Proper burial for an aviator: Portal of the Folded Wings in Burbank

After a business trip to Pasadena, I caught a flight to Las Vegas (for 9 minutes of Formula 1) out of Burbank. On the way, I stopped at the Portal of the Folded Wings Shrine to Aviation. This 1924 structure is a fitting final destination for those who have tackled the challenges of flying. Here are some photos:

There is a Space Shuttle memorial in the front:

It’s California, so help yourself to whatever you want at CVS, Apple, or the Nike store, but don’t steal any flowers. That’s an actual “crime.”

Who are some of the people memorialized here?

John Moisant, who made it across the English Channel in a Blériot XI and died four months later on the site of the big New Orleans Airport shortly afterwards, and sister Matilde:

If you don’t mind your ashes being interred in a lockdown state, it looks as though there are still spaces available because folks who died recently are under the floor (I think):

I wonder if EAA could build something like this in Oshkosh. There is actually a cemetery right next to the airport:

Pricing at this cemetery is quite reasonable: $1,100 per plot.

If it’s just ashes, though, and a bronze plaque, maybe there could be a structure like this Portal almost anywhere within the annual EAA AirVenture event grounds or, perhaps, near the EAA Museum.

For aviators who did not appreciate lockdowns, perhaps there could be something like the Portal in the Florida Free State? Orlando has a rich aviation history, is 100′ above sea level in case Professor Dr. Greta #FreePalestine Thunberg, M.D., Ph.D. proves to be correct about future ocean height, and is a common destination for travelers who might wish to pay their respects to a departed aviator.

Who’s an expert on cemetery startups? If there are no full caskets/bodies, is it tough to get zoning approval? It could even be a monument with no ashes at all. Since the deceased were aviators, their ashes could be scattered in the air. Maybe airport management would then be happy to have it on airport grounds. Pay your respects, return your rental car, catch your flight out of MCO.

6 thoughts on “Proper burial for an aviator: Portal of the Folded Wings in Burbank

  1. The late great Sydney Pollack had his ashes scattered at van nuys airport and they didn’t ask for permission they just did it one day. Flying was his biggest passion. His first plane was a 172 and he worked his way up to owning and flying a citation x.

    • Wikipedia says that he directed The Way We Were before Barbra Streisand moved to Canada in protest. And he produced Cold Mountain (imagine buying a ticket for Brokeback Mountain thinking that you were going to see this similarly-titled film). Of the films listed in Wikipedia, the only one that seems to have an aviation connection is Out of Africa. Sad that his son died from hitting a powerline in a single-engine plane. Despite working with all of the Hollywood starlets, he stayed married for 50 years to the same woman. How many other Academy Award-winning directors/producers did that?

    • How many other Academy Award-winning directors/producers did that? I can’t think of any. I was going to say Danny Devito but according to Wikipedia he is now separated. Aviation played a small role in The Firm. It features a lake amphibious airplane and Sydney’s own Lear jet that he can be seen piloting. The crash that killed his son is very sad. The reason for the crash was that they took off using an empty tip tank.

    • It appears the LA times got something right! Although it was many years ago. The Marchetti is not that unusual. They are really nice all around planes with good speed and aerobatic capabilities. It doesn’t have a built in parachute like your sr-20, and one has to remember to put the landing gear down. Also it has 4 fuel tanks to manage.

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