BROOKINGS – Planners of the Raid Across South Dakota B-25 cross-country, multi-community flight event announced the event has been postponed until further notice.
The event, slated for Monday through Thursday, May 9-12, is postponed due to a crucial mechanical issue with the aircraft’s engine and an emphasis on safety.
A Tuesday morning stop had been planned at the Brookings Regional Airport.
“This is heartbreaking news,” said event producer John Mollison. “The amount of community support, energy and enthusiasm behind RAID’22 has been extraordinary. Many thousands of people around the globe looked forward to our eight-stop journey. However, the safety of the crew and integrity of the aircraft over-ride all decisions. Based on the facts at-hand, we cannot proceed as planned.”
The B-25 is owned and operated by the Minnesota Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (MN CAF). Named “Miss Mitchell,” this B-25 is one of the most accurately restored examples of its kind.
“These airplanes are strong and well maintained, but they are mechanical objects that are subject to the same forces that can wear and break anything. The CAFs relationship with South Dakota, RAID and the airshow is like family – this makes it all the harder to realize we simply cannot make the necessary repairs in time,” MN CAF representative Jim Lauria said.
RAID’22 planners, including the CAF, are focusing on distributing this important news and fixing the aircraft.
”RAID is a great idea and we’ll work to find a way to fulfill what we all looked for. In the meantime, we simply have to get the word out that this next week’s events have to be postponed,” Mollison said.
The RAID’22 event was intended to be a kick-off of the Ellsworth Air & Space Show May 14-15. RAID stops were Sioux Falls, Brookings, Aberdeen, Chamberlain, Rosebud, Pierre and Rapid City.
The Ellsworth airshow remains as scheduled, and the public is advised that a B-25 Mitchell bomber to represent the Doolittle Raid will be present at the event.
Future RAID planning as well as current information on the Ellsworth Air Force Base Airshow will be posted at www.ellsworthairshow.com and on social media channels.
For more information, contact John Mollison, South Dakota Air & Space Museum, at 605-261-6070 or Lynn Kendall, Black Hills Military Advisory Coalition, at 605-484-7754.