Commentary: Armstrong continued Ohio’s aviation leadership

Published: Sunday, August 26, 2012 @ 11:59 PM
Updated: Sunday, August 26, 2012 @ 11:59 PM

Ohioan Neil Armstrong was a brilliant engineer, an exceptionally skillful pilot and a tireless, if quiet, advocate for aviation and space exploration.

As global transportation erodes borders, it matters less what state and even what nation we live in. But for now, it matters a lot that the first human footprint off the earth was made by a Buckeye.

Armstrong’s powerful intellect, his pioneering spirit and his sense of duty exemplified the qualities Ohioans prize. They’re the same qualities that marked Wilbur and Orville Wright — the Dayton brothers who invented, perfected and patented the airplane in Ohio.

Armstrong always stressed that he and Buzz Aldrin didn’t make the first moon landing on their own. It took an army of people, and Ohioans played vital roles.

Apollo 11’s Saturn V rocket rode from its assembly building to the launchpad on the back of a gigantic crawler that was designed and manufactured by the Marion (Ohio) Power Shovel Company.

The Saturn rocket’s upper-stage engines burned high-energy liquid hydrogen, technology developed at NASA’s Lewis (now Glenn) Research Center in Cleveland.

Ohio has been an aviation powerhouse since the Wright brothers built the first purpose-built airplane factory on Dayton’s West Third Street more than a century ago.

Ohioans have been responsible for so much aviation heritage that the eight-county region around Dayton is designated a National Aviation Heritage Area. The aerospace industry is one of the driving forces in the state’s economy.

Last May Dayton’s Woodland Cemetery marked the 100th anniversary of Wilbur Wright’s death. Armstrong agreed to speak, but not as the first man on the moon or even former astronaut.

“ ‘Astronaut’ is just anyone who has been above a certain altitude regardless of their occupation. So I don’t look on it as particularly important,” he wrote in an email to Amanda Wright Lane, a great-grandniece of the Wright brothers and one of the event’s organizers. Instead, he wrote, “I would just suggest ‘Engineer and Flyer.’ ” That’s how the program billed him.

Armstrong also sought no publicity on a cold December day in 2007 when he went to Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport for a bone-chilling ride on the Wright “B” Flyer, a lookalike of a 1911 Wright airplane.

After several hops down the runway in the open-air machine, Armstrong’s face was lobster-red. The 77-year-old aviator warmed up in the hangar and then asked to go again, this time up and away from the airport where he could really fly it.

Wilbur once promoted Ohio as the ideal place to be born.

“If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, “ he said in 1910, “I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.”

Thanks to Armstrong, the Wright brothers and many others, Ohio remains a major source of aviation research. That is as fitting a legacy as any for an Engineer and Flyer.

 

Tim Gaffney is a media relations professional, a trustee for several local aviation organizations and a retired Dayton Daily News staff writer.

More charges for Ohio suspect in Charlottesville attack

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 6:11 PM
Updated: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 7:30 PM

James Alex Fields Jr.
James Alex Fields Jr.

Five more felony charges were filed today against James Alex Fields Jr., the suspect in the Charlottesville car-ramming that killed one and injured more than 30.

The Charlottesville Police Department said the new charges include three counts of aggravated malicious wounding and two counts of malicious wounding, CBS affiliate newsplex.com reported.

The additional charges are related to victims who suffered serious, and potentially permanently incapacitating injuries after a car allegedly driven by Fields plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters Aug. 12 at a white supremacist rally.

RELATED: Who is James Alex Fields Jr., suspect in deadly Charlottesville attack?

Fields already was charged with murder for the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer of Charlottesville and three counts of malicious wounding and one count of hit-and-run. 

Of those injured, 19 required hospitalization. All but three have been released and those three are listed in good condition, newsplex.com reported.

Police said the investigation is continuing and that more charges likely will follow.

Earlier this week, the mayor of Maumee, Ohio, released a statement saying Fields has never been a city resident.

RELATED: Ohio man charged in crash into Charlottesville crowd; 3 dead, 35 hurt

While his apartment had a Maumee mailing address it was not in the city. There also were reports Fields moved to that apartment from a different rental property in Maumee, which also is not true, Mayor Richard H. Carr stated on Monday. 

"Our city of Maumee has been linked with our neighbors in Charlottesville, Virginia, for reasons that neither of our communities could have ever expected. We extend our most sincere sympathy to the residents of Charlottesville and to the family of Heather Heyer on their tragic loss,"

Driver injured in single-vehicle accident in Miamisburg

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 7:24 PM

Driver injured in single-vehicle accident in Miamisburg

A 54-year-old driver has been taken to a hospital after slamming his sedan into a utility pole in the 700 block of North Heincke Road in Miamisburg.

LOCAL: Driver chases Dayton police cruiser through parking lot

Police said the man's injuries appear to be minor. He has been cited for failure to maintain control of a motor vehicle. 

Neither drugs nor alcohol are believed to be factors in the crash, police said. 

Police and a medic unit were dispatched about 6:25 p.m. on the report of an injury accident.

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Family of Medway man killed on Tecumseh Road files wrongful death suit

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 4:15 PM
Updated: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 4:49 PM

Crash victim's family files wrongful death lawsuit

The family of a man struck and killed on Tecumseh Road nearly a year ago has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the owners of the SUV state troopers have alleged hit him.

Lawrence J. Mason, 45, of Medway, allegedly was struck and killed by a silver 2015 Dodge Durango on Tuesday, Sept. 6, according to a state patrol crash report. Mason was standing on the east shoulder of North Tecumseh Road in Bethel Twp. near U.S. 40 when he was hit, a crash report says, and the vehicle allegedly fled the scene.

RELATED: SUV owner ID’d in fatal Clark County hit-and-run; driver not known yet

The vehicle was determined to be owned by Eliot J. Baggs of Springfield and the SUV had damage to the right front of the vehicle, according to a crash report. Baggs previously declined to comment about the crash to the Springfield News-Sun and neither him nor his wife, Kristine Baggs, could be reached for comment on Friday.

Jordyn N. Mason is the daughter of the crash victim and the administrator of his estate. She filed the wrongful death lawsuit in Clark County Common Pleas court on Aug. 11.

She has sued Eliot and Kristine Baggs, seeking medical and burial costs, and other damages in excess of $25,000.

READ MORE: Springfield police unsure why woman killed on U.S. 40 was in road

The lawsuit alleges Eliot and/or Kristine Baggs, “fled the scene of the accident without checking on (Lawrence Mason’s) welfare and/or notifying authorities until two days later; and even then have failed to be forthcoming with information and/or cooperate with the investigation of this incident.”

Lt. Brian Aller with the Ohio State Highway Patrol said the crash investigation has been turned over to investigators at the patrol’s headquarters in Columbus. The state investigators declined to comment because it remains under investigation.

No charges have been filed in the case at this time.

Lawrence Mason’s daughter and other family members have suffered mental and emotional anguish caused by his traumatic death, the lawsuit alleges.

DETAILS: Family wants driver in deadly Clark County crash to come forward

“Plaintiff Jordyn N. Mason suffered damages for the loss of his society of his life expectancy, including loss of companionship, consortium, care, assistance, attention, protection, joys, advice, guidance, counsel, instruction, training and education,” the lawsuit says.

Jordyn Mason declined to comment and her attorney, Kenneth Ignozzi, didn’t return a call seeking comment.

Steve Bannon out as White House strategist

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 12:48 PM
Updated: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 6:37 PM

Steve Bannon Removed as White House Chief Strategist

Almost exactly one year after Steve Bannon left his position as executive chair of the conservative website Breitbart News in favor of joining Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, the 63-year-old is leaving the White House.

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The White House confirmed in a statement that Friday would be Bannon’s last day as part of the administration.

Who is Steve Bannon?