Amelia Earhart

Capt. Sullenberger and Amelia Earhart at the Museum of Flight

Monday evening I was fortunate to be in the audience at Seattle’s Museum of Flight for a  presentation by the recently retired Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the now-legendary pilot of US Airways Flight 1549 who was able to successfully land a plane in New York City’s Hudson River.

He began the evening by showing the NTSB’s animated version of the US Airways 1549 flight path (below) and then went on to talk a bit about his family, his upbringing, his training as a pilot, the importance of preparation and teamwork, and his philosophy of work and life. After he was done, some of the kids in the audience got to ask a few questions as did some of the aviation geeks from our high-tech community.

(Here’s a link to a more detailed report on the evening by aerospace reporter Aubrey Cohen)

Before Captain Sullenberger’s speech, I spent some time in the Amelia Earhart exhibit, which will be at the museum until May, 2010. In addition to photo panels and film clips telling Ms. Earhart’s life story, there’s a section showing some of the products she endorsed to help pay the bills, including Amelia Earhart luggage and Lucky Strike cigarettes.

All in all, quite an inspiring evening.

Souvenir Sunday at Milwaukee’s General Mitchel Int’l Airport

Happy Souvenir Sunday!

On Sunday here at Stuck at the Airport, we take a look at some of the fun, local, inexpensive and, ideally, somewhat offbeat things for sale at airports around the country.

This week, the folks at General Mitchell International Airport (MKE)  in Milwaukee, Wisconsin sent over some suggestions:

MKE jelly belly candy

First up: Jelly Belly candy.

Sure, these treats are are  for sale in lots of places, but you have a good excuse to buy ‘em here because the Jelly Belly Center – a candy warehouse with a factory tour – is in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, about a half hour away from the airport.

No time for the tour? Check out the on-line Jelly Bean Museum of Bean Art, which is filled with big, colorful jelly bean portraits of Elvis (three versions!), James Dean, Larry King, Laurel & Hardy, George Clooney, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II, and others. The gallery also includes this jelly bean portrait of Amelia Earhart:

MKE - Amelia Earhart Jelly Bean portrait

OK, back to Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport and Souvenir Sunday…

Not a sweets fan? Well, cheese and beer are big in Milwaukee, so it makes sense that this Cheddar Beer Soup is for sale a the airport. The instructions seem simple enough: add water and beer!

MKE - Chedder Beer Soup

So… thinking of doing a little shopping at MKE?

Keep in mind that in addition to a used book store – a rarity at an airport – MKE has a great aviation museum on site and, befitting the city that’s home to Harley Davidson, there’s free parking for motorcycles in the airport parking garage. (Four-wheeled vehicles get a good deal too: the airport offers $5 supersaver  parking.)

Souvenir Sunday one

Have you found a great souvenir at an airport lately? If it’s under $10, “of” the city or region and, ideally a bit offbeat, snap a photo and send it along. It might show up in a future edition of Souvenir Sunday.

Happy Birthday to the First Lady of Flight

Amelia Earhart, one of the world’s most famous aviators, was born on this day in Atchison, Kansas in 1898.

You can learn all about “the Golden Girl of Aviation,” or “Lady Lindy,” and see statues of her in various spots around the country, including the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum in Atchison and at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California, where Earhart honed her skills before heading out to set and smash records:

In 1928, Earhart – flying as a passenger – was the first woman on a transatlantic flight

In 1932 she was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic;

In 1935 Earhart was the first pilot to fly from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland and;

In 1937, sadly and mysteriously, she and navigator Bill Noonan disappeared somewhere in the Pacific during an attempt to fly around the world.

Bonus: Here’s a link to a search that turned up a great photo of Ms. Earhart standing in front of her plane Lockheed Electra at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, back when it was called Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport.