BORN ON A KENTUCKY DAIRY FARM
On May 15,1917, Albert Lee Ueltschi was born to Robert and Lena Ueltschi, on his grandparents' farm. Eventually, his father left the farm to work as an engineer, installing lights on Mississippi riverboats. When Grandfather Ueltschi died, his three sons took over the farm. Al Ueltschi grew up there with his four brothers and two sisters.
INSPIRED BY LINDERGH'S CROSS ATLANTIC FLIGHT
Ueltschi will never forget the excitement he felt when Charles Lindbergh made his historic flight across the Atlantic in 1927. He listened intently to the radio for any report on the flight. As he listened to the announcer tell how thousands of Frenchmen had carried the aviator off the field after he landed in Paris, he knew he'd be a pilot.
AL'S FIRST SOLO FLIGHT AT SIXTEEN
At age 16, Ueltschi opened a hamburger stand named Little Hawk near his high school in Frankfort, Kenturcky to pay for flying lessons. After soloing at the age of 16, he dreamed of buying his own aircraft. His first airplane, purchased using profits earned from Little Hawk, was a Waco 10.
QUEEN CITY FLYING SERVICE
Moving on to chief pilot duties for Queen City Flying, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, the young Ueltschi filled his log book with varied flying experience. On one occasion, he survived falling out of his airplane while on an instruction flight, parachuting into a briar patch while his student landed safely on his own.
A.L. Ueltschi’s mission to save lives and save sight has been recognized by many organizations. “I accepted this for the organization. I’m not a doctor; I was just a dumb pilot. These doctors are doing it. This organization is doing it. That’s what it’s all about.” During the Wings Club’s 64th Annual Dinner- Dance, held Oct. 27, 2006, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, Ueltschi received the organization’s 2006 Distinguished Achievement Award. More than 1,000 industry leaders were on hand to honor his accomplishments.