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Old 08-05-05, 23:50
Hanno Spoelstra's Avatar
Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Angry UK’s last B-17 Flying Fortress, Sally B, grounded by European Regulations

PRESS RELEASE


UK’s last B-17 Flying Fortress, Sally B, grounded by European Regulations

On the eve of the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the end of World War Two, new European regulations have grounded the UK’s much-loved Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, Sally B.

This is because of crippling new EU third party liability insurance requirements, based on aircraft weight, which have placed Sally B in the same insurance category as a commercial airliner. The effect is an increase in liability insurance of almost five hundred per cent, which is the equivalent of a staggering one thousand pounds extra per flying hour, on top of the already incredibly high running costs. But unlike a 737, Sally B operates for only twenty hours a year, is on a Permit to Fly, and can neither fly commercially, carry passengers, fly for hire and reward or fly over built-up areas.

Elly Sallingboe, head of the aircraft’s operating company, said ‘In this anniversary of the end of World War Two, Europe has managed to ground the last B-17 in the UK. This is a bitter setback to the B-17 Team and Members,who have put in over a quarter of a century of relentless hard work and dedication to keep Sally B in the air. It seems the Government is powerless to grant an exemption to this new regulation, which is destroying historic aviation in the UK. It is particularly upsetting when you think that Sally B flies as a memorial to over 70,000 Allied airmen who lost their lives in the skies over Europe. The aircraft is ready to fly, and we will do everything humanly possible to find a solution.’

So what are we doing about it? We have begun a national media campaign to spread awareness of the aircraft’s plight, raise the additional funds and continue our fight for an exemption. We are positive that a short-term solution will be found so that Sally B can continue flying this season, starting with the Memorial Day Flypast over the American Military Cemetery at Madingley on 30 May. This is undoubtedly her most important and poignant event of the year, when we pay tribute to all those young men who sacrificed their lives for our freedom, and especially as we mark the 60th Anniversary of the end of the War.

We desperately need the public’s help now, more than ever. Details of how to support us can be found on Sally B’s website www.sallyb.org.uk

People can also lobby their MPs to get this unjust law changed. MPs’ contact details can be found at www.theyworkforyou.com/mp

Everything depends on the public’s reaction to our campaign and their generosity in making donations to The B-17 Charitable Trust. But if no permanent solution is found, this will be Sally B’s last season flying in this country.

For further information, please contact Sean Maffett, tel: (01451) 810100 e-mail sean@airsound.co.uk
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