There were more planes and more people at this year’s No. 1 British Flying Training School Museum’s Flights of Our Fathers Fly-In on Saturday at Terrell Municipal Airport.
The tarmac in front of the airport terminal was packed with planes, so many in fact, that others had to be located on the other side of the main runway.
Organizers do not have a final tally yet, but they believe the number of people attending this year’s event surpassed last year’s 3,000 spectators.
People attending the morning session of the fly-in were treated to a lengthy flying show put on by Carl Best in his AT-6. Wide turns, climbs and descents were amplified by a thick trail of smoke during Best’s performance.
The AT-6 was used in World War II and Royal Air Force, American and Canadian cadets trained on a link trainer at the No. 1 BFTS in Terrell.
Other WW II era planes at the fly-in included two PT- 17 Stearmans — including one flown from Pensacola, Fla., by Lt. Commander Phil Webb.
The plane was used in Terrell at the flying school during WW II.
Besides viewing the planes on the tarmac and watching Best perform, people also were able to see two shows by the Texas V-Tails, including the missing man formation in memory of the late Mark Hardin.
Hardin, who ran the airport with his wife, Melissa, died in a plane crash in October 2013. Melissa Hardin continues as the airport operator and was one of the coordinators of the fly-in.
A highlight of the fly-in for some was a ride aboard Scott Glover’s WW II vintage C-47 Sky King. He gave rides on Saturday to police officers, firefighters and veterans.
Glover, who is from Mt. Pleasant, believes the plane is the most historically documented WW II combat aircraft in the world.
He chatted with riders who took a flight aboard his plane around the Terrell and Forney areas and provided a bit of history of his plane, which he restored.
According to the plane’s logs, the C-47 was assigned to the 53rd Troop Carrier Squadron and on May 4, 1943, secret orders were received to proceed from Morrison Field, West Palm Beach, Fla., via Marrekech, French Morocco, North Africa to Western Task Force.
The crew dropped 18 paratroopers on June 6, 1944, during the D-Day invasion with no casualties. But by June 6, three of the paratroopers were killed in action.
The C-47 crew made two drops in Sicily, two drops in Italy, one drop in France, and one drop in Holland.
Donna Riley, tourism director for the Terrell Chamber of Commerce, believes the fly-in went well.
“I know from the food vendors it was a great weekend,” Riley said. “It was a little different this year, a different way to see the planes.”
This year’s event was different in that the city hired an air boss for the event — Chet Krushefski of Austin-based Plane Brains.
The airspace over the airport was FAA waivered and restricted during the flyovers. Also, planes on the tarmac at the terminal were behind a barrier.
“It was a wonderful event,” Riley said. “I saw a lot of families. For the most part, it went well.”
Don Thurman, president of the No. 1 BFTS Museum board, agreed.
“I felt pretty good about it,” Thurman said. “There were a couple of glitches. There were more planes than we expected. It was a great year.”
Gary E. Lindsley may be reached at email@example.com.