Into the wild blue yonder
September 18, 2008
Two vintage open-cockpit biplanes passed over Truckee Thursday, recreating the first U.S. air mail flight from coast to coast.
The aircraft started in New York on Sept. 10, making stops in Cleveland, Ohio, Chicago, Ill., Omaha, Neb., Cheyenne, Wyo., Salt Lake City, Utah, Elko and Reno Nev., and finally in San Francisco.
The airmail route was established in 1918, 90 years ago, according to the Smithsonian’s http://www.airspacemag.com.
The cross-country journey is being led by Spokane, Wash.-based Addison Pemberton, and was joined by Reno’s Ben Scott.
While Truckee Tahoe Airport wasn’t in its current location at the time of the first mail flight, an emergency runway was available near the current agricultural inspection station on Interstate 80.
The airport also uses a beacon that was originally a marker for the trans-continental route on a peak near Cisco Grove, according to airport officials.