Letter: Museum diminished under NPS



When the National Park Service began operating Pearson Air Museum in February some asked, “Does it have the unique skills, contacts and credibility within the aviation community to successfully operate an air museum? How many air museums does the Park Service manage within its 400 locations?”

A Freedom of Information Act request generated by this newspaper revealed that a Park Service “Museum takeover was hinted at in ’09,” reported a March 8 story. Despite that, after four months the museum is now a shell of its former self, containing only two planes. The 1918 historic hangar is closed.

New exhibits can only be characterized as space fillers; few have anything to do with aviation.

Theresa Langford, the Park Service’s curator, told The Columbian “aircraft could come to the site from Wright Brothers National Memorial, Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site or Golden Gate National Recreation Area.” Really? The Wright museum has one plane, one glider and one flying machine; Tuskegee has two planes; Golden Gate has none.

Citizens of Vancouver who invested $8 million building a world-class museum (the Park Service invested essentially nothing of value) should be outraged.

Rank-and-file rangers surely are embarrassed that its leaders don’t comprehend that people go to air museums to see airplanes.

Jim Lucas