Aeronautics crew donates aircraft registration sticker
to replica of first plane in Idaho

An airplane without a sticker is like a boy without a shoe. Not fully clothed.

As a replica of the first plane to fly over Idaho soil began to take shape in Lewiston, representatives of ITD’s Division of Aeronautics noticed something missing. The recreated Curtiss Pusher, built in a Lewiston hangar, had no aircraft registration sticker. To be completely proper, one needed to be affixed to the aircraft.

So Aero employees turned their pockets inside out and raided the coffee fund to come up with the $12 to purchase an official registration tag. While conducting a safe pilot seminar in Lewiston recently, safety/education coordinator delivered the registration sticker and certificate to Jim Otey.

“There is a statutory requirement to register aircraft in the state,” said JV DeThomas, administrator of the Aeronautics Division. So to be completely proper, the replica needed an official registration and corresponding sticker. “Payment of the registration fee was only $12, but it was a happy donation by the Aeronautics Division employees in support of the centennial of flight.”

Otey, along with the engineering expertise of Dean Wilson, used aircraft design specifications to recreate the 1909 Glenn Curtiss Model D Pusher, which flew from an airstrip in Clarkston, Wash., to Lewiston on Oct. 13, 1910. It was the first recorded flight of a powered, fixed-wing aircraft over Idaho.

The recreated plane successfully completed its own maiden flight last summer and will be the centerpiece of an Oct. 23 celebration in Lewiston to honor a century of flight in Idaho. Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter earlier this year signed a declaration officially marking this month as “Idaho Centennial of Flight Month.”

Chicago pilot JJ Ward made the first flight into Idaho, according to aviation records. Otey is scheduled to make the centennial flight in the bright yellow replica that is nearly identical, except for the capability of taxiing – and the new 2010 aircraft registration tag.

The Curtiss replica eventually may land in an aircraft museum – perhaps after filling a growing request for guest appearances from aircraft enthusiasts across the country.

More information about the centennial of flight observance will be provided later.



Published 10-1-2010