Three Sheets to the Wind: On Flight They’re Dubious

Man Will Never Fly SocietyOn December 16, 1959, the Man Will Never Fly Memorial Society was formed in Kitty Hawk.  With a motto of “Birds Fly—Men Drink”, the society continues to party each year from the afternoon of December 16 until 10:45 a. m. on December 17, the time at which the Wright brothers “allegedly” took their first flight. They are “dedicated to the principle that two Wrights made a wrong at Kitty Hawk.”

Each year, the society gives two anti-aviation awards to those who have done the most to deter the advance of aviation, the Orville Proxmire Award and the Aviation Hall of Infamy Award. The last four presidents of the United States, Chuck Yeager and Snoopy are all among the winners of the two awards.

According to members of the society, many of whom are pilots, the awards program serves to separate the cocktail hour from the serious drinking that follows. While the society does not oppose flight in winged creatures, it draws its line in the sand at flying machines. Their mission statement quotes a Dayton, Ohio, newspaper editor as saying, “Man will never fly. And if he does, he will never come from Dayton.”

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