Zachary James Collie Moreno Warbird Scholarship
Devyn Reiley and Zachary Collie were lost in an aviation accident in Oshkosh on July 29th.
Zachary (Zach) Collie was 20 years old and a member of the Central Texas Wing. He had found a love for aviation and was working to earn his A&P and had aspirations of working on and flying warbirds. He loved everything warbird related and was just getting started on his journey in aviation and life. There is no doubt that with more time he would have become a well-known and respected member of the warbird community.
Zach was one of those kids that shows up and just doesn’t leave. He was wide-eyed about flying and always seemed to find a way into a back seat. He also loved and had a talent for photography. Many of the photos published by our Wing in the last year or so were Zach’s work.
He was working diligently to become a crew chief on our B-25 and when he wasn’t working at his first professional maintenance job, he was in the hanger learning about warbirds - always with an eye out for that next opportunity to go flying.
Another one of our members (also an A&P), Steve Reed, took a particular interest in Zach and invested a significant amount of time with him as a mentor. Steve and Zach had traveled to Oshkosh together, spending 20 hours in a car together and rooming together. As you can imagine, Steve’s heart is broken.
As members of our Wing and young people in aviation, Devyn and Zach had a lot in common and were friends. It is not surprising that Zach would have jumped at the chance for a flight in the T-6.
We were all looking forward to getting to know Zach and Devyn better as they got more involved in the warbird community.
With the support of Zach's family, the Central Texas Wing is going to establish the Zachary James Collie Moreno Memorial Warbird Restoration Scholarship. We hope to find more kids like Zach - those that may not have access to the resources many of us take for granted, but that have a love for warbirds and aviation and a willingness to work hard and learn - and give them a boost. Please consider sharing Zach’s story, and, if you are as moved by it as we are, please consider a donation to help us get this scholarship off the ground.