"Gathering Of Mustangs" Gains Momentum

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A once-in-a-lifetime aviation event is in the works for next month, when up to 100 Mustangs will fly into Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus, Ohio, for the "Gathering of Mustangs and Legends." The last such gathering took place in Florida in 1999. This year's event is billed as "The Final Round-up," as it might be the last chance for many of the original Mustang pilots and crew from World War II to attend. About 50 such "legends" are expected at the event, including Aces, crew chiefs, WASPs and others who were part of the P-51 family. The event will take place Sept. 27 to 30. Besides Mustangs, the show will feature the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, the F-22 Raptor, the Red Baron Stearman squadron, air show pilots Patty Wagstaff and Mike Goulian and more. But the real focus of the event, according to the Web site, is not the aircraft but the men and women who flew and took care of them. "This is what the event is all about -- to reunite them together again: to honor, to thank, to hear their stories one more time," the organizer says. (Photo: Paul Bowen)