Sunday, June 27, 2010
A BUCKET LIST DAY
Today, Saturday, June 26, 2010 was MY DAY - the one day of the year that I get a year older, a little wiser, and a day to do something on my "bucket list."
It was a beautiful sunny day, so I put the top down on my convertible and set out to enjoy the sunshine. The first place I visited was the Fayette County Airport, (front view photo) located on State Route 38, just outside of the business section of town. I had not been to the airport for many years. The last time I had been there, the main building was more like a one-story metal building.
I learned that a new building had been built about two years ago. The Airport Manger, Tom Esper, was there and I learned that he was usually there from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. I was able to tour the new facility (rear view photo), which was very impressive for a small airport.
The main counter was decorative and had informational materials available.
There was a pilot's lounge, complete with microwave, refrigerator, and comfortable seating.
There is also a conference room, complete with a computer with Internet access for pilots to get weather and flight information. Esper said the conference room is also available for small group meetings at no charge.
Next to the pop and snack machine was the coffee area, and I found an especially cute sign hanging on the wall. Many model airplanes lined the cabinets, and plaques lined the walls.
Esper had been up cruising the blue skies earlier in the day, and was in the process of changing the oil in his personal plane. There are more hanger buildings now than I remembered from the past.
The airport offers fuel services, flight training, minor repairs, and hanger rentals. I learned that the FAA identifier for our airport is I23. The airport is open to the public and was activated in March 1967. There is no control tower, but the white and green beacon lights are on from dawn to dusk.
There are two runways, Runway 5 and Runway 23, which are 5097 by 75 feet asphalt surface for single and double wheeled planes. Touchdown points are visible on both runways, and Runway 23 has lighted end indicator lights, Runway 5 does not.
There are 21 aircraft based at our airport, 20 single engine planes and one muli-engine plane. Airport operations consisted of 53% transient general aviation, 44% local general aviation, 2% air taxi, and 1% military as of May 2009.
My visit to the airport was educational and nostalgic. I remember the last time I was there, about ten years ago, it was to cover (for a former job) the annual Fayette County Emergency Management Disaster Training Exercise when our local fire departments and emergency medical technicians learned about airplane crash procedures.