Yea! A pilot update from college freshman and lady taildragger pilot Lane Davis.Â
College â€“ yes!!!!! In my last pilot update I mentioned working on my college application essay and now, after writing that essay on my ground loop in the Cub, here I am: Williams College Class of 2017, Williamstown, MA.
My first months of college in Massachusetts brought the expected changes â€“ a roommate, dining hall meals, new friends, cold weather, unsweet tea, challenging classes â€“ but it also brought a new airport and new terrain to familiarize myself with, new sectional maps to buy, new pilots to get to know, and a new plane to fly.
I picked Williams College because I loved the school and its rural location in the Berkshire Mountains. I knew Harriman and West airport was only a few miles away from campus but, as a sport pilot, was worried there wouldn’t be a light sport aircraft available for rent, especially in such a small town.
To my surprise and delight, AQW not only has a beautiful restored light sport J-3 Cub modified for solo in the front, but also is home to a small but enthusiastic and growing aviation community. A glider club, the Berkshire Pilots Association, and Teamflys â€“ which rents the Cub and a 172 as well as provides instruction and scenic flights â€“ are all based out of AQW. In addition to the beautiful airplane and involved community, Harriman and West airport is located at one of the most beautiful spots in town. Flying out of an airport like this is pretty fantastic, especially for a girl coming from bustling, tower controlled PDK, DeKalb Peachtree, Atlanta, GA, Â (not that I donâ€™t love PDK too, of course).
Perhaps most exciting of all these things, however, is the prospect of creating a similarly enthusiastic aviation community on the Williams College campus. Teamflys recently offered free intro flights to Williams College students and faculty. The flights generated interest in aviation at the college and, with the urging and help of a couple of these aviation enthusiasts, I am starting an aviation club. Williams has had a flying club off and on since its creation by WWI pilots after the war. My main goal for the club will be to make it an aviation club rather than specifically a flying club.
KAQWÂ Harriman-and-West Airport
North Adams, Massachusetts
While many people were excited by the intro flights, not everyone can pursue their license right now due to financial and time constraints. The goal of the club will be to keep these people connected to the airport and to aviation, to educate people about the historical, economic, technological, and environmental aspects of the aviation industry, and to support those who choose to undertake flight training while at Williams. I hope this broader aviation focus will help create an inclusive aviation community that will become a stable, long-term fixture at Williams.
Last time I sent in a pilot update, I was encouraged by LLT commenters to write my college application essay about my ground loop â€“ which I did. It was great advice; any ideas or suggestions about my plans for an aviation club at Williams will be welcomed! Thank you.