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“A wonderful place to visit” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Airline History Museum

Airline History Museum
201 NW Lou Holland Drive, Kansas City, MO 64116
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Ranked #20 of 82 Attractions in Kansas City
Type: Specialty Museums, Museums
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Attraction details
Owner description: Airline history museum at Kansas City airport devoted to saving and preserving old aircraft, including "connies".
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A wonderful place to visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2014

We came here over spring break, as my two young sons love planes and are interested in being pilots. We got a private tour basically, as we were the only ones there at that time. It was very interesting and the planes were so neat. Or guide was so friendly and patient with my kids and took the time to answer all of their questions. Check out this little gem if you have time!

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42 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Lake Winnebago
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great museum, close to downtown”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2014

If you are into planes and travels from the 30-60s, this is the museum for you. One of a few Connies still in existence, you get to go onboard as part of the tour. Our tour allowed the kids to sit in the cockpit. Tour guide was a former pilot, very friendly, it was just me and my kids on the tour.

Cool fact is John Travolta has hung out at this museum and worked on these planes. I believe he has actually flown the Connie. They've been spending the last few years rebuilding the engine that caught fire in flight a few years ago. It's very grass roots and people are committed to this preservation effort.

Visited August 2013
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Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“A gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2014 via mobile

A groupon led us here. Knowledgeable docent, Bob, took us on a thorough, informative and interesting tour of Airline history in Kansas City and beyond. Touring the Connie was amazing.
This is an interesting and worthwhile attraction for everyone!!
Add it to must dos in Kansas City!

Visited February 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redlands, California
1 review
“Airline History Museum helps make international news on 1938 twa collection..!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2014

KC museum reviews missing plane crash artifacts
Published: July 24, 2009 1:04 AM
By The Associated Press MATT CAMPBELL (The Kansas City Star)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The passenger plane that went missing in California was front page news in Kansas City back in 1938 because it involved the hometown airline.
The Transcontinental and Western Air flight from San Francisco to Burbank had run into a severe storm and turned back because of ice. Blown off course, the DC-2 with nine souls aboard smashed into a snowy mountain in Yosemite National Park, just a couple of hundred feet from the crest.
The wreckage would not be found and the bodies recovered for more than three months. It was big news at the time, but had long since been forgotten.
Until a California antique dealer recently stumbled upon a battered TWA first officer’s cap in a cedar chest in a garage sale.
He wanted the TWA pin with the Indian head on the cap. What he ended up buying was the dramatic story of a 23-year-old fruit packer and weekend gold prospector who, on a hunch, found the wreckage 71 years ago.
The dealer, Bob Hoskin of Redlands, Calif., traveled recently to Kansas City to show what he had to officials of the Airline History Museum here.
“It’s totally fascinating,” museum spokesman Clifford Hall said as he and interim director Larry Brown pored over photographs of the carnage, original correspondence from TWA, handwritten letters from families of the victims and a first-person account of “My Great Adventure” by the hero who found the plane, H.O. Collier III.
It had been Collier’s daughter who had that cedar chest in that garage sale.
On March 1, 1938, California was in the grip of its most severe storm in 64 years. The last communication from experienced pilot John D. Graves was at 9:28 p.m. asking for weather conditions at Fresno and Bakersfield.
Graves and First Officer Clyde W. Wallace had been blown off course and were unwittingly following the wrong radio beacon when they sheared trees and slammed into the mountainside at cruising speed. That could have been up to 200 mph.
Among the passengers was off-duty TWA First Officer H.M. Salisbury, 34, returning home to Kansas City.
Crews were dispatched to look for the plane, and competitor airlines American and United offered help. But the search was focused miles from the actual crash site, based on observations from people on the ground.
Months went by.
The frustration prompted more than one person to suggest that airplanes be equipped with emergency locator beacons, a practicality that would not come about for several more years.
TWA President Jack Frye offered a reward of $1,000. That must have sounded good to Collier, living with his grandmother in Fresno.
He left his job on June 7, hitched to Yosemite and hiked into the mountains. On the morning of June 12 he saw part of a wing in a tree and found the mangled wreckage. There had been no fire.
Collier counted the bodies, grabbed an armful of evidence and rushed back down the mountain to report his find at the ranger station in Wowona.
“Through Snow to Plane,” was the headline on The Kansas City Star’s front page the next day. “Young Prospector Leads Way to Wrecked Transport.”
Among the items that Collier saved and Hoskin now has:
The field map of Yosemite with Collier’s pencil scratchings and an X marking a spot where he mistakenly thought he had found the plane.
Two in-flight magazines, including the January 1938 Reader’s Digest, in leather folders labeled “TWA The Lindbergh Line.”
An emergency reflector mirror that could have been used to signal rescuers if anyone had survived.
Salisbury’s size 7 flight cap.
A letter from TWA telling Collier he had to give the cap back. (He didn’t.)
A couple of dozen black-and-white photographs. One shows the pilot’s body face down in the snow, still strapped in his seat.
The stub of the $1,000 reward check presented to Collier.
The crash is also documented in TWA files in the Western Historical Manuscripts Collection at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Included in the three folders is Collier’s dry affidavit swearing his claim of the reward money.
But the material Hoskin discovered in that cedar chest included a 35-page typed manuscript in which Collier recounted his adventure in much more colorful language.
He tells of being overtaken by a fast stream and losing his shoes. He had to walk down 12 miles through the snow, pine needles and sharp rocks in stocking feet, buy a used pair of boots with his last dollar and head back up to resume his search.
Collier shopped his story to various publications, including The Saturday Evening Post and Reader’s Digest, as late as 1963 but found no buyers. He has since died.
“What are you going to do with your collection, Bob?” the airline museum’s Hall asked Hoskin.
“I’ve been struggling with that for several months now,” Hoskin replied.
He said the airline museum in Kansas City would be a great place for it, and Hall said the museum would be thrilled to have it.
But for now, Hoskin is not sure how much his collection is worth or what he will do with it. One thing he is sure of: He wants to find a publisher for Collier’s own account of his adventure.
“I want to finally, after 70 years in a cedar chest, get his story out there,” he said.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Visited February 2013
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Lake Lotawana, Missouri
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Fly away with me”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2013

This is such a treasure in Kansas City. Known for a while as quite a hub for air travel and many airlines that have made Kansas City their home...the volunteers that can lead you through are wonderful and very passionate

Visited September 2013
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