PICAYUNE -- A pilot from Washington state stopped in Picayune this week as part of her adventure to land in a small airport in every state of the continental United States.
Joyce Rust landed Wednesday at Picayune Municipal Airport. She said she chose Picayune because of the name of the town, and from airport reviews she’s read online.
The retired computer technician has been flying for the past nine years. Her first big trip, eight years ago, was to Michigan.
This trip began Sept. 9, and will add 18 states to her list. Rust keeps track of the states she’s been to with decals on her plane. Thursday she added Louisiana and Mississippi.
Planning is key when making long trips in a small plane, Rust said. She makes sure to watch weather reports and avoids places where the weather is forecast to be severe, such as storms during tornado and hurricane seasons or when a state is going to be exceptionally hot.
Before she retired, Rust said she had to limit long-distance trips. Now she said she can take her time.
When in her home state Rust likes to promote aviation, especially to women and young people, by taking them on free flights. The oldest person she has taken on a flight was 97, Rust said.
Her inspiration to become a pilot came from an old 1940s and ’50s television show called “Sky King.”
“They let the girl fly,” Rust said.