Dayton and Kittyhawk could have had Wilbur and Orville — however Morgantown and Monongalia County had Ben Garrison.
Garrison, as native lore goes, was a powerful younger man in a (tenuous) flying machine on that August afternoon, in that Mon County discipline, again in 1910.
He coaxed the bumping, bouncing and groaning craft throughout that grassy expanse — and when it was finished, he had achieved a cruising altitude of 25 toes, earlier than touching again down in that very same discipline (with extra bumping, bouncing and groaning).
For his lofty achievement, the pioneering pilot additionally achieved at the least a footnote within the annals of Mon’s aviation historical past.
His was the primary flight ever, on this locale.
A number of issues have modified in 113 years. The Morgantown Municipal Airport is a bustling place today, with industrial planes and two-seaters making full use of the runway.
They metropolis’s airport hopes to set a flight plan Sept. 30 for younger individuals who simply would possibly within the work that includes slipping freed from the surly bonds of Earth.
The airport is internet hosting Younger Eagles Day from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. that day.
Native pilots who’re members of the Experimental Plane Affiliation Inc. may even be on the runway, providing free aircraft rides to youngsters from ages 8-17, supplied there’s parental or guardian consent.
Final 12 months’s deliberate day was grounded attributable to climate, so organizers are glad to be again within the taxi place for this one.
In addition to the aircraft rides, the place passengers will get pleasure from eagle’s-view vantages of Milan Puskar Stadium and different iconic metropolis landmarks from above, the pilots may even focus on aviation as a profession.
As if unfolding from the window seat, West Virginia’s academic panorama within the 21st century is shifting. That’s as a result of an increasing number of college students are wanting towards STEM careers associated to science, expertise, engineering and math.
Aviation and STEM, mentioned Richard Judy, a Younger Eagles coordinator, are made to take flight collectively.
“By introducing youngsters to the aviation discipline at a younger age, it piques their curiosity, and so they can start to reap the benefits of the alternatives which might be out there to them,” Judy mentioned.
You don’t must have wings to have a profession, the coordinator mentioned.
“From pilots to mechanics, air visitors controllers and administration, all the roles are equally vital, and we’re all the time seeking to lead future generations to this profession path.”
Literal, on-the-fly primers on the particulars of flight — how it’s that one thing heavier than air can flip into the precise reverse very quickly in any respect — may even be delivered by the pilots throughout these jaunts round Morgantown.
Electronic mail organizers at [email protected] for extra particulars on the day.
Aviation is throughout us on this space.
At White Corridor and South Fairmont in Marion County, engineers — together with a bunch of Morgantown and Mon County natives — are working at a NASA facility on the software program applications of the crafts that may land astronauts on Mars sometime.
And lots of of them had been on groups for launches and missions at Cape Canaveral in Florida and the Johnson Area Heart in Houston.
Only a brief jump over from Morgantown to Harrison County, Bridgeport is the house of the state’s burgeoning avionics business.
Garrison, in the meantime, isn’t the one included within the native aviation annals.
The late Ralph Albertazzie, the Air Drive One pilot whose passengers included John Kennedy and Richard Nixon, grew up in Morgantown.
Jim Snyder, the nationwide broadcaster and newsman who, as “Jim Slade,” coated the NASA from its Mercury days to the area shuttle, can also be from right here and acquired his begin in native radio when he was nonetheless in highschool.