POSTPONED: Arsenal of Democracy 2020 Flyover

May 4, 2020 – May 11, 2020 all-day
Manassas REgional Airport
Mary Dominiak

POSTPONED: Arsenal of Democracy 2020 Flyover

Given the increasing concerns and directives related to the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Arsenal of Democracy (AOD) Executive Planning Committee has rescheduled the AOD Victory Gala and Flyover commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II to September 24th-25th.

Sign Up NOW For The Arsenal Of Democracy WWII Flyover Mission!

From Mary Dominiak

Okay, folks: here it is. If you want to work ANY ground operations with the many WWII airplanes coming to Manassas in May – including our own beautiful EAA B-17 Aluminum Overcast and newly restored B-25 Berlin Express – you’ve GOT to sign up online NOW. If you don’t sign up on or before March 5, 2020, you will NOT be able to work on the ramp during the Arsenal of Democracy mission in May. If you want to work but aren’t sure you’ll be able to, sign up anyway; we can always take you OFF the list, but we won’t be able to add you ON after the drop-dead date! (That March 5 date may be extended a little for ground crew – who don’t need the same level of vetting as people flying on the planes – but don’t count on it …)

PLEASE NOTE: Having a Manassas gate card or being an EAA/CAF/CAP member will NOT give you access to the ramp during this event: you MUST be pre-registered!

Signing up is a two-step process. First off, go to:

Choose “AOD Event Staff/Volunteers” as your Participant Type, and “Event Volunteer (to be assigned)” as your Staff Type. That’s all you need for step one!

Your second sign-up is on our EAA Chapter 186 website.

We are posting sheets for the event; please sign up for each and every day you want to work, and indicate your duty preference, if any. We’ll use these sign-up sheets to match volunteers to the available jobs, and we’ll need them to make certain that we have all the essential positions covered on every day of the event. I’m hoping you might be flexible, because all positions won’t be available at all times.

If you are 18 or over, want to volunteer for a marshaling position, and haven’t already been included on the list given to our Line Chief, Chuck Hoeppner, please reach out to him ( BEFORE ticking the “marshaling” box on the Chapter form; Chuck is in charge of our marshaling team, so you absolutely MUST be on his radar to be part of that team. This is an insurance issue for the AOD, so it is not negotiable, period.

Our marshaling ranks are now full; thank you all! Please volunteer for another task.

None of the other positions are nearly so picky! If you’re mostly sedentary, consider signing up to work Registration/Reception/Information – where aircrews and volunteers will be reporting to pick up their ramp credentials. That will include managing ramp access through the terminal door. We’ll also be doing merchandise sales mostly inside the terminal, because having all the planes out on the ramp will mean it’s not friendly for tents and tables. The other aircraft will also be doing their sales indoors.

We’re not expecting too much activity on Monday and Tuesday, May 4-5, 2020, except for the marshalers and registration/reception/information people and a few ramp rats able to deal with kids; we’re expecting almost all the planes to arrive on those two days, except for the ones already on-site because of the Manassas Airshow and the Lancaster, which isn’t due to arrive until Wednesday. Given that planes will be moving in and around, we’re not advertising anything as being open to the public on those two days, although operators will be allowed to sell rides. Aircrews offering rides on the arrival days will be responsible for escorting their passengers directly from the terminal to their aircraft and back; we’ll need some ramp security folk to assist with that. We’re also going to host a few school field trips to view selected aircraft parked on Foxtrot; hence the need for kid-friendly ramp crew. Only passengers and crew will be allowed access to the main ramp, period. There will be no revenue ground tours those days.

Things wake up on Wednesday. There will be a press conference in the morning, along with media flights – and unlike our usual B-17 tour stop media day, this will be a zoo with all the major networks and VIP guests. We’ll need flexible folk to do things even I can’t necessarily predict at this point; I can predict a lot, but putting all the options into words would take a book! Our reception/registration people will get a workout, and we’ll need plenty of ramp security people to assist the marshalers, whose main responsibility will be managing the media flights.

Wednesday afternoon will be a public day with multiple operators offering tours and rides. We’ll need people everywhere, to make certain that our many guests stay safe and within bounds!

Thursday will be practice day. No one without credentials will be allowed on the field in the morning, as we do a dress rehearsal for launch as if full security were in place. We’ll need a few hardy volunteers to start exceptionally early both Thursday and Friday, because our security will need to be tight beginning around 0630! Friday morning, we’ll be subject to full Federal security, with the Secret Service, FBI, DOD, TSA, and who knows whom else ensuring that nothing and no one going on the planes could pose any threat to DC. That security will evaporate the moment the last plane takes off; then the field will be entirely ours.

Thursday and Friday afternoons, we’ll have some ground tours and flights from various operators only from 1500 through 1700, and will shut down the field by 1800. Friday night will be the Survivors’ Party, when aircrews and ground crews from both Culpeper and Manassas will be bused to and from the party venue down in Culpeper. Fun times!

Saturday and Sunday will look a lot like our typical B-17 tour stop, with all the usual needs for merchandise sales, tour guides, ramp rats, and all, except – there will be a LOT more planes on the field doing the same thing! We’ll need Chapter volunteers to assist with the operations of our EAA aircraft – including the B-25 Berlin Express as well as our beloved B-17 Aluminum Overcast – and to maintain ramp safety for all our visitors and the other planes and crews, as the marshaling team oversees the safe departure and return of revenue flights.

I expect the last of our guests will depart on Monday. There will be NO public operations on Monday at all, unless there are revenue flights from the weekend that were scrubbed for weather or mechanicals. We’ll definitely need a few folk to assist with aircraft departures and final clean-up after the event, but this should not be a gang event.

By the way: the next stop post-AOD for both Aluminum Overcast and Berlin Express will be Oak Island, NC. I expect that the usual rules for repositioning ferry flights will be in play, which would mean – the Chapter will likely be able to put some members on the ferry run. No guarantees, of course, but … you know the drill, if you think you might like a chance at a flight down to Chapter 186 South!

This is, without a doubt, the biggest, most exciting, most demanding, and most complex thing we as a Chapter will ever have done; we really need all hands on deck! I guarantee that if you work this event, you will never forget it.

Come make history!