Text & Photos: G.B. Koontz (August 2010)

  Robert Fowler Robert Fowler  
I recently drove through Yuma, Arizona and took these photos of a statue erected this year to honor Fowler. The movement was put forth by Arizona aviation historian, Jim Greenwood. The statue is located at one of the first original Best Western Motels,

The owners have decorated the inside of the Yuma Landing Bar & Grill restaurant with vintage pictures and a display case too.

Bob Fowler
1883 - 1966
  On October 25, 1911, pioneer aviator Robert Grant Fowler touched down on this site,
becoming the first person to land an airplane in Arizona under its own power. A native
Californian, he had departed Los Angeles October 19, and completed aviation history's
first west to east transcontinental flight when he reached San Pablo Beach, Florida,
February 17, 1912. He flew a Wright Model B, purchased from Orville and Wilbur
Wright who taught him to fly. Fowler had given up driving race cars to pursue a career
in the infant air industry. He ultimately manufactured airplanes, some of his own
design, provided aviation services, and operated flying schools and public airports.
Fowler was once president of The Early Birds of Aviation, an exclusive group of pilots
who flew before 1917. He saw human flight advance from flimsy kite-like contraptions
to multi-engine jets and rocket-powered space vehicles. Bob Fowler's courage, sacrifice
and many contributions helped make possible this remarkable technological progress.
Lauri Slenning, Sculptor
Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area   The Early Birds of Aviation    Best Western Coronado Motor Hotel.

Bob Fowler

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