Our Legacy In Brief George Milligan

George Milligan is best known as the founder in 1949 of Mercy Flights, the nonprofit air ambulance service that speeds seriously ill and injured people to places they can get help.

Milligan, a former air traffic controller in Medford, founded the company after a friend of his with polio died during a long drive for treatment in Portland.

Milligan also pioneered the practice of cloud seeding to break up fog at airports. In cloud seeding, low-flying planes drop dry ice pellets, which condenses moisture in the fog and allows it to fall as rain or snow, clearing the fog in the process.

Milligan was killed along with three others on Feb. 9, 1985, when their plane lost power less than a mile from the Medford airport.

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