WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Museum of Aviation is getting rid of 32 aircraft, downsizing its entire collection by 1/3.
Museum Director Ken Emery attributes the cuts to the massive Air Force reorganization. In 2011, Emery said the museum was forced to eliminate eight of its 16 civilian employees. As a result, there simply isn't enough staff to take care of all of the aircraft, Emery said.
The museum formed a collections committee to determine what aircraft would leave. Emery said the planes that were duplicates were easier to let go of. But others, like the B-52, will definitely be missed. The plane has been outside of the museum for more than 30 years.
"We just had to let go of some of the big airplanes," Emery said, "simply because they are so manpower intensive."
So far, eight out of the 32 planes and missiles have already left. While some have landed in museums as far as Hawaii, others will just be scrapped. Emery doesn't plan on getting any new aircraft until the location expands.
"If in the future, we have a facility to protect them, then maybe," Emery said.
But with lack of funding, museum officials will continue to fight the battle between preserving history and saving pennies. Emery said anyone can always pitch in, by volunteering or donating to the Museum of Aviation fund. For more information, contact the museum directly at (478) 926-6870.