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World War II aircraft to land in Scottsdale

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Anyone interested in vintage aircraft will have the ability to check them out up close and personal beginning Friday.

The National Wings of Freedom Tour lands on Friday at the Scottsdale Airport.

"It's a living history tour of World War II aircraft," said Hunter Chaney, spokesman for the Collings Foundation, which is sponsoring the event. "This is something that you never forget. It's like walking into a time machine. These heavy bombers from World War II, fighters and an ME-262 German fighter jet are there in Scottsdale."

They're joined by an American B-17, a B-24 Liberator and a P-51 Mustang.

"We offer flights in the aircraft as well," said Chaney.

Flights in the B-17 and B-24 are $425 per person. P-51 flights are $2,200 for a half hour or $3,200 for a full hour.

The tour is landing all over the Valley. It's in Scottsdale through Sunday, then moves to Phoenix's Deer Valley Airport from April 15 to April 17 and Glendale April 17 through April 19. It then moves to the Marana Airport, near Tucson, from April 19 through April 21.

It is currently on a 110-city nationwide tour.

Walk-through tours of all the aircraft are $12 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under. World War II veterans get in free.

Those interested in making reservations or getting more information should call (800) 568-8924 or go to

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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