New Mexico Air Tour: Last stop Socorro

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A New Mexico Centennial Air Tour presents a special opportunity to witness general aviation aircraft of all types flying together, and local airport activities to highlight New Mexico’s rich aviation history. The tour is an official event of the New Mexico Centennial, sponsored by the New Mexico Pilots Association, and part of a month-long Centennial Aviation Celebration.

Since the beginnings of aircraft production, pilots have been flying air tours to show off aircraft capabilities and share their passion for aviation. The last weekend of September 2012, a Centennial Air Tour will highlight historic aviators, aircraft, and significant New Mexico aviation events, such as the first use of aircraft in a U.S. military mission to pursue Pancho Villa, the first commercial passenger air route, Transcontinental Air Transport, and Charles Lindbergh’s development of aerial archeology.

Weather permitting, pilots and crew will fly a planned route, landing at community airports for commemorative celebrations and aviation museum visits at Grants-Milan, Roswell and Santa Teresa. At each stop, the public is invited to experience aviation history first hand, viewing aircraft and interacting with pilots and crews. Departing from Grants-Milan Municipal Airport on Friday morning, Sept. 28, the tour will cover 750 miles, stopping also at Santa Fe, Tucumcari, Roswell, Carlsbad, Santa Teresa, with the last stop at Socorro on Sunday morning, Sept. 30.

Gov. Susana Martinez proclaimed September 2012 as “New Mexico General Aviation Appreciation Month,” in recognition of aviation’s significance in New Mexico. Aviation in New Mexico supports 48,795 jobs and generates $1.3 billion in payroll annually and is responsible for contributing $3.1 billion to the economy.

The New Mexico Pilots Association is a non-profit organization which promotes general aviation and aviation safety, pilot camaraderie, and preserving airfields and airspace. The association has a back country committee dedicated to increase aviation access to back country airstrips and recreational areas, partnering with government and public service groups. For more information, visit www.nmpilots.org.