Dallas, Texas - Friendship Flight '97 pilot Bill Signs and his two passengers, Jim and Ruth Jacobs left Bangor, Maine, early Monday (6-9-97) morning for the flight to Canaan, Maine. After landing in Pittsfield, Maine, the trio was transported by van to Canaan, Maine for the annual Crate Day presentation in the back yard of Larry Ross.

In 1990 Ross purchased and then over two years time refurbished the shipping crate that was used by Charles Lindbergh to ship the fuselage of the Spirit of St. Louis from Paris, France, to the U.S. At the end of every school year since 1992, Ross invites school children to his back yard to envelop them in Lindbergh memorabilia, entertain them with stories of the historic Lindbergh flight, and allow the children an opportunity to learn about the wonderful world of aviation. This year the Crate Day celebration invited Signs to spend the day in Ross' backyard and then talk with the children about Friendship Flight '97.

"Crate Day was quite an exciting day," remarked Signs. "More than 150 school children were there, not only for the Crate museum, but also there to enjoy the many airplane flybys as well as the thrill of watching a State of Maine UH-1 helicopter land in Ross' backyard." One of the many highlights of Crate Day was provided by a small replica of the Spirit of St. Louis that was attached to an overhead cable and allowed the kids to ride in the replica while it traveled down a 150 foot cable ending in a "landing" in the backyard. Even Signs got into the act and "flew" the Spirit of St. Louis to a successful landing.

Bidding a fond farewell to Crate Day, Friendship Flight '97 left the Pittsfield Airport and flew on to Republic Airport, the jumpoff airport for the non-stop New York to Paris flight. The reason for stopping at Republic was for Signs to return the traveling bear duo of Floyd and Bennett bear. Having now completed their momentous flight aboard Friendship Flight '97, Floyd and Bennett were going home to the Floyd Bennett School in Brooklyn, New York.

More than 400 school children, squealing with glee, greeted Signs as he arrived at the school with Floyd and Bennett bear. Signs was presented with a plaque commemorating his involvement with Floyd and Bennett as well as a photograph of Signs with Floyd and Bennett and the children at the Floyd Bennett School. "The children were very happy to see Floyd and Bennett as well as hear about the exploits of Friendship Flight '97," said Signs. During a tour of the Floyd Bennett facility, Signs noted that the school takes on an aviation enhancement environment throughout the school with computer flight simulators and even a wind tunnel for design testing.

Once back at Republic Airport, N90MB again lifted off but this time headed southeast for a stop in Boone, North Carolina. The traveling trio spent the night with Dave and Wanda Watson in Boone, where the Watson's build race cars. Thursday morning (6-12-97) Signs and his passengers left Boone and headed direct to Fairhope, Alabama, the home of Jim and Ruth Jacobs. Although the Jacobs' were now home, Signs had one last flight before the completion of Friendship Flight '97.

After spending the morning touring Fort Morgan, a fort built to defend Mobile harbor and completed in 1834, Signs said good buy to his traveling companions and made the final three and a half hour flight back to Dallas. Touching down at Addison Field just north of downtown Dallas at 5:55 p.m., Signs was greeted by a jubilant crowd of well wishers at his home hangar.

Although the actual flight of Friendship Flight '97 is completed, the memories continue on. Signs along with N90B will be available at the Superior Air Parts booth at the EAA Convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, at the end of July. Following Oshkosh, Signs will fly N90MB to Little Falls, Minnesota, and take part in a celebration with the Lindbergh Foundation.

Stay in touch with the further exploits of Friendship Flight '97 by continuing to check this web site for more information and the locations for future sightings of Bill Signs and N90MB on future Friendship Flights.

About The Author
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.


Friendship Flight Blog on Facebook

Follow our stories on our Facebook Blog and Facebook Photo Galleries.

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

All Press Releases

All Press