Wednesday, June 27, 2007

FAA History Lesson -- June 27

From the FAA Historical Chronology, 1926-1996...

”Jun 27, 1939: President Roosevelt signed the Civilian Pilot Training Act of 1939 into law. The act authorized the Civil Aeronautics Authority to conduct a program for the training of civilian pilots through educational institutions and to prescribe pertinent regulations with the objective of providing sufficient training to prepare a student for a private pilot certificate. The act authorized $5,675,000 to be appropriated for the program during fiscal years 1939 and 1940, and specified that thereafter the appropriation should not exceed $7 million for any one fiscal year. The act was to expire on Jul 1, 1944. On the basis of this legislation, CAA's program for the 1939-1940 school year called for training 11,000 civilian pilots, although considerably fewer were actually trained the first year. (See May 16, 1940, and Dec 12, 1941) In what proved to be an important development for African Americans in aviation, the act contained a provision introduced by Representative Everett M. Dirksen (R-Ill.) stipulating that "none of the benefits of training or programs shall be denied on account of race, creed, or color." “

I wonder, just how far into the future FDR could see ? Surely he saw the clouds of war gathering over Europe once again. Was that all he saw ? Did he see how vital airpower would become in the coming war ? Did he have any idea that much of our dominance of the world for the next 60 years would be based on airpower ? Did he see a great industry -- one that would be the envy of the world ?

Everyone didn’t see it. At least they weren’t able to prepare for it.

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few".

Winston Churchill sure had a way with words. America never had to depend on “so few.”

Don Brown
June 27, 2007

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