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‘Stars in the Sky’ Salutes First African-American Flight Attendants

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Casey Grant will open the 2016 Flight Path Speaker Series with an account of her experiences as one of the first African-American airline flight attendants.  This special Black History Month program is scheduled on Tuesday, February 16, at 10 a.m. at the Flight Path Museum in the LAX Imperial Terminal, 6661 W. Imperial Highway, Los Angeles. Admission and parking are free.

Based on her new book, Stars in the Sky, Grant’s presentation will review the challenges and rewards she and her African-American colleagues faced as they sought the glamour and prestige of a career in the sky, according to Flight Path President Nancy Niles.

“These women faced cultural barriers, misunderstanding and even hostility,” said Niles. “Casey Grant will share with us the powerful but little known story of their role in the civil rights movement.  It is a story that deserves to be remembered and respected by all of us.”

Copies of Grant’s book, Stars in the Sky, will be available for purchase after the program.  The book also will be available for future reference in the museum’s William A. Schoneberger Research Library.

The Flight Path Speaker Series will continue throughout 2016 with programs featuring a history of the famed Goodyear blimps, a salute to the 100th anniversary of the Boeing Aircraft Company, a memoir of famed World War II pilot General Jimmy Doolittle, and a special presentation and exhibition by aviation photographer Jean-christophe Dick.  Dates and further information will be posted soon on the Flight Path website www.flightpathmuseum.com/.

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CaseyGrant BREAKING BARRIERS:  Based on her new book, Stars in the Sky, Casey Grant joins the Flight Path Speaker Series on February 16 to share the story of how the first African-American flight attendants kept their heads high while facing down racial barriers to achieve rewarding airline careers.

‘Spy in the Sky’ Headlines Speaker Series Program

The December 5 Flight Path Speaker Series program will focus on the Hexagon KH-9 reconnaissance satellite, also known as the CIA's "Spy in the Sky." Project engineer Phil Pressel will speak.

The December 5 Flight Path Speaker Series program will focus on the Hexagon KH-9 reconnaissance satellite, also known as the CIA’s “Spy in the Sky.” Project engineer Phil Pressel will speak.

The 2015 Flight Path Speaker Series will conclude on Saturday, December 5, with project engineer Phil Pressel’s program, “The Hexagon KH-9 Reconnaissance Satellite,” covering development and design of the satellite for the CIA. The program will begin at 10 a.m. at the Flight Path Museum in the LAX Imperial Terminal, 6661 W. Imperial Highway Los Angeles. Admission and parking are free.
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The Hexagon KH-9 was the last orbiting reconnaissance camera (spy in the sky) that used film for photography. It played an important chapter in U. S. intelligence and aerospace history.
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The December 5 event is a follow-up to a similar program presented last year by Col. Stephen Soukup (USAF-ret.), according to Nancy Niles, the museum’s president.  “There was so much interest in last year’s space satellite presentation,” said Niles, “that we are offering yet another opportunity to learn more about this fascinating subject.”
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John McCone, director of the CIA in 1965, wanted a new spy satellite that could achieve broad area coverage of the entire landmass of the earth and high resolution stereo photos of local areas. As the program was highly classified, the initial study for the Hexagon program, conducted by Pressel’s company, the Perkin-Elmer Corp., was presented to the CIA at night in a deserted looking safe house in Washington, D.C. The CIA thought highly of the concept and Perkin-Elmer eventually was awarded the job.
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This orbiting spy camera turned out to become a huge success. Pressel’s talk features interesting anecdotes, personal stories and some technical details about this complex camera system that was capable of distinguishing objects two to three feet in size from an altitude of 100 miles above the earth.
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The Hexagon satellite was acknowledged to have been an invaluable asset providing  intelligence information and was said to be responsible for President Nixon signing the SALT treaty and allowing President Reagan to “trust but verify” what the Russians were doing during the cold war. The first launch was on June 15, 1971, and the last of 19 missions sadly exploded 800 feet above the pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base on April 18, 1986, just a few months after the Challenger’s tragic explosion.

 

Flight Path’s Gen. Kevin Chilton Headlines
‘Day of Discovery’

chiltonkevinGen. Kevin P. Chilton (USAF-Ret.) of the Flight Path Museum Advisory Board will be featured speaker at the Day of Discovery, a community aviation and aerospace event, scheduled on Saturday, November 7, 2015, at Loyola Marymount University in Westchester.
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This free event, presented by LMU and Los Angeles World Airports Community Relations, is open to the public and will feature an aviation and aerospace exposition from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and General Chilton’s presentation from 1 to 2 p.m.  The general is a former Space Shuttle Endeavour pilot and Space Shuttle Atlantis commander.  He also served as head of the U. S. Strategic Command.  Chilton is a native of Westchester and a graduate of Visitation Elementary School and St. Bernard High School.
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The Day of Discovery expo will feature information booths from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Aero Club of Southern California, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles World Airports Community Relations, Flight Path Museum and Learning Center, Columbia Memorial Space Center, Women in Aviation, World Trade Week, Spartan College, Los Angeles Lakers and others.  A buffet of heavy hors d’oeuvres also will featured.
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Flight Path’s participation in the Day of Discovery highlights the museum’s ongoing commitment to aviation education, according to Nancy Niles, Flight Path president.  “General Chilton shares this commitment as a key member of our advisory board,” said Niles.  “We are extremely pleased that he will be participating in this community event.”
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More information on the Day of Discovery, including detailed event and parking locations, are available at the event website www.lawa.org/dayofdiscovery

Summer Programs Focus on War Valor, Air Victuals

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This TWA memorabilia, part of the Flight Path collection, is a reminder of elegant food service sometimes offered to travelers through the years by various airlines. Richard Foss, South Bay journalist, will present, “The History of Food in Flight,” as part of the Flight Path Speaker Series on September 22 at 10 a.m.
(Photo by Larry Underhill).

Flight Path’s summer schedule includes another program in the popular Flight Path Speaker Series as well as a special exhibition paying tribute to the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.The Speaker Series continues on Tuesday, September 22, at 10 a.m. with Richard Foss headlining the program.  His topic, “The History of Food in Flight,” will survey the often mixed results of airline attempts over the years to satisfy hungry travelers with fare ranging from pretzels to prime rib.  Foss, a South Bay resident, is familiar to many local residents as a news reporter and commentator.
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A collection of memorabilia from the famed Flying Tigers of World War II will be on display at Flight Path from August 5 to 19. Dr. Pedro Chan, an internationally recognized authority on the Flying Tigers, has collected the items and made them available for this special exhibition.The Flying Tigers were a group of volunteer American aviators who helped defend China from Japanese aggression during World War II. Following the war, members of the group founded The Flying Tiger Line, an all-cargo commercial air carrier which was based for many years at Los Angeles International Airport. The Flying Tiger Line later became part of Federal Express.

Dr. Chan has exhibited his collection of World War II Flying Tigers memorabilia in Washington, D.C., and at several U.S. military bases. He also serves as an adviser to the Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor, the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles and the Flying Tigers Historical Organization.

Speaker Taps Aviation Stars to Lift Troop Morale

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Flight Path Director Nissen Davis headlines the museum’s Speaker Series on June 23 with a program on his work with aviation and aerospace celebrities for the Morale Entertainment Foundation. Pictured on a mission to entertain U. S. military personnel are, from left, Davis, astronaut Jim Lovell, SR-71 test pilot Bob Gilliland and astronaut Neil Armstrong.

Boosting the spirits of U. S. service personnel was the goal when Flight Path Director Nissen Davis recruited five aviation celebrities to visit 10 military bases and an aircraft carrier at sea.  Davis will recount highlights of this and similar missions on Tuesday, June 23, at 10 a.m. at the Flight Path Museum in the LAX Imperial Terminal, 6661 W. Imperial Highway, Los Angeles.
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Sponsored by the nonprofit Morale Entertainment Foundation in cooperation with the Pentagon, mission headliners included astronauts Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell and Gene Cernan, SR-71 test pilot Bob Gilliland and Vietnam War air ace Steve Ritchie.
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“Morale Entertainment turned to me,” said Davis, “because I had been lucky enough to get to know some of these legends in my 30 years working for Flying Tigers, McDonnell Douglas and Hughes, as well as being the organizer of the annual Howard Hughes Memorial Award.”
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Davis has coordinated two additional Morale Entertainment visits to U. S. military forces.  One celebrated the Indy 500 Centennial and featured top Indy drivers Johnny Rutherford and Al Unser, Jr.  Another, staged aboard a U. S. Navy nuclear carrier in San Diego, featured the opening game of the NCAA season with honorary coaches Magic Johnson and James Worthy.  Special guests were President Obama and the First Lady.
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The Flight Path Speaker Series is open to the public with time allotted at the end of each program for questions from the audience.  Admission and parking are free.  The museum and learning center is operated by nonprofit Flight Path in cooperation with Los Angeles World Airports, the City agency which operates Los Angeles International Airport.
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For more information call (424) 646-7284, or send an email to: flightpathguides@lawa.org

Program to Focus on LAX Improvements

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The Tom Bradley International Terminal

A progress report on the current LAX airport improvement program is scheduled on Tuesday, April 28, at 10 a.m. at the Flight Path Museum in the LAX Imperial Terminal, 6661 W. Imperial Hwy., Los Angeles.  Tim Ihle of the Los Angeles World Airports development staff will provide a status update on upgrades to airline passenger facilities, ground transportation and other major construction projects underway or planned at the airport.
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Recent major expansion of the Tom Bradley International Terminal is but one step in the airport’s overall improvement program, according to Nancy Niles, Flight Path president. “Tim Ihle’s presentation will bring us a complete picture of what will happen in the next few years to bring LAX to a higher standard of passenger service,” said Niles. “Tim is an excellent speaker. His two previous presentations as part of our Speaker Series have been well attended and extremely informative.”
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Speaker Series programs are open to the public, with time allotted at the end of each program for questions from the audience. Admission and parking are free.  Flight Path is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The museum and learning center is operated by nonprofit Flight Path in cooperation with Los Angeles World Airports, the City agency which operates Los Angeles International Airport.
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For more information call (424) 646-7284 or email flightpathguides@lawa.org

TRIBUTE PLANNED FOR LONGTIME COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER

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Vince_photo_3Vincent A. Migliazzo, a decorated World War II veteran and longtime Westchester resident and community volunteer, will be honored in a special ceremony on February 28 at 10 a.m. at the Flight Path Museum in the LAX Imperial Terminal, 6661 W. Imperial Highway, Los Angeles.
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Migliazzo will receive the museum’s prestigious Honorary Service Award, according to Nancy Niles, Flight Path president. The award is presented to individuals and organizations making a significant contribution to the Southern California airport community.
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The ceremony will take place in conjunction with a Flight Path Speaker Series program by Dr. Pedro Chan saluting the Flying Tigers, American volunteer pilots who helped liberate China during World War II. Migliazzo served in the Pacific Theater during the war as a member of the Medical Infantry Service. He was part of four assault landings and was decorated with the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and the Philippine Liberation Medal.
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In addition to his 34-year career as a teacher and administrator in the Inglewood Unified School District, Migliazzo has contributed thousands of volunteer hours to LAX area youth and community activities, including Little League, Boy Scouts, Youth Counseling Service, Knights of Columbus, American Legion Post 177, Exchange Club, USO, YMCA and Visitation Catholic Church.
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As a member of the Flight Path Board of Directors, Migliazzo has supervised the museum’s Flight Path Flyers simulator training program. “We are privileged to have Vince as a member of the Flight Path team,” said Niles. “His enthusiastic work in our flight simulator training program has been a great inspiration to our students and instructors.”
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Migliazzo is a native of Los Angeles and a graduate of Mt. Carmel High School and Loyola University. He holds a master of science degree from the University of Southern California as well as California state teaching and administrative credentials. Migliazzo and his wife Beverly have been married 65 years and have three children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. They have resided in Westchester since 1950.
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Migliazzo’s Honorary Service Award plaque will be placed with those of previous honorees in a special display area in the Westchester Village shopping center at Sepulveda Boulevard and Howard B. Drollinger Way.

“FLYING TIGER” TOPIC KICKS OFF SPEAKER SERIES

Flight Path’s popular Speaker Series continues during 2015 with a wide variety of aviation topics delivered by an impressive roster of informative speakers.  Subjects range from airport development to passenger service to aviation and aerospace history, according to Nancy Niles, Flight Path president.
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“The Speaker Series is a key part of our learning center’s educational mission,” said Niles. “Our speakers promote a greater understanding of the importance of aviation for the entire community. These programs are offered free to the public.”
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 .Flying_Tigers_logoKicking off the 2015 Speaker Series on Saturday, February 28 at 10 a.m. will be “The Flying Tigers of World War II,” presented by Dr. Pedro Chan, an internationally recognized authority on the Flying Tigers and their role in battling to free China from Axis control during World War II.  The original Flying Tigers were a group of volunteer American aviators led by U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Claire L. Chennault.  Following the war, part of the group formed The Flying Tiger Line, an all-cargo carrier now part of FedEx.
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Dr. Chan has exhibited his large collection of World War II Flying Tigers memorabilia in Washington, D.C., and at several U.S. military bases.  He also serves as an advisor to the Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor, the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles and the Flying Tigers Historical Organization.
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An update on improvements in LAX passenger facilities and ground transportation is the topic for the Flight Path Speaker Series on Tuesday, April 28, at 10 a.m.  Tim Ihle of the Los Angeles World Airports development staff will present the program.  The airport recently awarded contracts for design of a major expansion of international passenger facilities and has unveiled plans for sophisticated ground transportation links between the airport central terminal area and nearby rail and rental car facilities.
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 .Flight Path Director Nissen Davis returns to the Speaker Series on Tuesday, June 23, at 10 a.m. with the topic, “Aviation Doing Good,” reviewing his work with aviation and aerospace celebrities supporting the Morale Entertainment Foundation.  The foundation is dedicated to boosting the morale of U. S. troops on deployment throughout the world.
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The challenges for airlines in addressing hungry travelers is the focus of South Bay journalist Richard Foss, who speaks on the topic, “History of Food in Flight,” on Tuesday, September 22, at 10 a.m.  Foss will trace the development of menu selections ranging from pretzels to prime rib and everything in between. .
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The 2015 Speaker Series wraps up on Saturday, November 14, at 10 a.m. by revisiting a popular subject of last year’s series: “Space Satellites.”  Phil Pressel, a longtime satellite project engineer, provides a look at the civilian role in this military-based reconnaissance program as well as the human interest stories that are part of it.

In Memoriam – Morrey Plotkin

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IN MEMORIAM
 
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MORREY PLOTKIN
 (1916-2014)
Flight Path Founder & Chairman Emeritus
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With deep regret the Flight Path Board of Directors announces the recent passing of our Founder and Chairman Emeritus Morrey Plotkin.
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Morrey’s leadership of Flight Path began more than 20 years ago when he spearheaded installation of the first sidewalk plaques saluting aviation luminaries in the Westchester business district north of LAX. As our nonprofit organization’s Board Chairman he directed community fundraising and an area-wide search for a suitable site for the Flight Path Learning Center and Museum.
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Following the museum’s opening in the LAX Imperial Terminal, Morrey has remained a faithful and generous supporter of our youth scholarship and educational programs.  His continuing wise counsel has been invaluable to the successful operation of our facility.
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In honor of Morrey’s service to the museum and the community, Flight Path presented him with its annual Guiding Light Award at the 16th annual Gala dinner in October 2012. The award honors those who guide and inspire youth toward education and careers in the fields of aviation and aerospace.
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Morrey’s other community activities have included service as president of the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce and as chairman of the Westchester Playa Village which provides services to help local seniors remain in their homes.  He was awarded the Village’s Inspirational Senior Award for his work there.
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Flight Path President Nancy Niles issued the following statement of tribute:“Morrey Plotkin has been an essential part of Flight Path from the very beginning.  His special talent for motivating individuals and organizations to work together has been critical to the success of our learning center and museum.  We are deeply grateful for his 98 years of life and for his lasting legacy to Flight Path and the community.”