Happened to me yesterday afternoon. Around five o’clock I’m standing in the kitchen. The weather has been wonderful for late October so the windows are open. I hear a muted rumbling noise. Probably a Harley out on the nearby county road I thought, someone enjoying a ride on a pleasant Alabama afternoon. But as it grows louder it begins to sound more like an airplane. A large airplane. A large old airplane. Those are radial aircraft engines, my brain finally realizes. Large, loud, and multiple. My brain informs my feet to get outside and see what is about to pass right over the back yard. As I make it out the back door to the patio and look up, what to my wondering eyes doth appear but a Boeing B17 Flying Fortress passing low level right over my back yard airstrip. He couldn’t have been more than a few hundred feet off the deck. I could see the exhaust streaming from all four engines. My eyes saw this happening, but my brain could not comprehend why one of, what, maybe ten or eleven flyable B17s left on the planet, was flying over my tiny backyard airstrip in Nowheresville, Alabama. I don’t even rate one of those Visual Checkpoint VFR Sectional flags my little strip is so obscure. I stood frozen In wonderment and disbelief.  I would have felt the same if it had been a spacecraft from another galaxy buzzing my house. Then she was gone, headed due South.   I’ll never forget that image.

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That seems to happen to me every few years and are awesome moments.  I was at a local hardware store many years back when the same sounds were approaching.  I couldn't get checked out fast enough!!  I ran outside just in time to see a B-24 doing the same thing.  I live about 20 air miles from Cincinnati Lunken airport where they stage warbird rides from time to time. I have sighted the occasional B-17 and B-29 flying over my house.

Dave G

We live five miles from the airport that the B-29 "Doc" flys from. I took this picture from our back deck this summer.

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