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LA ARRANCADA – Flying, a dream that almost came true

Flying… you don’t have to have lived through the beginnings of humanity to know that in the depths of the first beings that populated the earth there was always the desire that continues to perpetuate itself in those who live today to spread their wings like a bird and reach clouds.

Humanity and its efforts to achieve everything they set out to do, advancing centuries after centuries, years after years and day after day, resulted in 1903 in a wooden feat that today shines in steel and clings closely to the human reality of what it is to fly.

Built of fir and ash wood with muslin fabric wings, the first experiment with an airplane was more than 100 years ago in Ohio, United States, by the Wright brothers, however it did not take long for the Dominican Republic to do so. echo of the feat and arouse the interest of a dedicated young civil engineer, in the mention of mechanics.

The historical data is not very accurate, but the details are clear when specifying why Zoilo Hermógenes is considered the pioneer of Dominican aviation.

The first steps The archives remember Zoilo as a young man of the world, with multiple trips that had allowed him to know, before the first flying ship was created, how everything was outside the border areas of the country and they cultivated dreams in him that materialized long after. .

Around the dates of 1909 “Mogito”, as his close ones knew him, inspired by the model of the pair of American brothers, began to shape his own aeronautical project called “Polyplane” and whose only primary intention, more than the optimization in the faults that the first projects had, was to fly.

The unfinished historical documents do not reflect when the pioneer finished shaping the plane of his model, however it seems that by 1911 the artifact had already been built and was exhibited at the New York Air Show.

Did it fly or didn’t it fly? It is a question that remains unanswered today regarding the Poliplano, what is a fact is that it was a success that was destined to participate in the New York Air Show, which for reasons of the time did not take place, so connoisseurs assume that the first bird made by human hands for and to use them themselves, which flew over the Dominican Republic, was Zoilo’s.

Birth of military aviation
Several sources record that our nation became an “important destination for pilots and aviators to demonstrate their aerial skills” and that this kept the population that swarmed next to the need to satisfy the growing interest in this practice, in suspense. Therefore, the newspaper Listín Diario organized an “aviation party” to be held in Santo Domingo by the Curtiss Airplane Company with a subscription of RD$1,143.

One of the first flights over Dominican soil was undertaken by the aviator known by the press as Schueppaus on July 1, 1912.

Around that time, in the surroundings of the city of San Pedro de Macorís, the first runway was built, where a Pan-American airline began operating for the first time. In addition, the first seaplanes and amphibious aircraft that crossed the Dominican skies began to land on the Higuamo River.

Between historical milestones and applause for the successes achieved year after year in Dominican civil aviation, such as the birth in Barahona of West Indian Aerial Express, the first airline considered Dominican; In 1930 the government, during the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, took the first steps to organize the Dominican Air Force, sending a group of officers and enlisted men to train as aviator pilots and aviation mechanics at the Columbia Aviation School in La Havana Cuba; which ended up being created in 1932 under the name “Aviation Weapon”, attached to the National Army.

The Pan American Flight
November 12, 1937 is one of the most emblematic dates in the history of flights in the world, it is when the “Pan American Flight” began.

The turbines of the four participating planes, three of them Cuban and named after the caravels of Christopher Columbus (La Niña, La Pinta and La Santa María), and the last Dominican called “Colón”, were turned on at the then aerodrome of Miraflores being piloted by members of both armies that were deployed in an air show over the skies of America.

The tour began through Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, the Netherlands, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and, finally, Colombia, which was the leading country in a fatal outcome in which the three aircraft crashed. Cuban ships, returning only the Colón that today is on display at the San Isidro Air Base.

Until today
As of 2006, the Dominican Republic achieved important merits in air matters such as the presidency of the Latin American Civil Aviation Commission (CLAC), during 2010-2012 and obtained a position as a Member of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization, in 2013.

In addition, in that same year Law No.67-13 was enacted, which modifies Law No.491-06, exhibiting greater adherence to the objectives of the Dominican State.

In 2014, the “Regulations for the Issuance of Foreign Air Operator Aircraft Consignee Licenses on Non-Regular or Charter Flights” and the Issuance of the “Ground Handling Agent Certificate” were established.

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