A-26 Lady Liberty Is Back in the Air
By Ken Larcher
(April 16, 2018, Enid, OK) - After 17 months of repairs, four fuel tank replacements, two AD Notes, airframe repairs and 15,000 hours of maintenance work, the A-26 Lady Liberty is again airworthy. She flew a test flight on April 15, 2018, which was successful and the aircraft operated great.
The issues began last year when the aircraft went in for a scheduled inspection which required removing both oil tanks and all four fuel bladders. When those items were removed mechanics discovered that some corrosion had caused some damage to the fuel bay. The Sponsor Group, a group of volunteers who maintain and fly the aircraft, needed to repair the airframe structure and replace all four damaged fuel bladders with a new set.
The A-26 Invader is an attack bomber that is known for being one of the few aircraft types to perform in all three wars, World War II, Korean War and Vietnam. A-26s like Lady Liberty flew a variety of missions, strafing ground targets at night and even dropping secret agents into Berlin as part of the Carpetbaggers. Lady Liberty is the world's oldest flying A-26 Invader. By working with new A&P mechanics, the Lady Liberty Sponsor Group has been able to increase awareness of the airplane in the community, allowing it to attend more events.
This recent project was extensive and would not have been completed as quickly without the efforts of Gary Trice, Gary Stein, Charlie Howard, Ivan Koehn, and Jason Hill. In addition, Dick Seabrook has been integral in supporting the aircraft and the entire Lady Liberty team of volunteers.
Now that Lady Liberty is back flying she can continue flying to airshows and aviation events, with volunteers who can tell the amazing story of this A-26 to the public.