First headquartered in Ithaca, NY, Mohawk Airlines operated from the Oneida County Airport in Oriskany, NY. It was a regional passenger airline that covered the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States from the mid-1940s until it was bought by Allegheny Airlines in 1972.
At its peak, it employed over 2,200 personnel. It was a pioneer in regional airline operations, including being the first airline in the United States to hire an African American flight attendant and the first to offer a pressurized cabin.
Many readers will remember when Mohawk Airlines Flight 411, a Fairchild FH-227B twin-engine turboprop, crashed into Pilot Knob Mountain above Lake George on November 19, 1969 while flying from Albany to Glens Falls. All 14 passengers and crew on board were killed.
On December 3 at 2:00 p.m., the Oneida County History Center will host Jim Coulthart, a local amateur military aviation historian, who will share his research on Mohawk Airlines. This hour-long presentation covers the history of central New York’s regional airline, from the early years as Robinson Airline through to its demise in the early 1970s.
Coulthart will discuss the organization’s evolution, key personalities, aircraft, and several air crash tragedies. Admission is free for the general public; donations are encouraged.
Contact the History Center at 315-735-3642 or visit the OCHC website (www.oneidacountyhistory.org) for additional information.
Illustration: Promotional Brochures for Mohawk Valley Airlines.