Saturday, May 11, 2013

Statue of aviation pioneer unveiled at Poplar Grove Airport (C77), Illinois

 Written by Bob Balgemann

POPLAR GROVE – He may not be a household name to the average American family, but he is known to pilots.

Capt. Elrey Jeppesen is an aviation pioneer, the father of aerial navigation. And now a 16-foot-tall statute has been created in his memory and stands near the Poplar Grove Vintage Wings and Wheels Museum at Poplar Grove Airport.

The unveiling took place the afternoon of May 2, with a large gathering of invited guests in attendance. Two days later it served as a focal point of the airport’s grand opening for the summer of 2013.

Inside there was a new display area that provided information about what Jeppesen did to make flying safer for pilots and their passengers.

Created by sculptor George Lundeen, the statute was the gift of Jack and Peggy Wolf of Belvidere.

Jack Wolf said afterward they selected Jeppesen because he is part of aviation. “What he did was very important,” Jack Wolf said. “The mapping probably saved a lot of lives. He was really quite a guy.”

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