WWII veteran shares expertise on vintage aircraft at Eden Prairie air show
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (FOX 9) - Clear skies were a welcome sight for dozens of pilots flying military jets over the west metro Saturday for "Wings of the North Air Expo."
It's a sight to see with vintage planes and daredevil skydivers performing this weekend.
Veteran pilots were on hand to share their stories. We spoke with flight crews from different eras including the Greatest Generation.
High above Eden Prairie, generations of planes and helicopters, and even the Red Bull Air Force are taking flight above aviation fans of all ages at Flying Cloud Airport.
"I learned to fly when I was a senior high school... been flying since, 40 years," said pilot Bill Steier. "Since I was a little kid, WW2, that’s a B-17s, been my favorite airplane."
Chuck Childs knows a thing or two about the B-17.
"I was a pilot and I flew 37 combat missions in a B-17. Pretty rough ones."
Now 99 years old, Childs shared his story, earned from 1,700-plus hours flying a B-17. Many spent over World War II's European Theater from Czechoslovakia to Germany.
"I was 24 in that picture," he said. "I was the old man in my crew, I had an 18-year-old tail gunner, a 19-year-old engineer that was killed."
"To have those guys around," Steier explains, "who have those stories, that experience, it's pretty neat."
"It’s a great feeling for a 99-year-old guy," says Childs, speaking of his interactions with fans at the expo.
The expo wraps up on Sunday; you can click here for more information.