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Aerospace Student Retraces Historic Flight

Nathan Hoch stands next to pictures of Russell Maughan, who made a transcontinental flight 100 years ago that Hoch plans to retrace.

Garden City, N.Y. June 14, 2024 – In tribute to the 100th anniversary of First Lieutenant Russell Maughan's historic "Dawn-to-Dusk" transcontinental flight, Nathan Hoch, an aerospace engineering graduate student from Utah State University, will embark on a unique journey to retrace Maughan's steps. Hoch's expedition honors Maughan's pioneering spirit and commemorates a century of aviation progress. 

A Hero Remembered On June 23, 1924, First Lieutenant Russell Maughan, a Logan, Utah native and World War I fighter pilot with the U.S. Army Air Service, flew a Curtiss PW-8 Hawk from Mitchel Field, Long Island, New York, at dawn. He achieved the historic milestone of landing at Crissy Field, San Francisco, California, just before dusk, covering 2,670 miles in a single day. Maughan's remarkable feat captured the public's imagination and showcased the burgeoning potential of aviation. 

Following a Pioneer's Flight Path Inspired by Maughan's pioneering spirit, Nathan Hoch will mirror this journey by combining flights and drives to visit each spot where Maughan initially landed. Hoch plans to complete his journey with a landing in San Francisco on June 23, 2024, exactly 100 years after Maughan, aiming to arrive within three minutes of Maughan's historic landing time. 

Hoch will be visiting aviation museums and historic sites in the following locations: • Long Island, New York (Cradle of Aviation Museum) • Dayton, Ohio • St. Joseph, Missouri • North Platte, Nebraska • Cheyenne, Wyoming • Salduro, Utah • San Francisco, California. 

"I wanted to pay tribute to Colonel Maughan's career. He pushed the boundaries of flight and showed the world the value of aviation. Crossing the country used to take weeks or months, but thanks to him, it could be done in a single day. A hundred years later, Colonel Maughan is the first of millions who have flown coast to coast in a day. It will be an honor to retrace his flight and bring awareness to this lesser-known aviation pioneer." - Nathan Hoch.