Jeannie Batto sent me this note and is hoping someone comes up with some really great suggestions for her. I’m throwing a few ideas into the mix and hope you do to. Please leave a comment if you know “just the place”!
“I’m soul searching what I want to do on my off time from work. I posted a question on Facebook but I think the blog has more viewers..”
“I am looking for aviation communities where cool old antique airplanes live. Where people work on them and fly them. I don’t want to overlook any place — and you just can’t always find the personality on the web. I was thinking of a museum with flying airplanes… I would like to hear about everything … Where is your favorite place to play — or your dream location? Â I’m willing to relocate to live my aviation dream.Â Thanks and happy flying.“
Jeannie, ohhhh, the possibilities! Thanks for posing a couple great questions and giving me a chance to daydream a little about which airport I’d head to if I were wearing your shoes.
#1 So where do I head to play? Â Answer: Grass strips where there’s interesting people and planes. My roots are at Skylane Airport, Evansville, Indiana and I still love going back for visits. It’s grass. It’s uncontrolled. It’s got a big tree dubbed “the tree of knowledge” where everybody hangs out and contemplates all things aviation, the meaning of life, andÂ where to go for lunch! Â There are Champs, Luscombes, Boyd’s old Cessna 140, Navions, and my old Porterfield based there. I look back on those years and thank heaven I learned to fly there and not some big, hard surface, impersonal airport.
#2 What’s my dream airport? Â Answer: Â There are 3 at the top of my list – Santa Paula, Flabob & Poplar Grove. Â I’ve actually only been to one of them so who knows if they’d really be the perfect fit for me. But, if I could pick up and go anywhere I’d like, I’d at least take a serious look starting with Santa Paula Airport KSZP, Santa Paula, California.
Based on what I’ve heard this place oozes with activity, great taildraggers and lots of history. Â Two interesting lady taildragger pilots are based there and I know you’ll find more if you look around a little. Check out pilot profiles forÂ Rowena MasonÂ andÂ Judy PhelpsÂ for a hint of what you’ll find at Santa Paula. Want to live at the airport? This could be your next new home!
Flabob Airport KRIR, Riverside California. Yep, this is in California too. Flabob is not only a home-building hot-spot but will give you a chance to step back in time. We’re talking southern California & aviation from the 1930s …. 1940s, where the people are laid back and history surrounds you.
The hangars are filled with aircraft from the golden years of aviation and ongoing restoration projects are always in the works. This could be just the place for you too Jeannie!
Link to more info
If the West coast isn’t your cup of tea then stay in the Midwest and check out Popular Grove Airport, Popular Grove, Illinois. This is the absolutely incredible airport owned and operated by lady taildragger pilot Tina Thomas and her husband Steve and another airport that’s a haven for incredible taildraggers.
What makes this airport so different than all the others? Its FUN, its friendly, and the people are there for the sheer love of aviation. They’ve got grass and hard surface runways, a world class aviation museum, lots of planned activities, homes on taxiways where you can ride your golf cart to visit your neighbors or you can rent a t-hangar if you live off the airport.
Â Link toÂ Poplar Grove Airport
Everyone, this is one lady taildragger pilot who’s anxious to hear from you. Please throw your ideas into the mix and leave a comment.