B-25  My favorite airplane

The B-25 is the best flying, easiest to fly, airplane I've ever flown.  I'm not a professional pilot and my pilot hours are nothing like an airline pilot's but I know when a plane "likes" how I control it.  The B-25 loved the way I flew it. And it was the

B-25 that earned that "Best Instrument Pilot" award as much as I earned it.  Why? Because the B-25 did exactly what the pilot told it to: "Give me a standard rate turn".  It would nail it. "I want 500 feet per minute descent".  It did it. "I want to make this landing a real grease job - I don't want those guys riding in the back o even know we're on the runway." B-25 would do it.

One flight with my buddy Jack in the left seat and me in the right seat, our B-25's left engine caught fire.  We were flying in the landing pattern shooting touch and goes and the tower called and said "Your left engine has flames coming out of the cowling."  I told Jack to land.  I said that we had an engine problem and to pull back on the left engine throttle and land without it. I didn't tell him it was on  fire. He landed and when we were stopped we got surrounded by fire trucks. I said to Jack "The tower called and said the left engine was on fire so that's when I asked you to land without the left engine running."  Jack's reply "Darn. Do you think they'll keep us here long because of the engine failure? I've gotta get home."

In doing a little bit of research on the B-25's history I saw that the plane's design started about 1939.  I was born in 1933 so I was only 6 years older than this workderful airplane.

                                                      USAF Capt. Jim Martin

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