Impromptu Air Show Makes Whirlwind Visit to East Hampton Airport

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P-51D Mustang that was among group of World War II aircraft that made a quick visit to East Hampton Airport on July 4. Jim Brundige photo

Five surviving World War II military aircraft flew into East Hampton Airport at about 11 a.m. on Independence Day and went on display for about 90 minutes for an impromptu static air show organized privately by their owners.

Restored World War II Spitfire on an earlier visit to East Hampton Airport in 2017. Peter Boody photo

A restored Royal Air Force Supermarine Spitfire fighter that was recovered from a beach in France, where it had been buried for decades; a Grumman Avenger torpedo bomber dubbed “She’s the Boss”; a P-51D bomber escort fighter with the moniker “Tiger’s Revenge,” given by its 1944-1945 combat pilot, First Lieutenant William Lyons; a Mitsubishi Zero called “The Last Samurai”; and a Vought Corsair carrier-based fighter all first rendezvoused for an aerial demonstration over the nearby Wainscott beach, then landed at the airport and parked together, some with display posters.

The airplanes drew “quite a crowd,” according to the airport director, Jim Brundige. He said he had called others he thought would be interested and that people in the airport terminal also came out to see the aircraft.

The owners, who Mr. Brundige said he did not know, are known to sometimes coordinate flights and organized the visit to East Hampton Airport themselves, he said.

According to a June 10, 2017, post in The Aviation Forum website, the rare Spitfire was then registered to Ronald S. Lauder, the businessman, diplomat, philanthropist and heir to the Estée Lauder fortune who has a house on Beach Lane in Wainscott. Mr. Lauder is also president of the World Jewish Congress.

The FAA’s current registration website lists the owner as Ellenville LLC at 767 Fifth Avenue in New York, the address of RSL Investment LLC.

 

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