The Delaware Aviation Museum Foundation is giving away a free B-25 Second in Command type rating in an April 1 drawing.
It also is giving away two other prizes: 25% off and 10% off flight instruction in the B-25 “Panchito.” Value of the program is $6,000.
But you need to hurry to get a chance at this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: Entries must be submitted by midnight Eastern time March 31.
“This is something that’s on a lot of pilots’ bucket lists,” says Calvin Peacock, B-25 flight instructor and a member of the board of the museum, which is at Delaware Coastal Airport (KGED).
Pilots who go through the program will become part of a very select group of people who have flown the B-25, Peacock says. He notes that in the last five years, 37 pilots have gone through the program. Another two have actually gone through the Pilot In Command program, which costs $50,000.
“We’ve had students from all over the world,” he adds.
As of Monday morning, 425 qualified applicants had put their names in for the drawing.
To qualify, a pilot must hold a private pilot certificate, a multi-engine rating, and at least a third class medical.
Besides the three winners, Panchito owner Larry Kelly will draw an additional three names as runners-up, in case the three winners decide they don’t want to go ahead with the training.
Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, the foundation is extending the time in which the winners can schedule their classes to the last class of 2021.
What pilots can expect during B-25 flight training
Training is scheduled over three days. Just two are used for the training, with the third as a contingency in case of weather or a maintenance issue.
Long before you arrive at KGED, you’ll be sent a pre-ground school course that will prepare you for the actual training.
Included in the price of the flight training is that course, plus an all-day ground school, 1.5 hours of flight instruction in the B-25, a flight and ground syllabus, checklist, a flight suit, name tag, and a copy of the B-25’s Pilot Operating Handbook. The price even includes lunch.
“When pilots arrive at the school’s door, everything is paid for,” Peacock say.
There’s even a Designated Pilot Examiner on staff who will issue a temporary pilot certificate showing a SIC type rating in the B-25 once the course is completed successfully.
Transportation to Delaware, as well as accommodations, are the responsibility of the student.
The first day is ground school from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“It’s a very thorough ground school,” Peacock says.
At the end of the first day, students must take an online, open book test. The minimum passing grade is 80.
“You have to complete that before you get the flight training the next day,” he says.
During flight training, two students fly in the morning, while another two fly in the afternoon.
“We have a maximum of four students a day,” Peacock notes.
While the museum had big plans for the drawing, those were shut down by the coronavirus.
Now, Larry Kelly will draw the names in Cambridge, Maryland, as Delaware has instituted shelter in place restrictions. Because Panchito is in Georgia for maintenance, an Aeronca Champ will serve as the backdrop.
Winners will be notified after the drawing and will have 30 days to accept or reject the offer.
Find out more at the museum’s website.