A 10-year-old from Dartmouth, N.S., has reached his high-flying target a year early.
Euan MacDonald’s dreamed-about plan to fly in Hamilton’s historic four-engine Avro Lancaster bomber will soon be a reality.
The plane is one of two in the world that is flight-ready and able to take passengers. The trip costs $3,500, which MacDonald reached through a crowdfunding effort.
“I’m amazed!” MacDonald said. “I never thought I’d do it this fast.”
Between bottle drives, bake-sales and donations Euan quickly met his target. He’s even moved up the date to visit Hamilton’s Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, which restored the Lancaster and maintains it in flying condition.
“I want to know what it feels like to be on a World-War Two bomber that is past its prime but it survived up to this day.”
MacDonald said he thanks his family and people who donated to his fund — pushing it even $150 past his target of $3,500.
“We thought it would take us until the summer of 2017 and it only took about two months,” he said. “I was stunned …people are congratulating me, my friends are happy for me, I feel that it’s going to be amazing.”
The family is planning a three-week road trip, making several stops along the way before arriving in Hamilton. “We want to see as many places connected to aviation as possible to continue learning about the Lancaster and aviation history,” said Anne-Marie McElrone, Euan’s mother.
She said MacDonald will continue to fundraise even though he’s raised the cash he needs in order to take flight in the Lancaster. Any more money he raises, the family plans to donate to CFB Greenwood for its museum’s Lancaster restoration effort.
One of the most touching donations came from a close friend.
“The donation was $200, two aviation DVDs and a personal letter to Euan,” McElrone said. “Euan was shaking when he opened the envelope. It had such a profound impact on him that someone had that same passion as he does.”
The family is currently working along with members of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum to set a date to make Euan’s flight dream come true.