EAA President Greets Minnesota State Flag Bearer at Wright Brothers Memorial
KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C.- November 8, 2003 - Kevin Rebman, an EAA member pilot from Maple Grove, Minnesota, and Mike Parker, co-pilot from Richfield, Minnesota, officially represented the state in EAA's "50 Flags to Kitty Hawk" program Saturday, when they landed at the Wright Brothers National Memorial and presented the state flag to National Park Service officials. EAA President Tom Poberezny was on hand at First Flight Airfield to greet the pilots, as was Ken Mann, Chairman of the First Flight Society and the North Carolina First Flight Centennial Commission.
Also present was Orville and Wilber Wright's great, great grandnephew, 13-year-old Keith Yoerg, who was invited along on the last leg of the journey to help deliver the flag. Keith will be a featured speaker at both the opening ceremonies on December 12 and the first flight on December 17.
Rebman was one of 50 EAA-member pilots chosen-one from each state-to participate in the "50 Flags to Kitty Hawk" program, a year-long effort that is part of EAA's "Countdown to Kitty Hawk" initiative, presented by Ford Motor Company. The program celebrates the Wright brothers' achievements and the 100th anniversary of powered flight in 2003.
Rebman, the 44th EAA-member pilot to complete the journey to Kitty Hawk, also presented National Park Service officials with a signed proclamation from Governor Tim Pawlenty, declaring November 1, 2003, as "50 Flags to Kitty Hawk Day" throughout Minnesota. Earlier in the week, Rebman, Parker and the Yoergs attended a ceremony at the Capitol in St. Paul to accept the flag and proclamation from Governor Pawlenty.
Following the presentation, the flag was raised at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. "It's difficult to imagine what the world would be like without powered flight," Rebman said. "Orville and Wilbur were truly pioneers and I can understand why they selected this location for their first flight. A calm day seems to have winds at 15 gusting to 23 knots."
A computer network consultant and co-owner of A Novel Place bookstore in Osseo, Minnesota, Rebman has more than 1,200 hours in the air. He has been an EAA member since February 2000. Rebman is also a flight instructor and member of EAA Chapter 237 in Anoka where he gives EAA Young Eagle rides. The flight of 1,027 miles took nine hours to complete in a 1975 Piper Arrow II.
Parker, an IT project manager at WAM!NET Government Service, Inc. is a private pilot with more than 200 hours of flight time and frequently flies to central Wisconsin for hunting and pleasure.
EAA's "Countdown to Kitty Hawk" program, which is also sponsored by Microsoft Flight Simulator and Eclipse Aviation, includes construction of an exact flying reproduction of the 1903 Wright Flyer, and a six-stop national tour of EAA's "Countdown to Kitty Hawk" pavilion. Included in the special exhibit are historical artifacts and Wright brothers' correspondence from the Library of Congress, and numerous interactive aviation displays.
The tour will culminate at Kill Devil Hills, N.C., when as part of the Centennial of Flight Celebration, EAA's Wright Flyer will fly again at 10:35 a.m. on Dec. 17, 2003-precisely 100 years to the minute from when the Wrights made history.
For more information on EAA's "Countdown to Kitty Hawk" program, visit www.countdowntokittyhawk.org.
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