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News release from the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority:

Airport Authority hosts book signing event at Smith Field Airport for “The Prodigal Pilot, The End of the Hughes Empire,” written by local businessman and pilot, Bob Wearley

(December 17, 2014) – On Saturday, December 20, 2014 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon, the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority will host local businessman and pilot, Robert F. (Bob) Wearley, at Smith Field Airport in the promotion of his book, The Prodigal Pilot, The End of the Hughes Empire. As stated in the book preview, “Bob served as Chief Pilot of Howard Hughes’ personal fleet of aircraft, in addition to his long and distinguished flying career in military, corporate, and commercial aviation. In his book he gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the often strange, always eccentric inner workings of the Hughes Empire. Bob also details the connection between the Hughes organization and the Nixon White House and reveals the real reason why Nixon ordered the Watergate break-in that ultimately forced his resignation. Along the way, he was exposed to challenges that compromised his integrity, resulting in the title of Prodigal Pilot he chose for the book.”

“The Airport Authority is delighted to host a book signing event for Bob at Smith Field Airport and have him share his love of aviation with the public” said Scott Hinderman, Executive Director of Airports of the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority. “Bob served on the Airport Authority Board from the late 1980s to November 1996, after which he served as the first marketing director for Fort Wayne International Airport through the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce until his retirement in 2002.”

The Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority invites the public to come out to Smith Field Airport located at 902 West Ludwig Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46825 to meet Wearley and hear a few aviation tales. Wearley’s book will be available for purchase and he will be personally signing each copy.


About Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority
The Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority (FWACAA) was created in 1985 and is responsible for managing the Fort Wayne International Airport and Smith Field Airport (SMD). In the last few years, FWACAA has undertaken an aggressive improvement plan at SMD, which includes a newly renovated terminal and the construction of a new aircraft maintenance training facility in partnership with Ivy Tech. Improvements also include the installation of an Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) in partnership with Parkview Hospital, the installation of a self-serve aviation fuel system, and various facility, electrical, storm water, and pavement improvements. The Authority is governed by a six-member board appointed by both the Mayor of Fort Wayne and the Allen County Commissioners. For more information about the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority, visit



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