The Arsenal of Democracy flyover in Washington DC a little over a week ago was a huge success, and we have seen many spectacular images and videos from it. Hopefully you were able to see it in person or on the live stream, but if not you can catch CSPAN’s recorded footage online. What’s even more exciting is you can now take a seat in one of the more than 50 warbirds that participated! Check out the video below, provided by our partner JL Aero. The camera was mounted in the rear seat of a TBM Avenger in the flyby, and shows the taxi out, takeoff, formation flight en route, the flight down the mall, and landing. The most interesting moment may be the wingman’s in flight emergency captured by the camera, which you can read more about in the video’s description.
RideAlong! in the CAF National Capitol Squadron’s TBM Avenger torpedo bomber as it joins another TBM and the world’s only flying SB2C Helldiver dive bomber in the “Leyte Gulf” formation during the Arsenal of Democracy flyover in Washington DC. The AOD flyover was organized to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, recognized on May 8th. More than 50 rare WWII warbirds from around the country gathered at airports in Manassas and Culpeper in the days leading up to the event. On the day of the flyover, aircraft took off and joined into 15 different formations, each representing a critical battle during the war. The aircraft flew down the Potomac River, down the National Mall, and then returned to the airports. Spectators on the ground were treated to a ceremony marking the significance of the day, and narration describing each formation as it passed overhead.
At 5:35, you will see the other TBM Avenger “Leyte 3” suddenly break from the formation. The pilot declared an in flight emergency due to a broken hydraulic fitting in the engine area. The atomized fluid looked like smoke and the pilot thought the aircraft was on fire. He turned immediately towards Reagan National Airport (visible in the background) and landed safely there.
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