Aurora honors Wes Lematta

 - July 1, 2009, 5:30 AM

Oregon’s legislature voted to honor Columbia Helicopters founder and chairman Wes Lematta by renaming Aurora Airport Wes Lematta Field at the Aurora State Airport. In their resolution to rename the airport, Oregon senators Rick Metsger and Betsy Johnson noted Lematta’s “heroic efforts in saving 15 sailors from a sinking ship in 1957, pioneering the concept of the commercial heavy-lift helicopter industry, development of the direct visual operational control method of flying loads with a helicopter and leading the way in successful helicopter logging operations,” according to Columbia Helicopters. “I was surprised to learn this was happening,” said Lematta. “I would like to share this honor with my brothers and my family, who each helped me to build Columbia Helicopters to where it is today.”