Alaska aviation pioneers are usually honored once they have passed away. Now however a newer program offered by the Alaska Air Carriers Association and its’ subsidiary offer a distinctive program for living aviation legends.
On the evening of Nov. 1 at the Marriott Anchorage Downtown, nine aviation legends will be honored for their contributions that pioneered aviation in the territory and state of Alaska.
This year’s honorees are:
Mike Hunt—C-46 connection to the Lower 48 after the war; installed airport
Infrastructure before statehood; started Alaska Commemorative Air Force
Bud Rude—A&E mechanic & pilot; 4000 hours by the time he was 23; amassed over
40,000; “Alaska can dish out whatever you think you are man enough to take.”
George Pappas—is known as the “wizard of sheet metal,” he and Ruby have
Salvaged countless aircraft and returned them to serve Alaska
Urban Rahoi—started flying in 1934, flew in the war, then flew for Alaska’s
Major carriers; big game guide (License #1) with a lodge and airstrip on Ptarmigan Lake
Bill Brooks—started the Anchorage Air Cargo Association; built much of the
Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport infrastructure during the pipeline days
Rita Sholton—raised a family and led an aviation business single-handedly to become the largest cargo carrier in a State dependent upon dependable cargo transport
Bobby Miller—heavy equipment for WII; owned 61 aircraft; aviation leader who
Helped form the industry in Alaska; NCA board of directors; Arctic Circle Hot Springs
Peter Merry—flew EVERYWHERE before statehood and infrastructure—Juneau,
Barrow, Barter Island, Umiat, the DEW line; A&P still working today at 83 years
George Murphy—engineer who built roads and airports throughout Alaska, then
retired to start a bush Part 135 and flew for over 30 years in the Iditarod Air Force
These pioneer aviators will receive a plaque at the dinner and their stories are being published in a book by the AACA. The three non-profits joined to support obtaining the history of Alaska’s aviation events from those who lived and participated in them two years ago.
The Alaska Aviation Legends project started in 2012 as a program by the AACA, the Alaska Aviation Museum, and the Medallion Foundation to honor those who possess a living recollection of aviation history. Each individual’s stories and photographs are entered into the Alaska Aviation Museum’s archives for future use.
“Each aviation legend is chosen by one of their peers to be honored,” said Joy Journeay, Executive Director of the AACA. “This way the program will have credibility among aviation historians and the families that carry on into the future.”
As was the 2012 Aviation Legends program this year’s 2013 Aviation Legends is supported completely by donations from the public and aviation industry sponsors.
To help fund the Aviation Legends project the Alaska Aviation Museum is holding an Oktoberfest 2013 auction fundraiser on Oct. 25 at its Lake Hood location at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.
For more information contact Shari Hart at 907-248-5325 or go to www.alaskaiarmuseum.org for details of the Aviation Legends dinner call Joy at: 907-277-0071 for tickets.
Rob Stapleton can be reached at: robstapleton(at)Alaska.net