Ho'okele Staff | Aug 28, 2010
The Air Force will celebrate 100 years of aviation in Hawaii at the 63rd Air Force Birthday Ball which will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 17 at the Sheraton Waikiki Resort. This year’s theme is “Pacific Centennial of Flight.”
It has been 100 years since a Curtiss P-18 biplane, piloted by J.C. “Bud” Mars, flew in the skies over Hawaii. That historic event in 1910 marked the beginning of aviation in Hawaii.
Mars, who had the reputation at the time for being the most daring flyer in the United States, and his P-18 climbed to a height of 500 feet during a flight that lasted only minutes. Spectators who had each paid $1 to witness the flight watched the feat from the ground.
In the Sunday Advertiser the next day, Mars was quoted, “I am proud to have been the first man to fly over the soil of these beautiful islands. I am proud to hold the pioneer air record for Honolulu and I am glad, too, that the new Skylark has taken her maiden flight here. She is after this the Honolulu Skylark and I will call her that wherever we go on our trip towards the Far East,” he said.
“I find your Hawaiian air currents rather tough ones, but everything else was lovely,” Mars added.
During the centennial celebration, the U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific will present a multi-media musical tour of the last 100 years of flight in the Pacific.
“This year’s event is a celebration of the dramatic accomplishments of aviation, both civilian and military, throughout the Pacific,” said Lt. Col. David Olander, Pacific Air Forces Ball committee president.
Ticket prices for the 2010 Air Force Ball are as follows: E1-E4, $20; E5-E6 and GS-1-GS-9, $40; E7-E8, $50; E9-O3, GS-10-GS-12 and retirees, $60; O4-O5 and GS-13-GS-14, $70; O6-O10, GS-15 and DVs, $80.
Tickets are on sale until Aug. 27. Those who wish to attend should contact their local AF Birthday Ball representative.
For more information, visit http://www2.hickam.af.mil or call 448-6999.