June 14, 2019
Writer: Jaime Strobel
The Legacy Flight Museum will hold its free pancake breakfast tomorrow morning from 8-10 a.m. John Bagley, manager of the Legacy Flight Museum said there will be many planes to see and they’ll have some out flying.
Every other year they switch off from doing an air show and a pancake breakfast. Last time they had around 1,200 people come to the breakfast.
“We’re going to go tomorrow until we run out of food,” he said.
Bagley fell in love with airplanes when he was four years old. He recalls a plane that sat in a field behind his house and still remembers it vividly, including the twisted seat cushion.
When he was 17 years old, he got his pilot license. Flying never brought much fear to him. However, Bagley shared how he has encountered two accidents over the years.
In 1995 Bagley was severely burned inside one of his planes, and after two weeks of recovery he was back in an airplane flying. Another time, his engine died and he had to land his plane in the median of U.S. Highway 20 near Rexburg. He is passionate about flying and nothing will stop him.
“I’d rather give up breathing than flying,” he said.
Some of the planes he owns are on display at the Legacy Flight Museum. They include his two P51 Mustangs, an L9 Birddog used in Vietnam, a King Cobra - one of four that fly worldwide that he bought from Frank Mormon - and a 180 Cessna that he’s been flying for 42 years.
The museum owns an A4 Skyhawk from Ontario, Oregon that’s painted like the Blue Angels planes, an S2 Tracker that helped track submarines, an SNB used by the Marines, a T6 aircraft, a Stearman, a World War ll Trainer, a Gullwing Stinson and a Howard DGA and more.
“My favorite one to fly, whichever one I’m in, that is absolutely my favorite,” he said. “If I’m in a P51 there’s nothing cooler than that, and if I’m puddling around in a Birddog there’s nothing cooler than that.”
He and his wife enjoy the aspect that they can get around the country in minimal time to see their family.
The Legacy Flight Museum will showcase the Apollo Redux Exhibit starting Monday.
“It’s well worth going to,” he said.
Apollo is Bagley’s vintage. He said he has met some of the astronauts who were involved with the Apollo Mission, and they are nice and impressive guys, not pretentious, he said. He told the story of going to Bob Hoover’s birthday party in Texas and meeting Neil Armstrong.
“He was just as common as the guy who lives next door to you,” he said. Neil didn’t care to talk much about space, he wanted to talk about airplanes.
Bagley has had many opportunities to associate and fly with individuals throughout the country. It is something he’ll never give up doing.