WESTFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Starting today, the B-17 Aluminum Overcast is open to the public at Westfield-Barnes Airport.
The vintage plane offering rides to dozens of people who signed up for flights this weekend.
This comes a little more than a week after the same type of plane crashed at Bradley Airport last week, killing seven people.
Western Mass News cameras were rolling as two flights came and went this morning. Five are scheduled for tomorrow.
Even in the wake of the tragedy, we are told 50 people signed up for a flight ahead of this event and those who didn't buy ahead of time can still register for a slot at Westfield-Barnes.
The flights are organized by the Experimental Aircraft Association.
The group said they haven't received any concerns so far from the people who signed up to take a ride.
Before even stepping out on the tarmac, the B-17 passengers, such Richard Baker from Westfield got a briefing on what to expect before boarding Aluminum Overcast.
They let us know that there were extra inspections performed and this particular plane has additional engine sensors
"I was in the back section and the tail section gets blown around a little bit so we got shook up a little," Baker said.
The plane made a safe landing after two trips, though the B-17 crash at Bradley weighed on some passengers, like Diane Duane and her son, Chris.
"It was a gift from my son," Duane said.
The ride was a connection with the family’s late patriarch.
"We’ve seen one on the ground with him once before he passed," Chris explained.
The chance to fill in the gaps between what the veteran didn't share about his time in the air...
"We didn’t hear as much as I would’ve liked to ask him," Chris said.
...with tangible proof of his bravery.
"Oxygen masks, flack, just the distance they were in for so long. It did bring it home," Chris noted.
And most of the people Western Mass News spoke with today echoed that sentiment the importance of the education they received through flying in the vintage plane.
Coming up on Western Mass News starting at 5 p.m., we will hear from several of the passengers who went up in the plane to gauge how they were feeling about the flight following last week's crash.