In Memory of Pioneer Alaskan Aviator
February 05, 2004
With an executive proclamation, Governor Frank Murkowski has designated February 7, 2004, as "Joe Soloy Day" in recognition of the contributions Soloy made to Alaska aviation and to aviation safety. Soloy passed way on Sunday, February 1st in Washington state.
"Joe Soloy was a true Alaskan pioneer in aviation, whose contributions to aircraft safety and the use of helicopters in exploration, and search and rescue continue to benefit Alaska every day," Murkowski said. "It is appropriate that we honor him for his contributions and reflect on how he has made a difference in our lives."
Joe Soloy earned his certification to fly helicopters in the very infancy of the industry, in 1950. He came to Alaska in 1953 to fly helicopters commercially, co-founded Temsco Helicopters in Ketchikan in 1955, and went on to co-found Merric Helicopters in the Interior with Merrill and Richard Wein in 1963. Soloy and his wife, Phyllis, formed a company that pioneered the conversion of helicopters to turbines, in the interest of safety, performance, and reliability. Soloy Conversions also developed turbine conversions for fixed wing aircraft, and later developed a turbine twin-pac for use in helicopters and airplanes.
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