Irish-American Hall of Fame to induct Grand County’s Emily Warner |

Irish-American Hall of Fame to induct Grand County’s Emily Warner

Sky-Hi News Staff Report
Captain Emily Warner, Granby/Grand County airport's namesake, is honored by Grand County commissioners and state delegates on March 8, 2023. This day has been proclaimed Celebrate Emily Warner and Women Airline Pilots Day.
Emily Warner Field Aviation Museum/Courtesy Photo

On April 23 Grand County’s own Emily Hanrahan Warner will be inducted into the Irish-American Hall of Fame at a Grand Gala at America’s Irish-American Heritage Center in Chicago, Ill. In addition to Emily Warner, for whom Granby/Grand County Airport — Emily Warner Field is named, the 2016 class of Irish-American Hall of Fame inductees includes, among others; actors, Spencer Tracy and Brian Dennehy; Baseball Hall of Famer, Ryan Nolan; and Pulitzer Prize Winner, Frank McCourt.

In a press release from the Irish-American Hall of Fame, dated February 1, 2016, the Hall lauded Emily as follows: “Emily Hanrahan Howell Warner was born in North Denver, Colorado in 1939. Inspired by aviation as a teenager, Emily quietly paid for her aviation training by working two jobs as a department store sales clerk and secretary for Clinton Aviation. At 18 years old, she announced she had earned her pilot’s license. On April 10, 1973, Emily Hanrahan’s dreams took flight despite that common wisdom was ‘girls could and should not fly.’ She broke the glass ceiling of the flight deck becoming the first woman hired by a U.S. scheduled airline carrier as a pilot (in modern times) and took the controls of the Frontier Airline 737 flight #379A. In 1974, she became the first woman member of ALPA-Air Line Pilot Association. By 1976, Emily became America’s first female Airline Captain. That same year, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum permanently enshrined her airline pilot uniform in Washington, D.C. Over the years, Emily Hanrahan Warner has been named Amelia Earhart Woman of the Year (1982), and been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame (2002). She has been named a Living Legend of Aviation (2007). In 2014 she was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame.”

For over a quarter century, Emily and her late husband, Julius, lived at Ouray Ranch just north of Granby. Emily and Julius based their Cessna Skylane at the airport that now bears her name where Emily gave free instruction and check rides to local pilots, was a founding member of the Friends of the Granby Airport, Inc. and an early member of Experimental Aviation Association (EAA) Chapter 1267. She was the first member of the Colorado Pilots Association, a long-time member of AOPA, the Colorado 99s, and a laureate of the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame. Emily is one of three Grand County women who are in the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame.

On July 11, 2015, the Granby/Grand County Airport was renamed in her honor during the annual EAA fly-in/pancake breakfast. Also, on that date was the Grand Opening of the Emily Warner Field Aviation Museum inside the former Rocky Mountain Airways terminal building. The Emily Warner Field Aviation Museum will resume its Friday and Saturday operating hours this spring.

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