Michael Sean Foster, 71, call sign "Pod," was cleared for takeoff for the last time Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut.
Mike was a pilot and flight instructor for over fifty years. As a teenager he bartered for flying lessons at an airport in suburban Chicago and became the youngest person, at the time, to earn a pilot's license in Illinois. He began his career as a Naval Aviator attack pilot and retired as a Captain in 1993. He continued flying as a commercial airline pilot with Air Florida, People Express, Northwest, and Delta Airlines, flew recreationally as a FAST-qualified formation pilot, and piloted vintage aircraft, including the B-17 bomber, with the Collings Foundation until his death. He was a member of the Redstar Pilots Association and the Bald Eagle Squadron of the Association of Naval Aviators. Mike was a loving father and husband with a passion for life and aviation. He was loved by family and friends and respected by many.
He leaves behind his wife, Tammy, son, Liam, and his wife, Emily, daughter, Erin, and her husband Steve, and grandchildren, Matthew and Lily. He is predeceased by his sister, Mary, and survived by his sisters, Anne, Susan, Sheila, Elizabeth, and Ellen, and his brother, Dennis.
Informal visitation will take place Friday, October 11, 2019 from 5-7pm at Hardage-Giddens Rivermead 127 Blanding Blvd, Orange Park, FL 32073. A Graveside service with Military Honors will be held Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 2pm at Jacksonville Memory Gardens, 111 Blanding Blvd, Orange Park, FL 32073. The family asks that donations be made to the Collings Foundation in lieu of flowers.
May he forever fly in blue skies and tailwinds.
~ IN MEMORY ~
Military veteran, NWA/DL pilot Michael Sean Foster
January 26, 1948 ~ October 2, 2019
We have learned that the copilot of the B-17 which crashed at Bradley Airport in Connecticut on Wednesday morning was retired Northwest/Delta pilot Michael Sean Foster, age 71, of Jacksonville, Florida. Captain Foster joined Northwest Airlines 06-14-1985.
Online sources: https://philip.greenspun.com/blog/2019/10/03/boeing-b-17-crash-at-bradley/ also
Updates to follow as we learn of services and funeral arrangements for Capt. Foster.
~ Carol for the PCN
WINDSOR LOCKS, CT (WFSB) - Seven people died in a vintage WWII plane crash at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks on Wednesday.
Upon landing, the plane, which is registered as a B-17G, crashed into a de-icing facility just before 10 a.m. and erupted into flames.
In total, state police said 14 people were injured or killed in the B-17 crash.
On Thursday, police released the names of those who died:
· Ernest McCauley, 75 - Pilot, from Long Beach, CA
· Michael Foster, 71 - Co-Pilot, from Jacksonville, FL
· David Broderick, 56 - passenger from West Springfield, MA
· Gary Mazzone, 66, - passenger from Broad Brook, CT
· James Roberts, 48 - passenger from Ludlow, MA
· Robert Riddell, 59 - passenger from East Granby, CT
· Robert Rubner, 64 - passenger from Tolland, CT
There were 13 people aboard the plane. Three of them were crew members and 10 were passengers.
Michael Sean Foster, described in the media as the “co-pilot,” had a significant amount of aviation experience. He starts out with an Airline Transport Pilot certificate, the highest level, and is typed in three Boeing airliners, the DC-10, and the Learjet. He also holds an FAA Flight Engineer certificate, which would have qualified him to serve in this position in planes such as the DC-10. He was a Navy carrier pilot veteran. Ernest Herbert McCauley, who was serving as the “pilot”, held a Commercial certificate and was typed in the B-17. The NTSB credited McCauley with 7,300 hours of B-17 time; a World War II bomber pilot might have come home with 250 hours of total time in the B-17 (from 25 missions). He also held an FAA A&P certificate to perform maintenance on certified aircraft.