After packing 5,000 parachutes with care, man, 81, gets Md. honor

June 10, 1999|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

Talk about a cursed award.

Two years ago, Florence Parlett died a few weeks before the Maryland Aviation Administration could give her its Pioneer Award for founding Lee Airport in Edgewater.

Last week, Aubrey Patterson nearly followed Parlett's footsteps. The longtime parachute packer had a heart attack just before the awards ceremony and was unable to attend.

However, the 81-year-old Glen Burnie resident quickly recovered and spent yesterday afternoon retrieving two more parachutes to be inspected and repacked.

Patterson was honored last week with one of four Maryland Aviation Pioneer Awards.

He figures he has packed about 5,000 parachutes since 1940.

Other aviation pioneers honored were Thurman S. Alphin of Hagerstown, who restores and repairs airplanes; William S.D. Newnam Jr., who managed Easton's airport for 20 years; and Dundalk's late flight instructor, aircraft mechanic and aviation activist Patrick Romano.

Pub Date: 6/10/99

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