Maintenance Problem Delays B-17 Bomber Visit To Tulsa
SPRING, Texas - A maintenance issue has delayed the visit of a piece of aviation history to Tulsa.
The Commemorative Air Force's B-17 bomber is grounded at the group's home airfield in Spring, Texas. The World War II-era B-17G called "Texas Raiders" was due to arrive at Jones Riverside Airport in Tulsa at 2 o'clock on Friday afternoon, where it would spend the weekend, providing tours and rides to paying customers.
Kevin Michels, a media representative for the group, said the flight crew was preparing for the trip Friday when it noticed a problem. He didn't want to discuss the specifics of the issue because he said he didn't have all the details confirmed yet.
"It's a very unusual, major issue," Michels said. "Our crack maintenance crew caught the problem before anyone or anything was in danger."
Michels said the plane will be grounded at least 24 hours, possibly longer. He said the group hopes to still make it to Tulsa Sunday afternoon or on Monday. He said if the issue takes too long to resolve, the bomber won't be able to come to Tulsa on this tour because of other commitments beginning next week.
The "Texas Raiders" B-17 was delivered to the U.S. Army Air Corps on July 12, 1945. It served with the U.S. Navy before being bought by a private company. The Commemorative Air Force acquired it in 1967. The group restored it, practically disassembling the whole airplane in the process, from 2002 to 2009.