Friday, July 17, 2009

Rare "Bird" Sighting

You all know that airports are good places to see rare birds, right? Well, this weekend Rochester International Airport is the best place in the Upper Midwest to spot the "Aluminum Overcast," an extremely rare B-17 Flying Fortress, or "war bird" as some people like to call them.

I've been anxiously waiting for today ever since I saw a news item in last weekend's paper saying there was going to be a B-17 visiting Rochester this weekend. Shortly after I got home from work this morning, I heard the plane flying (that's one of the advantages of living close to the airport!)

I grabbed my camera and binoculars and hopped in the car to head over to a spot that I know is close to the runway; with a strong wind from the northwest, I knew they would have to use that runway for landing. I was the first person there, but it wasn't long before some other folks with cameras showed up too. While we waited and chatted for a short time, the "Aluminum Overcast" finally appeared on the horizon. As it circled around to approach the runway, we knew we were all in the perfect spot for the plane to fly right over us.

Check out this awesome video I was able to film......didn't I tell you it was the perfect spot!

To find out more about this fantastic piece of flying history, please click on the following link:

B-17G Flying Fortress "Aluminum Overcast"


troutbirder said...

Wow! It's just like in a WWI movie. I think Jimmie Stewart might be at the controls.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Art's going to pee his pants when I show him your video tonight!
Very neat.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a heck of a Skywatch Friday post Ruthie. A lovely old bird indeed.

Mama Pea said...

How "strange" it is to see a plane with propellors these days!

Great video!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Troutbirder,
That reminds of the guys I talked to out there said I need to see the movie 12 O'Clock High--lots of good B-17 footage, so I'm adding that to my Netflix queue.

Hi Lynne,
The plane will be here tomorrow too if you and Art want to drive down.

Thanks Lisa. Those clouds look kind of ominous, but we've only had a few sprinkles out of them.

You got that right Mama Pea! It's amazing to see how different the "old" warbirds are from what's being used today too.

Red said...

You sure did find the perfect spot... that was great!

Kelly said...

Very cool...and a surprise!

Jayne said...

How neat, and what a great place to see it!!

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Heidi.

Hi Kelly,
Not the rare bird you were expecting, was it?

Hi Jayne,
I was lucky to get that video, on the next flight they took the shortcut and didn't come in that far before the runway.

Anonymous said...

Those are so cool. When we lived in Sac every now and then a B-17 and a B-24 would fly into the base near our house. It's hard to imagine the sound of a few hundred of those flying over like it was in England during the war. Doubt you would ever get to the Midland/Odessa, TX area, but the Confederate Air Force is there and they have a bunch of the old planes in flying condition.

Cali Bro

RuthieJ said...

Hi Philip,
They sure are cool planes. There have been some visiting RST before, but this is the first time I've been able to get so close to one flying over.
I'll keep Midland/Odessa and the Confederate Air Force on my list of places to visit after retirement....