Arizona B-17 Back On Tour, EAA’s Grounded For AirVenture


Less than two months after the FAA issued an AD that grounded the flyable B-17s in the U.S., at least one of them is back in the air and thrilling warbird fans in southern British Columbia. The Airbase Arizona Museum’s Sentimental Journey is taking paying customers for rides in Penticton, B.C., this week after a week in Cranbrook, about 200 miles east of Penticton. A spokeswoman for the museum told AVweb the aircraft has been “signed off” by the FAA after undergoing a complex inspection for cracking and corrosion to wing attach fittings. The B-17 is joined by the museum’s C-47 and B-25 on the tour, which heads to Victoria, B.C., next week before a series of stops in the Pacific Northwest, Idaho and Utah.

EAA has confirmed that its B-17 Aluminum Overcast will be absent from AirVenture 2023 next week as it undergoes a major overhaul, but the skies will certainly not be empty. “Along with the needed repairs and the FAA mandate, we found this to be a good time to really give the old girl a good going-through. So we’ll be standing down for a while,” Dick Knapinski said. He also said EAA’s B-25 and its two Ford Trimotors will be offering rides throughout the big show. It was Aluminum Overcast that sparked the latest AD. During a walkaround, the pilot noticed the heavy bomber’s wing had shifted a few inches. The resulting AD requires at least some disassembly of the wing structures to inspect the fittings.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

Other AVwebflash Articles


  1. B-17 rides will still be available at AirVenture. The Yankee Air Museum’s B-17, “Yankee Lady” will step in provide rides to the public. Passengers muster near the warbirds area and then a shuttle takes them to Appleton for the launch and recovery. The bird will fly over AirVeture and complete a round robin of the Oshkosh area. Rides will also be availble in “Doc” B-29 along with other offerings. Here is the link: