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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.

Sources: US to ban Americans’ travel to N. Korea

Published: Friday, July 21, 2017 @ 7:58 AM

North Korea.
AFP Contributor/AFP/Getty Images
North Korea.(AFP Contributor/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. officials Friday said the Trump administration will ban American citizens from traveling to North Korea.

>> Read more trending news

The Associated Press, citing anonymous sources, said that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson decided to implement a “geographical travel restriction” for North Korea, which would make the use of U.S. passports to enter that country illegal. Sources told the AP that the restriction would go into effect 30 days after a notice is published in the Federal Register.

The move comes in the wake of the death of university student Otto Warmbier, who passed away after lapsing into a coma in a North Korean prison.

DP&L: Close to 15K without power in the Dayton region

Published: Friday, July 21, 2017 @ 7:54 AM
Updated: Friday, July 21, 2017 @ 8:21 AM

Staff illustration
Staff illustration

UPDATE @8:26 a.m. 

Ohio Edison reports 586 Clark County customers are without power.

UPDATE @8:13 a.m. 

  • Montgomery: 10,205
  • Greene: 3,458
  • Darke: 965
  • Miami: 216
  • Preble: 17

UPDATE @8:03 a.m. 

Dayton Power & Light is reporting outages in the following counties: 

  • Montgomery: 9,896
  • Greene: 13
  • Darke: 958
  • Preble: 15
  • Miami: 187

EARLIER REPORT

Dayton Power and Light has reported power outages for the following counties: 

  • Darke: 949 
  • Montgomery: 14 
  • Preble: 14 
  • Miami: 3
We are working to bring you more information on this developing story. 

Tree falls on Arcanum home as severe weather moves through

Published: Friday, July 21, 2017 @ 7:26 AM

Huber Heights crews are working to clear and tree that fell across Rip Rap Road

The Miami Valley is under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning until 8:15 a.m.

Storm damage has been reported in the area.

>> Heavy rain, gusty winds this morning; humid pattern continues

  • Westbound Kemp at Grange Hall Road in Beavercreek is shut down for a tree across the roadway as of 8:10 a.m.
  • At 10877 North Kessler Road in Piqua, a DP&L pole is reportedly on fire as of 8:06 a.m.
  • On Greenville St. Marys Road and Goubeaux Road in Darke County, trees and wires are down across the roadway as of 8 a.m.
  • On Union Boulevard and Wenger Road in Englewood, trees and poles are reportedly down across the roadway as of 7:55 a.m.
  • On Ohio 320 outside of New Paris in Preble County, the road is being shut down for trees down in the roadway as of 7:55 a.m.
  • On U.S. 127 just north of North Star in Darke County, a tree is reportedly down and is partially blocking the road as of 7:45 a.m.
  • On Rip Rap Road at Taylorsville in Huber Heights, a tree is reportedly down on the road as of 7:41 a.m.
  • JAROD THRUSH/STAFF
  • In the 300 block of West North Street in Arcanum, emergency crews were dispatched on reports of a tree into a house at 7:15 a.m.  Initial reports indicate five people were in the home at the time and had to leave the home through the back door.

>> WHIO Interactive Radar

Unaccompanied teen passenger removed from overbooked flight

Published: Friday, July 21, 2017 @ 7:51 AM

File photo
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
File photo(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

A teen who was flying by himself alone was removed from an overbooked flight, and his mother said that he was left alone at the gate.

The Guardian reports that Casper Read, 15, was to fly from London Gatwick to Toulouse, France Thursday.

Read had boarded the plane and took his seat when another passenger said that Read was in his spot. Read was told he was the one who would have to get off the overbooked EasyJet flight, The Coventry Telegraph reported.

The teen, who had flown alone only one time prior, texted his mother, who needed help from airport staff members to find her son.

>> Read more trending news

Stephanie Portal was able to convince the airline to allow her son on the final flight from the airport to Toulouse, despite being told that it, along with the three other departures to that location, were all overbooked.

Portal told the Guardian, “It’s crazy. They left him alone in departures. Luckily, I had still not got on board my train to London and could come back and find him. If I had not been there I don’t know what would have happened - he’d have had no money for the train back or anything.”

The airline is investigating why he was permitted to board the flight. A spokeswoman told the Guardian he should have been told at the gate that he was not going to have a seat.

She also told the Guardian that there are procedures in place to help unaccompanied minors but they were not followed this time. That is also being investigated.

EasyJet said it usually doesn’t have a problem with overbooking, and that there are on average, five people who do not show up on every flight.