Mridget McNamara Photo0005

Sat. March 12, 2016 at 2:00 pm. at the Columbus, NM Library Lt. Col. Bridget McNamara presents a narrative and history of women in the military aviation.  
Everyone is invited to attend.
Click on Bio below for her back ground.

Bridget McNamara Bio 2016

Wings Over The Border Newsletter (Click Below)

January 2017 Newsletter

July 2016 Newsletter

March 2016 Newsletter

December 2015 Newsletter

September October 2015 Newsletter

July Newsletter 2015

May Newsletter 2015

Ken Emery Wings Over The Border History Presentation


Aviation History Group Formed

 April 6 2015 - Special to the Headlight:

 Columbus NM: It was announced today that a new entity had been formed to protect the aviation heritage of Luna County and surrounds.  The group, Wings over the Border, will seek to preserve local as well as national archival material relating to early private flying, and military and commercial aviation from the time of the First Aero Squadron through Second World War and beyond. 

 According to spokesperson Martha Skinner, the need for this 501(c)(3) non-profit was seen in the perceived decline of the First Aero Squadron Foundation in Columbus over the last year when the FASF appeared to stray from its original mission statement.  "The final straw was when the president of that group voided the election of four board members - founders of FASF -in spite of their win by a huge margin."  Kris Lethin, Skinner, Gene Valdes and Bill Wehner were disqualified despite 70 to almost 100 votes apiece.  The four other candidates barely pulled 40 votes each. 

 The new organization appointed Lethin, Skinner, and Wehner to the new board of directors and will be naming a full board from a national as well as local slate of applicants.  James Efferson was named treasurer; Valdes appointed editor of the newsletter; Lethin named webmaster with Addison Bachman assisting.

 In addition to the establishment of the aviation archive, the mission of Wings will be the preservation and restoration of the First Aero Site, ensure the establishment of a fitting memorial and museum for the First Aero Squadron, and embark on a program of public education on early flight.  Among its first activities will be to coordinate with local groups on the 1916 Centennial, and act as host group for the International Cessna 170 Association for their 2017 Convention in Deming and Columbus.  It is anticipated that over 150 flyers will be attending that week-long affair.

 A newsletter and the web site will contain aviation history and news and views from the Columbus, New Mexico and South Luna County area as well as  historical notes and often missed sidebars by several authors.  Future articles will feature "Whitey" Houlton and the Columbus Air Force, stories on Pershing and his aide, George Patton, the Great Bisbee Deportation, pioneers of flight, and contributions by historians John Deuble, Ken Emery, and others.

 Meeting attendees also included Ned Barr, Mayor Philip Skinner, Glenda Sanchez, representing the International Cabalgato, and Municipal Judge Robert Odom.  Further information may be had from >< ; web page is ><.  A meeting schedule will be available shortly; the public is invited to participate.

General Aviation Archive

 In addition to tackling the preservation of two historic airfields, memorializing the First Aero Squadron and taking on the task acquainting the world with aviation in the teens through to the Second World War, Wings Over the Border is offering a place to document the stories of folks involved in all phases of civil aviation.  Along with biographical information, we are inviting the donation of pilot paraphernalia, with emphasis on people who flew for the WASP, Civil Air Patrol, etc., and those involved in air racing, bush flying, and the like; or who just flew for the fun of it.

 I had a close friend in Bisbee, Arizona, who loved flying, especially with family or friends.  He was a early member of the Cessna 170 Association, and he cherished the times he spent with others in that group.  In fact, he had collected every bit of memorabilia that could be associated with that organization together with a small library of books and magazines on various aviation topics.  His one regret, he confided to my wife and me just before he died, was that there wasn't anyone who was interested in his collection.  The 170 Club would have been a logical recipient but they had no facility with which to do so.  Since his heirs didn't want it, sadly, the collection was lost.  And then there are writers like me who are still looking for any information dealing with Charlie Hubbs, late of Alaska, and Sally Seaton Roller of Ohio.

 One person's collection probably has little meaning in the grand scheme of things.  But if you have a bunch of them - hundreds, maybe - then they suddenly become a beautiful resource for scholars.  What we hope to achieve at Wings Over the Border, is a collection of materials ranging from books and slides and photos to log books, personal recollections, and ephemera that one can accumulate in a lifetime.  Anything related to non-commercial aviation from 1903 to the present, with emphasis on the teens, twenties, and thirties.  Check with your tax person to see if donations like this can be a deduction for you.

Bill Wehner

Advice on flying the Jenny

Inspection: It is best not to inspect the ship too closely; if you do, you will not want to enter it. 

Entering the cockpit: Do not attempt to climb into the cockpit in the usual way.  If you put your foot on the lower wing panel, it will probably fall off or your foot will go through the wing, probably breaking your leg.  The best method is to climb over the tail surfaces and crawl up the turtleback.  Take care not to cut your hands on the remnants of the windshield.

Instruments: After carefully lowering yourself into the seat and groped in vain for a safety belt, take a good look at the instruments; both of them.  The one on the right is the tachometer, it doesn't work.  The other is the altimeter which functioned perfectly until the unit took delivery.  Examine both carefully now; after the engine starts, you won't be able to.

Starting: The switch is on the right but not connected, primarily to give a sense of confidence to the mechanic who will be pulling the prop through when you say, "Switch off."  If for some reason the engine fires as he pulls the prop through, don't hurry to pick him up from the ground as he probably deserved it anyhow.

Warming up: Don't warm the engine up since it will run for only a few minutes, and the longer it runs on the ground, the less flying time you will have.  After the throttle is opened, do not expose any part of your body outside the cockpit.  Your face will not appreciated being slapped by a flying rocker arm, or being peppered by small bits of rings, valves, etc., that are continually being emitted from the exhaust stacks.

Takeoff: Remember that the takeoff is in direct violation of all natural law.  This is doubly true if you have a passenger. 

Flight: After dodging the trees, windmill and chimneys and are over the lake, you will take note of the hole in the left side of the fuselage.  This is to allow the stick to be moved far enough to permit a left turn.  Do not attempt one to the right.

Landing: The landing is made in accordance with the law of gravity.  If the landing gear does not collapse on the first bounce, it will on the second.  After you have extricated yourself from the wreckage, try to walk disdainfully away so as not to draw attention to yourself.


Wings Over the Border
c/o WWF
PO Box 1664
Columbus NM 88029
Email:, Ph. 575-531-7044 or, Ph. 907-360-6363