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Mon, Dec 16, 2002

'Trading' a Stearman for a Ph.D?

Not Exactly

Remember Gustavus ("Gus") McLeod, who, in fulfilling his promise to a fellow pilot, flew his Stearman to the North Pole, to scatter his ashes? Remember that, on his way home, he got a load of bad gas at a Canadian military base, and they charged him so much for storage (after the engine quit, and they sent a Twin Otter to pick him up), that he had to finally leave his Stearman behind?

Well, something finally went right for the first man to fly to the Pole in an open biplane: on Friday, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Florida Atlantic University. McLeod, a Marylander, had given a speech at FAU, telling of his feat, in the restored 1939 PT-17. He's also an advisor to an honor society at the school.

McLeod already holds an (earned) Master's Degree in chemical engineering, awarded by the University of Maryland.

McLeod reached the North Pole on April 17, 2000. (Eleven months earlier, he was also first to fly an open cockpit bipe over the magnetic North Pole.) Congratulations, Doctor McLeod!

FMI: www.northpole2000.com/press11.htm

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