• They came, they saw, they ate

    Posted on July 3rd, 2009 John Dorcey 1 comment
    Bill Kinsman describes the facility as, “A little grass airport out in the middle of nowhere.”  Bill is president of the Central County Airport Association and one of the airport’s biggest boosters. His description is factual, but don’t be fooled. This little grass airport booms on Fridays and a few other days throughout the year. The attraction for the Central County Airport (68C) is simple – food and fellowship.

    Take today for example.  The weather was perfect for flying and the fact that many working folks had the day off for the July 4th holiday set the stage for record attendance. Sixty-six airplanes and one helicopter arrived over a 90-minute span. These 67 aircraft set a record for Friday arrivals, but only by a few. Many others – myself and wife, Rose, included – arrived by ground vehicle.

    Some of the planes that brought diners to lunch today

    Pilots who arrive early become judges after landing and parking. Listen closely; you can overhear them as they comment on the style and technique of each landing. Olympic judges might be easier to please! Others walk from one airplane to the next, lingering at those that hold a special attraction.

    The aircraft mix was diverse – a large collection of Cessna 150s and 172s, a gaggle of Piper Cherokees, and a Mooney. The homebuilts, also large in number, included two Sonex models, several Kitfox, and at least three RVs. Antique and classic aircraft were represented by an early model Cessna 170, a couple of Stinson Station Wagons, a trio of Ercoupes, and a real pretty Piper Pacer among many others.

    Bill Kinsman, President, Central County Airport Association

    Lunch is served promptly at 12:00 – or when the food is ready. About 200 sat down to lunch today. You must be a member of the Central County Flyers Association to buy lunch. Memberships are available at the door. Price for lunch is a very reasonable $6.99. Bill does all the cooking and collects the money as diners move through the line. Six volunteers, the unsung heroes, assist Bill by handling all the other details that must be attended to during meal service.

    There are 715 members in the association as of today. They come from all over the US, from Montana to Florida, from California to New York. Bill is as surprised at the growth of his effort as anyone. He admits, “I could never have planned anything like this.” Rose and I saw lots of familiar faces, said hi to many, and spent some quality time with a few. It is this fellowship that satisfies Bill the most.

    Jet fly-bys are a rare treat and we experienced one today. A Canadair Challenger made a low pass that brought oohs and aahs from the crowd. You would have thought we were at a fireworks show. I guess we were – a show for aviators.


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