Events commemorating Veterans Day this year included a fly-in hosted by the Commemorative Air Force at Falcon Field in Mesa, Ariz. There were static aircraft displays, educational exhibits, photographs and aviation memorabilia, much of which was contained in the wing’s two large hangar facilities. There were artifacts from the “Home Front” to the “War Front.” Flights of vintage biplanes and T-6 trainers performed formation fly-bys. The serious aviation enthusiast could even purchase a ride in the CAF’s B-17 and SNJ. Bill Hane was also selling rides in his P-51 Mustang.
The spirit of the show was dampened on Saturday by the crash of a Piper Super Cub. Russ Allen, a veteran military pilot and member of the CAF, died in the crash and his passenger sustained serious injuries. Allen was a very experienced pilot and was well liked by his fellow airmen. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to his family. He is one Arizona aviator that will be sorely missed.