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Here Today, Gone Tomorrow…The B-17 Bomber (Observations from the Edge, with the Courier’s Lee Kann)

first_img(Courtesy Photo)If you see an anomalous metallic bird soaring overhead at low altitudes…fear not.  This is not an invasion of aliens, or Commies, or even the Canadians.  It’s the Madras Maiden, a B-17 Flying Fortress, heavy bomber from World War II.  It has been spied over the skies of Allegheny County, Lake Erie, Buffalo, and dozens of other American cities.The mighty B-17 Flying Fortress has a mission…to live on and fly another day.  It’s not dropping bombs on Dresden, Schweinfurt or Berlin anymore. Its mission now is to fly around the U.S. and save itself—and aviation history—from extinction.  But there are forces among us which might hasten the demise of the B-17 Flying Fortress.The first one is time itself.  As these shiny birds age, their flock continues to thin.  Keeping these stately bombers (of an aluminum frame and skin) aloft is expensive…roughly $5,000 an hour of flight time.  On top of that, there are no government grants or philanthropic foundations keeping them airborne.  So the cost lands on the shoulders, and wallet, of one Elton Don Brooks Jr., whose father, Elton Sr., flew in an original B-17, the Liberty Lady.  As a tail gunner during the big war, Brooks Sr. and his crew provided cover for the landing at Normandy on D-Day. To honor his father, Brooks Jr., a self-made businessman from Georgia, created the Liberty Foundation.. The second obstacle for the “17” is the FAA.  To the Federal Aviation Administration, these preserved antiques are just a pain in the aft.  The Agency is concerned about air safety…from air carriers to air terrorism.  They’re busy arguing with airlines over seating spaces and leg room.  Keeping tabs on ancient aircraft flying tourists around may leave them wishing that the damn things would just fly away and not return (without taking the tourists, I suppose).  And they may be trying to do just that by over-regulating the skies for these historical airplanes.  There are issues with trying to fit old technology aircraft into new technology aviation.“Warbirds are a very tiny sub-culture, sub set of aviation,” says captain and pilot John Shuttleworth of Indiana, of this B-17, the Madras Maiden.  “To the commercial side of aviation and to what the FAA is set up to handle, it is an annoyance.  I think they will regulate it to extinction.  It just won’t be practical anymore.”The non-profit Liberty Foundation, and others like it, fight on for their piece of pie in the sky.  Veterans are at stake here, and the memories of them.  Flying planes like the B-17, made by Boeing in 1937 (the B-24 in 1941, the B-29 in 1944…of which the atomic bomb-dropping Enola Gay was one), keeps the memories of the war and its day-to-day heroes in the public eye.  The 101-year old B-17 veteran, Michael Pllitari of Erie, took a nostalgic flight with me on the Madras Maidan recently over Lake Erie and its tree-encrusted coastline of Presque Isle Peninsula.  We flew out of Erie International Airport, where Greg Hayes has had his North Coast Flight School based for 15 years. Hayes hosted an event that brought pilots Shuttleworth and James Hammons, and the Madras Maiden (named after its birthplace in Madras, Oregon) to Erie (ERI).  The pilots who fly the B-17s for the foundation, the ground crew, everyone associated with the organization, is a volunteer.  Pilots Shuttleworth and Hammons fly many of these missions to the likes of Erie, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Indianapolis, and 40-plus U.S. cities every year.  For the B-17, they number only 12 left flying, out of 12,000 manufactured by Boeing, Douglas and Lockheed.  They flew over 250 mph and up to 35,000 feet for 2000 miles, carrying (13) .50 caliber machine guns and 17,000 pounds of bombs.The government put them up for auction after the war as surplus, and one could be had for $5,000.  Today, they are valued at $2 million.  Two years ago, I flew in a replica of the famed Memphis Belle, the accolade laden gem of books, TV and movie lore.  This time, it was the Madras Maiden, which is 99 percent original.  It helps that it never flew in combat.  I asked both Shuttleworth and Hammons if they felt anything, flying a “17,” you know, the nostalgia of the guys who flew them in the big war.  “Absolutely,” says Hammons, the co-pilot on the Maiden.  “We talk about it every day.  We meet these guys (veterans), they come here in wheelchairs and with walkers.  They want someone to hear their stories that might understand it.  We hear them in the airplane.  I’m honored to be here.  We’re here to celebrate these veterans and honor these people. They gave so much.”However, obstacles remain.  The cost of doing business for a B-17—this one built in 1944, and never being intended for combat, but as a trainer—costs the foundation somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.5-$2.2 million yearly to visit 50 cities, according to Liberty flight director Scott Maher of Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the foundation is based.  This organization takes in roughly $1.4-1.8 million annually from the relatively pricey fares it collects from tourist rides…its only income source.  Brooks Jr. foots the rest.  For Maher… “I live and breathe these airplanes seven days a week. ”   The Liberty Foundation name refers to the Liberty Belle B-17 that crashed in Oswego, IIl. in 2011.  A YouTube video shows the Liberty Bell burning after pilot John Hess landed wheels down in a wet cornfield due to an onboard engine fire three minutes after take-off, with the aircraft actually breaking apart and exploding from leaking fuel.  All seven crew members onboard got out safely…amazingly.  Fire trucks seem to drive by, then return to douse the fire.  At this point, it was a bit too late.  Just more fodder for the FAA and their view of this type of aviation.  So before the FAA grounds these regal and dignified birds, hitch a ride (as pricey as they are), after one soars over your house or your head.Nostalgically, this past summer, on a crispy clear night, I drove past the Allegheny County Airport and swung in—very after-hours—to spy the 1944 bomber situated conspicuously next to the 1933 art deco terminal—with its precise, delineated, geometrically checkered, black and white tile floor.  I waited for Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman to emerge onto the tarmac but they never showed.  Not enough fog and drama, I guess.Lee Kann is a filmmaker, media producer and freelance writer for the New Pittsburgh Courier.  Contact: shooting16bl@gmail.comlast_img read more

Florida Georgia Line making a stop in Dawson Creek

first_imgDAWSON CREEK, B.C. – History making duo Florida Georgia Line will bring their Dig Your Roots tour to Dawson Creek Thursday November 17 at the Encana Events Centre.Tickets will go on sale Friday May 27 at 10 a.m. for $54 and $80 plus services charges and taxes.  Tickets will be available at, by phone at 1-877-339-8499 or in person at any Tiger Box Office plus location.- Advertisement -Florida Georgia Line recently became the first ever Country act to achieve RIAA’s DIAMOND (10 million copies sold) certification for their hit single “Cruise.” In their relatively short career, FGL has achieved 11 #1 hits as artists and songwriters, most recently with their first single off their third studio album, “H.O.L.Y.” Their PLATINUM certified sophomore album ANYTHING GOES (Big Machine Label Group) fueled five scorching consecutive chart-toppers – PLATINUM-certified “Anything Goes,” “Sippin’ On Fire,” “Sun Daze,” 2X PLATINUM-certified “Dirt” and the final release from the album “Confession.”On top of Florida Georgia Line, you’ll see Granger Smith and Chris Lane.Listen to Moose FM for your chance to win tickets before they go on sale starting this weekend.Watch more videos from Florida Georgia Line here.Advertisementlast_img read more

Pellegrini coy on Bony but confirms Manchester City are trying to sign a striker

first_img Wilfried Bony 1 Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has admitted the club are trying to sign a striker in January but refused to be drawn on speculation surrounding Wilfried Bony.The Blues loaned Alvaro Negredo to Valencia in the summer and injuries to Stevan Jovetic, Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero have left them looking short of forward options.Swansea City boss Garry Monk has admitted talks are ongoing between the two clubs regarding a deal for the Ivorian hotshot but Pellegrini remained coy when queried in his press conference.He said: “I don’t talk about rumours. We are going to replace Alvaro Negredo because it was the decision that we’ve taken that we’re going to sell him.“We said we’d see in December if we need another striker. We need another striker so we are going to find which is the best player to play here.“We must be in FFP so I don’t think we are going to spend a lot. We sell already Alvaro Negredo so we have some money to spend.”last_img read more

Griezmann wanted Sh55m-a-week to join UTD

first_img0Shares0000Antoine Griezmann was heavily linked with a move in the close season, but with Atletico Madrid under a transfer ban, signed a new contract to stay until 2022LONDON, United Kingdom, Jan 9 – Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann is said to be asking for as much as Sh55mn (£400,000)-a-week to join Manchester United.With Barcelona also said to be chasing the France international, Griezmann is reported to have significantly upped his salary demands should be sign for Jose Mourinho’s team. It is believed that United offered Griezmann a Sh40mn (£290,000) per week pay package ahead of the current season.With the January transfer window in full swing, there has once again been plenty of speculation around the striker’s future and according to a source from within Manchester United, the Frenchman would consider an Old Trafford move, if he gets what he wants.“The goalposts have moved significantly since the first attempt to sign Griezmann,” the source told the Sun.“The package offered last year which was agreed is now a lot less than what he wants next summer.“It might be too much even for us to afford. The club is desperate to sign him but it is an awful lot of money.“His people are making different demands which the club might be reluctant to give in to.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Everton’s Mina charged by FA over breach of betting rules

first_img0Shares0000Everton and Colombia defender Yerry Mina © AFP/File / JUAN MABROMATALONDON, United Kingdom, Jul 24 – Everton defender Yerry Mina has been charged with misconduct in relation to a breach of the Football Association’s betting regulations, the FA has announced.It is alleged the Colombian international participated in an advertisement for betting activity that he is prohibited from engaging in. It is understood the charge relates to an advert which Mina, who has until Friday to provide a response, appeared in for Betjuego in his home country of Colombia earlier this year.Stringent rules are in place with regard to sports betting in order to prevent, among other things, match-fixing and spot-betting.Last week, Daniel Sturridge was fined £75,000 ($94,000) and handed a six-week suspension after being found guilty of breaching different betting rules.0Shares0000(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Swansea’s £5m flop Eder set for permanent France move

first_img1 Eder celebrates a Lille goal Lille want to complete the transfer of Swansea striker Eder before Euro 2016, according to the player’s agent Mikkel Beck.The Portugal forward joined Ligue 1 Lille on loan in the January transfer window after a disappointing time at Swansea following his £5million move from Braga last summer.Eder failed to score in 15 Swansea appearances, but he has struck six times in 15 games at Lille and also won a French League Cup runners-up medal.“There is an interest from Lille in keeping Eder and Eder would like to stay at Lille because he feels like this is the right place for him,” Beck, the former Middlesbrough and Denmark striker, said in an interview with Get French Football News.“So it is something we are trying to work on. There are discussions ongoing.“He has had a great six months at Lille, he has shown not only is he a great goalscorer but he has proved a capacity to set others up as well.“I think in the form he is now, I am 100 per cent sure that he can play a big part for Portugal in the Euros.”Asked if he expected Eder’s transfer to be completed before next month’s European Championship, Beck said: “That is the idea, we are working on it.”last_img read more


first_imgThere were mixed fortunes for two Donegal men in their quest to find the Holy Grail of English football – the final of the FA Cup.Rory Delap and Owen Coyle may have their roots in the North West.But familiarity was put to one side as both battled it out to get their side to the final against Manchester City. Coyle, fancied by many to take over at Manchester United when Alex Ferguson eventually retires, was hoping to lead Bolton Wanderers to Wembley.But Rory Delap, after a career which has showed little by way of silverware, was also hoping for a place in English Football’s most famous final.In the end it was Delap whose dream has lived to see another day as Stoke thrashed Bolton 5-0 to claim a place in the May 14th final.It was the heaviest defeat a team has taken in an FA Cup semi-final in 72 years. Delap is no stranger to Donegal and to Letterkenny where he has numerous relations.Needless to say those relations, who include uncles Paddy and Brendan Delap, will be calling in any favours Rory might owe them for an FA Cup final ticket.Coyle will be deeply disappointed at not fulfilling his dream and being able to honour the memory of his late father who left Gaoth Dobhair at 15 to work in Glasgow.Coyle said it was his father who instilled an ethic of hard work in him – a trait he has passed on to his players at Bolton.Coyle will be back and it could be that he is in charge of a different team if many Man Utd supporters have their way. Rory Delap meanwhile knows his Stoke side will be up against it when they face a Man City side who overcame the challenge of a certain Man Utd in their semi-final.But he knows too that Stoke will throw everything including the kitchen sink at City in their quest for a rare piece of silverware.And undoubtedly Delap and that famous long throw of his could be the key that unlocks that Man City defence.Ends HEARTACHE AND JOY FOR DONEGAL MEN IN THEIR QUEST FOR FA CUP GLORY was last modified: April 17th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:FA CupOwen CoyleRory Delaplast_img read more


first_imgEuro 2012 officially kicks off tonight in Poland.Hundreds of lucky Irish soccer fans have travelled from Donegal to cheer on the Boys in Green.But for those of us left behind, we’ll be making the most of it all from here. And we want your pictures of the occasion.If you have painted your house, car or dog or stuck an Irish shirt on your pet budgie, then we want to known about it.Now we want pictures of it all.If you spill a table of drinks when Robbie Keane puts one past the Italians, then we want a picture. When Shay Given pulls off another spectacular save and your granny kisses the television, we want a picture of that too.And we promise – we’ll print them all.Just get them to us at and we’ll take care of the rest. WE WANT ALL YOUR PICTURES AS DONEGAL GOES SOCCER-MAD FOR EURO 2012 was last modified: June 8th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Arsenal goalkeeper linked with move to Besiktas

first_img 2 2 Along with Petr Cech, it means Arsenal now have three senior keepers on their books going into the new season.One of Cech or Ospina is now expected to leave before the transfer window shuts and, according to Sabah, it could well be the latter. Liverpool’s signings under Michael Edwards – will Minamino be the next big hit? Latest transfer news Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father LATEST IN DEMAND TOP WORK Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland Ospina is attracting strong interest from Beskitas, who are in the market for a new glovesman.The club are finalising the sale of Fabri to Fulham at the moment for around £5m – and they will need to replace him. Petr Cech is expected to stay at Arsenal this season targets Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ center_img three-way race Chelsea confident of beating Man United and Liverpool to Sancho signing Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade RANKED Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer REVEALED moving on Besiktas are tracking Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina, according to reports in Turkey.The Colombia goalkeeper’s future at the Emirates is up in the air this summer after the Gunners signed Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen. Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January LIVING THE DREAM targets The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star Ospina is the man they want and talks could kick off this week once Fabri has officially left Vodafone Park.last_img read more


first_imgMagheroarty Beach By Kathy McFaddenThe HSE and Department of Health has issued tips and advice so that people can enjoy safely the good summer weather.HSE Assistant National Director for Health Protection, Dr Kevin Kelleher and DoH Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan said that staying well is mostly a matter of common sense. Listen to your local weather forecast so you know if a heatwave is on the way and plan ahead to reduce the risk of ill health from the heat.“During a hot spell deaths in people aged 75 and over can rise by up to 60% more than would normally be expected. Those with heart, respiratory and serious health problems are more at risk of potentially adverse effects of very warm weather, while babies and young children are also especially at risk. They advised that while the heat can affect anyone, the following are most at risk of serious harm:· Older people, especially those over 75.· Babies and young children.· People with serious mental health problems. · People on certain medication.· People with a serious chronic condition, particularly breathing or heart problems.· People who already have a high temperature from an infection.· People who misuse alcohol or take illicit drugs.· People with mobility problems. · People who are physically active, like manual workers and athletes.They also provided information on staying cool, what to do if you are unwell and advice on the use of medicines during very warm weather.Top tips for keeping coolIt is best avoid getting too hot in the first place. Remember to think of those who may be more at risk from the effects of heat. Stay out of the heat:· Keep out of the sun between 11.00am and 3.00pm.· If you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen with UVA protection and wear a hat and light scarf.· Avoid extreme physical exertion. If you can’t avoid strenuous outdoor activity, like sport, DIY or gardening, keep it for cooler parts of the day, like early morning or evening.· Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes and a hat to shade face, neck and ears· Wear a broad brimmed hat and sunscreen with UVA protection factor 20, 30, 40, or 50 depending on your skin type. If you have children make sure they are properly protected as their skin is extra sensitive.· Wear sunglassesCool yourself down:· Drink plenty of cold drinks, and avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks.· Eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruit with a high water content.· Take a cool shower, bath or body wash.· Sprinkle water over the skin or clothing, or keep a damp cloth on the back of your neck.Keep your environment cool:· Keep your living space cool. This is especially important for infants, the elderly or those with chronic health conditions or those who can’t look after themselves.· Keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day, and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped.· Close curtains that receive morning or afternoon sun.· Turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment – they generate heat.· Keep plants and bowls of water in the house as evaporation helps cool the air.· If possible, move into a cooler room, especially for sleeping.· Electric fans can help but only if temperature is below 35C..Look out for others:· Keep an eye on isolated, elderly, ill or very young people and make sure they are able to keep cool.· Ensure that babies, children or elderly people are not left alone in stationary cars.· Check on elderly or sick neighbours, family or friends every day during a heatwave.· Be alert and call a doctor or social services if someone is unwell or further help is neededAdvice on medicines· Many prescription medicines can reduce your tolerance of heat. You should keep taking your medicines, but take extra care to keep cool.· Danger symptoms to watch out for in hot weather include: feeling faint and dizzy, short of breath, vomiting or increasing confusion. Take immediate action if danger symptoms of heatstroke are present: Cool down as quickly as possible. However do not take aspirin or paracetamol – this can make you worse. Do however carry on taking all other prescribed medicines. Seek further advice from a doctor, or ring 999 if the person has collapsed.· Keep medicines below 25°C or in the refrigerator (read the storage instructions on the packaging).· Seek medical advice if you are suffering from a chronic medical condition or taking multiple medications.If you or others feel unwell· Try to get help if you feel dizzy, weak, anxious or have intense thirst and headache; move to a cool place as soon as possible and measure your body temperature.· Drink some water or fruit juice to rehydrate.· Rest immediately in a cool place if you have painful muscular cramps (particularly in the legs, arms or abdomen, in many cases after sustained exercise during very hot weather), and drink oral rehydration solutions containing electrolytes.· Seek medical attention as needed if heat cramps last more than one hour.· Consult your doctor if you feel unusual symptoms or if symptoms persist.Seek advice if you have any concerns:· Contact your doctor or a pharmacist if you are worried about your health during a heatwave, especially if you are taking medication, if you feel unwell or have any unusual symptoms.· Watch for cramp in your arms, legs or stomach, feelings of mild confusion, weakness or problems sleeping.· If you have these symptoms, rest for several hours, keep cool and drink water or fruit juice. Seek medical advice if they get worse or don’t go away.If you suspect someone has heatstroke:· Remember, heatstroke can kill. It can develop very suddenly, and rapidly lead to unconsciousness. If you suspect someone has heatstroke, call 999 immediately.· While waiting for the ambulance, move the person somewhere cooler if possible, increase ventilation by opening windows or using a fan and cool the affected person as quickly as possibly by loosening their clothes, sprinkling them with cold water or wrapping them in a damp sheet. If they are conscious, give them water or fruit juice to drink.. Do not give them aspirin or paracetamol.DONEGAL HEATWAVE: HSE ISSUES WEATHER HEALTH WARNING was last modified: July 9th, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:DONEGAL HEATWAVE: HSE ISSUES WEATHER HEALTH WARNINGlast_img read more