The Missoulian is tracking Miss Montana to Normandy, the Museum of Mountain Flying’s DC-3 that left Missoula on Sunday, May 19. The six-person crew across the U.S. was made up of pilots Jeff Whitesell, Eric Komberec, Bryan Douglass, Nico Van Pronay and mechanics/EMTs Randy and Crystal Schonemann. Pilot Art Dykstra joined the crew in Connecticut.
Tuesday, May 21 — Took a morning flight to New York City with a CBS television crew while stopping for the day at Waterbury-Oxford Airport in Connecticut.
Wednesday — Bad weather blocked the way to the first scheduled international stop at Goose Bay, Newfoundland. Miss Montana flew 3½ hours from Oxford to Presque Isle, Maine, a few miles east of the New Brunswick, Canada, border.
“We’re staying in Presque Isle for the night, planning to make Goose Bay tomorrow in prep for crossing in better wx Friday or Saturday,” Douglass said in a text Wednesday afternoon. … Also Wednesday, four planes from the D-Day Squadron landed safely in Prestwick, Scotland; one made it to Reykjavik, Iceland; two landed in Kangelussuaq, Greenland, and four others, including a support King Air, made it safely from Goose Bay to Narsarsuaq, Greenland. Miss Montana trails the pack … Clipper Tabitha May reached the final destination of Duxford, England, on Sunday. … Miss Montana and her crew were greeted at the Presque Isle airport by the president of the Presque Isle Air Museum and a limousine ride to the terminal. On Sunday, 11 other DC-3s in the D-Day Squadron stopped to refuel at Presque Isle, drawing a crowd of 1,000. … Presque Isle housed an Air Force base during World War II that was a major departure point for U.S. fighter planes. It became a key missile base during the Cold War.
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Komberec in Presque Island: “This is a really friend community. Very awesome. The whole town’s excited to have us out. Took us to lunch. We’ve repositioned the airplane out of the wind to help keep Randy warm and happy. Going to pull the engine cowlings off and check for oil leaks, tighten everything down.”