Oologah Fly-In Honors Lives Of Will Rogers, Wiley Post On Plane Crash Anniversary

Saturday, August 15th 2015, 7:54 pm
By: News On 6

Oklahomans gathered at the birthplace of Will Rogers to remember the plane crash that killed him and his friend Wiley Post 80 years ago today.

The "fly-in" drew hundreds of aviation fans and pilots.

One by one, planes touched down at Dog Iron Ranch in Oologah.

The fly-in honors the lives of famed actor and humorist Will Rogers and Pilot Wiley Post after they died in a plane crash in Alaska 80 years ago.

8/15/2015 Related Story: Will Rogers & Wiley Post Fly-In Brings Family Fun, Aviation To Oologah

Pilots Jim Tucker, Dan Bigler and Peter Sanstead took off with their planes from Gundy's Airport in Owasso.

"It's a lot of fun,” Tucker said. “Busy traffic pattern, but it's fun.”

The skies filled up with vintage Stearman Biplanes, ultralights, and classic airplanes.

“Starting before 7 o'clock they already started coming in,” Tad Jones said. “What's really neat, you see them flying all around and then all landing, you know, right over the crowd over here, so it's pretty exciting getting to see all these planes come in and just different varieties too.”

Lester Lurk and Joe Bacon showed up in costume as some familiar faces for today's fly-in.

“It's fun, the children need to know and the adults need to remember about these two gentlemen and what they did for aviation," Bacon said.

“Will Rogers back in the early days of it,  Will Rogers and Wiley Post and few other of these great guys believed in it and actually got it started,” Lurk said. “What did it get to today? I mean we're in the air, we're everywhere and it's great!"

Rogers' Great Niece Doris "Coke" Meyer has only missed one fly-in since 1984.

"I'm very flattered, and I'm very pleased that we have such a good crowd today and this many planes came in. That's a big plus,” she said.

At 95, she makes it a priority to come every year and pay tribute to her great uncle Will – Oklahoma’s favorite son.

“It was important to be here today,” she said. “Eighty years is a long time."