Spokane pilots complete historic transcontinental flight
SPOKANE, Wash. - Two Spokane pilots have flown into the record books after successfully completing a historic transcontinental flight across the United States in two historic planes.
The two pilots landed back home at Felts Field Saturday afternoon, but only one of the planes made it back completely safe and sound.
Larry Tobin and Addison Pemberton flew from New York to San Francisco delivering mail the same way it was done in the 1920's. U.S. Post Office officials were on hand at each of the mail stops across the country to process the mail.
The planes, a vintage 1927 C3B Stearman flown by Tobin and a 1928 Boeing 40C, the oldest flying Boeing airliner in the world, piloted by Addison Pemberton, were both used as mailplanes in their day and both fully restored in Spokane.
The trip took the planes over various locations including New York, Ohio, Illinois, Utah and California. When the planes finally landed in San Francisco they were honored with a dinner and program to celebrate completion of the New York to San Francisco AirMail re-enactment.
They were supposed to land in Spokane between 1:00 and 1:30 p.m. Saturday, but didn't arrive until 3:00 p.m.
During the trip back to Spokane Tobin ran into some trouble when his engine suddenly cut out. His plane stalled and he was forced to bring it down near the Hood River. Fortunately Tobin was not hurt and the plane only suffered minor damage.
Overall, the trip took over 28 hours of flying time and 8 days, with a loss of 4 days in Rochelle Illinois because of weather.
A special celebration will be held at the Spokane International Airport to celebrate these pilots' accomplishments and give people a chance to see their vintage aircraft.