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2009 Celebration Info
2009 Cortez
Aviation Celebration


Events Schedule
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"2009 Cortez Aviation Heritage Celebration"


Fly Again !


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Cortez has a rich and significant Aviation Heritage …

From its beginning in the 1930’s, when “Aviation Pioneers” Polly and Rollin Usher brought aviation service to Cortez . . .

2009 marks the 60th Anniversary of the August 14, 1949, First Commercial Airline and Air Mail Service from Cortez.

2009 is also the 50th Anniversary of “The Night the ‘Black Cat’ Landed at Cortez.” The captivating Cold War saga centers on then Major Hsichan Mike Hua ROCAF(Ret), an intrepid Taiwanese pilot who landed his CIA  U-2 at the Cortez Airfield the night of August 3, 1959.  General Hua will join us to share his memories of that remarkable landing.

Later, in 1977, Jack Rodd and Harold Benham piloted the "City of Cortez" Beechcraft airplane in a World Record Breaking Around The World Flight!  They were honored as aviation heroes, with accolades for their amazing accomplishment from both national and state officials.  The plane's original propeller and the Rodd and Benham story will be on display at the Cortez Airport terminal beginning in May, 2009.  The former "City of Cortez" airplane, piloted by its current owner, Mr. Joseph G Melchiorre have graciously agreed to visit us in mid-September, 2009.  For details, see the "Events Schedule" page.

It would be difficult to imagine what Cortez would be like without our Airport (FAA designation, CEZ); our local aviators; local commercial air service, provided by Great Lakes Airlines; our Fixed Based Operator (FBO) “Cortez Flying Service;” along with the activities of the local Chapters of the Experimental Aircraft Association and the Civil Air Patrol Senior Squadron.

From its beginning, and through the years that have followed, all the folks and service providers associated with Cortez aviation have truly enriched our lives.

In recognition of this, the City of Cortez is hosting the “2009 Cortez Aviation Heritage Celebration.”


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