Coug Air Takes Flight

SPOKANE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT — Horizon Air showed off some Cougar pride at Spokane International Airport Tuesday with the unveiling of the first of four airliners painted to honor of northwest universities.

Four jets are being painted in honor of four PAC-10 schools – University of Washington, University of Oregon, Oregon State and Washington State – but the first one to take flight was colored in Cougar crimson.

With WSU mascot Butch on hand Horizon Air unveiled the first aircraft, a Bombardier CRJ-700 jet, in Cougar colors Tuesday in Spokane.

“I’ve traveled myself now for 1.6 million miles in the air and I’ve never seen anybody basically dress up a plane with the local school colors, I think it’s great, it’s phenomenal,” passenger Gregg Brodsky said.

The airliner features a crimson-colored tail with a white Cougar logo while the letters W-S-U are emblazoned across the center of the fuselage. The sight made Horizon Air pilot Trent Holmes proud to be an honorary Coug.

“We’re proud to represent Washington State University, I’ve been a Cougar fan my whole life,” Holmes said.

Horizon Air secured permission from each of the universities for painting the planes and once the planes were put in the regular rotation for painting it took crews 10 days to paint the aircraft at a facility in Oklahoma.

The aircraft will operate on normal routes out of Portland, northern California, and Seattle.