Far West Flight Program
The story of the highly successful Far West Charter flights goes back a few years before the first Far West Charter in 1958. The very first attempt to charter flights within the Far West region began with the Grindelwald Ski Club in Los Angeles.
Sutter Kunkel was the Far West Ski Association (FWSA) Vice President of Recreation for five years. It was during this time that he made what is perhaps his most significant contribution to the development of recreational skiing.
He organized what was to become the Far Wests largest and most popular single program charter flights. The first flight took place in 1959, followed by two in 1960, six in 1961, and eight to ten flights in subsequent years.
These flights were operated under the leadership of Sut and Will Martin and were entirely managed by volunteers from 1959 to 1963. Any profits from these trips were returned to the participants and used to send Olympic hopefuls to Europe for training.
In 1962, Far West used the proceeds from previous flights to send seven junior racers, with their coach Dave McCoy, to Europe on one of the charter flights, allowing these young racers to ski in Europe and get a taste of international racing.
The program grew as flights were added to South America and New Zealand in the summer and domestic flights in the winter. This program continued until the early 80s.
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