SEATTLE, August 27, 2008-Capt. Arieh Oz was one of the pilots during the 1976 raid to save Israeli and Jewish hostages held by pro-Palestinian terrorists at the Entebbe Airport in Uganda. In 1991, Oz piloted an El Al 747 that carried the largest number of passengers ever put on a single plane-1,087-during Operation Solomon, a 36 hour rescue mission that transported over 14,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel. Capt. Oz visits The Museum of Flight on Sunday, Sept. 7 at 2 p.m. in the William M. Allen Theater to talk about his experiences of being a pilot during some of Israel’s most important and daring humanitarian missions. The program is free with Museum admission.
In conjunction with Capt. Oz’s presentation, the Museum will screen the 1978 made for television movie "Raid on Entebbe." The film depicts the true story of the 1976 Israeli government raid at the Entebbe airport, code name "Operation Thunderbolt," which became one of the most successful hostage rescues in modern history. The film won the 1978 Golden Globe for best made for television movie. The Museum will screen "Raid on Entebbe" on Saturday, Sept. 6 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 7 at 11 a.m. in the William M. Allen Theater. The Sunday screening preceeds Capt. Oz’s presentation at 2 p.m.
Arieh Oz was born in Germany in 1936. As a result of Nazi persecution, his family was forced to flee to the Netherlands shortly before the Nazi conquest. Most the war years were spent in hiding with a family of Dutch peasants, a deed for which the family was awarded recognition by the State of Israel. He arrived in Israel in 1946 and, after the trials of absorption, finished high school and was accepted to the Israel Air Force Flying School.
After receiving his pilot’s wings in 1956, he filled increasingly advanced flying duties, and rose in rank and responsibility, finally serving for four years as squadron commander of a heavy transport squadron. He retired with the rank of Lt.Col.
Upon leaving the Israeli Air Force, he was accepted by EL AL Airlines and rapidly qualified as an airline captain. He was called to reserve duty in the Israeli Air Force to command one of the Hercules C-130 aircraft that flew to Entebbe in 1976 and rescued Israeli hostages. Aside from his flight duties in EL AL, Arieh filled many staff functions in the company, and was appointed Chief Pilot in 1989. In this job, he prepared the company’s aircraft for Operation Solomon-the evacuation of Jews from Ethiopia. He captained the first Boeing 747 to land in Addis Ababa and actually carried home to Israel 1,087 Ethiopians on this flight-a record noted in the Guinness Book of Records.
After 34 years in EL AL and 28,000 hours in the air, Arieh retired and founded an aviation consultancy firm, which keeps him busy to this day.
About The Museum of Flight
The non-profit Museum of Flight is one of the largest independent air and space museums in the world. The Museum’s collection includes more than 150 historically significant air and spacecraft, as well as the Red Barn®–the original manufacturing facility of the Boeing Co. The Museum’s aeronautical library and archival holdings are the largest on the West Coast. More than 140,000 students are served annually by the Museum’s on-site and outreach educational programs - the most extensive museum-based youth aviation and space education program in the country. The Museum is the only aviation museum in Washington State that is both nationally accredited with the American Association of Museums and a Smithsonian affiliate.
The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, $13 for seniors 65 and older, $7.50 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo.
Source: The Museum of Flight
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