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Beaverton History Center shares insight on airport

Dana McCullough and Phil Brown will talk about local history project


The Beaverton Historical Society invites the public to learn more about the Hillsboro Airport History Project.

During the group’s monthly gathering at the Beaverton History Center on Tuesday, Dana McCullough and Phil Brown will talk about the history project.

McCullough comes from a three-generation pilot family. Her father, Swede Ralston, soloed on the then-100-acre Hillsboro Airfield in 1934, and went on to establish a flight operation that is still in business today. This is the only continuous operation on the field.

She worked summers at the airport, obtained her pilot’s license, soloed flights and went on to Linfield College and Portland State University, becoming a high school and college teacher. When her father died in 2007, McCullough began researching the colorful history of the airfield, and together with Phil Brown, created a presentation that traces its development through the years.

Brown worked for the Hillsboro Airport on and off for 40 years and has a grasp of its history. Until working on the project, he had no idea of how much he didn’t know.

He was inspired by Sky King after receiving a model of the plane on his birthday. At 16, he started working for Eagle Flight Center at the glider port near North Plains. Since they kept the tow plane and equipment at Hillsboro, he always began and ended his day there.

He went on to work for Aero Air, Erickson Air Crane, Your Call and Soloflex. For the past seven years, he has flown for a company based in Los Angeles, but the airplane is kept locally at Global.

Tuesday’s presentation is from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Beaverton History Center, 12412 S.W. Broadway St., in downtown Beaverton. Admission is free; donations are welcome. For more information, call 503-430-0106.




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