Vintage Planes Touch Down in Idaho’s Magic Valley
I could spend hours looking at old planes, trains and automobiles. Come to think of it, I often do! The July 2021 Northwest Air Tour made a stop in Buhl on Wednesday. Thursday, it’s on to the airport in Jerome. Many of these planes have some long hours on them but have been meticulously maintained. I watched as one pilot polished his maroon wings and another tinkered with an engine. Then I looked skyward and saw four old biplanes in tandem making an approach.
Of course, I had just put away the camera and was on my way out of the Buhl Airport when I saw them on the way. When the antiques landed, I fired up the zoom and tried getting some pictures.
The weather was perfect at mid-day. Not too hot and the smell of wildfire smoke wasn’t nearly as pungent as when I left work in Twin Falls. I was impressed by the crowd at 11:00 o’clock in the morning. It’s quite obvious there are a lot of flying enthusiasts in Buhl. The “Buhl Air Force” entertains during the Independence Day Parade.
I did note some of the smaller planes I saw. Twenty years ago, I could’ve squeezed inside but not today. Some are old spotter aircraft. Two seats. One behind the other. I’m used to a bit more room. I’ve been aloft in both a B-17 and a B-25. An uncle was killed in the latter. At the time I didn’t know the story. I was just enjoying the flight. In the B-17 I could stand up and walk around during the trip. It wouldn’t be possible in some of the smaller craft I saw in Buhl, however. Some have open cockpits and it must be a thrill to be hundreds to a thousand feet off ground and getting a taste of the breeze.
We’ve come a long way in just under 120 years. From the Wright Brothers to Richard Branson. Human ingenuity remains a wonderful thing.