Sedona AZ (March 19, 2013) – On Saturday, March 30 Sedona will experience a bit of World War II history when a B-25B Mitchell bomber arrives for a few hour visit. The aircraft is participating in an historic “war-bird” fly-in in Phoenix that weekend along with several dozen military trainer type aircraft, such as T-34’s and T-36’s which will also fly into Sedona. The pilots will fly in formation before descending and landing at the airport. The public is invited to witness this event at the airport. After the planes have parked, the public can walk around the aircraft and meet the pilots.
The historic B-25B Mitchell, named “Executive Sweet” will be offering “rides” to individuals who want to experience what it was like to fly in this historic warbird. The flight will be for 30 minutes and each passenger will have full access to the aircraft including the opportunity to sit in the front and rear gun turrets while in flight. The aircraft can hold 6 passengers per flight. While on the ground, the public will be able to inspect the interior and exterior of the “Executive Sweet.”
The B-25B and accompanying war-birds will arrive in Sedona around 12:30 in the afternoon and depart by 3 p.m. The will be eat lunch at the Mesa Grill Restaurant before heading back to Deer Valley Airport in Phoenix, the site of the war-bird fly-in.
Those who are interested in this once-in-a-lifetime experience to fly in a B-25B can make advance reservations by contacting the Sedona coordinator at 928-862-0210 or email at B25@sedonaairport.org. The cost of the flight is $399 per person for the 30 minute flight into history. Advance reservations are recommended since seat availability is limited.
The American Aeronautical Foundation owns this B-25B and is a non-profit organization founded to preserve the aviation legacy of our World War II veterans and the aircraft they flew. All the crew members are volunteers and 100% of the money raised on rides goes directly back into the B-25B’s upkeep. The historic aircraft will return to its home on Sunday, the 31st in Camarillo, California.
On a historic note, the B-25B is the aircraft flown by Jimmy Doolittle on the historic “surprise” mission over Japan in April of 1942. Doolittle earned the Medal of Honor for his valor and leadership as commander of the Doolittle Raid. The raid caused negligible damage to Japan, but it succeeded in its goal of helping American morale just four months after Pearl Harbor and casting doubt in Japan on the ability of the Japanese military leaders. Residents of the area who might have actually been a crewmember on a B-25B are given the honor of signing the ship’s bomb bay doors.
Bill Kerwin, board president of the Sedona-Oak Creek Airport Authority, the non-profit organization which operates Sedona Airport said the airport is honored to have such historic aircraft visit Sedona and wants to invite the public to come up to the airport terminal around noon on Saturday, the 30th to witness their arrival. The are expected around 12:30 p.m. “When Sedonans hear the buzz of a squadron of aircraft and look to the skies, they will see the B-25B Mitchell being escorted by over a dozen other WWII era war-birds as they arrive and descend to the airport for their few hour visit.” “They won’t be here very long, but the sight should be memorable,” he added.