January 22, 2010
By Alton K. Marsh
Anyone familiar with Alaskan flying history will remember Ryan Air before it changed its name to Arctic Transportation Services. The company, still owned by the Ryan family, said it is naming itself Ryan Air once again.
The announcement came at an event honoring legislators and cargo air carrier founders who built the Alaskan bush transportation system that today sustains entire native villages. The honorees include Eben Hopson, Howard Rock, Eddie Hoffman, Robert G. “Bobby” Sholton, Holger “Jorgy” Jorgensen, Raymond I. Petersen, Frank Ferguson, Neal “Willie” Foster, Martin L. Olson, Wilfred P. Ryan Sr., and Eva Ryan.
The group was honored as “the toughest people on Earth.” Some of them are Alaskan natives such as Holger “Jorgy” Jorgensen who, with one good eye, landed a Douglas DC-3 in the Aleutian Islands with an engine out and 6,500 pounds of dynamite onboard.
Ryan Air was founded by Wilfred P. Ryan Sr. and Eva Ryan. “It takes a person with grit and nerves of steel to fly in 50-below-zero weather with radial engines and an 800-foot dirt airstrip. Someone like dad, who was the sole pilot in the early days of the business,” son Wilfred “Boyuck” Ryan Jr. said. While her husband flew, Eva Ryan raised nine children, worked full time as a teacher, and managed Unalakleet Air Taxi (Ryan Air’s original trading name).
Collaboration between the German government, academia, and airplane manufacturers may make future aircraft cabins more protective of pilots and passengers. The Safety Box team plans to apply auto racing technology to general aviation.
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
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