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Cathy Hansen was born in 1944 in Dayton, Ohio. Her family moved to California in 1951 when her father, a Civil Service Instrumentation technician and machinist working for the USAF, was transferred to Edwards AFB from Wright-Patterson AFB. As a kid, Cathy lived in the Wherry housing development on the base and was fascinated by Convair B-36’s and North American F-86’s flying overhead. Her first flight in an aircraft occurred at the age of four, when she got a ride in a 40-horsepower Taylorcraft aircraft, out of Vandalia Airport, currently Dayton International airport.

Aviation was always an important part of Cathy’s life, and she has been involved in aircraft restoration for over 50 years. Her lifelong involvement with aviation, military, and community services included Cathy holding positions such as:

  • Volunteer with the Mojave Air Races 1969-1979
  • Member of pit crew for F4U-7 Corsair at Reno Air Races in the 1980s
  • Elected Director for 17 years, 1995-2012, on the Mojave Air & Spaceport, previously known as the Mojave Airport, East Kern Airport District Board (was first woman to be elected to EKAD Board – 1998)
  • President of Bakersfield Council Navy League for 17 years, from 1995-2012, and Navy League National Director from 2000- 2009.
  • Mojave Chamber of Commerce Board Member since 1994-2018; President in 1995 and 2012.
  • Founding Member of the Mojave Transportation Museum Foundation, founded in 2002, presently serving as President.
  • Coordinator of “Plane Crazy” Saturdays held at Mojave Air and Spaceport, since 2009, on 3rd Saturday of each month
  • Member of the local Antelope Valley Ninety-Nines, International Women Pilot Organization, Past Chairperson
  • Member of the Whirly Girls Helicopter Association
  • Coordinator of Veterans Day Ceremony at Mojave Airport since 1996

Cathy is an enthusiastic supporter of all branches of U.S. military and supports Kern County military base retention.

She was married to the late Albert C. Hansen, General Contractor, pilot and vintage aircraft rebuilder, owner, and collector. Cathy’s favorite flying machine is a Bell UH-1B Huey helicopter she and Al acquired together.

Cathy also writes several aviation columns, such as “Short Flights,” for The Tehachapi Loop community newspaper (20 years) and “First Flights & Other Sorties” for Aerotech News & Review. She was also writing the “As the Prop Turns” column for the Mojave Desert News for over 16 years, until the paper was no longer published.

Al & Cathy have hosted barbeques for U.S. Naval Test Pilot School classes from Patuxent (Pax) River for over 25 years, beginning in March 1997. Barbeques were held in March and September of each year at Mojave Spaceport, and eventually USAF Test Pilot School (Edwards AFB) and National Test Pilot School (Mohave airport) graduating classes joined the celebration in 1999.

Al & Cathy have participated in many adventuresome aviation projects during their 37 years together, including:

  • B-29 “Keebird” retrieval effort in Greenland with Darryl Greenamyer
  • Flying seven C-7 Caribou aircraft from Kwajalein Atoll to California
  • Flying a PBY Catalina across the Atlantic from Madrid, Spain to Mojave
  • Flying a HU-16 Albatross from Grand Turk, British West Indies to Mojave, and
  • Ferrying numerous UH-1H helicopters across the United States

Cathy is a licensed pilot – single-engine land; multi-engine land; and rotor wing ratings. She is a Life Patron of the Flight Test Historical Foundation.