CIRI shareholder, former CIRI board member and current member of Cook Inlet Housing Authority’s finance committee William D. English is featured as an Alaskan pilot in the “Arctic Flight: A Century of Alaska Aviation” exhibition at the Anchorage Museum from Feb. 9 through Aug. 11. The exhibition marks the 100th anniversary of the first airplane to fly in Alaska in 1913.
Mr. English’s interest in flying began at age 2, when he watched the first Standard airplane land in Wiseman, Alaska in 1925. After junior college, English began his career flying as a passenger, then as a student earning his private license in 1946. English continued his flight training and earned a commercial pilot’s license. Then English attended the FAA school in Oklahoma where he trained on the DC-4 to become a flight instructor. In following years, he instructed on the F-27, DC-3, C-46, Lockheed Constellation and Boeing 737.
Mr. English’s reflections about his life as an Alaskan pilot are featured in The CIRI Foundation’s “Our Stories, Our Lives” publication where he stated, “I saw an airplane and flew in an airplane before I ever saw a car, or a train, or a boat.” The publication provides English’s stories of survival and adventures experienced while being a pilot in bush Alaska during the first 100 years of Alaska aviation.
For more information about the Arctic Flight exhibition, visit the Anchorage Museum website at www.anchoragemuseum.org. To read firsthand accounts of Mr. English’s life story, visit The CIRI Foundation’s website at www.thecirifoundation.org to review their publication lists and order form.
The mission of CIRI is to promote the economic and social well-being and Alaska Native heritage of our Shareholders, now and into the future, through prudent stewardship of the company’s resources, while furthering self-sufficiency among CIRI Shareholders and their families.
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Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI) is one of 12 regional corporations established in Alaska by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. CIRI is owned by over 9,200 Shareholders, primarily of Athabascan, Southeast Indian, Inupiat, Yup’ik, Alutiiq/Sugpiaq and Aleut/Unangax descent.