• 50°

Community Fly Day is next Saturday

Since my next column won’t be out in time, this will be my last opportunity to remind you about the Community Fly Day at the Lawrence County Airport from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5. If you happen to be waiting in line at 4 p.m., the pilots will continue flying to make sure you have a flying experience.

It is for a good cause. All the proceeds will go into the fund to buy gas for the mowers and repair parts to keep them running, plus other maintenance expenses to keep the airport open and running.

The pilots fly the planes at their own expense and are not even paid for the fuel. This Lawrence County property is self-funded without expense to the local taxpayers.

The local Attitude Aviation company always helps with their planes and pilots on Community Fly Day. Come out and experience the newly-resurfaced runway, the new lights and absence of tall trees at both ends of the runway.

The fall days in the Tri-State are a beautiful time to fly.

Terry Maggard and I took advantage of an absolutely good flying day last Tuesday. Fog was predicted along the river, but the weather has been so dry, the prediction didn’t turn out that way. The temperature was cool and the plane climbs faster in cool weather. As the saying goes, the plane climbed like a homesick angel.

It was severe clear with only one lonely, low cloud in view. We decided to check out the breakfast at the Portsmouth airport restaurant. The airport is close to the new Portsmouth bypass.

If you happen to use the bypass at lunch time, stop by the airport for a break and food.

The flight was uneventful and we had two good landings. The saying about good landings is: If you can walk away from it, it is a good landing.

Perhaps you know about the Airbus-sponsored Perlan 2, a glider that holds a record altitude of 76,000 feet, which it attained last year in Argentina.

This year, they had hoped to get to 100,000 feet using the mountain wave and the polar vortex that shows up this time of the year.

Their attempt this year was disappointing. The highest they achieved was 65,000 feet and time has run out. There was a warming trend in the stratosphere, which did not produce the lift they expected.

The state of Ohio had a part in the attempt. A plane named the Ergett towed the Perlan 2 up to an altitude of 45,000 feet before it was turned loose. The Ergett used a 10-foot-diameter propeller made by Hartzell of Piqua.

The Lawrence County Airport is one of the oldest operating airports in the state of Ohio. On this past Labor Day, it passed its 90th birthday and we didn’t even bake a cake.

It has spawned famous people and near-famous people. The manager who opened the airport and a flying school on Labor Day 1929, was Captain Paul Riddle.

If you don’t remember, he helped found the greatest aeronautical university in the world, the Embry Riddle University with campuses all over the world. Maybe I can remember to tell you about the near-famous people next week.

Don Lee, a pilot flying out of Lawrence County Airport since 1970, has been in charge of equipment and grounds maintenance for the last several years. He can be reached at eelnod22@gmail.com