503 D-Day Squadron and the C-47

A fleet of C-47 aircraft plan to fly over Normandy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Also, the DOT plans to take a closer look at FAA oversight of airline maintenance practices, a panel of experts looks at the disappearance of MH 370, and passengers react to airline food service takeaways.

Placid Lassie will join up with other aircraft of the D-Day Squadron in June 2019 to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion. Courtesy D-Day Squadron.

Placid Lassie will join up with other aircraft of the D-Day Squadron in June 2019 to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion. Courtesy D-Day Squadron.


Moreno "Mo" Aguiari, Executive Director of D-Day Squadron.

Moreno “Mo” Aguiari, Executive Director of D-Day Squadron.

Moreno “Mo” Aguiari is the Executive Director of D-Day Squadron, an organization that plans to lead an American fleet of historic, restored C-47 World War II military aircraft in Daks Over Normandy in June 2019. That event includes a flyover of more than 30 international aircraft that will drop 250 paratroopers over the shores of Normandy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day and honor the citizen soldiers of the War.

The D-Day Squadron is the part of the Tunison Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The Squadron’s education program tells the story of the citizen soldier to audiences at air shows and events off the flight line to honor the brave Americans and ensure their memory and significance is appreciated for generations to come. The group’s efforts are funded through the generous tax-deductible contribution of their supporters.

Mo is a sales/marketing and business development professional who received a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Milan and an Aeronautical Technician diploma from the National Avio School, also in Milan, Italy. He moved to the United States in 1999 to become a commercial pilot and became a US citizen in 2008. In addition to being the Executive Director of the D-Day Squadron, Mo also runs Warbird Digest and Warbirds News, a successful vintage aviation publishing company focused on the warbird and classic aircraft community.

Aviation News

Watchdog probes FAA’s review of aircraft maintenance at American Airlines and Allegiant Air

In June 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s inspector general’s office announced they would audit how the FAA reviews airline maintenance practices. Now, the DOT inspector general’s office plans to focus on FAA response to complaints received about American Airlines and Allegiant Air maintenance practices. The DOT memo says they want to find out whether the FAA “ensures that Allegiant and American Airlines implement effective corrective actions to address the root causes of maintenance problems.”

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 crash was deliberate, aviation experts suggest

60 Minutes Australia gathered an international group of aviation experts to talk about the disappearance of MH370. While not in complete agreement, many feel it was a deliberate criminal act by the pilot – a suicide/mass murder. See also What the 60 Minutes report into MH370 didn’t tell us.

MH370 – The Situation Room | 60 Minutes Australia

Why passengers are so angry about an airline’s decision to scrap tomato juice

Following Brian’s comments last week about airline takeaways, we have this story. United Airlines decided to drop Sprite Zero, Jim Beam, Courvoisier, and tomato juice from flights less than 4 hours. Customers reacted strongly on social media and United reversed the decision. For more on this, see United Airlines Just Made First Class Passengers Incredibly Angry. Now the Airline is Having Second Thoughts.

Listener Recording

Student pilot Nicki brings us installment #8 on learning to become a pilot.


Brian spoke with some members of the A-10 Demo Team at the Planes of Fame Airshow: Sr Airman Betty Chevalier (Team Public Affairs Representative). Tactical Sargent Dan Isaksen (Team Chief), and Capt. Cody Wilton (Team Pilot).

A-10 by Brian Coleman.

A-10 by Brian Coleman.


Boeing’s Been Granted A Patent For Turning The B-1B Into A Gunship Bristling With Cannons

Air Force special ops can’t afford the AC-130 gunship lasers


Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.


2 thoughts on “503 D-Day Squadron and the C-47

  1. John "Omar" Bradley

    Ref the B-1 Gunship.

    I don’t think it is such a great idea either. But….

    As a former B-1 Aircraft Commander, I was surprised by two parts of this section.

    1. The ranting about patents. And ranting about patents. And ranting about the patent process. And ranting…THAT part of the topic has NOTHING to do with aviation. (Just like the story about Apple being sued and then complaining and complaining and complaining about the over-litigious society we live in…not an aviation topic). It just sounded like the soap-box curmudgeon section of the show. The process and policies of patenting — however much you dislike them — have NOTHING to do with airplanes. You might as well complain about the price of bottled water at airshows on your show — they’re not related.

    2. A comment was made about how the A-10 is so much better at CAS than the B-1, because the B-1 is not armored like the A-10. Then, someone mentioned the AC-130 gunship is better as a gunship…while ignoring that it is (most likely) exactly the same airframe as a “slick” Herc…no armor. Hercs have some armor to protect the crew (I flew Hercs too), but I dint think it is appropriate to discuss WHAT kind of protection they have here. Anyway, you poo-poo’d the Bone as a low altitude gunship (same altitude as the Herd) while ignoring the fact that the Spectre usually operates in uncontested environments. Try to shoot a Herc with a rifle…you might get lucky. Try to aim a rifle at a Bone…you’ll miss by (literally) a mile.

    The Bone has THREE identical bays. If you filled one with JDAMs, one with a fuel tank, and one with a bad-ass GAU-8 of a salvaged A-10; I think the enemy would think twice when they heard a two-ship of Bones was in the area. Bones already provide CAS, and have for almost two decades.

    Does it need a patent? Probably not. But calling it “stupid” (or whatever) is ignorant, sensationalist, and cow-towing to the curmudgeon crowd. So, says Gabby Johnson (“Blazing Saddles”?) They patent things like seeds, toilet paper rolls, and carbon fiber; seems ridiculous to insist one patent is less relevant and necessary than all the others.

    Such a system could be flown a thousand miles, dropped down to 400’AGL at 540knots, at night, in the rain/snow, in the mountains;, then pop-up to a slow-speed orbit, engaged, then retracted and re-assigned another target, or loiter, or RTB.

    If only you knew a guy who flew B-1s AND the Herc (LC-130) AND the T-1 AND the KC-135 AND owns a ‘182 AND flies for a major airline. He’d probably be happy to provide some perspective you may not have considered before the errant discussions started.

    Great work on all the rest of the show(s)! I wouldn’t listen if I wasn’t interested.

  2. maxflight Post author

    Omar: First off, thanks for listening to the entire episode! Much appreciated.

    On aviation patents: The airframers, airlines, and others in this industry have been on a patent application binge for some time now. The situation in the U.S. is completely out of control, and this curmudgeon is fed up with the situation. Look, I worked among patent attorneys for years. They were amazingly intelligent and interesting people – people you’d be happy to have a beer with. But the original intent of the patent system has disappeared, and the aviation industry is contributing to that.

    On the B-1B and the A-10 and gunships and all that: I warned you – we really needed to have David on hand to bring some realism and sanity to the conversation. But did that stop me? No, I’m an idiot sometimes. I admit it. It’s just that it didn’t make sense to me to put a big gun on a supersonic bomber and go shoot at things on the ground. Hmm, “on the ground”? Did I made an eroneous assumption? Is the intended target other aircraft? Maybe satellites? Naw, probably not. Especially in light of what Omar wrote at the end of his comment. That starts to make sense.

    Anyway, in the end, this podcast is all about the drive to “educate and inform you, explore and expand your passion for aviation, and entertain you a little along the way” as someone says. So just maybe we need to have a good conversation on the show with Omar. I’m game.

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