Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Salina, Aviation Make More News

Chances are that you have never been to Salina, Kansas. It's a medium sized city along I-70 in the middle of Kansas. Before I was born, my parents operated a successful Top 40 radio station there, KLSI-AM. Then the Air Force base closed. Then the young people left. You can imagine what happened to Top 40 profits.

In the glory years however, the radio station ran a promotion. My mother, then Joanna Hawk, became the first woman to take her first flight lesson and fly solo in the same day. May 7, 1967. Although it was years before I was born ... and before they were even married, I have always been proud of her for this. Way to go, mom! It was even covered in the New York Times. Here she is the day after for what my dad called a souvenir photo. He also pointed out that she did not fly in the dress.

Salina marked another aviation first this week. The Associated Press reported that, "Adventurer Steve Fossett said Friday that he had broken the record for flying farther than anyone departing and landing at the same spot, traveling more than 25,000 miles (40,225 kilometers) in three days." He landed at Salina Municipal Airport., the former Schilling Air Force Base where Joanna is pictured above.

Photo credit: Associated Press

Almost 40 years between Salina aviation firsts. And my bet is that all institutional memory has been lost. No one at the Salina Journal can probably even remember 1967.


Anonymous joanna said...

Thanks, Sam! It was a very long time ago!

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Z said...

This is awesome.
That's one of my dreams...

10:17 PM  

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