First Air Force One Plane Decaying in Arizona Field-Truth!

First Air Force One Plane Decaying in Arizona Field-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:
This is a video posted on YouTube alleging that the first Air Force One, a Lockheed Constellation Columbine II, is decaying in an Arizona field and the owner is looking for a museum that is willing to restore the aircraft.

The Truth:

The video is true, and according to a July 11, 2013, article by the Arizona Star, the first plane to be designated as Air Force One, which was once used by President Dwight David Eisenhower, now sits in a field at Marana Regional Airport in southern Arizona.

The article said the historical artifact is gradually being broken down by the desert sun’s rays because it is not being sheltered in a hangar. Mel Christler of Christler Flying Service purchased the aircraft in a lot with four other aircraft in an auction, totally unaware of the historical value of the once famous aircraft. Christler intended to convert the plane to a crop duster, but it had a damaged landing gear, which kept it grounded. The plane was kept for spare parts for the the rest of Christler’s fleet.

Christler was contacted by the Smithsonian, which was searching for the aircraft, and he began efforts to restore the former Air Force One. At the time of the news report, the owners of the plane were looking for a museum that would be willing to take the plane and restore it.
A spokesperson for the owners of the aircraft told the team that they are still working to make the famous Columbine II air-worthy.
Posted 06/30/14