One of the oldest private pilots in the United States and an original AOPA charter member ( AOPA 002296) has died. Nathan "Bill" Morris was 98.
Morris of Stevensville, Maryland, died of kidney failure on December 29, according to The Washington Post. He was still flying up until the end of last summer.
East Coast pilots owe Morris a great deal of thanks. In World War II while serving in the Civil Air Patrol, he protected the Atlantic coastline by hunting submarines. After the war he discovered a small piece of farmland on Kent Island that would become a grass strip he called Kentmorr Airpark, a blending of his last name with that of the island's. Pilots flew in from all over to eat crab cakes by the Chesapeake Bay. He also helped develop Bay Bridge Airport, a modern paved facility near his home.
Morris did most of his flying in a souped-up Cessna 182 he dubbed The Spirit of Maryland. He had a fascination for seeing the world and made trips to Europe, South America, Africa, and the Arctic.
Morris began his career as a self-taught electrical engineer, designing equipment for scientific laboratories. He held several patents.
January 6, 2006