1st flight across Lake Michigan recreated 100 years later - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

1st flight across Lake Michigan recreated 100 years later

Posted:

100 years ago, a legendary pilot made the first ever trek across Lake Michigan by plane. Monday, his grand-daughter took the same flight in his memory.

Faith Vilas is a third generation pilot. "I knew I wanted to be a pilot when I was a kid, I knew I wanted to fly when I was like 5 or 6."

Now at 61 she is honoring her legendary grandfather Logan Vilas. "Essentially it was something he really wanted to accomplish."

She says the trip was more dangerous for her grandfather in 1913. Consider this, Vilas flew across the lake, 14 years BEFORE Charles Lindbergh made the first flight across the Atlantic Ocean. "This is a long distance over open water, that's not something that's encouraged for a small plane. He liked to test limits of things and enjoyed that. I think the difference between him being 21 doing this and me being 61 makes it a little less like I want to tempt fate."

Which is why she says preparations have taken months, but Monday morning she was ready to take the Cessna 185 from Southwest Michigan Regional Airport in Benton Harbor to Navy Pier in Chicago. She says her grandfather would have encouraged her to make this flight, just like he encouraged her to pursue a pilot's license at age 17. "I grew up thinking why shouldn't I fly? I never grew up thinking it was unusual to become a pilot."

She says he inspired her to take risks. "I love to fly, I understand why he liked it, I understand the interest and adventure for him."

And Monday she says was all about him.

FOX28 called Faith after she touched down in Chicago. She was able to land the amphibious plane in the water by Navy Pier. "I am so glad to complete this journey successfully on the 100th anniversary of my grandfather's landing – at that time, the longest flight over water in aviation history," Vilas said. "This is the culmination of years of work on the part of admirers of his accomplishment, and it is great to complete this effort on behalf of family and friends, and especially in honor of my grandfather." She says it took her just under an hour to get there.

What's her next stop? It just might be a trip to space as part of the Planetary Science Institute's suborbital observatory project.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • South Bend Common Council Members hold walking tour in Henry Davis Jr.'s district and none speak about arrest

    South Bend Common Council Members hold walking tour in Henry Davis Jr.'s district and none speak about arrest

    Council members met with residents of the 2nd District in South BendCouncil members met with residents of the 2nd District in South Bend
    South Bend Common Council Members were knocking on doors and chatting with residents on Friday evening. It was all part of the council's ongoing walking tours through the city's neighborhoods. Friday's walk was held in District 2, which is represented by Councilman Henry Davis Jr..More >>
    South Bend Common Council Members were knocking on doors and chatting with residents on Friday evening. It was all part of the council's ongoing walking tours through the city's neighborhoods. Friday's walk was held in District 2, which is represented by Councilman Henry Davis Jr..
    More >>
  • Man who spent time on the run now found guilty of child molesting

    Man who spent time on the run now found guilty of child molesting

    The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office says a man who had spent nearly a quarter of his life on running from police, has now been convicted of child molesting. According to a news release, "late yesterday evening, after approximately five hours of deliberation, a jury found Terry Wayne Waugh, Jr., 30, guilty of 1 count of Child Molesting, a Class A Felony, and 2 counts of Child Molesting, each a Class C Felony. The sentencing range for a Class A Felony is 20 to 50 years. The sentencing ran...More >>
    The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office says a man who had spent nearly a quarter of his life on running from police, has now been convicted of child molesting. According to a news release, "late yesterday evening, after approximately five hours of deliberation, a jury found Terry Wayne Waugh, Jr., 30, guilty of 1 count of Child Molesting, a Class A Felony, and 2 counts of Child Molesting, each a Class C Felony. The sentencing range for a Class A Felony is 20 to 50 years. The sentencing ran...More >>
  • St. Joseph County Police need assistance finding a credit card fraud suspect

    St. Joseph County Police need assistance finding a credit card fraud suspect

    Female Identity Theft/Credit Card Fraud SuspectFemale Identity Theft/Credit Card Fraud Suspect
    There is a female identity theft/credit card fraud suspect that police need your help identifying.She uses a lost credit card which she apparently found at several area stores on the south side of South Bend.The stores are Kroger, Stop N Go, Walmart and K.B. Beverage "Belmont Liquor".According to police she is possibly driving a green Ford Windstar mini van.More >>
    There is a female identity theft/credit card fraud suspect that police need your help identifying.She uses a lost credit card which she apparently found at several area stores on the south side of South Bend.The stores are Kroger, Stop N Go, Walmart and K.B. Beverage "Belmont Liquor".According to police she is possibly driving a green Ford Windstar mini van.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

Fox 28

WSJV-TV FOX 28
58096 County Road 7, South
Elkhart, IN 46517

Switchboard: 574.679.9758
News Phone: 574.679.4545
Station Fax: 574.294.1267
Email: fox28news@fox28.com

All content ©Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSJV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Heather Stewart at (574) 343-5310. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.