We lost a long-time friend and volunteer, Nelson Faso. Nelson played a significant role in the restoration of many of the aircraft in the Niagara Aerospace Museum through his work with the Western New York Vintage Aircraft Group. He had a long career in maintenance with American Airlines, rising to senior positions at both Buffalo and Los Angeles. Nelson was inducted into the Niagara Frontier Aviation and Space Hall of Fame in 2009, having been nominated by Hugh Neeson.
If you visit the museum, you will see aircraft Nelson helped restore, including the Curtiss Jenny, the Cunningham-Hall GA-36, Bell P-39 Airacobra, Bell X-22, and the Bell Model 47 helicopter. Nelson was first introduced to our Bell Model 47 when he was a teenager at Burgard Vocational School. It was donated by Larry Bell to the school to train mechanics to support the fleet of helicopters entering the market. Nelson worked on that same helicopter again after his retirement when he helped restore it.
Here are some of Nelson’s aviation-related volunteer service in the restoration of important historical Western New York and other aircraft:
- Amherst Museum restoration of Cunningham Hall G-35, now in collection of Niagara Aerospace Museum.
- Bell Helicopter (NC 3H) restoration for Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, now housed at the Niagara Aerospace Museum.
- Canadian Warplane Heritage Lysander restoration project.
- Niagara Frontier Vintage aircraft group’s restoration of the Fleet biplane, now housed at the Niagara Aerospace Museum.
- Team Leader of the Niagara Aerospace Museum’s Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny” restoration project.