Warren Kroeppel, Sheltair’s Chief Operating Office, observed, “On March 20, 1928, just a year after Lindbergh flew the Atlantic without so much as a windshield much less a weather forecast, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the award of contracts for equipment that included a dozen new radio stations capable of keeping pilots advised of changes in weather conditions while they were in flight. It marked a key introduction of leveraging emerging radio technology to directly aid pilots, passengers, and those tasked with keeping them from harm’s way: the meteorologist. Today, most of us take for granted their professional dedication to flight safety. This ceremony entitled, `Weather to Wings’ seeks to remind everyone that we need to give thanks for their contributions.”
The public is invited to meet nationally recognized WCBS meteorologist Craig Allen and recently retired and much beloved News 12 forecaster Bill Korbel at Sheltair’s hangar complex at 1000 New Highway, Farmingdale, on March 20th at 12 Noon. Offering remarks beside a biplane from the Bayport Aerodrome, the two meteorologists will be joined by aviation historian Josh Stoff from the Cradle of Aviation museum, who will provide insight into the history of early aviation on Long Island and the role that weather has played – from Lindbergh’s nerve-wracking departure for Paris from a rain soaked field to pioneering instrument “blind flying” by legendary pilot Jimmy Doolittle.
Kroeppel observed that aviation weather forecasting has undergone changes over the last eighty to one hundred years. “From fabric covered biplanes that could crash if ice built up on their wings, to World War II aircraft that could routinely reach altitudes of over 30,000 ft, to the post-war transition from propellers to jets, forecasting has been a race to keep up with aviation technology. We need to pause and reflect that understanding weather has given us wings.”
Also invited are local college students studying meteorology and aviation, Long Island’s aviation community, and members of the public who recognize the importance of government and private sector meteorologists.