Sunday, October 8, 2017

Beverly, Essex County, Massachusetts: Man flies to every airport in the state

Pilot John Fiske stands next to one of the planes he flew in his successful quest to land at every airport in Massachusetts.



BEVERLY — Flying was something John Fiske dreamed about as a kid, but it got lost in the mix of day-to-day adult life.

About a decade ago, however, the longtime Beverly resident learned of a flying class at Beverly Regional Airport, and decided it was time to rekindle that dream.

Now, Fiske, 54, has had his license to fly for about eight years, and a personal goal under his belt — he’s landed in every public airport in the state, including Logan in Boston, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard’s station in Cape Cod, which isn’t open to the public. It’s a total of 40 airports.

Reaching this milestone wasn’t originally part of Fiske’s plan. 

“It just sort of happened,” he said.

But after realizing he had flown to 20 of the state’s public airports, he decided he wanted to touch down in all of them.

“I just kept going,” Fiske said.

In the summer of 2016, Fiske had only eight airports left. On a beautiful July day, he crossed four off his list: Westover, Southbridge, Chicopee and Westfield.

“That left me with four, all down in the Cape Cod area,” he said.

Fiske visited two of them on Aug. 16. He then completed his goal last weekend, visiting Martha Mills and Falmouth.

On flying into Logan, Fiske said there isn’t a specific area for small private planes to land — they use the same areas as the much-larger jets.

Fiske decided to go to Logan the day there was a Federal Aviation Administration youth exposition. He stayed for a bit, allowing the kids to check out the plane and then decided to fly the 12 miles home.

“I spent longer waiting at the runway for clearance than the flight,” he said. The flight is about 10 minutes, if that, while waiting for clearance took between 10 and 15 minutes.

Throughout his journeys, Fiske, a member of the North Shore Aero Club located at the Beverly airport, was able to borrow a couple of the club’s planes.

He said having the airport so close to home was convenient for learning how to fly, noting he probably wouldn’t have started taking lessons if he had to travel further.

Fiske said he has no goals yet for the future, adding that he’s flying with a friend and his son soon, and will continue to fly in his spare time.

“I don’t know what’s next,” he said.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.salemnews.com

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