Had simply an amazing morning yesterday in Brighton, MI. I’d meet Patrick this past July at Oshkosh at my friends B-25. It was a quick introduction because well, we were all rather busy. It was the Sandbar Mitchell team. Well I emailed Patrick and said I would be in the neighborhood this week and asked if we could stop by. The next morning, we pulled up to this home with what appeared to have a slight extension on the garage. It was the right address, but we were coming to see a B-25J Mitchell. I sheepishly knocked on the door and there was Patrick.
The Sandbar Mitchell is just a great American story. Of a youngster’s dream to grow up working on Warbirds and the ripe old rage of, well, perhaps 30, has made it come true. They rescued from a sandbar up in Alaska a B-25J and now have it in this hangar in Brighton, MI with the goal to have it flying in ten years. The amazing thing is, they don’t have some big institution or individual bank rolling this venture (but they should). Better than that is they have a dream and they are sharing that dream with a group of high school students who come to the hangar after school who share the same dream. In just a short part of a half year since getting the B-25, they have made tremendous progress! Patrick has been mentoring these kids so now they are learning how to restore the B-25 and are actively part of the restoration process. The kids start with the basics of pushing a broom and cleaning oily parts and graduate to problem solving of how to carefully disassemble parts for restoration by reading the manual, talking over their plan with Patrick and then executing those plans. It’s is just a wonderful story of American ingenuity at work to save a part of our history!
I’ll be reporting back on their progress overtime because this is a great story. Being the season of giving, I thought I would make you aware of an opportunity for you to contribute. For the small amount of $25 or $75 (seen above), you will receive a piece of the original aircraft. This small amount makes a huge difference in their efforts and does so much more than just rebuild an aircraft. mtc