©Hal Stoen, Stoenworks
I was operating in the heart of Redneck Country years ago, a state to remain nameless. One of the great advantages of Corporate Flight Operations is that you go where the customer is- not the "Nearest Big-Name Airport". The 421B was comfortable with any hard surface runway of 3,000 feet and up (although in summer the fuel load might be adjusted downward depending on passenger load).
Anyway, we enter the pattern, note the wind and note that the pines are pretty much up to the "fence" around the airport- tall Southern Pines. The approach carried a little more power than normal with a decrease as we cleared the tree tops and down for landing.
My lone passenger is off to see his client and I decline to go along- town is 5 miles away, and this is an unattended airport, a treasure waiting to be explored.
I grew to really enjoy this type of field- the small unattended ones that were out of the way. Great places to roam around, looking in hangars and finding many surprises- including the occasional snake.
After about half an hour the local Sheriff pulls up and we chat. "Those trees give you any problems coming in Son?" Sayz he. "No, a little tall, but not a real problem." Sayz I. "Well, 'been meaning to get a crew out here to trim those fellows, perhaps today's the day." Sayz he, and departs.
About an hour later a "deuce and a half" stake truck pulls up with a bunch of convicts wearing black and white striped outfits right out of "Cool Hand Luke". They fire up chain saws and start felling trees under the watchful eyes of two deputies wearing dark aviator sunglasses and resting shotguns on their hips.
God, I miss those kind of things about flying!
© 2 September, 1999
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