Big Sky Honor Flight: First Flights - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Big Sky Honor Flight: First Flights

Posted: Updated:
WASHINGTON, DC -

For a handful of World War Two veterans on the fifth Big Sky Honor Flight, getting on the plane out of Billings was a milestone in and of itself. William Marcher, a Butte native who now lives in Columbus, had never flown on a commercial airplane before, and hadn't flown at all in over eight decades. "I flew on a little one when I was about four or five years old," Marcher said, adding that he didn't remember it himself, but remembered his family talking about it.

After he got to Washington, he said the flight "wasn't bad. Sitting in the back of the plane, it was a little rocky at times, but it's pretty amazing." He enjoyed the view. "It's nice to be way above the clouds, look down and see all the white clouds."

Marcher wasn't the only one entering new territory on the flight. "When I was in the navy, I went on a submarine. I didn't like that," said Billy Schaffer. "Then I saw the airplanes. I didn't want to be lower than the taters or higher than corn. So I got on the aircraft carrier.

Despite the fact that he served on a carrier, the Honor Flight was the first time the 85-year-old from Broadus had flown. "I didn't like it. That's the first time I've ever been on one of the damn things. I had no use for it."

Schaffer might no have flown before, but he is a world traveler, having put in around 180,000 miles by sea. "I went through the (Panama) Canal. New York four times. I've been to Spain, Italy and India, Okinawa, Iwo Jima.

Whatever their feelings on flying, the vets were moved and impressed by the sights in the capital. Sitting at Arlington National Cemetery, Marcher said, "This, this right here is amazing, to see all this."

"I've enjoyed all of it," said Schaffer. "I like that Iwo Jima (The Marine Corps War Memorial), and I like that sign where Roosevelt runs for four terms, with everything he did."

The flight crew had a surprise for the two men on the trip home. Marcher and Schaffer got their wings, and a first flight certificate. Even though Schaffer isn't a fan of flying, he did say the flights had a good pilot. "I was going to ride up front with him, make sure he knew what he was doing, but they wouldn't let me," he joked.

  • LocalMore>>

  • Counting $heep

    Counting $heep

    Monday, September 1 2014 2:34 AM EDT2014-09-01 06:34:40 GMT
    The 26th Annual Running of the Sheep is in the history books.Reed Point residents said this was largest Sheep Drive in recent memory, which they hope means more funds for their community.Jocelyn Ott and Payton Severin live in Reed Point and attend Reed Point School. They said the Sheep Drive is vital to their schools existence.Funds raised from the Sheep Drive have allowed Reed Point School to have some of the best technology out there. From the most up to date computers, to iPads, the Sheep ...
    The 26th Annual Running of the Sheep is in the history books.Reed Point residents said this was largest Sheep Drive in recent memory, which they hope means more funds for their community.Jocelyn Ott and Payton Severin live in Reed Point and attend Reed Point School. They said the Sheep Drive is vital to their schools existence.Funds raised from the Sheep Drive have allowed Reed Point School to have some of the best technology out there. From the most up to date computers, to iPads, the Sheep ...
  • Big Timber Teen Makes a Difference

    Big Timber Teen Makes a Difference

    Monday, September 1 2014 2:13 AM EDT2014-09-01 06:13:24 GMT
    In April, KULR-8 introduced you to Ethan Peterson, a teenager with a goal of preventing teenagers in his community from the perils of distracted driving.Peterson put together a PSA, sharing the personal account of his father drinking and driving, which led to a fatal car accident.The PSA caught the attention of judges in the Toyota Teen Challenge Contest. Toyota Teen Challenge, challenged teenagers to show how they were combating distracted driving in their community. Ethan's PSA, along with ...
    In April, KULR-8 introduced you to Ethan Peterson, a teenager with a goal of preventing teenagers in his community from the perils of distracted driving.Peterson put together a PSA, sharing the personal account of his father drinking and driving, which led to a fatal car accident.The PSA caught the attention of judges in the Toyota Teen Challenge Contest. Toyota Teen Challenge, challenged teenagers to show how they were combating distracted driving in their community. Ethan's PSA, along with ...
  • Yellowstone Valley Farmer's Market

    Yellowstone Valley Farmer's Market

    Saturday, August 30 2014 9:14 PM EDT2014-08-31 01:14:30 GMT
    You still have five more opportunities to check out the Yellowstone Valley Farmer's Market.On October 11th, HarvestFest will take the place of farmer's market, welcoming all things Fall to Downtown Billings. Be sure to mark your calendars because you don't want to miss HarvestFest.
    You still have five more opportunities to check out the Yellowstone Valley Farmer's Market.On October 11th, HarvestFest will take the place of farmer's market, welcoming all things Fall to Downtown Billings. Be sure to mark your calendars because you don't want to miss HarvestFest.