A Scottsbluff aviation pioneer has been honored as part of the 10th anniversary of the local airport’s new terminal.
A plaque highlighting the career of long-time local pilot Keeta Thompson was unveiled during an open house Thursday night. The honor will hang on the wall of a new conference room to plaques of local members of the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame.
Thompson was one of only two female transport plane pilots in the state in the early 80’s, and at the time only had five years of experience after starting flying lessons in 1976. “She was trained and got her pilot’s license, by a man who has his picture right behind me, Bill Heilig,” said WNRA Board Chairman Don Overman.
Aside from providing flying lessons, Thompson says her most memorable moments as a pilot was “just to be in the sky, it was fabulous among the clouds, up where God lives. And that’s what I enjoyed.”
Other career highlights for Thompson included flying for the National Geographic Society, the Park Service and being a noted local flight instructor herself. She was also instrumental in the creation of the local Experimental Aircraft Association.