Lightning Lives: Famous P-38 Takes Flight After Seven Years | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

** Airborne 07.25.14--CLICK HERE! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 07.25.14 **
** Airborne 07.23.14--CLICK HERE! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 07.23.14 **
** Airborne 07.21.14--CLICK HERE! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 07.21.14 **

Mon, Jun 09, 2008

Lightning Lives: Famous P-38 Takes Flight After Seven Years

Now Owned By Red Bull, "White Lightnin’" Back In The Sky

The world population of flying Lockheed P-38 Lightnings increased by one last week, as P-38 N25Y took to the skies over Breckenridge, TX after a three-year restoration by warbird restorers Ezell Aviation.

The polished silver P-38 took off at 1915 local time on June 2 with well-known warbird pilot Steve Hinton at the controls. The uneventful 20-minute flight was the first time the aircraft had flown since a crash landing on June 25, 2001 which heavily damaged the modified twin-engined World War II fighter.

Well-known through the warbird and air racer community as "White Lightin'", N25Y formerly owned and flown by Lefty Gardner was a fixture at many Reno air races and airshows around the nation from the 70’s through the 90’s. As Gardner was one of the founding members of the original Confederate Air Force (now Commemorative Air Force) in Texas, the P-38 was one of the first aircraft flown with the group. For years, Gardner was known for putting the all-white P-38 through its paces in a spirited aerobatic demonstration that has not been seen in a P-38 since.

On June 25, 2001, Ladd Gardner, Lefty's son, encountered an internal compressor wheel failure in the left engine of the P-38 on decent to landing in Greenwood, MS.  The failure caused an in-flight fire and Ladd was forced to conduct a gear-up emergency landing in a cotton field.  Though Ladd escaped uninjured, the damage from the forced landing was extensive and the aircraft was trucked back to Texas for rebuild.

Nearly four years later the Gardner family, unable to fund a full restoration of the aircraft, sold the P-38 to energy drink manufacturer Red Bull to assure it's return to flight while preserving the Gardner family nest-egg.

The aircraft was transported to Breckenridge, TX to Ezell Aviation in 2005 and the comprehensive restoration began. Technicians completely rehabilitated the aircraft but kept the race modifications that gave the P-38 engine cowlings a distinctive look.

Ezell Aviation hit a setback a two months ago when the airport and their hangar was hit by a tornado on April 9. The P-38 sustained minor damage to the elevator and right side tailboom though many of the hangars and aircraft on the field were damaged or completely destroyed.

According to the website for the Flying Bulls, the Red Bull flight operation based in Salzburg, Austria, the P-38 will eventually be housed at their unique "Hangar-7" facility at the Salzburg Airport.

FMI: www.ezellaviation.com, www.p38whitelightnin.com, www.flyingbulls.at

Advertisement

More News

Trig Avionics Announces New ADS-B Out Solution

TN70 WAAS GPS Receiver Optimized For Use With Other Trig Avionics Trig Avionics is introducing its new TN70 WAAS GPS with companion Antenna, optimized for use with Trig products.>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (07.25.14)

Aviation Digital Data Service The Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS) makes available to the aviation community text, digital and graphical forecasts, analyses, and observations o>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (07.25.14): Pitch Point

A fix/waypoint that serves as a transition point from a departure procedure or the low altitude ground-based navigation structure into the high altitude waypoint system.>[...]

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (07.25.14)

"The final rule is now planned for, I think its December of 2017. That is later than the statute, which calls for a final rule by the end of 2015." Source: FAA's Associate Administ>[...]

ANN FAQ: Disqus

A Powerful New Tool For You To Use For Your Aero-Conversations Want to start a conversation about a story you've seen on Aero-News? It's even easier with Disqus, a powerful, web-ba>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC