Idaho Centennial of Flight marked by proclamation,
Imagine the sight of a motorized aircraft sharing the sky over Lewiston with hawks, sparrows and doves nearly 100 years ago.
That’s where a 1909 Glenn Curtiss Model D Pusher aircraft became the first powered aircraft to fly over Idaho on Oct. 13, 1910.
The memorable flight and active role of aviation in Idaho were recognized as part of a proclamation prepared by the Idaho Aviation Association and signed by Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter in February designating October 2010 as Idaho Centennial of Flight Month.
“Since that historic flight, Idaho has been actively pursuing the use of the aircraft in public and personal transportation, tourism, agriculture, fire protection, law enforcement, natural resource management, medical evacuation and the defense of our country,“ the proclamation states.
“Idaho is home to many world-renowned air and space pioneers,” the document indicates. “Aviation contributes over $2 billion to Idaho’s economy, creates 2,300 jobs, and connects Idahoans with resources all over the world every year.”
A re-creation of that first flight is planned in Lewiston for Oct. 13. The re-creation features a replica aircraft being constructed by pilots Jim Otey and Dean Wilson in a in a hangar near the Lewiston airport.
The two men, with the help of volunteers from throughout the local community, have been working on the project for more than a year and expect to have an airplane that can fly by June, pending Federal Aviation Administration approval.
Idaho offers pilots 124 unrestricted public-use airports across the state. Thirty are backcountry airstrips maintained by the Idaho Transportation Department. The U.S. Forest Service owns twenty-two backcountry airstrips and five more are privately owned but open for public use.