Oliver A. Rosto
Collection of Al Grady, 10-20-05

  Rosto in Norway Rosto the Early Bird Rosto and Friends  

       Oliver Rosto, age 90, died of a stroke April 10, 1972. He made his first flight November 5, 1909 in a monoplane of his own design and continued his flying into the jet age.
     He retired at age 72 from the Federal Aviation Agency. Just three years before his death he flew a T-33 Air Force jet trainer.
From The Early Birds of Aviation CHIRP
January 1973, Number 79
Oliver's Ashes Spread at Sea
via email from Glenn Plymate, 5-27-06
     Diana Darnaby wrote, "Dad, Lars H. Lind, finally delivered Oliver's Ashes to the planned area in the Pacific Ocean between the Golden Gate Bridge and the Farallon Islands beyond San Francisco from the Bonanza."
     Diana remembered this bit of history correctly, except for the airplane that was used. Lars and I had volunteered to spread Oliver's ashes, but the Bonanza was not suited for such a mission. So, we decided to use my Cessna 195 which had a door we could open in flight.
      I was the pilot and Lars had the chore of getting the door open and jettisoning Oliver's ashes. My logbook shows the date was April 24, 1972.
     We climbed to a suitable height over the Pacific, about 4,000 feet, west of the Golden Gate. We had never done this before. I slowed the airplane and Lars cracked the door open from the rear seat. There was quite a bit of force from the airstream but he managed to hold the door open a crack while he slowly fed the ashes to the sea. We had not anticipated the low pressure air currents inside the cabin which sucked several pieces of the cremains back into the airplane. Lars commented that Oliver was trying to hang on; he didn't want to let go. For the next few years after that, at annual inspection time, I would find bits of Oliver still in the airplane, and there's probably some that are still there.
     Later, Lars and I spread ashes of a fellow who had worked for him, but this time we had learned not to use the door. We cut a slot in the lid of the box that held the cremains and I jettisoned it out the window on the pilot's side. We were over the same spot we'd been with Oliver and this time the ashes flowed out majestically, thanks to Lars figuring a better way of doing it.
     The same Cessna 195 -- and the pilot's window -- was used for dropping Lars's ashes over the Pacific near Florence, Oregon. Diane, his wife was with us and it was a very emotional moment. Later, Diane became terminally ill and her ashes, too, were spread in the same area, over the Pacific.
     If I can think of any more anecdotes about Oliver, I'll be in touch. He was a fine man and everyone thought quite highly of him.
Best regards,
BackNext Home