Wednesday, April 25, 2018

St. Paul Downtown Airport (KSTP) new restaurant attracts fly-in diners, sometimes in classic aircraft

Robert Schroeder gets ready to fly out in his Nanchang CJ-6A at St. Paul’s Holman Field, after having lunch at Holman’s Table with fellow pilot Steve Hamel on Tuesday, April 24, 2018. Hamel owns a 1984 Russian Yak-52.

Robert Schroeder, left, and Steve Hamel stand near Schroeder's Nanchang CJ-6A at St. Paul's Holman Field, watching a B-25 (the little speck in the sky at far right), and a Minnesota Patrol helicopter practicing rescues, center, on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

Spring is here, so why not hop a plane and grab some lunch?

Even better if a World War II-era B-25 is flying practice approaches nearby and the Minnesota State Patrol helicopter is doing practice rescues.

That’s what Robert Schroeder and Steve Hamel encountered Tuesday afternoon.

Schroeder, of Minneapolis, called up Hamel and said his 1983 Nanchang CJ-6A — a Chinese air force trainer plane — was good to go. Hamel, of Hudson, was leaving his Frogtown machine shop, heard the radial engine, and knew his friend was above. He drove over, and the two met at Holman’s Table, at the St. Paul Downtown Airport.

Schroeder hadn’t flown for six months — “This has no heat,” he said, pointing to his craft through the restaurant window  — and was thrilled to get into the air.

They raved about the newly opened Holman’s Table restaurant.

“We’ve been denied a restaurant that we can fly into in the Twin Cities area for a long time,” Schroeder said over a Reuben sandwich and fries. “So a lot of us would fly to Eau Claire for lunch for the infamous hundred-dollar burger and fly back.

“This is much finer. The food’s phenomenal. The location is fabulous. It requires the pilot to use their skills in dealing with the tower, taxiing, a mixed type of aircraft. … So it really does cause you as a pilot to improve your mixed skill set. And have a great meal.”

Just then, a World War II-era B-25 bomber — a “Billy Mitchell” from the Commemorative Air Force Minnesota Wing– flew in, drawing their attention. Diners filed out to watch the pilot’s “touch and go” practices. And then the rescue simulations began nearby.

The restaurant has airplane parking spaces right outside the door and gets fly-in guests several times a week, said manager Patty Pitka: “They come from St. Cloud, Duluth, all over, just to pop in for a meal.”

Original article can be found here ➤

Gulfstream to add 200 Georgia jobs

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., will invest $55 million and add 200 jobs in an expansion of its jet service center operations in Savannah, Ga.

Gulfstream located its headquarters in Savannah in 1967 and has since grown from 100 local employees to more than 16,000 employees on six continents.

"This expansion is the result of the strong and steady fleet growth we've had for several years and the arrival of our new Gulfstream G500 and G600 in the coming months," Mark Burns, president of Gulfstream, said in an announcement of the expansion Tuesday. "These new facilities will keep us well-positioned for support, maintenance and refurbishment of the Gulfstream fleet, which is now at nearly 2,700 aircraft and continues to grow."

Gulfstream's headquarters in Savannah includes facilities for manufacturing, research and development, maintenance, sales and support. Located at the site of Savannah's former airport terminal, the expansion will include an additional maintenance hangar, customer tower, and a hangar support area with office and shop space.

Original article can be found here ➤

Success of Dubois Regional Airport (KDUJ) lends to long-standing business

Reynoldsville, Jefferson County, Pa. - Inside the flight deck in the DuBois Regional Airport owner, Patrick Doksa, can be found cooking in the kitchen. 

He purchased the restaurant almost two decades ago. "I was flying in and out of here a lot at that time. We had a charter service," says Doksa.

However, the falls creek native was the one flying the planes.He worked as a commercial airline pilot since he was 18. "I've been flying for 32 years, I've been here for 18 of those 32 and flying in and out of the DuBois airport for 24," adds the seasoned pilot.  

He says he's seen one of the biggest upturns since the switch to Southern Airway Express in 2017. Airport officials say strong numbers BRINGS IN CUSTOMERS. According to the Airport manager, Bob Shaffer, "We saw some activity with general activity with general aviation flying yesterday. A dozen plus aircrafts coming in for breakfast." 

The inflow of new passengers has allowed Doksa to complete some renovations. Doksa says he'll be modernizing the World War II decor that has been there for decades. The main focus will be paying tribute to the local veterans. "I'm going to work with some local places to get local people to get their pictures back up here," adds Doksa. 

Doksa says the inflow of passengers has been great but he also holds a steady base of customers from local residents. 

Original article can be found here ➤