Bill Morris dies at 98

Nathan “Bill” Morris, one of the world’s oldest active pilots, died Dec. 29 at the age of 98. He had renewed his medical last August and continued to fly until kidney failure grounded him.

Morris developed Kentmorr Airpark (3W3) on Maryland’s Kent Island in 1945, laying out a grass airstrip from what had been a potato field. Growth at the residential airpark spurred several subdivisions on the 140-acre farm, along with a marina and restaurant. He also helped to develop Bay Bridge Airport (W29), near Kentmorr.

Morris became interested in aviation early in his long life. At the age of 10, in 1917, he built an “airplane” from a soapbox, roller skates and a flat board representing a wing. He sold penny rides in it to like-minded friends. He became a licensed pilot 20 years later, serving in the Civil Air Patrol during World War II, hunting submarines off the Atlantic coast.

Always an adventurous pilot, Morris made a number of flights to Europe, South America and, particularly, Alaska, most of them in his Cessna 182.

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