Berlin rejects raisin bombers on airlift anniversary – pilots “really pissed

Berlin celebrated the anniversary of the Airlift, but the raisin bombers were not allowed to land in the capital. The pilots find very clear words for this.

Update from June 17, 2019, 11:20 a.m.: Huge disappointment now prevails among the US pilots of that time. In memory of the Berlin Airlift they had actually wanted to land in Berlin with the raisin bombers and drop chocolate for the children from the air. But nothing came of it.

The Bild-Zeitung now quotes a completely outraged former US pilot. “I am very angry about the decision. Really pissed off. If the politicians had wanted it, we would have had clearance within minutes. We will never come back,” said Captain Sherman Smoot.

And after this bankruptcy around the anniversary of the Berlin Airlift, the former raisin bomber pilot becomes even more obvious. “Berlin was supposed to be starved of the Socialists at the time. Now they are ruling and they are making that decision. This is a bunch of horse shit…”.

It is still unclear why a landing or a drop of candy by the Raisin Bombers failed in the end. Senate and government blame each other. The responsible authorities refuse to provide information or in turn refer to other authorities. In other German cities, however, the celebrations took place as usual – but in federal politics, of all places, this did not work.

Raisin bombers are not allowed to land in Berlin during the airlift anniversary
Update from June 16, 2019: Around 20 so-called raisin bombers flew over Berlin on Sunday – in memory of the legendary Airlift 70 years ago. The vintage planes crossed the Tempelhof field and were clearly visible for spectators and camera lenses. The Douglas DC-3 aircraft had taken off from Faßberg in Lower Saxony. However, it was not possible to land at the former Berlin city centre airport Tempelhof. The state of Berlin had already commemorated the Airlift with a ceremony on May 12.

Video: Instead of going to Berlin, they went north: “Raisin Bombers” remind of the airlift

Original announcement of 14 June 2019: 70 years of the Berlin Airlift – Berlin rejects raisin bombers
A spectacular relief operation was to be celebrated just as spectacularly: 70 years of the Berlin Airlift and raisin bombers. The highlight in Berlin was now planned for the weekend: The Raisin Bombers landed at the former Tempelhof Airport and flew over the Brandenburg Gate. But neither of these will happen now.

After all, the biggest relief operation of all times is being celebrated: From 1948 to 1949, hundreds of planes from the USA and England flew daily to West Berlin during the Airlift. They supplied the population in the enclosed city with vital food, coal and medicine. But at this week’s big party, the capital Berlin turns out to be a real spoilsport.

Airlift anniversary without the raisin bombers landing in Berlin
The historic raisin bombers are not allowed to land at all in the capital of all places. But the Berliners were very happy to see the famous DC-3 planes, which dominated the sky at that time, up close. But the responsible Berlin administration refused to allow them to land at all.

And even Mayor Michael Müller remained inactive on the subject of the Airlift, as the Tagesspiegel reports. Officially with reference to a law that generally prohibits the use of Tempelhof Field. However, many criticize on Facebook, for example, that such an important event would have deserved an exception. Meanwhile, a rather curious incident occurred on a pleasure steamer cruising on the Spree.

Berlin disappoints pilots at Airlift anniversary
Flying over the Brandenburg Gate – this further idea for the anniversary of the Berlin Airlift also failed. Because actually the nearly 20 raisin bombers should at least circle over Berlin and the Reichstag. Now it seems that in Berlin of all places, the Airlift is only being thought of in an unworthy manner. At the time it consisted of a gigantic 280,000 flights. By way of comparison, Munich Airport has 400,000 takeoffs and landings – every year.

In Wiesbaden, for example, none of this was a problem. Here, at the beginning of the week, tens of thousands flocked to the airport for the raisin bombers. The historic routes were also flown this week.

None of this will happen in Berlin for the Berlin Airlift – no celebration, no parachutes with sweets, no landing. And whether the Raisin Bombers will ever come back to Germany is more than uncertain.

Foreign Minister Maas also paid tribute to the Airlift – with a crystal-clear statement. In addition, it is now becoming clear what an outstanding role the Erding airbase near Munich played in the airlift.