wing member, Flyby Photography
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The Frederick “Warbirds Rides Showcase” is providing a special Father’s Dayweekendoffer at this event. Buy two rides and get the “Pilot’s Package” of dog tags, flight certificate and aircraft booklet for free.

Organizers created a special “Potomac River – Point of Rocks” flight for the Frederick event. The flight will fly right past the Flying Ace Farm in Loudoun, Virginia, the county’s first farm distillery and brewery.

Purchase Warbird rides in advance atthis link. Flights not sold out in advance will be available for purchase on-site the day of the event.

Entry and parking are free to the public.

“When talking with the airport staff, they mentioned that it’s been a few of years since any warbirds visited Frederick,” said CAF Development Officer Cliff Davis. “So, we’re looking forward to letting the public see and hear the aircraft that helped train pilots; perform forward reconnaissance, and take the fight to the front door of the Axis powers during WWII.”

READ: Fathers Day Weekend: Cars and trucks are back

Experience a ‘torpedo mission’

The CAF Capital Wing is offering a “Torpedo Mission” experience for those who want to experience what it might have been like to fly a WWII mission in the TBM ‘Avenger.’

The flight includes:

  • A mission profile, aeronautical map of the flight area,
  • a flight suit for the duration of the flight,
  • and an extensive pre-flight briefing by the pilot and crew just as done in WWII. 

This is probably as close to performing a ‘torpedo run’ as a civilian can get. The ‘Avenger’ is the largest and heaviest single-engine bomber of WWII. It is the exact same type aircraft President George H.W. Bush flew when assigned to Torpedo Squadron (VT-51) and (VT-153) as a Naval Aviator off the decks of USS San Jacinto (CVL-30).

Warbird rides for the public

“Warbird rides are an opportunity for the public to sit in the same seats as did the crew of our aircraft in WWII. And feel the same power of the engines at take-off just as they did. And smell the same smells they did,” said Pete Ballard, Warbird Rides Coordinator for the Capital Wing. “Providing these warbird rides is a part of the CAF mission to honor the thousands of men and women who built, serviced and piloted the vintage WWII aircraft we keep flying,” he said.

CAF Capital Wing aircraft rides sell out quickly. An early purchase is recommended. For frequently asked questions regarding flight requirements, check-in times, cancellations and changes, please contact the Pete Ballard at [email protected] or (540) 450-5992.

The Frederick Municipal Airport is located at 310 Aviation Way, Frederick, Md. If people would like to see the aircraft flyovers at Flying Ace Far, they are located at 40950 Flying Ace Ln., Lovettsville, Va.

The Capital Wing and the Commemorative Air Force are non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations and ticket purchases may be tax deductible.

More summertime fun coming up

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