A Journal, with Pictures

COPA Super Savannah Fly-In Saturday May 18

by on May.20, 2013, under Flying

On Sat­ur­day May 18, Joyce and I had the plea­sure of host­ing a fly-in to Savan­nah, Geor­gia as part of the COPA South­ern Region events team. We had a great group of COPA pilots and part­ner, com­ing from as far away as Cal­i­for­nia, Indi­ana, Ohio, Geor­gia, South Car­oli­na and Flori­da. Some flew in on Fri­day to get a ear­ly start, with the major­i­ty arriv­ing Sat­ur­day morning.

GreetingsArrivalFlight LineWelcome

 

Every­one was trans­port­ed to the Mighty Eighth Air Force Muse­um for the begin­ning of the pro­gram. After reg­is­tra­tion and a few orga­ni­za­tion­al details, Chuck Cop­ley and Chuck Wat­son pre­sent­ed a one and a half hour sem­i­nar on Thun­der­storm avoid­ance and weath­er plan­ning. The feed back was very good in that atten­dees gained a renewed appre­ci­a­tion for the dan­ger of thun­der­storms and a new per­spec­tive on types, sources and uses of weath­er data. As one attendee put it, “there are some real impor­tant nuggets in there”. I’m sure this sem­i­nar is going to be repeat­ed at future South East COPA get togeth­er

Chuck Copley opens the seminarChuck Watson presents

After a buf­fet lunch in the sem­i­nar room we met our tour guide Gil Ter­ry who did a super job of telling the incred­i­ble sto­ry about this page of avi­a­tion his­to­ry cov­er­ing the air war in Europe in WWII.

The Muse­um tells the sto­ry with exhibits and sim­u­la­tion that cov­er the pre­lude to the war, the bat­tle of Britain, a sim­u­la­tion of the plan­ning, air­craft prepa­ra­tion and actu­al com­bat mis­sion over Ger­many. Start­ing in an actu­al Quon­set hut, we were briefed, saw a film of the ground crew prepar­ing and repair­ing the B‑17’s and then sat in a the­ater with mul­ti­ple screens with actu­al com­bat film tak­ing you on board a bomber on a mis­sion. This was very well done and every­one gained an appre­ci­a­tion for those that served. We then viewed actu­al air­craft and exhibits on equip­ment from that peri­od. Dur­ing that time COPA mem­bers met an 93 year old bombardier/navigator who had been shot down and was a pris­on­er of war who was vis­it­ing the muse­um. The COPA mem­bers thanked him for his ser­vice. We learned that 26,000 crew mem­bers died and 24,000 were POW’s, which gave us a greater appre­ci­a­tion of those who served. Our guide showed us a pic­ture of the main char­ac­ters of the book “A High­er Call”, that was tak­en at the muse­um. Oth­er exhibits told the sto­ry of the POW’s, the women in the Air Force and the end of the war. We scratched the sur­face in the two hour tour, it was poignant but a very good visit.

Super guide Gil TerryPrelude to the warInteresting ExhibitsFasinating storyB-17 in restoration P-51 chases a Me 109 by a B-17Discussion the exhibitA higher callCOPA thanks you for your service

 

We left the hotel for the Mul­ber­ry Inn in the his­toric dis­trict of down­town Savan­nah and arrived just in time for com­ple­men­tary wine and cheese. Some mem­bers did a lit­tle tour­ing of the riv­er front near by and oth­ers relaxed and social­ized. After fresh­en­ing up it was time for cock­tails in our pri­vate room, then din­ner. Every­one had time to get to know their fel­low COPA mem­bers, dis­cuss the day and of course avi­a­tion. It was a very jol­ly evening and every­one seemed to have a good time social­iz­ing. The evening was made even more pleas­ant cour­tesy of Exec­u­tive Air of Hilton Head, who spon­sored the wine with dinner.

Cocktails before dinnerAvaition talkDiscussing the dayRelax with a cocktailSocialize

 

Din­ner was served and was very good!

More discussions at dinnerEnjoying dinnerDeep discussion at diinerDinner conversation

 

Cof­fee and desert and more social­iz­ing and the evening came to an end, with every­one hav­ing had a very full COPA day.

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