New Mexico Pilot Delivers State Flag to Wright Brothers Memorial
KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. – (May 8, 2003) – John D. “Mike” Rice, an Experimental Aircraft Association member pilot from Santa Fe, New Mexico, officially represented the state in EAA’s “50 Flags to Kitty Hawk” program recently, when he landed at the Wright Brothers National Memorial on April 8 and presented the New Mexico flag to National Park Association officials.
Rice was one of 50 EAA-member pilots chosen – one from each state – to participate in the “50 Flags to Kitty Hawk” program, a year-long effort that is part of EAA’s “Countdown to Kitty Hawk” initiative, presented by Ford Motor Company, celebrating the achievements of the Wright brothers and the 100th anniversary of powered flight in 2003.
Rice was the third EAA-member pilot to complete the journey to Kitty Hawk, where he also presented National Park Service officials with a signed proclamation from Governor Bill Richardson, declaring March 15, 2003 as “50 Flags to Kitty Hawk Day” throughout the state. Following the presentation, the New Mexico flag was raised at the Wright Brothers National Memorial site, where it will fly for the entire day.
Rice, Chairman of the National Association of State Aviation Officials, has been an EAA member since 1998 and is a member of EAA Chapter 179. His co-pilot on his flight to Kitty Hawk was his wife Janice.
EAA’s “Countdown to Kitty Hawk” program, which is also supported by Microsoft Flight Simulator and Eclipse Aviation, includes construction of an exact flying reproduction of the 1903 Wright flyer, and a six-stop national tour of EAA’s “Countdown to Kitty Hawk” pavilion exhibit, which features the Flyer, historic artifacts and Wright brothers correspondence from the Library of Congress, and numerous interactive aviation displays.
The tour will culminate at Kill Devil Hills, N.C., when as part of the Centennial of Flight Celebration, EAA’s Wright Flyer will fly again at 10:35 a.m. on Dec. 17, 2003 – precisely 100 years to the minute from when the Wrights made history.
For more information on EAA’s “Countdown to Kitty Hawk” program, search the website at www.countdowntokittyhawk.com .
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