Darrel Koll Passes
Now that Spring has sprung, unofficially, it’s time to prepare for March wind and nesting birds, of which Butler airport always has an overabundance. Sunday saw gusts as high as 40 mph; variable crosswind conditions on Saturday had traffic going both ways, always a hazardous situation.
Visitors included a Piper Twin Comanche, a couple of Piper Warriors, a Piper Archer and a Cirrus. Locally, Jon Laughlin flew his Piper Cherokee 180C to Mexico, CFI Christian Tucker had several Cessna 150 flights and I motivated the Aeronca Champion.
Clinton Airport is tapping into the Infrastructure Bill’s pork barrel with the receipt of $1.7 million in grant money, which is to be spent on a new terminal building and rerouting the access road. KGLY already has a nice large waiting room, attached to the row of T-hangars, but public expectations being what they are, an improved ambience for visitors is worth pursuing. Airplanes using the recently-constructed 5000-foot runway may bring passengers that are used to better accommodations. Let’s take note.
Last week we received word of the passing of Darrel Koll, who longtime airport aficionados will remember as Butler’s last resident Airport Manager, back in the late 90’s. Darrel and his faithful dog Molly lived in the double-wide next to the gas pump, where they kept an eye on the property and would respond when an airplane pulled up for fuel. Those were the days when pilots appreciated having someone drag out the hose and pump for them. Let’s face it, self-service is okay for cars, but less-desirable for planes. Molly would sound the alarm if she detected an intruder or something amiss like the lights being out. After his tenure here, Darrel retired to roam the country in his RV, with a toy-hauler tailgate for his motorcycle in the back. When not on the road he “parked” in Bonham, TX near his daughter; he was 89.
The Experimental Aircraft Assn. Chapter #944 in Chillicothe is promoting an official “vanity” Missouri auto license plate with the logo “I’d Rather Fly.” It can be yours for a extra $25 fee at renewal time; the charge is a fund-raiser for Chapter activities. Visit http://idratherfly.org to sign up. Be the first on your block, er, airport, to have one.
The question of the week asked about the size of the regulation N-numbers on U.S. airplanes. They must be 12-inches tall, so law-enforcement can easily read them when checking the tie-downs at airports for stolen planes. Okay, for next week, our question is “what is a Buzz Number?” Send your answers to email@example.com.