SEATTLE - Colton Harris Moore, also known as the "Barefoot Bandit," is soliciting funding for flight training.
Moore, 25, was on the lam from law enforcement for years, evading state and federal officials in stolen cars, boats, and airplanes. His crime spree ended in the Bahamas in 2010.
The formerly-notorious "Barefoot Bandit" is now hoping the public will donate $125,500 to help him learn how to fly legally.
Moore wrote the following on his GoFundMe page:
I am totally obsessed with airplanes. I call them "flying machines." There is just something about them - the poise of the wings, the sound of the engine, and the ability to take to the sky at any moment and have absolute freedom. It's truly unlike any other experience.
But, my experience with airplanes is a little unusual... When I was 17, I actually stole an airplane - a 1997 Cessna 182S, owned by Seattle Classic Rock KZOK radio personality Bob Rivers. I think Bob doesn't like me so much - but I get that. I wouldn't like the person who stole my airplane, either. Maybe someday I will have the ability to buy him a new 182 for a surprise Christmas, who knows? I would certainly like to! But getting back to the airplane, that Novemeber [sic] in 2008, I was willing to die for the experience of flight. I had never before left the ground - not even to fly commercially. I had never been trained, nor used flight simulators (as many have said). What it was, was an uncontrollable, unstoppable passion for flying machines. I had waited my entire life, dreaming of flying, dreaming of feeling the force of being pushed back in the seat as I pushed the throttle full-forward. Something took over and before I knew it I was airborn [sic] over the Pacific Northwest and doing something I had waited 17 years to do.
I went on to steal 4 more airplanes...
Moore says that the flight training is something that he's wanted to do his whole life.
As of this writing, $1,575 was raised in three days.