Golf tournament shoots down a B-17’s visit

There’s some irony — somewhere — in the inability of a World War II bomber to land at the Anoka-Blaine airport on the Fourth of July because of a nearby golf tournament.

Aluminum Overcast, the B-17 bomber operated by the Oshkosh-based Experimental Aircraft Association, was supposed to drop into the airport on Independence Day as part of a holiday celebration.

But the 3M Open, a PGA tour stop, begins the same day at the TPC Twin Cities golf course, a private club in nearby Blaine.

As with most major sporting events, it’s anticipated the Federal Aviation Administration would restrict airplanes near the site of the event.

The local EAA chapter posted on its Facebook page this week that city and federal authorities have turned the plane away because of security concerns.

Good enough to liberate Europe; not good enough to fly around Anoka County.

Our July 4th Tour Stop venue has been changed to the St. Paul Downtown Airport terminal!A few days ago I was informed…

Posted by EAA Chapter 237 on Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Instead, the B-17 will land in downtown St. Paul, where it will be on display, provide rides, and not be a threat to people who play or watch golf.

St. Paul will also be the first stop on a nationwide tour for the EAA’s newly restored B-25, as a tribute to EAA Chapter 237 that contributed thousands of volunteer hours to the project, according to EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski.

Archive: A flight in a B-17 (NewsCut)

The unnecessary death of a B-17 (NewsCut)

  • MrE85

    Well, to be fair, it IS a bomber..

    I can usually see (and always hear) the old warbirds at Stately Moffitt Manor, which is located not too far from the Blaine airport.

  • boB from WA

    When looking at the headline I thought maybe it was golf balls being used as ammo.

  • Joe

    Sounds like a win anyway. Easier for everyone to get to St Paul to see it than to Blaine.

    • Rob

      Right? I’ll be there. Wish a ride wasn’t so damn expensive, but I get that the EAA needs the dough to keep the warbird flying.

      • Kat S.

        You know it. I still remember my first tour of a B-17. I’m delighted I’ll get a chance to take my daughter. Sorry, Blaine.

        • MrE85

          We’ve had B-17s before. We’ll get one again.

        • Rob

          One of my favorite souvenirs is a spent .50 cal round from a B-25 visit awhile back

    • Jack

      Since my 4th plans seem to be in flux, I will add this to the list for my staycation.

    • MrE85


      • Jack

        How are those lungs doing?

        • MrE85

          My latest CT scan was very promising. So much so, I don’t have to go back to the cancer clinic unless new symptoms show up.

  • Jeff

    If Tiger was on-board they’d let it land on the golf course.

  • Brian Simon

    I imagine the security theater is really an excuse to keep the ‘noise’ away from the sensitive athletes concentrating on their shots.

    • Rob

      Plus, it drowns out all the tranquil-sounding bird chirps that the networks plant in their golf coverage.

      • Jerry

        There is a reason golf is the best sport to watch when you need a nap

        • I thought that was baseball?


          • Jerry

            Baseball is second or third with tennis. Baseball announces talk a little too loud to really get much of nap in. Now baseball, however, is one of the most boring sports to play, especially if you are a right fielder.

          • Jeff

            I know your affinity for hockey. The few times I’ve gone to Wild games people were just sitting around chatting and drinking beer waiting for something to happen. My friend said she likes to go for the fights. They seem to be going out of fashion. The playoffs might be a different story, oh guess not this year.

          • Agreed with your points, but things seem to happen more frequently in hockey than in baseball.

            Hockey fights – I am dead set against them and have commented as such on the Wild feed, for which i am usually called unsavory names. An “RIP Derek Boogaard” usually shuts those folks down.

            Playoff hockey: A good hockey play playoff game is probably the most exciting sport to see live…I say that after being in attendance at the Twins 1987 WS run, and a couple Vikings playoff games, including the -8 game at “The Bank”.

        • Rob

          Right? Whether the bird songs are live or piped in, the chirping and the sotto voce commentary are very snooze-inducing. : )

      • Jeff

        I was wondering if the bird songs are real or not. To Google I went. Apparent they are.

        Slate ( asked a professor of ornithology if they were, apparently he avidly follows the Masters and keeps a list he hears every year.

        The roster from 2016: “tufted titmouse, Carolina chickadee, Carolina wren, Eastern bluebird, Northern mockingbird, Northern cardinal, Eastern towhee.” He added, “That was kind of a thin year,” then went searching for a better sample. “In 2015, I had great blue heron, red-bellied woodpecker, American crow, American robin, brown thrasher, Northern parula, pine warbler, yellow-throated warbler, chipping sparrow, white-throated sparrow.” He paused. “This was a good year.”

        Apparently there was a tournament in 2000 where CBS did add bird audio and bird-heads caught it. They haven’t done it since.

        • Rob

          Yup. No issue as to whether the bird sounds are local. I read the same article, and my understanding is that the network neither confirms nor denies that it continues to occasionally engage in the practice.

      • joetron2030

        It would also drown out the tranquil sounds of meatheads yelling “You the man!” and “Get in the hole!”. lol.

  • Jack Ungerleider

    I’m not sure which network is carrying the tournament but I would expect, particularly with golf, that there is a need to have clear airspace for whichever blimp or plane is providing aerial coverage. (Though this would not be an official reason. Safety and security are always the official reasons.)