Charlie and Alister McAllister acquired and rebuilt their first airplane, a Standard J1, in 1925. In 1926 they took flying lessons from the famous instructor and aerobatic pilot Tex Rankin. Then they flew their Standard J1 to Yakima to start their first flight school. At that time, there was no airport, simply a field known as Goodman’sPasture. Later on, the pasture was converted to the Yakima Airport, McAllister Field.
From Charlie’s connection to Orville Wright, who signed his first flying license, to Bonnie Dunbar and the space shuttle, the short history of aviation continues to have many ties in the Central Washington area. Yakima was the place that the first woman did a demonstration flight in a Curtis Pusher in 1913. This was just 10 years after Orville Wright flew in Kittyhawk, North Carolina. Through our displays and tour guides, you can learn the many historic stories of our area.
Charlie built his first glider when he was 16 in Wasco, Oregon. Over the years Charlie’s interest and expertise continued to grow. In 1933 Charlie succeeded in getting a Northwest soaring record in the Yakima Clipper that is currently on display at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. To find out the story about what kept him from getting the world record, stop by the McAllister Museum of Aviation.
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