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  #1  
Old 06-25-2013, 09:37 AM
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Gerald Yagen selling collection, likely closing the Military Aviation Museum

Va. Beach museum owner selling plane collection

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The owner of one of the world’s largest collections of World War I- and World War II-era planes is selling off his aircraft and said he may have to close the Military Aviation Museum in Pungo.

Gerald Yagen said on Monday he no longer can afford to keep the collection and, likely, the museum. The announcement shocked warplane enthusiasts and city officials who’d embraced the unique attraction in the city’s rural south.

“I’m subsidizing it heavily every year and my business no longer allows me to do that financially, and therefore I don’t have a solution for it,” Yagen said.
This is a shame, but I can't imagine how much money he has tied up in that place, and the operating costs must be insane. I was just down there at the Warbirds Over the Beach show last month.

I guess the upside is a bunch of planes get new homes; he's already sold the B-17 and the Fw 190.

I think I'll have to make another trip there soon.

Full article here:
Va. Beach museum owner selling plane collection | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com
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  #2  
Old 06-25-2013, 08:27 PM
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Very unfortunate, and a bit mysterious. I attended their airshow last month (Warbirds Over the Beach:) and there was no sign of trouble whatsoever. They were very proud of their Cottbus hangar - brought over piece by piece from Berlin - and were restoring a control tower from a WW2 British airfield. A Bf 109 and an Oscar were being restored for the collection, and of course there was the newly-arrived Mosquito.

One would have to think that the decision to close must have been made already, or soon thereafter. The lousy weather probably hurt airshow attendance, but on the other hand, a lot of people had traveled a long distance to see the Mosquito.

The B-17 and Fw 190A will be headed to a new owner in Oregon next week, and everything else is apparently available. Rod Lewis in Texas has been mentioned as a possible buyer, and I have to believe that Kermit Weeks in Florida and Paul Allen in Washington will be interested. Then of course, there are the CAF and Planes of Fame.

I think a logical place for the Mosquito to wind up at would be the Canadian Warplane Heritage in Hamilton, who sent several aircraft to last month's airshow. After all, this particular Mossie was built in Canada, and they have plenty of experience with Merlin-powered aircraft up there.

The Me 262 should wind up with Paul Allen; I'm surprised he hadn't already bought one, since they were built about 100 yards from his museum at Paine Field!

I hope that the more unique aircraft will stay in North America, but who knows? This was all quite sudden.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:46 PM
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I'm not sure how much more Kermit can display. He's got a building full of stuff offsite. Maybe he'll move most of his spare engines into storage? I hate seeing old planes stored outside.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Bisonte View Post
Va. Beach museum owner selling plane collection



This is a shame, but I can't imagine how much money he has tied up in that place, and the operating costs must be insane. I was just down there at the Warbirds Over the Beach show last month.

I guess the upside is a bunch of planes get new homes; he's already sold the B-17 and the Fw 190.

I think I'll have to make another trip there soon.

Full article here:
Va. Beach museum owner selling plane collection | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com
I'm really sorry to hear this. It appeared that this was a well funded operation but being out here on the west coast doesn't allow me to see the full picture. I hope that the collection ends up in good hands. Who is the new Oregon owner of the B-17 and FW190?
Must be McMinnville as that is the only one that I know of in Oregon. I hope that Paul Allen is on the stick and picks up some of the aircraft.
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Parks View Post
I'm really sorry to hear this. It appeared that this was a well funded operation but being out here on the west coast doesn't allow me to see the full picture. I hope that the collection ends up in good hands. Who is the new Oregon owner of the B-17 and FW190?
Must be McMinnville as that is the only one that I know of in Oregon. I hope that Paul Allen is on the stick and picks up some of the aircraft.
I am, too. It sounds like he was using at least part of the income from his four vocational schools to fund the museum. But now that he's sold them he no longer has those revenue streams. Sad, but it should be interesting to see how it all plays out.
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Old 06-26-2013, 01:06 AM
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The B-17 and Fw190 are going to Tillamook, in the near term (according to FaceBook, arriving in the next week). In a few years, the Tillamook museum is moving to Madras, and I assume the B-17 and Fw190 will go with them.

Bob, if you get a chance, you should visit Tillamook! They have a very nice collection, and they've been flying things more and more.

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Originally Posted by Bob Parks View Post
I'm really sorry to hear this. It appeared that this was a well funded operation but being out here on the west coast doesn't allow me to see the full picture. I hope that the collection ends up in good hands. Who is the new Oregon owner of the B-17 and FW190?
Must be McMinnville as that is the only one that I know of in Oregon. I hope that Paul Allen is on the stick and picks up some of the aircraft.
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  #7  
Old 06-26-2013, 07:43 AM
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Heard about this yesterday. What a downer. It's such a treasure and something I was very thankful to have pretty much in my backyard.

Maybe the city of Virginia beach should stop giving tens of millions of public/private partnership dollars to their hotel developer buds (the last thing we need is more hotels and condos) and redirect some of those funds to save a REAL gem in their city.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by donv View Post
The B-17 and Fw190 are going to Tillamook, in the near term (according to FaceBook, arriving in the next week). In a few years, the Tillamook museum is moving to Madras, and I assume the B-17 and Fw190 will go with them.

Bob, if you get a chance, you should visit Tillamook! They have a very nice collection, and they've been flying things more and more.
Thanks, Don. I plan to do that this fall.
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Chupacabra View Post
Heard about this yesterday. What a downer. It's such a treasure and something I was very thankful to have pretty much in my backyard.

Maybe the city of Virginia beach should stop giving tens of millions of public/private partnership dollars to their hotel developer buds (the last thing we need is more hotels and condos) and redirect some of those funds to save a REAL gem in their city.

It's a shame that the Smithsonian can't step in. Their facilities are first-class, but, more importantly, having a FLYING heritage museum adds a dimension to the experience that simply can't be re-created by static displays (however wonderful).

There is something visceral about seeing warbirds come to life and do (if only a part of) what they were designed to do.

Last edited by zygomatic; 06-28-2013 at 05:26 PM.
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  #10  
Old 06-28-2013, 07:46 PM
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This man is selling everything; this man is a scam artist. He takes advantage of our war hero’s, he has been making money off of their history. He also has multiple schools that he has incompetent people running them. At multiple schools he had his admissions department enrolling students till the last minute knowing that he was selling. He did this so he could have the students pull financial aid and take out loans. Now these people are left with the uncertainty of their future. Who will hire them, will they be able to sit for their state license? Will they even be able to finish? Unfortunately these people don't know what their future holds. Forget about the employees, they were told that he was thinking about selling and the next day they were let go. How can you do this to people, how can he sleep at night. He as committed fraud in my option with the government, he knew what he was doing months ago yet he still was allowing open enrollment. I thought this is why the GOP was in affect to protect. I will be calling the department of education to see what can be done for these students. Yes, I was an employee at one of these schools but I took my job seriously and I feel for them. This could have been one of my children or could have been one of your own. Do not help him continue on making billions.
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  #11  
Old 06-29-2013, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by lelo69 View Post
This man is selling everything; this man is a scam artist. He takes advantage of our war hero’s, he has been making money off of their history. He also has multiple schools that he has incompetent people running them. At multiple schools he had his admissions department enrolling students till the last minute knowing that he was selling. He did this so he could have the students pull financial aid and take out loans. Now these people are left with the uncertainty of their future. Who will hire them, will they be able to sit for their state license? Will they even be able to finish? Unfortunately these people don't know what their future holds. Forget about the employees, they were told that he was thinking about selling and the next day they were let go. How can you do this to people, how can he sleep at night. He as committed fraud in my option with the government, he knew what he was doing months ago yet he still was allowing open enrollment. I thought this is why the GOP was in affect to protect. I will be calling the department of education to see what can be done for these students. Yes, I was an employee at one of these schools but I took my job seriously and I feel for them. This could have been one of my children or could have been one of your own. Do not help him continue on making billions.
I thought this is why the GOP was in affect to protect.

What are you trying to say? What is GOP?
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:22 PM
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I thought this is why the GOP was in affect to protect. I will be calling the department of education to see what can be done for these students.
GOP? What's that? You mean 'in effect', not affect.

What did you teach????

Hard to follow your post.

I see this is your first and only post here....

Last edited by Tcar; 06-29-2013 at 12:28 PM.
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  #13  
Old 06-30-2013, 01:24 AM
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Well, in other news...I heard from folks who toured the museum today that they will not be shutting down. They will not continue to fly the planes as much due to the high cost of insurance and maintenance, but apparently the bulk of the collection and the facilities will remain.
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Old 06-30-2013, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by lelo69 View Post
This man is selling everything; this man is a scam artist... Do not help him continue on making billions.
Billions?!! That would be quite a scam...
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:57 AM
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Tillamoook Air Museum is posting a bunch of pictures of the B-17 on Facebook as it makes it's way west.

Search for them, and you'll find it. I assume they will do the same for the Fw190. They generally post a lot of cool pictures of their airplanes, usually in flight.
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  #16  
Old 06-30-2013, 11:05 AM
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I hope the museum stays open.
We had a great time there in 2011 for the "Ferraris on the Vine" event.
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Old 06-30-2013, 02:53 PM
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If the museum is going to stay open, and the collection is to stay (relatively) intact, I wonder how he plans to pay the bills. Museum admissions won't do it by themselves. If the vocational schools that he sold off was where the funds were coming from, then where will the funds come from now?

And were other aircraft offered for sale? Are other sales in the works? (I would have liked to have seen the Fw 190 stay in the East because of its uniqueness.) Obviously, there is more to come with this story.
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  #18  
Old 07-01-2013, 03:15 PM
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The B-17 is in Hillsboro- almost to Tillamook!
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  #19  
Old 08-26-2013, 03:17 PM
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Here is an update from the museum's summer newsletter:

"Many members and visitors have voiced concern over the future of the Museum as rumors of our collection of planes being sold and the Museum closing continue to be widespread. Not true.

However, outside constraints and financial restrictions have necessitated that a small portion of the collection be sold. And yes, seeing Chuckie, our B-17 bomber and the beautifully restored De Havilland 'Dragon Rapide' fly off into the sunset has been somewhat traumatic to those who have maintained and flown them.

On a positive note, one can take some gratitude that these wonderful examples have been returned to their original flying condition and that other admirers in various parts of the country can now also enjoy them for many years to come.

The Museum is home to over 60 amazing bombers, fighters and trainers and considered by many to be the best flying collection in the world. But even though the loss of a few may hurt, the Museum will continue to display a wonderful collection of planes covering the first 50 years of aviation.

It may be that for a while it will be necessary to suspend flying these wonderful examples; however, it is the Museum’s intention to continue in 2013 and 2014 with its many successful events and programs. For the remainder of this year we have booked more than 25 events including car shows, WWI Radio Control air show, plane pulls, a 5k run and our very popular “Trains, Planes and Santa” with Santa flying in over the Thanksgiving weekend.

We also have several events booked supporting many charities as Operation Smile, Wounded Warriors, Disabled American Veterans, SPCA, Toys for Tots and Mercy Medical Airlift. So please come out and support your favorite charities.

During the last two months, the Museum has been visited by a record number of visitors and tourists from almost every state in the USA as well as from Europe, South America and Canada. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our many volunteers who have made these daily tours possible."
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