Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Commemorative Flight to Promote State Business

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Commemorative Flight to Promote State Business

Article excerpt

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By Bill May When a trio of eastern Oklahoma flyers departs Aerospace America '91 for an around-the-world flight, they will not only commemorate the memory of Wiley Post, they also will try to improve Oklahoma business.

"We plan to talk business every opportunity we get," said Joe Cunningham of Cookson. "We aren't sure just what we'll take along, but if we can, we'll take business proposals to Europe and the Soviet Union.

"They (the Soviets) definitely want to do business with us and we'll do what we can to help."

Purpose of the trip, Cunningham said during a press conference at Wiley Post Airport near Bethany, is to commemorate the 1931 around-the-world flight made by Oklahoma pilot Wiley Post and his navigator Harold Gatty. That eight-day flight aboard Post's famous Lockheed Vega "Winnie Mae" began June 23, 1931, in New York.

Cunningham, his wife Mary Kelly and Tulsa pilot Tom Quinn, will follow much the same route as the Post-Gatty flight, stopping at many of the same airstrips.

"We won't be able to stop everywhere they did, nor follow the same route exactly," Quinn said. "Some of the landing strips are not longer there and now some of the routes are restricted and we'll have to follow the routes approved by the governments."

While on the flight, sponsored partly by Trimble Navigation, Aviation Division of Sunnyvale, Calif., the trio also will talk about Oklahoma business, tourism and education, they said.

"We're already talking with the tourism people (Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department) on this and we'll also promote tourism, trying to get people to come to Oklahoma," Quinn said. "We've generally noticed that when you meet people and invite them to come see you, they have a tendency to do so. …

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