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Monument to First Commercial Flight Raised



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ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) -- A 50-foot-long cement arrow once helped pilots navigate, now it's the site of a monument.

The Sons of Utah Pioneers dedicated the monument on Southgate Hill yesterday in remembrance of the first commercial flight from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles 81 years ago.

The concrete arrows once were used to guide the way for pilots. They were painted to stand out from the ground and had steel posts that held oil lamps to illuminate them at night.

Western Air, the company flying mail from Salt Lake to Los Angeles, decided they could take passengers on their flights if they would just agree to sit on the mail bags.

So on May 23, 1926 the first two passengers paid $90 to fly. They wore pilot coveralls, leather hats, goggles and parachutes with mailbags as their seat cushions.

The arrow on Southgate Hill is one of four in the St. George area.

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Information from: The Spectrum

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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