Should we rename HMB Airport after Jessica Dubroff?
April 2006 will be the tenth anniversary of the plane crash that killed seven-year-old pilot Jessica Dubroff of Pescadero. The crash took place during a storm, there were reports the plane was overloaded, and that the flight instructor, not the pilot, Jessica, was at the controls when the crash occurred. As nearly 9 years have passed, many have forgotten the story of this bubbly young girl who always seemed to have a smile and who may not have consciously known she was following the footsteps of Amelia Earhart. But unlike Amelia, who was never found again, Jessica is forever in our hearts.
I’d like to hear reactions from other Coastsider readers. Click "Read more" to see the rest of the letter.
Encouraged by her parents, who deep into the home schooling movement and some esoteric New Age philosophies, Jessica, who was not taught to fear, aspired to be the youngest pilot ever to fly across the United States, at the age of 8. Her trip garnered a fair amount of media coverage, and National Geographic Magazine was interested in doing a story about her flight. Accompanied by her father, and local flight instructor Joe Reid, Jessica made many friends along the way on her journey. Sadly though, her plane crashed in Wyoming. She is buried in Pescadero Cemetery, has a beautiful memorial there, some left her favorite candies, Snickers bars, there soon after her burial….However, her gravesite recently seems as though it is seldom visited are even cared for.
I think that a more fitting memorial than a forgotten grave at Pescadero cemetery is appropriate for Jessica. Although her trip was a disaster, let us celebrate the enthusiasm and innocence of youth, the want of adventure, and hope for goodwill among all peoples. Many on the Coastside cheered her on and were crushed by news of the accident. She was completely innocent and wanted only to be an ambassador and role model for children everywhere. Doesn’t she personify the upwardly mobile spirit of innovation prevalent throughout the coastside, with her courageous flight?
As her last flight began at Half Moon Bay Airport, I feel that it would not be a bad idea to rename the airport after her! The airport is currently not named for anyone, I cannot think of a more famous flyer from the Coast than Jessica. I suppose if anyone was interested in seeing this idea a reality, you will join me in sending letters to the Board of Supervisors to rename Half Moon Bay Municipal Airport, "Jessica Dubroff Field".
EDITOR’S NOTE: There is an excellent collection of articles about Jessica at SFGate.com