Nostalgia: Flight in a B-25
"When one puts their eyes toward the sky, they will find pure awe and bliss. When one combines that with history, they will find solace through cognition."
You know what is beautiful about life? Exactly. The exact moment. Those exact timestamps that really make an impact. That connection posed by the most detrimental moments -those life learning moments. Whether that is a connection to the past, another individual, or even a moment in time, those seconds really make an impact. The smallest amounts of positivity lead to the greatest impacts. The sheer connection of a moment in time with a moment in the past is beyond beautiful. It unlocks a pathway in the brain through the smells, feels, and sounds. It legitimately feels as if being transported to that exact moment -that exact moment that changed everything, in fact still does.
Flying on the B-25 Mitchell plane -also known as Maid in the Shade- was one of those deeply awe inspiring moments. It seemed as if that transportation was really happening. Those of my ancestors who served in the Second World War were clearly present during the flight. Being in that plane certainly represented that connection -the one that deepened my feelings. The second those engines started up my mind immediately felt as if the moment was all too familiar. It felt as if I was actually there, remembering a moment that I had been through. All at the same time, the roar of the two engines rang in my ears.
The apparent smell of burning jet fuel overcame the air. It was as if the plane was calling me home as a future aviator. The men who flew that plane were really present on the flight I took. Since this was a plane that Rosie the Riveter worked on, I really could understand and connect to her when flying a board. With the movement of the work force and work need during World War Two, that opened up many spots for women to get involved in the aviation world. I was able to take a few moments on this honorable flight to reflect about the past -a past I do now know much about, but it just feels all to familiar. I could not help but think about those brave men who flew in the Doolittle raid. My mind focused on the facf that Rosie the Riveter touched the plane. It is such an honor to have been able to complete this flight
The most important moments in life stem from the smallest amounts of positivity, learning, and happiness. As the plane taxied down the runway it came to my mind how amazing it is that Jimmy Doolittle and his crew were able to take off a B-25 from an aircraft carrier. As my lungs took in the vintage smell, my brain was able to picture what a miracle that was. As someone who is fascinated by both vintage aviation as well as World War Two, I can testify that this was the most memorable experience of my life. I really felt that connection and that 'reliving the moment' type of feelings. As the bomber made it across the taxiway, the throttle was placed at full. When the engines were at full it was as if the ground was shaking. She rolled down the runway before finally getting enough speed to successfully takeoff.
I could hardly imagine what it would even be like to see dozens of those in the surrounding skies. How loud would it be? How amazing, yet frightening! The feeling of takeoff was unlike anything I have ever experienced. One of the four forces of flight -drag- could be felt very prominently. The rudder work of the captain in command could be felt as the plane continued her flight. Watching the terrain pass below as my young future pilot eyes stared out the window was nothing short of pure nostalgia. It seemed as if something was there that was not before. The freedom of flight still remained the same. However it felt so different.
A famous saying amongst the aviation community is, "there is nothing like the sound of aircraft engines staring up." While that is true, there is no feeling equivalent to flying in an old World War Two aircraft with its glorious engine noise. As the plane gracefully flew over the land, it was my turn to sit in the gunner seat. A thick layer of glass bumped out to allow the gunner to see. Sitting in that area was unlike anything else. It provided a perfectly breathtaking view. Despite these perfect views, I was still taken back to the thoughts regarding the war. What would it have been like to sit in this seat? How scary would it be to operate this gun? Things like that kept running through my head over and over again.
Whilst I was down in the gunner seat, the pilots circled around a nice little cemetery as part of an honor flight. This was due to the fact that one of the Doolittle raiders was buried there. Being a part of this commemorative and honorable flight was more than I could ever ask for. It was so beautiful to be a part of this wonderful moment. This will stick with me for the rest of my life. Again, the spirits of the past could really be felt here. As my eyes continued to watch out the window it was evident that it was getting close to landing.
As the plane finished the tight (almost bank) turn over the cemetery, it began descent. When the plane began dropping altitude the flaps were cut down and the plane slowed down drastically. From the moment of takeoff to the moment of landing, I was nothing but awe inspired by this little journey. Just how amazing, beautiful, and honorable that flight was. I truly loved every second before, during, and after the flight. Still to this day I am in complete wonder about it. This will be a life highlighted moment that will stick with me forever. It was such a neat experience and it is certainly an unforgettable one too.
"Being a part of this flight -this journey- was such an honor and a privilege. From briefing, to the boarding, even until takeoff, and for sure the landing, every moment of this was absolutely wonderful. It was so nostalgic, taking me back to a moment in time that I hardly know about, but it still feels all too familiar."
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My name is Jetta, and I am a student pilot currently attending Southern Utah University to become an airline pilot. Join me on my journey from zero to the left seat.