B-17 takes to the sky - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

B-17 takes to the sky

YAKIMA, Wash. - The B-17 Bomber is ready and raring to go when I arrive at the McAlister Museum of Aviation, but before I'm allowed to get on the flying fortress, I have to fill out some paper work.  

"I'm signing my life away," I said as I sign the release form.

Now I'm ready, except I need to ask the pilot, who's flying this bomber, one thing."

"Will we be safe if we fly in this?"

"I hope so," said Sam Bass, the B-17 pilot. "You know the front end hits first."

Bass's words of encouragement don't seem to ease my fears of flying, especially in a plane that is older than I am.

However, one man does, Malvin Stohl, who said everything will be alright. He should know, he use to fly these planes in World War II. When Stohl was only 22-years-old, the B-17 he was flying, was shot down in Germany.

"We were hit by fighters and we lost the engines and it all happens so quickly that you don't see it coming until after it actually happened," he said.

With Stohl as my flying partner, we get on board. Once in the air, Stohl and I can see the entire Yakima Valley, but the flight has to come to an end.

With my feet back on solid ground, all I can say is, "that wasn't so bad."

As for my flying partner, he said he feels the same.

"Great, that was really great," Stohl said.

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