After having seen the worlds only flying de Havilland DH98 Mosquito (a FB Mk.26 fighter-bomber model with the serial number KA114) earlier this year in New Zealand over a 3 day period at Wings Over Wairarapa 2013 I was having some withdrawal symptoms and needed to see this beautiful machine fly again! I also have a special affection for this aircraft as a relative (Charles Scherf) flew them in World War Two and was one of Australia’s top air aces during this conflict, as such I had grown up hearing lots of stories about him and the “Mossie” from my Grandfather. Given I am back in the USA I thought what better than to head to Virginia Beach to see her first public flying display in this country at Warbirds Over The Beach Air Show 2013 held at KA114’s new home the Military Aviation Museum.
Unfortunately Warbirds Over The Beach was the air show that never was. The weather was atrocious and due to heavy rain the grass strip became more or less unusable for the majority of aircraft. As such the day I was there (the Sunday) flight operations were actually cancelled. This followed a heavy downpour, lightning and 3 paratroopers getting stuck high up in trees off the airfield after being dropped by a Curtiss C-46 Commando (one of the few aircraft to fly that day). They had to be rescued by just about every emergency vehicle in Virginia Beach it seemed!
The day before was apparently not much better (except without all the drama), so the only day Mosquito KA114 briefly flew was the Friday practice day which I of course missed out on totally. Quite a shame for the organisers but overall I got to take a very close up look at the “Mossie” (including inside the cockpit and under the engine cowl to see the mighty Merlin) and there were a lot of great aircraft to see in the museum and on the tarmac, so it wasn’t a total waste of time. Just disappointing after travelling so far, but it was nice to see KA114 is back together again (and flight capable) after being disassembled and shipped across the world!
The next major public display for KA114 will be at the Hamilton Air Show 2013 in Ontario, Canada. I would love to make it up there, but I really want to see the Boeing B-29 Superfortress “Fifi” fly in Pennsylvania next month….too many choices out there in the USA!