Poll: Is Collings Foundation Right To End Air Tours?

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


  1. What do you mean, “Right” to end air tours? It’s THEIR AIRPLANE, and they can do with it as they please (within the limitations of the FARs–and I don’t see any violation of FARs mentioned)

    This is NOT “up for a vote”–This is THEIR decision–not for anyone else.

    It is THEIR property–(not ours)–Faciant ut libet–“Let them do as they please”

    • They had specific permission from the FAA for an exemption to carry paying passengers under special circumstances. They had a horrific accident caused by negligent operations. They have no “right” to charge money for airplane rides on their Limited and Experimental category aircraft.

      • And if that is the case, the FAA did the right thing in ending their exemption. They SHOULD have the opportunity to correct any problems and reapply.

        There is nothing wrong with the perceived “loophole” in allowing museum members and supporters to make a contribution to the museum, where they are MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS. These are not people “right off the street”–unknowing of the potential for danger–they are people with a demonstrated interest in the history and operation of the aircraft.

        Where do you draw the line? Do you prohibit aerobatic rides? Glider rides? Balloon rides? Since some are critical of flights in “old aircraft”–would they put an age limit on aircraft? Would that include Stearman rides, for example? AGE ITSELF is not the answer–given the age of the average General Aviation aircraft, we would lose at least half of the fleet!

        As an FBO, I’ve had people ask “how old is this airplane?”–and when I answer “2002”–they are Shocked! I’ve also been a passenger on an airliner, when some Karen opines that “this airplane is so old–I’m afraid to fly on it!” The airplane in question was a Southwest 737–one of the latest models–less than 5 years old.