| 1 min read | by Seth Kinker, |

On Nov. 6, the Yankee Air Museum at Willow Run Airport opened a new exhibit titled Deep Landings.

A walk-through exhibit with different stations, with support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts, this exhibit focused on what it took to become a naval or marine corps aviator in the 20th century.

Included in this exhibit are different cutouts with the different colors and uniforms worn on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. Pulling up on a waiting lever tells you the significance of the colors and what the responsibilities of that person are.


Another area in the exhibit includes multiple flight simulators and even a virtual reality headset with the game Aces High III, a combat flight simulator. 

One part that might surprise attendees is a whole station based on the importance of aerology, the term used bit the US Navy to describe aviation meteorology.

The exhibit even has a question and answer segment they were able to have with late President George H.W. Bush, who was stationed in Michigan

The grandest part of the exhibit, however, was a plane that had been recovered from the bottom of Lake Michigan. The Navy had a training program on Lake Michigan that helped prepare pilots.

By the end of the program, 136,428 successful landings qualified 17,820 pilots that graduated from the Carrier Qualification Training  Unit. 

Over 130 aircraft were lost during takeoffs and landings between 1942 and 1945 and a Douglas SBD Dauntless, a dive bomber, happened to be one of those lost on Oct. 5, 1943.

This plane was found and recovered in the early 1990s and brought to the surface in 1996 by A & T Recovery after spending nearly five decades underwater. It now sits in the Deep Landings exhibit.