The 2016 Wings Over Houston has come and gone once again and this year was a blast! The Texas Flying Legends Museum was proud to participate in this years event flying Saturday and Sunday.
Wings Over Houston is always a special event for the museum. Since one of the museum’s main bases is at Ellington Field, the hangar and the field is usually packed with planes and people. The airshow marks the last airshow of the season for the museum, the remaining events of the year being smaller more personal engagements.
One of the best parts of the Wings Over Houston Airshow are the number of great veterans that come out in support of the show. Joe McPhail has been coming out for years. A local resident in Houston, Joe served in WWII and Korea flying everything from Wildcats to jets. He is a an ace with over 17,000 flying hours. On Friday before the show started he sat down with 65 home school students in the TFLM hangar to share his experiences and knowledge with the kids. We were very grateful that Joe took time to do this.
Then there was good ol Dick Cole. Those in the aviation world all know about Dick. He flew second seat with Jimmy Doolittle on the famous Doolittle Raid. He later would fly over the hump in C-47’s. Dick’s exploits are among the most well known of any WWII aviator. Being the last Doolittle Raider and over 100 years old now, Dick is still mentally and physically active as he spent time with the TFLM crew in front of Betty’s Dream. People like Dick Cole and Joe McPhail who energize and inspire everyone around them is why we keep flying.
As with every event it is the people involved that make the event special. We are fortunate to be able to spend so much time around these planes and for others it is a once in a lifetime glimpse of these beautiful machines. While attendance this year was not record breaking like last year, Ellington Field still had over 100K people show up over the two days. It is the support of these fans that keep the fleet flying.