Wednesday, July 20, 2016

LETTER: Think carefully about value of Kalispell City Airport (S27)

This is just a short letter to the Kalispell city manager and the entire City Council concerning the fate of the city airport.

As a boy, living on the Kootenai River, there would be occasionally an old Taylorcraft fly in and land on a dirt strip about two miles north of our ranch — talk about “ground speed.” I would head there on my bike.

Eureka had a runway, one local plane — an Aeronca “Champ” — and one hangar.

During the mid 1940s, I was in high school and fortunate to take an occasional club and had a lot of interest in planes. Along came the Korean War. I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and four years later never got even a ride in a military plane (air training command).

By 1954, Eureka had the most airplanes per capita short of Alaska. I eventually was able to buy a used Navion, and started flying into your city airport, and as long as I had my plane, frequently stopped in for annuals, fuel and shopping.

Lincoln County made some great choices, like accepting help and funding from the FAA, and we now have a better field than Kalispell.

At age 85, I don’t have a dog in the race, so to speak, but I know that your city has a lot of potential airline pilots who will need a local small field to train in.

I feel the City Council should be promoting aviation, not suppressing it. It means more to more people than some may believe.

Thank you for your careful consideration.

—Dale A. Hudson, Eureka

Original article can be found here:

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