Why You Should Join The Catalina Society
Opinion Editorial written by Jason J. Baker — Historic Military Aircraft Are Magic! For most of the people I know, it doesn’t matter if the aircraft in question is fast or slow, big or small, yellow or olive-green, high- or low wing, radial- powered or not, or if its owned privately or by a museum. For those who look beyond the edge of their plate, I believe it doesn’t even matter if the plane flew for the English, the French, the Americans, the Italians, Russians or even the bad Germans.
What matters is that they are here today and what matters is that they kill bugs in flight! They allow us to look in the rear-view mirror, back to a time when popularity and value wasn’t determined by the number of Likes on Facebook or Instagram – but by sheer performance and the aircraft’s ability to fulfill its core mission.
From early on in my flying life, some airplanes struck me as dancing to a different drumbeat, in that they were used as relief -, search and rescue or transport plane. The JU52 or Fieseler Storch comes to mind, but also the large flying boats, such as Martin Mars, Hughes H4 Hercules, Sunderland, Dornier X and; last but not least, the PBY Catalina.
Fortunately, many of these flying fortresses are still flying – or flying again – after sometimes decades of filthy expensive rebuilding and millions of hours of volunteer work sunk into the restoration, up to now, when day to day maintenance of these birds costs a fortune. Roughly £ 1.000 an hour is what G-PBYA costs its 20 shareholders.
Keeping such machines airborne has long exceeded simple reasoning – it has become a matter of stubbornness to defend the aircraft against idiotic regulators (people who’s goal seems to be to hinder historic aircraft from flying) and overly stringent rules in terms of flying these aircraft during airshows. Keeping them accessible to the general public is a noble mission and a mission I support wholeheartedly.
The Catalina Society in the UK is group both Chris and I have selected to support. The aircraft is blessed with patient and passionate shareholders, who do their damn best to give this old lady a place in today’s fast-lived and superficial world.
This airplane is real, it has character, moods and pains and it demands its owners and financiers undivided attention at all times. Neglect and lack of care and respect is punished by this aircraft – if not instantly – then on a carefully planned schedule (I promise, these aircraft have an internal schedule for things to break) they think up to remind people just why being a 75 year old flying machine is a challenge.
Call To Action
The goal of this article is to entice some of our readers to consider helping Seaplanemagazine.com to raise the equivalent of one lifetime membership (or more) by donating to – or joining the Catalina Society. Since we have quite a few readers in the U.K. we’ll start with the £ 20 Individual UK, £ 25 Family, or £ 300 UK Lifetime membership options. Outside of the UK you have £ 25, £ 35 or £ 350 respectively. No worries, this is not a paid promotion, we don’t get a cut or commission, no special treatment or other benefits and nobody has asked to promote the Catalina Society here. We would appreciate you leaving a comment upon joining or donating. Remember: On donations every amount can be selected the membership fees are on preset values.