First Instructor Pilot - Montgomery, Alabama
Posted by: xptwo
N 32° 22.872 W 086° 21.236
16S E 560771 N 3582873
Quick Description: Walter Brookins became the first civilian pilot trained to fly from the right-hand seat as an instructor. He achieved this distinction at the Wright Brothers Flying School in Montgomery, Alabama.
Location: Alabama, United States
Date Posted: 4/28/2012 8:15:55 AM
Waymark Code: WMEAN6
Located on a small circular drive in front of Base Operations and Passenger Terminal at Maxwell Air Force Base, a marble marker marks the location of the nation's first civilian flying school. The text of the marker reads: "On this site in 1910 stood the hangar of the flying school of the first men to fly: the Wright Brothers" The school lasted from February until the end of May 1910. The locals were thrilled to see Orville Wright teaching the students while it lasted. The field that they used is now a part of Maxwell Air Force Base.
The students were Walter Brookins, James Davis, Spencer Crane, Archibald Hoxsey and Arthur Welsh. Boykins was the first to solo and began teaching the others after Orville left to return to Dayton in early May. The decision had been made to close the school at the end of May as its purpose had been to provide a place for training during the winter and early spring.
The following passage comes from Montgomery Aviation by Billy J. Singleton, p. 15 (ISBN 978-0-7385-5259-0):
"The aircraft used in Montgomery was a transitional machine that included improvements to earlier Wright designs. Dual seats were provided in an upright, side-by-side arrangement with a control lever for the rudder and wing warping system located between the seats. The elevator control lever, used to raise or lower the nose of the machine, was located outboard of each seat. This arrangement allowed student aviators to be trained to operate the Flyer. At Montgomery, student aviator Walter Brookins achieved a number of significant milestones. Brookins learned to operate the Flyer from the right-hand seat as an instructor, becoming the first civilian pilot to achieve this distinction."
FIRST - Classification Variable: Person or Group
Date of FIRST: 5/6/1910
More Information - Web URL: [Web Link]
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