Highland Lakes Squadron gets replacement plane a year after crash

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Courtesy of the Commemorative Air Force

BURNET, Texas (KXAN) — Just over a year after the Commemorative Air Force lost their C-47 plane, the Bluebonnet Belle, in a crash before take off at the Burnet Municipal Airport, they have a replacement.

Karl Ritter donated his aircraft, the Texas Zephyr, to their Highland Lakes Squadron base on Thursday.

The plane was manufactured in 1945 as a model C-47B, and it was later redesigned as a DC-3. Ritter made the donation because he wanted to see the Zephyr restored, and he said he believes the CAF can do that.

“We’re very grateful for the generosity of Mr. Ritter, and we’re committed to making this airplane the very best it can be,” CAF Colonel David Bonorden said.

Research suggests the Texas Zephyr and the Bluebonnet Belle were in the same air wing in service with the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The aircraft needs some mechanic work before it relocates from the Brady Curtis Airfield to Burnet. The CFA is hopeful the aircraft will relocate by summer 2020 just in time for the Bluebonnet Air Show in September.

“It is exciting to see the return of such a historic plane to our community, and we cannot wait to see it once again gracing the skies over Burnet,” said David Vaughn, City Manager for the City of Burnet.

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