Lookback @ 2015: Beautiful St. Barth Bucket Air Show

  • Dec 19, 2015 5:48am GMT

Late March the Texas Flying Legends buzzed the beautiful beach at the end of St. Barth's airport. Watch their warbirds, Betty's Dream B-25J, Aleutian Tiger P-40K, Samurai Zero, Whistling Death FG-1D Corsair, Avenger TBM-3E and their Grumman F7F Tigercat in the video by Johnny Aubin below.

The air show is a feature of the St Barths Bucket superyacht regatta, courtesy of Ed Bosarge who is also the owner of the Andre Hoek-designed 180ft ketch Marie (photo below video). Five of the eight planes, the ones from the Texas Flying Legend Museum, are owned by Ed, the remaining three were from "Lewis Air Legends" owned by his friend Rod Lewis.

It took the planes three days to get to St. Barths (see map below video), "These planes take a huge amount of work to keep going," said organizer Wes Cooper, "The owners do it for everyone else's enjoyment." The formation made for one of the largest fleets of war planes to travel overseas since World War II ended.

The bureaucracy to get them here is a story in itself: permission from four different countries and reputedly an Act of Congress, not to allow them to leave the US, but to permit these ‘instruments of war’ to re-enter the country again afterwards.

They fly in formation over the island of St Barths and then make strafing-style fly-pasts of the airport and Shell Beach. The airport is consdiered one of the most dangerous in the world with its steep descent though a narrow notch between two steep hills. The planes come in at speed and swoop to propeller altitude before climbing steeply back out round the back.

The weekend culminated in the handing over of a check in the amount of 18,000 Euros to benefit the St. Barths Children with Disabilities Project, an initiative of the local Lions and Rotary Clubs.

RELATED STORY by ATA's Kevin Hong.