rom the distance, the large dark silhouette is suspended in the clear morning air. With the telltale bump over the main cabin and it’s landing gear and engines hanging from the underside of the fuselage, the shadow more resembles a large ink-spot than a sleek, sophisticated aircraft.
But slowly, there’s no mistaking the sound and size of the approaching plane and it looks like it’s heading for the 5,000 foot, north-south runway, and while that may seem like a long runway for a municipal airport, it’s nowhere near long enough for a 747.
The plane carries the markings of its parent airlines, Lufthansa and on this chilly January morning, the pilots flying it have no intention of landing, they simply want to make a low pass over the airport, an airport that houses two of the oldest planes in their company’s fleet.
There are two Lockheed Constellations at the airport, and Lufthansa is restoring one of the planes in a company-owned hangar on the airport property.
The 747, is being retired from the fleet and was on its way to the southwest where it will sit in the dry desert heat with thousands of other former passenger planes. It’s home base was Frankfurt, Germany and as the plane made its way west one last time, the pilots couldn’t resist the chance to fly by and say hello.
They made one low pass over the airport, and as the wheels seemed to drift over the fence at the northern end of the property, they lifted into the morning sky again and slowly turned toward the west. It only seemed fitting that they would stop by for a quick hello on their way by.