Born in Marshalltown in 1910, Neiderhauser and his four brothers set the stage for the golden age of aviation in central Iowa. By the age of 19 he had his pilot's license, and the Neiderhausers began barnstorming on the weekends, where flight became a way of life.
Glen started the first Marshalltown airport, and after a series of natural disasters moved it to near its current location. He ran the first airmail route between Marshalltown and Des Moines. When World War II arrived the airport became a pilot training school, with the Niederhauser brothers training some 100 Army Cadets in eight-week shifts. They operated with 35 planes, 25 flight instructors, 17 mechanics and five office secretaries, making Marshalltown one of the largest civilian pilot training facilities in the Midwest.
In the later years of the war, Glen enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving as a flight instructor in Dallas and New Orleans, then as a check pilot, acrobatics instructor and engineering officer at the U.S. navy facilities in Ottumwa.
By the late 1960s, Glen moved on to new challenges, taking over management of the Waterloo airport his brother had leased. He turned the struggling enterprise around, making it a successful operation.
When Glen began flying, airplanes had no instrument panels and navigation was a challenge. He once explained the tricks of the trade – "We'd swoop down low over a farm and look for the hog houses and chicken houses because they were always south of the house," he said. "And if you were really lost, you could follow the railroad tracks until you came to a town, then get close enough to see the sign on the depot."
Challenge was part of the fun when Niederhauser flew. During his 46-year aviation career, he obtained FAA ratings for commercial single and multiple engines, flight instruction, mechanics and ground instruction, while inspiring countless others to do the same.
Cable and Niederhauser will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in a banquet that will be held on October 2 at the Iowa Aviation Museum near Greenfield. Reservations are required by September 24. To make reservations, contact the Iowa Aviation Museum at firstname.lastname@example.org
641-343-7184. To view a complete list of Iowa Aviation Hall of Fame inductees, visit the
Iowa Aviation Museum