Accident prone pilot survived two dozen crashes

By Bartee Haile


At funeral services in Mission on Jul. 8, 1956, friends and family of “Slats” Rodgers paid their last respects to the accident prone pioneer aviator while marveling at the fact he died in bed of natural causes. Texas’ first licensed pilot was born Floyd H. Rodgers in rural Georgia in 1889. His thin-as-a-rail appearance inspired someone to call him “Slats,” a nickname that stuck for the rest of life.  


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