Biographical, Local Heroes, Local Issues

‘Mike Jense Day’ in Provo

Click to see original imageThe Provo Chamber of
Commerce Aviation Committee
will honor Mike Jense Friday as a
prelude to Aviation Day at the
airport Saturday.
Designation of “Mike Jense
Day” provides a fitting recogni-
tion for a man who has been at the
forefront in aviation here for so
many years.
Mike. founder of the Central
Utah Aviation whose active
interest in flying dates back some
four decades, modestly would
share the honor with others who
have helped pioneer aviation in
the valley.
Indeed, without taking anything
away from his contribution, many
fliers have had a hand in the step-
by-step development of airports
and aviation in the area and in
popularizing flying.
Veteran Herald staffers well –
remember Charley Corbell, a
Provo flier back in the thirties.
His flight pioneering ended
tragically when he and his wife
and Leonard Thatcher were killed
in a fatal crash Jan. 22, 1939 when
the Provo Airport was located in
the southeast part of the city near
the golf course.
Mike Jense had a plane based
here even in those days.
Earlier, back in the 20s, Vern
Carter of Lake Shore was flying in
this area. (So was Milo Morrell.
Another of the early fliers was
Elmer Smith. Delles Nilsen
soloed in 1926, and was associated
closely with Mr. Carter for a
The contribution of Merrill
Christopherson and his wife
Lucille who became pilots and
operated the Provo Flying
Service would fill a large chapter
in any aviation history of Provo.
They are still actively engaged in
the flight service business.
Ralph Woodhouse and Eldon
Carter, who started the Spanish
Fork Airport, Willis Madsen and
undoubtedly, many others had a
hand in popularizing aviation in
the valley.
So Mike Jense is right when he
says there are ”a lot of guys” who
deserve honors for what they have
done for aviation.
Mr. Jense long has been known
as a skilled pilot, flight instructor,
and hneinassman -;a nmfessinnal
in his field. Among
accomplishments at the Provo
Airport in which he has had a
hand are the installation of an
instrument landing system and
beefing up of the main runway so
that the heavier jet aircraft of
today can be accommodated.
(Planes ranging up to the Boeing
727 can now land here.)
There are still vital needs –
additional electronic equipment,
more adequate roads, better fire
protection, sewer system, etc.
Men like Mr. Jense, together with
city officials, with the
encouragement of the C. of C.
committee and others. will
continue to work for these – and
the entire community will benefit.
Mr. Jense sees the Provo
Airports future in becoming a
“general aviation airport,” not an
airline stop. Some 160,000 general
aviation and business aircraft are
now operated in . the country,
compared with about 3000 airline
planes. –
The Herald joins in
congratulating Mr. Jense on his
contribution to aviation in Utah
and this area, and the Chamber of
Commerce committee for
honoring him in conjunction with
Aviation Day. Indeed this is a
good time to say thanks to all
those who have pioneered aviation
in the region.
So They Say
“‘1’he critics are pearshaped
gentlemen, all timid souls. They
were raised that way. They go
into the city in the office and sit
there and pound on the typewriter
and zip right back to their
residential area and that’s it.
They don’t want to be bothered by
physical frictions and conflicts…”
-Actor Charles Bronson in a
recent television interview.
”1 remember the feeling then –
that somehow by coming together
we could make a life in which
people would not kill or hurteach
other any more. It was conscience
of the young that this war was
– Folksinger Peter Yarrow
discussing the Vietnam anti-war