Flying High
OLLI-USF member Neil Cosentino, who will teach his course Florida Aviation: Past, Present and Future this August, is president of the newly formed local chapter of the national Experimental Aircraft Association – EAA ( He invites anyone who may be interested in airplanes and flight to join the EAA and to participate with him in building a scaled down version of the world’s first airplane to make a commercial flight, an historic flight which happened right here in Tampa Bay!

That first commercial airplane made its inaugural flight on January 1, 1914, from Tampa to St. Petersburg carrying a paying passenger, piloted by Tony Jannus. There is a full scale metal monument of the aircraft at the entrance to the new St. Petersburg pier. Another full scale replica of the plane, crafted by the Benoist Aircraft Company, an early manufacturer of aircraft in the United States, hangs from the ceiling at the St. Petersburg History Museum. Email or call Neil at 813-784-4669.