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2009 Celebration Info
2009 Cortez
Aviation Celebration


Events Schedule
Events Schedule


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"2009 Cortez Aviation Heritage Celebration"



Events Schedule . . .

May 15, 2009 (Friday):
Exhibit Opening - “Cortez Aviation … Past and Present,” Cortez Airport Terminal, during normal terminal hours

July 30, 2009 (Thursday) – August 4, 2009 (Tuesday):
Exhibit Opening - “Aviation Heritage of Cortez and Across America” Cortez Cultural Center, Opens July 30, 2009 1:00 PM

July 31, 2009 (Friday):
Arrival - Scheduled Arrival of Dr. H. Mike and Mrs. Margaret Hua. The then Major Mike Hua, who successfully landed a CIA  U-2 airplane at Cortez Airfield.  In honor of General Hua’s bravery and numerous unparalleled accomplishments, Cortez City Council proclaimed on October 14, 2008, Dr. Hsichun Mike Hua an Honorary Citizen of Cortez, Colorado.

August 2, 2009 (Sunday):
EAA Event – “EAA Pancake Breakfast”  The Experimental Aircraft Association local Chapter 1451, the “Four Corner Flyers,” will host a Pancake Breakfast at the Cortez Airport, Adults $7.00 . . .  YUM, YUM.   Cortez Airport 8:00 – 10:00 AM

EAA Event – “EAA Young Eagles Flights” The Experimental Aircraft Association local Chapter 1451, will offer free introductory flights to young aviators.  Young Eagles riders must be pre-registered - call Skip Lange at 970-564-1063 to pre-register your child.  EAA Registration and Disclosure forms must be signed prior to arriving at the airport.  Click on the button below to access the necessary EAA forms.  Cortez Airport 8:00 – 10:00 AM



Program: “A ‘Black Cat’ Lands at Cortez” A presentation by General Mike Hua (Ret.-ROCAF), the pilot of the U-2 “Spy Plane” that landed at Cortez almost 50 years ago on August 3, 1959. Dr. Hua will share the gripping story of his fateful landing during his “first visit” to Cortez. Cortez Cultural; Reception 5:00 to 6:00 PM, Program at 6:15 PM

August 3, 2009 (Monday):
Anniversary – “50th Anniversary of the U-2 Landing at Cortez.”

August 14, 2009 (Friday):
Anniversary – “60th Anniversary of the August 14, 1949 First Commercial Airline and Air Mail Service from Cortez.”

August 16, 2009 (Sunday):
Program: “Cortez Aviation Pioneers … Polly and Rollin Usher” 
Revisit the early days and adventures of Cortez Aviation dating back to the 1930’s, including the viewing of an interview with Polly who will relive those “wild days” for you! Cortez Cultural Center; Reception 5:00 to 6:00 PM, Program at 6:15 PM

August 19, 2009 (Wednesday): National Aviation Day
National Aviation Day is observed in the United States on August 19 each year to celebrate the history and development of aviation. It coincides with the birthday of Orville Wright who, together with his brother Wilbur, made significant contributions to powered flight.

Background: In 1939 President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed August 19 to be National Aviation Day. The day coincides with the birthday of Orville Wright, who piloted the Wright Flyer. He and his brother Wilbur are given credit for building the world’s first successful airplane with aircraft controls that enabled them to steer the plane. Orville Wright made the first flight for 12 seconds and 120 feet around the site of Wright Brothers National Memorial on December 17, 1903. They were not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft but they are the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed wing flight possible. The Wright brothers' status as inventors of the airplane has been an issue of debate, particularly as there were competing claims regarding other early aviators. Another national observation in the United States is Wright Brothers Day on December 17 each year. Each year the president may issue a proclamation to: designate August 19 as National Aviation Day; call on government officials to display the flag of the United States on all government buildings on the day; and invite people living in the United States to observe the day with appropriate exercises to further stimulate interest in aviation in the United States.

September, 2009
Arrival – Scheduled Arrival of Joseph G. Melchiorre, Sr. and Beechcraft Bonanza N990MD, former “City of Cortez;” Piloted by current plane owner Joseph G. Melchiorre, Sr., Cortez Airport (CEZ). (September, 2009, pending final flight plans)

September 22, 2009 (Tuesday):
Program:  Record Breaking Around the World Flight of the “City of Cortez”
Piloted by Jack Rodd and Harold Benham. Cortez Cultural Center; Reception 5:00 to 6:00 PM, Program at 6:15 PM


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