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Historic Montana plane leaves U.S. airspace en route to D-Day anniversary

The “Miss Montana” has been prepared to soar to Normandy by a volunteer force at the Museum of Mountain Flying over the past year. (MTN News photo)

GOOSE BAY, NEWFOUNDLAND – Miss Montana is spending the night in Canada after leaving US airspace for the first time on her epic trip to Normandy.

And now preparations will focus on the Transatlantic crossing, as the plane and her crew head for the 75th anniversary of the “D-Day” invasion of World War 2.

Miss Montana made the hop from Presque Isle, Maine to Goose Bay, Newfoundland on Thursday, setting down on the edge of Canada just before 3 o’clock Mountain Time, following the string of planes of the “D-Day Squadron.”

“And then we’ll take it one step at a time. We’ve already got planes that have to Ducksburg. We’ve got planes that were stranded in Goose Bay. We’ve got planes that were stuck in Greenland and planes that made it to Iceland and spent a couple of days there. So we’re all sort of spread out,” said Miss Montana Project Co-leader Bryan Douglass.

The crew continues to be treated like heroes everywhere they stop. In Presque Isle, the city fathers even treated them to breakfast before takeoff, with a limo ride to and from the airport.

From Goose Bay, the attention turns to the challenging part of the trip, running the “Blue Spruce Route”, which is the historic hop all the cargo planes used to “hop” across the North Atlantic, making fuel and maintenance stops.

The weather continues to be a challenge for all of the aircraft. But Douglass says that adds authenticity to the trip.

“Worse case it could be a week. So we just don’t know until the day of, or the day before. And there are some weird weather patterns up there that are causing some of this consternation with the low clouds and rain and icing issues.”

There’s a crew of six on board Miss Montana right now. The paratroopers and other crew will be flying over commercially to join the commemoration on June 6th.

-Dennis Bragg reporting for MTN

MTN News

MTN News

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