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Flying Over City

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I was fortunate to be the flight engineer for a recent mission to Cleveland for the Piston Power Show at the airport, with Pilot Craig Johnston and Copilot Gary Pasco. Flying over Lake Michigan was like crossing the English Channel, and flying over the farm fields of New York and Ohio was just like buzzing the English countryside. Flying over Cleveland in a B-17 is awesome. With the four girls happy and roaring, we cruised around 165 knots, but strangely the wind noise alone is louder than the engines. The B-17 is neither pressurized nor heated, with plenty of nooks and crannies for wind and cold to creep in. While we stayed around 5,000 AGL, operational height was 25,000 feet, requiring crews to wear heated flying suits and oxygen masks.