Dallas, Texas - After seeing the sights at the Faeroe Islands, Friendship Flight '97 pilot Bill Signs along with his passengers, Jim and Ruth Jacobs, prepared to depart the Faeroe Islands on the way to Reykjavik, Iceland. However, a heavy fog covered the airport at the Faeroe Islands and the traveling trio were grounded for six additional hours. With the visibility at 600 feet, Signs watched as pilots that knew the area flew in and out of the fog bound airport.

"If low visibility was the only problem, I would have taken off and climbed to altitude," said Signs, "but the departure from the Faeroe Island airport required that after liftoff I had to make a 10 degree turn to the left and fly through a two mile notch in the terrain before continuing on to Reykjavik. The local guys were flying 737's in and out, but I wasn't about to risk that takeoff."

After the six hour delay, Signs, and his party of two, departed the Faeroe Islands and flew on, at 10,000 feet to Reykjavik. Arriving over Iceland, Signs flew over the area where just six months ago an active volcano erupted. They could still see lines of the black magma flow but saw no activity in the volcano.

Two days were spent in Reykjavik before departing for the Vestmannaeyjar Islands off the southern coast of Iceland. It was on the Vestmannaeyjar Islands where in 1973 a volcano erupted and covered the downtown area with ten feet of volcanic ash. Signs reported that when he dug down one inch into the volcanic ash that it was still hot and you could not leave your hand there for very long.

Leaving the Vestmannaeyjar Islands, the trio returned to Reykjavik before forging ahead to Jakobshavn, Greenland. Jakobshavn sits on the west coast of Greenland and is located next to the most prolific glacier in the Northern Hemisphere. Signs reports that the glacier movement is approximately one meter, or a little over three feet per day. At the end of its travel, large chunks of the glacier drop into the Labrador Sea.

From Jakobshavn Signs flew 90 MB further down the coast of Greenland to the Greenland capitol, Godthab, or Nuuk, Greenland. Signs reported that the food menu along the way has consisted of seal soup, whale steak, smoked fish tongue, and musk ox. He also reported that fuel costs along the return route have, on the low side, been around $1.95 a gallon to the high side of $8.00 a gallon.

Leaving Godthab, the trio flew on to Frobisher Bay, Canada, and refueled before continuing on to Wabush, Labrador, for a good nights sleep. The next day the traveling trio flew on to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

Signs touched down on U.S. soil on Saturday (6-7-97) in Bangor, Maine, and took a well deserved rest break on Sunday. Monday (6-9-97) will be spent in Canaan, Maine, where Signs and passengers will be part of Canaan's “Crate Day.” Crate Day began in 1992 when Larry Ross, of Canaan, Maine, opened the doors to a remodeled shipping crate that once housed the fuselage of the Spirit of St. Louis on its return voyage from Paris to the U.S. When the Spirit of St. Louis had been removed from its shipping crates, the captain of the ship, Admiral Burrage, received permission to take the 28’ x 12’ x 8’ fuselage crate and he moved it to his home outside of Contoocook, New Hampshire.

There Admiral Burrage refurbished the crate into a bunk house for his grandkids to stay in when they visited the Admiral. After the Admiral died, one of his grandchildren moved the crate to a new location and over the years the crate housed a variety of passerby’s including a pregnant woman who gave birth to a daughter there. Then in 1990, a developer purchased the land and needed to remove the crate. That’s where Ross stepped in and after inspecting the crate and researching its history he purchased the crate for $3,000.

In March of 1990 Ross undertook the task, along with a friend named Bernie, of moving the crate from south central New Hampshire to its new home in Ross’ backyard in Canaan, Maine. The 125 mile move was not easy but people from all over the New Hampshire area turned out to help and to offer advice on the crate moving. Along the way Ross believed that the crate needed a granite slab so he propositioned a New Hampshire granite quarry to provide a granite slab for the crate. What he ended up with was a granite marker eight feet long by four feet wide and four inches thick. Ross then contacted the Perry Brothers Memorial in Concord, New Hampshire, and they agreed, at no charge, to engrave the granite with: “Lindbergh Crate Contoocook, New Hampshire 1927 Canaan, Maine 1990”

After two years of remodeling, Ross opened the crate to the public in 1992 and each year since then has invited school children from around the Canaan area to come out to the crate at the end of their school year to take part in Crate Day. It’s at the 1997 Crate Day that Signs will be meeting with school children and Crate Day visitors to talk with them about the amazing accomplishments of Lindbergh and the recreative flight of Friendship Flight ‘97.

Tuesday Signs and company will return to Republic Airport, Long Island, New York, where the traveling bears Floyd and Bennett will return to the Floyd Bennett School in Brooklyn after their flight from Dallas to San Diego to St. Louis to New York to Paris and back to Long Island. Thursday 90MB will again take to the air for a flight from Republic Airport to Fairhope, Alabama, where Jim and Ruth Jacobs will complete their flight aboard Friendship Flight ‘97. Signs will return to his home on Friday (6-13-97) and the completion of Friendship Flight ‘97.

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Bill Signs Author

Bill Signs

The main pilot for Friendship Flight.


What Is Friendship Flight?

Spearheaded by pilot Bill Signs, they are a collection of global flights to spread good will, understanding, and more to countries around the world.


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Friendship Flight 1997 Lindbergh

A commemoration of Charles Lindbergh's historic flight, 70 years to the minute. Signs retraced Lindbergh's route, departing San Diego, St. Louis, and New York, arriving in Paris, France, on May 21st, 1997 at 11 a.m. Ten thousand children are expected to participate at the airports, where Signs will share Lindbergh's accomplishments and the excitement of world-wide aviation.

  • Pilot: Bill Signs
  • Aircraft: Cessna 210L N90MB

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