EAA Relaunches Aluminum Overcast


Marking a small move toward aviation normalcy, EAA’s B-17 Aluminum Overcast returned to the tour circuit last weekend with a stop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Despite “tricky weather,” the warbird made 14 total flights.

“I can tell you that the unseasonably cold temperatures, in the 30s each day, did not deter our visitors from coming off of the airplane smiling ear to ear from their recent experience,” EAA Manager of Air Tours Kristy Busse said. “Many of our visitors brought family stories and memories showcasing their direct connection to World War II, the B-17, and the Greatest Generation. It was an honor to spend time with each of them and feel the importance of their connection to this aircraft and flight experience.”

Photo: EAA

According to EAA, the Air Tours team “spent seven months communicating with chapters, prospective airport hosts, and other operators, and during that time developed the new out and back tour stop model to ensure Aluminum Overcast could continue operating in a safe manner. An ionizing fogger used between flights sanitizes the B-17, and volunteers, crewmembers, and riders wear masks.”

“COVID-19 was a non-issue in Cedar Rapids because our volunteers and guests treated each other with respect,” Kristy said. “The entire public from small children up to our oldest visitor self-regulated within CDC guidance. We had no issues with riders as a result of COVID-19 related changes and in fact the weather was a bigger factor on the weekend than anything pandemic related. We have to continue to learn because every location, airport, and host has its own unique differences and challenges, but I am confident in saying this past weekend was a safe, successful, and excellent event taking a big step in the right direction towards getting the touring aircraft back on the road. We will continue to work with other operators and subject matter experts to evolve our procedures to best protect our visitors, local hosts, and crew!”

You can learn more about upcoming flights here.

Marc Cook
KITPLANES Editor in Chief Marc Cook has been in aviation journalism for more than 30 years. He is a 4000-hour instrument-rated, multi-engine pilot with experience in nearly 150 types. He’s completed two kit aircraft, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Sportsman 2+2, and currently flies a 2002 GlaStar.

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