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Flight Plans Newsletter

Lecture / Presentation

Saturday, December 8, 2012 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Larry Chambers and artist John Shaw will talk about Angel Flight West, a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization that arranges free, non-emergency air travel for children and adults with serious medical conditions and other compelling needs, and about John's artwork, "A Higher Calling," which depicts an act of mercy during the air war of WWII.

Encountering a mortally-wounded Eighth Air Force B-17 limping back to England, Luftwaffe ace Franz Stigler anticipated an easy kill, and another opportunity to avenge his brother’s death at the opening of World War II. As he approached the virtually helpless American plane, however, seeing the faces of the dead and wounded, Stigler’s eyes met those of pilot Charles Brown. Despite the potentially severe consequences of letting an enemy plane go, Stigler found that he had to answer a higher call…Mercy.

Expecting the worst at any moment, Brown marveled as the enemy Me109 stuck with him all the way to the North Sea coast. His adversary then saluted him and veered away, allowing the astonished Brown to journey home. With this encounter engraved into the minds of both pilots for decades after the war’s end, the two men remarkably discovered each other in 1990. Over the years that followed, their friendship developed to the point that Stigler considered Brown to have replaced he brother he had lost.

The painting A Higher Call was completed in 2009, and depicts the moment in time in which Franz Stigler saluted Charles Brown and crew before veering off and allowing them to return home.

This program is included with Museum admission and is free for members.

In keeping with the theme, Puget Sound Blood Center will have a blood donation van at the Museum from 10 am to 4 pm. Those who donate get 2-for-1 passes for the day!

Make your reservation with Puget Sound Blood Center,

Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 6:30pm - 9:00pm

The Museum of Flight, in conjunction with the the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center (WSHERC), is proud to present an evening lecture on “The Bombing of Auschwitz: Why Didn’t The Allies Attempt It?” After wide-ranging debate, the Allies chose not to bomb the huge Auschwitz complex or the railroad networks that headed there, despite the known fact the Nazis were deporting Jews to Auschwitz by the tens of thousands. The featured speaker will be Bob Herschkowitz, a Holocaust survivor from Belgium. As a young child, Bob and his family fled to France. His father escaped a French concentration camp and the family crossed the Alps by foot, finding refuge in Switzerland in 1943 (you can read more about Bob and other Holocaust survivors at ( He is also a retired Naval commander, a Boeing Engineer, served as the President of the Board of the WSHERC, and is currently a member of the WSHERC speakers bureau. Some of the material discussed can be found in The Bombing of Auschwitz, edited by Michael J. Neufeld and Michael Berenbaum, published by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, D.C. as a summary of the April 1993 symposium jointly sponsored by the USHMM and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

This Program is free and open to the public.

Saturday, January 19, 2013 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Astronomy has been a part of every culture throughout recorded history. The perspective it provides reveals the true nature of our home planet as it travels through space. When we view the heavens from different places on Earth – looking out different “windows” from around the globe – we see that we all share the same sky.

This is the basis for Astronomers Without Borders (AWB), an organization that connects people around the world through a universal interest in astronomy. With the slogan “One People, One Sky”, Astronomers Without Borders’ programs bring people together in borderless programs.

In conjunction with the Seattle Astronomical Society, the Museum of Flight has invited Mike Simmons, the Founder and President of AWB, to speak at the Museum. Mike Simmons’ presentation takes us on a journey of discovery, observing the Universe from vantage points around the globe through AWB programs. Through his travels to countries like Iran, Iraq, China, and many more – and now through AWB – Simmons has introduced Americans to others around the world, giving them new understanding through the broader perspective that astronomy provides.

Mike Simmons founded AWB in 2007. He has been active in astronomy outreach for 40 years at such places as Mount Wilson Observatory and Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. He is also a writer and photographer, and is currently a Contributing Editor for Sky and Telescope magazine. During the International Year of Astronomy 2009 he organized the largest worldwide event of the year. He has earned multiple awards for his contributions to astronomy outreach and education, including having Minor Planet Simmons named in his honor in 2003.

For more information, click on

This program is included with admission to the Museum and is free for members.

Sunday, January 20, 2013 - 11:00am - 2:00pm

Tours at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

A guided in-depth tour of our own FG-1D Corsair in the first floor of the Personal Courage Wing.

Saturday, January 26, 2013 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

In October 2005, two mountaineers climbing above Mendel Glacier in the High Sierra found the mummified remains of a man in a WW II uniform, entombed in the ice. The "Frozen Airman" discovery created a media storm and a mystery that drew author Peter Stekel to investigate. What did happen to the four-man crew who perished on a routine navigation training flight in 1942, 150 miles off-course from its reported destination?

Stekel found bad weather, bad luck, bad timing, empty graves, botched records, and misguided recovery efforts. Then, in 2007, the unimaginable happened again. Stekel himself discovered a second body in the glacier. Another young man would finally be coming home.

Through meticulous research, interviews, and mountaineering trips to the site, Stekel uncovered the story of these four young men. Final Flight explores their ill-fated trip and the misinformation surrounding it for more than 60 years.

The book is a gripping account that's part mystery, part history, and part personal journey to uncover the truth of what happened on November 18, 1942. In the process Stekel narrates the young aviators' last days and takes us on their final flight.

Author Peter Stekel will tell the story and be available to sign books.

Program is Free with Museum Admission or Membership

Saturday, February 2, 2013 - 2:00pm - 4:30pm

Friday February 1, 2013 marks the tenth anniversary of the tragic loss of Space Shuttle Columbia her crew, including Washington native Lt. Col. (USAF) Michael P. Anderson. The Michael P. Anderson Memorial Aerospace Program Committee is honored to present a public program of speakers to commemorate this somber event. Special guest and keynote speaker, astronaut Capt. (USN) Robert L. Curbeam, Jr. was a member of Michael Anderson’s astronaut class. He is a veteran of three Space Shuttle missions and is vice president, Mission Assurance, for Raytheon Company’s Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) business.

2:00 pm “Reaching Your Potential Panel” representing African-Americans who serve in a variety of roles in the community:

Moderator - Jasmine Bridges, Build Integration Manufacturing Engineer, The Boeing Company

1. Richard Johnson, Engineering System Operator Commercial Flight Operations, The Boeing Company

2. Lt. Col. (USAF) Kimberly Scott, Airline Pilot Alaska Airlines

3. Dr. Dorian Holmes, Naturopathic Physician

4. First Officer Kurtis Casey Pilot, Alaska Airlines

2:45 pm Keynote presentation by Astronaut Robert Curbeam

The program included with admission to the Museum and is Free for Members.

Saturday, February 16, 2013 - 2:00pm

Master Modeler Bob Jacobsen will talk about how he designed and built a life-size, operational model of the movie star droid, R2-D2. Jacobsen will share the stage with the popular robot, and both will field questions from the audience following the presentation.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Boeing Business Jets - Captain Steve Taylor

For more information, go to

Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 2:00pm - 4:00pm

The Museum of Flight is home to the American Fighter Aces Association, founded to recognize the 1,442 combat pilots that have received the special designation of “ace.” Join us for this panel of aces and combat pilots who will share their remarkable stories of heroism.

Our featured speakers are Spiros “Steve” Pisanos and Larry Powell. Pisanos, a highly-decorated Air Force double ace who flew P-47s and P-51s in World War II, will talk about his many aerial accomplishments and his fascinating stories, including how after being shot down behind enemy lines he helped in the French Underground fighting the Germans. Copies of Pisanos’ autobiographical book about his flying career, “The Flying Greek” will be available for purchase in the Museum store and Pisanos will be available to sign them.

Also speaking will be Lt. Colonel Lawrence Powell, a renowned USAAF P-51 pilot who flew in the Eighth Air Force in Europe during World War II. Come hear the amazing stories of these men’s dedicated service to our country.

This program is included with Museum admission and is Free for members of the Museum of Flight.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 6:30pm - 8:30pm

The Museum of Flight offers an interactive presentation about NASA's Orion spacecraft, a new design that will take humans farther than they have ever been. The evening program features Stuart McClung, Functional Area Manager for Landing/Recovery System hardware for the Orion Crew and Service Module Office at NASA Johnson Space Center, and Larry Price, Orion Deputy Program Manager with Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. Orion is now in development and testing; the spacecraft is meant to carry astronauts into a new era of exploration, with destinations including near-Earth asteroids, the Moon and eventually Mars.

Stuart McClung joined NASA in 1989 after working at Rockwell International on the B-1 bomber power control assemblies. He currently works in the Orion Crew and Service Module Office at the Johnson Space Center as manager for landing and recovery system hardware and is responsible for the Orion parachutes, associated structure and the crew module uprighting system. He previously served as project manager in the Orbiter Project Office.

Larry Price joined Lockheed Martin in 1982 and was appointed to his current position as Deputy Orion Program Manager in 2005. He is responsible for the development of NASA’s Orion Multi- Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV). Price previously served as Director of Space Transportation Strategic Development where he was responsible for Lockheed Martin Launch Systems’ long-term direction addressing Department of Defense, NASA and commercial space transportation systems. In addition, Price led the Alternate Access to Space Station project, which developed a commercial logistics capability to autonomously deliver and return space station cargo.

This program is free and open to the public.