Sunday, June 26, 2011

"Meet the Pilots" day at Intrepid

After much planning and anticipation, yesterday was "Meet the Pilots" day at Intrepid.  Eric brought in 6 fighter pilots, locally and from around the country, who actually flew aircraft aboard the Intrepid's flight deck. (Click any photo to enlarge).
Colonel Brent Richardson,  F-16 Falcon plot .. Rollie Shay, A-4B Skyhawk pilot .. Rear Admiral Lew Chatham, F11F-Tiger (Blue Angel #5) pilot .. Mike Barger, TopGun Instructor and co-founder of JetBlue Airways .. John Gill, TBM Avenger pilot .. Frank Murray, A-12 Blackbird pilot .. (my husband) Eric Boehm, Curator-Aviation & Aircraft Restoration
The day began with a panel question and answer session held in the Intrepid's Lutnick Theater, moderated by Mike Barger and Eric with assistance from Dina Ingersole.  Following  a casual lunch on the ship's fantail, the men took their places alongside their aircraft to answer questions from the public.  Eric presented each man with a commemorative piece of the Intrepid's original wood deck. 
Eric presenting plaques to Avenger pilot John Gill and FJ-3 Fury pilot Sam Folsom

In 1963 when Eric was only 4 years old, his dad brought him to his first air show where he saw this actual F11F Blue Angel #5 being flown by this pilot, Rear Admiral Lew Chatham.  Eric found Admiral Chatham through the Blue Angel reunion's website, leading to this amazing "full circle" moment.

To see more events on Intrepid, please visit Proof Positive Photography.

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