On Sunday, July 14 the Alaska Aviation Museum celebrated 100 years of aviation in Alaska with special guests Patty Wagstaff and Debbie Gary, well known aerobatic pilots. Patty Wagstaff has won the gold, silver and bronze medals in Olympic level international aerobatics competition and is the first women to title of U.S. National Aerobatic Champion and one of the few people to win it 3 times. Patty lived in Dillingham, Alaska in the early 1980’s and now resides in Florida. Debbie Gary has been a professional aerobatic pilot since 1971, She became the first woman in the world to lead a formation aerobatic team. In 2001, she trained as a wing walking pilot. She is also an aviation writer with her stories in magazines such as Air & Space, Air Shows and World Airshow News.
Along with a salmon bake buffet and live music by the Carhartt Brothers Band, everyone really enjoyed the fly by’s this year with over twenty aircraft buzzing by! Terry Holliday flew the museum’s own 1931 Fairchild Pilgrim along with two T-6’s flying, a Stinson L-13, John Pletcher’s Grumman Goose, and many more! This event helped the museum raise funds to continue its mission of preserving Alaska’s aviation history. Thanks to Alaska Airlines for donating five airline tickets that were auctioned off to help pay for the fuel and insurance of operating the Pilgrim. The plane uses 45 gallons an hour of fuel and has flown all over the state for the Centennial of flight celebrations with the Alaska Air Show Ass’n. Flights in the Pilgrim and T-6 were also auctioned off for several lucky winners who had the rides of their life! A big thank you also goes to Bill Odom with the Odom Corporation for sponsorship of the beverages and commercial grill. The salmon was devoured by all, thanks to 10th & M Seafoods. The museum is grateful for its members, attendees and sponsors who made this event such a big success.