By Paul Lips
Aviation certainly began in Dayton, Ohio, but by 1928, it looked like Grand Central Airport in Los Angeles was the future of aviation. Home of the first “Grand Celebration of Flight” (or “fly-in party”), attendees were required to arrive by air or were denied admission. See this fascinating part of California aviation history on page 33-B.
Zoe Dell Lantis Nutter is the only member of the Living Legends of Aviation who started promoting aviation more than 70 years ago. As the pirate theme girl for the 1939 World’s Fair at Treasure Island, Nutter was a dancer, a performer, a flight attendant and even a spokesperson for the Pan American Clipper flying boats at America’s first International Airport. See how Zoe Dell’s dream and vision have earned her the title First Lady of Aviation on page 46-B.
Congratulations to Kelly Burris and Erin Recke, winners of the 33rd annual women’s four-day, 2,715-mile Air Race Classic. It was great fun having the 34 race teams here at Centennial Airport (KAPA) in Denver as they prepared for the start of the race. My daughters, Haley and Alexis, interviewed several of the race teams (including some soon-to-be winners) before the race. We videotaped the interviews to put on the Airport Journals Web site (available soon at [http://www.AirportJournals.com]. The teams spent considerable time with my girls, and they both left the interviews wanting to be pilots and journalists. If that was not enough, they got to meet Emily Howell-Warner, the first woman scheduled airline captain.
I have just uploaded a video I recorded in 2005 of Bill Bower (available at the bottom of this page), a surviving Doolittle Raider pilot, giving his account of the raid on Japan four months after Pearl Harbor. It was a real treat to introduce my wife, Megan, to Capt. Bower when we recently attended the Big Band Hangar Dance at Boulder Airport. Read about two of the other nine surviving raiders on page 10-B.
Three generations of an aviation family built Palwaukee Airport (Chicago, Ill.), a flying school, an FBO, and an aircraft management and charter company. Read about the aviation legacy of the Priester family on page 56-B.
Request for Letters to the Editor:
In the next issue of the paper, we would like to share with our readers any first-hand accounts you have about modern technology that has improved your flying experience or made it safer. Your stories about avionics, phone applications and other computer programs are preferred.
In the next issue, we will also feature an exclusive interview with Dr. Buzz Aldrin, the first man to land on the moon.
Their First Interviews
Haley and Alexis Lips
By Alexis Lips, age 7
I had a lot of fun meeting and talking to women racers in the Powder Puff Derby. I was scared at first because I didn’t know what to expect and had never done an interview before. I learned how not to be shy.
JoDean Perry, who raced with Linda Street-Ely, has a ritual of kissing her airplane on the nose before each flight. She said it is much like kissing a horse before it takes you on a ride. It is her way of telling her Piper Cherokee how important it is to take care of each other. I was so inspired by the things I learned and the excitement in the air that I have decided that I’d like to be a pilot some day. My dad started learning to fly when he was 11, so I only have a few years to wait.
Haley Lips, age 11
My sister and I interviewed women pilots from all over the world racing in the Powder Puff Derby. I was so excited because I was going to meet Emily
Howell-Warner—the first woman commercial pilot—who was speaking at the airport. She was very inspiring to me and my sister, Lexi, and now we both want to join aviation. Lexi and I got a picture with her, and my dad got to introduce her to the crowd. The women racers were there to hear her inspiring thoughts and take a group picture with her and other members of the 99s.
The racers were very interesting to listen to. My favorite questions to ask the racers was, “Do you have any rituals or superstitions before or during flight and what do you think about the history of this race?”
Kelly Burris and Erin Recke, the winners of the race, would dress up a miniature Yoda doll in clothes that represented their mood. They did it for luck, and “The Force” must have been strong with them.
The racers’ answers were very entertaining and specific. There were women young and old. There was a mother/daughter team, best friend teams and people that had never met until two days before the race. There were experienced racers and those racing for the first time. We were there from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Maybe someday I will race in the Powder Puff Derby.