Gordon F. Autry – Inducted October 23, 2010
Gordon Autry was born March 29,1943. Gordon learned to fly at Sky Ranch Aviation, east of Denver; and became a flight instructor at the age of 21. He studied to be an expert in photogrammetry while flying mission along the Mexican border and over dams and lakes for the federal Bureau of Reclamation. Gordon surveyed the mountains of Colorado for the Interstate 70 federal highway project.
Autry founded Vail Airways after gaining non-stop route authority Denver-Eagle in 1965. At that time, competing with Aspen Airways, he fought for and gained authority to operate flights to Aspen and Leadville. Eventually the name of the airline was changed to Rocky Mountain Airways.
As one of the responsible parties for the development and installation of NDB approach technology, Gordon was also one of the pioneers bringing air service to the mountain communities. This technology led to the microwave landing system, MLS. He contributed significantly to mountain aviation by making full use of Short Take-off and Landing, STOL, technology; with the purchase and testing of the deHavilland Twin Otter and deHavilland Dash-7 aircrafts.
Gordon Autry has been a dedicated active pilot for Colorado since 1954, including flying his favorite Pitts Special and V-tail Beechcraft Bonanza.
He passed away March 10, 2012.