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Featured Video: ‘Return of the Catalina’ Trailer

By Joseph Scheil, Editor—Briefing, EAA Warbirds of America 597792

I’m excited to see a documentary slated for release in July about a PBY ferry flight from Europe to Australia. A while back I was in California doing some nonessential tasks on the PBY-5 owned by the Palm Springs Air Museum, a plane that I had ferried from Moses Lake, Washington, to Palm Springs back in 2006. Having previously ferried a “tall tail” 6A across the country, a C-53, and others, I thought I knew about ferry flights. Watch the documentary trailer.

Anyway, a guy with an Australian accent comes up and starts talking about ferrying PBY aircraft, and after a few sentences I had to stop him and hear it again. Sure enough, he was talking about ferry flying from Europe to Australia! Needless to say I was later shocked again to find out his day job was flying the A-380 for Quantas!

Ross Kelly and I began talking PBYs and have met up again at Sun ’n Fun and elsewhere across the world where his group HARS (the Historic Aircraft Restoration Society) have become operators of a PBY, a Lockheed Constellation, and a Neptune, among others.

The film is amazing considering the distances and infrastructure of the time. The desire to find and then fly a PBY in 2008 was again a courageous and focused decision. Recently Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared somewhere “west of Australia”, which goes to show just how remote that area is even today.

The PBY, and the men that flew them on those great World War II flights that lasted longer than a day, live on in the spirit captured in this ferry flight. Hear Ross and his friends at their completely optimistic and can-do best! They are an amazing group and truly personify the spirit and focus that EAA “warbirders” the world over possess!
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