When the B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine-O-Nine” crashed last October and seven people aboard the WWII bomber died, the warbird community and really the aviation community as a whole were staggered. There was tragedy in not only the lives lost, but the loss of an irreplaceable piece of history as well. The non-profit Collings Foundation owned and operated the B-17, and their pilots – Ernest “Mac” McCauley and Michael Foster – were among the fatalities.
Although Collings is a large organization, the massive impact of such a tragedy can easily change a part of the industry that many of us hold dear. We decided we wanted to raise some funds to support Collings, so we began selling a poster of the aircraft in our online store with 100% of the profits to be donated in honor of Nine-O-Nine, her passengers, and crew. The store is a relatively new and small part of our site, and we weren’t sure what response we would get.
At the end of 2019, we collected the money and earlier this week we donated the $220 raised to the Collings Foundation annual fund. Although it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the operating costs of a warbird, we are proud to help “keep ‘em flying” and we greatly appreciate your support in helping us raise the funds to donate!
We hope to offer similar posters to benefit other aviation museums and charities in the future. Keep an eye on our store as more are posted!
You can visit the Collings Foundation website to learn more about their mission and how to donate yourself.