Logan "Jack" Vilas
Died: May 15, 1976
In the spring of 1913 Vilas decided that he would own a flying boat. He visited Glenn Curtiss in Hammondsport, New York and paid a down payment on his Hydro-Aeroplane and enrolled in the flight school.
He watched his plane being built while learning to fly and graduated in four weeks becoming a certificated pilot, holding U.S. Hydro-License No. 6, Aero Club of America.
A Chicago native, Vilas became the first person to fly across Lake Michigan when he completed a 64 mile over-the-water flight from St. Joseph, Michigan to downtown Chicago on July 1, 1913.
In 1914, Vilas flew in Milwaukee with the Wisconsin Aero Club and, in the summer of 1915, he and his flying boat were hired by the Wisconsin Conservation Commission to fly fire patrol over the Northwoods. A conservation landmark, the Vilas flights were the first use of an airplane for forest fire control in the world.