Student Pilot Completes Solo Coast-To-Coast Flight

Tuesday, July 12, 1994 - Jimmy Mathis landed today at Long Beach, California after completing a 2,500 nautical mile solo cross country flight which began in Ocean City, Maryland on June 30,1994.  The significance of the flight is that is was conducted "solo" according to the Federal Aviation Regulations [FAR 61.87 (a)] - Jimmy was the sole occupant of the aircraft.  The regulations also prohibit anyone from operating an airplane in solo flight unless they are at least 16 years old [FAR 61.83 (a)]; Jimmy turned 16 years old on February 17, 1994.  In fact, his first solo occurred on his 16th birthday!  Jimmy was introduced to flying when he was 10 years old by a teacher at his elementary school.  His interest continued and for his 15th birthday, his parents bought him a 3 hour introductory package.  That was just the beginning for Jimmy


 

Today in Aviation History
January 20, 1953: First licensed pilot to become President , Dwight D Eisenhower. He soloed in 1937 while serving with Gen Douglas MacArthur in the Philippines and received his pilot's license (#93528) in July 1939. Eisenhower was also the first to have a presidential helicopter, in 1957. First President as a combat pilot was George H Bush, who flew combat missions in a USN Grumman TBF during WW2. Neither, however, pursued a career in aviation. Son, George W Bush, was first President qualified as jet pilot (Texas ANG).