Public invited to learn about Cache Valley’s aviation history Wednesday

LOGAN  When it comes to aviation, Cache Valley has a number of historical figures.

One was Russell Maughan, the first pilot to fly from the coast in a single day. Another was Chase Nielsen, a Hyrum-born Utah State University graduate who was a member of the Doolittle Raid air attack on Japan in World War II.

There are also plenty of aviation stories tied to the valley – from the airport’s beginnings as a dirt track runway and the USU professors who would make weekly flights to other parts of the state for distance education.

The public is invited to learn about Cache Valley’s rich aviation history in a presentation given by USU aviation professor Andreas Wesemann and his wife Terri Wesemann. The hour-long presentation is called “Cache Valley’s Love Affair with Aviation” and is part of the Cache Valley Historical Society’s monthly gathering. It will take place at the Historic Cache County Courthouse Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Andreas Wesemann said he and his wife will talk about the history of aviation in Cache Valley, the stories of famous local aviators and how the airport has affected the economic, social and educational fabric of the valley.

“We’re going to talk about the role the airport has played in the many lives of Cache Valley residents,” he said. “From the early dirt strip days to the military training of World War II and to the current training we do at Utah State University.”

Wesemann said the airport first arrived in 1920 when a local named Floyd Hansen started a flying service. The airport became more used in during World War II when it became part of the Civilian Pilot Training Program and aviators were being trained at USU.

“There was actually an airport on the east side near the university by the cemetery called Hillcrest Airport,” he said. We’ll talk about the dirt strip there that used to taxi airplanes right to campus and park in front of Old Main.”

In addition to the presentation, Wesemann said artifacts and historical photos will also be on display.

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