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Miss Montana leaves US airspace

Posted: 7:49 PM, May 24, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-24 21:49:51-04

GOOSE BAY, NEWFOUNDLAND – Miss Montana is spending the night in Canada after leaving U.S. airspace for the first time on her epic trip to Normandy.

Preparations will now focus on the transatlantic crossing, as the plane and her crew head for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of World War II.

Miss Montana made the hop from Presque Isle, Maine, to Goose Bay, Newfoundland, on Thursday, setting down on the edge of Canada just before 3 p.m. Mountain Standard Time and following the string of planes making up the “D-Day Squadron.”

“And then we’ll take it one step at a time,” said Miss Montana project co-leader Bryan Douglass. “We’ve got planes that were stranded in Goose Bay. We’ve got planes that were stuck in Greenland and planes that made it to Iceland and spent a couple of days there. So we’re all sort of spread out.”

The crew continues to be treated like heroes everywhere they stop. In Presque Isle, they were treated to breakfast before takeoff and a limo ride to and from the airport.

From Goose Bay, the attention will turn to the challenging part of the trip: running the “Blue Spruce Route,” which is the historic hop that all cargo planes used to get across the North Atlantic.

The weather has been a challenge for all the aircraft. But Douglass says that adds authenticity to the trip.

“Worse case, it could be a week.,” he said. “So we just don’t know until the day of, or the day before. And there are some weird weather patterns up there that are causing some of this consternation with the low clouds and rain and icing issues.”

There’s a crew of six on board Miss Montana right now. The paratroopers and other crew will be flying over commercially to join the commemoration on June 6.

-Reported by Dennis Bragg/MTN News