June 24, 2012

Celebrating Blue Ash Airport

BlueAshAirport_aerial.jpgHow do you say goodbye to an airport? As I write that, it seems kind of a strange question. But, more and more frequently this is a question pilots are being forced to answer.

MeigsField_FS.jpgThe first airport I ever loved was Chicago's lakefront airport, Meigs Field, which helped foster my interest in aviation. The early Microsoft Simulators featured Meigs Field as the default airport and in the virtual skies over a pixely Chicago I self taught myself about lift, thrust, weight and drag. In fact I remember fondly flying home on a commercial flight with my family as a young kid and watching how the flaps were extended during our landing then going straight to the computer when I returned home to learn how to use flaps on the Cessna at Meigs Field. I like many aviation enthusiasts and pilots felt sick to my stomach when I learned on March 31, 2003 that it was demolished at the behest of Mayor Daily.

I wonder if this event helped motivate me to not take my love of aviation for granted any longer and move from the fence-line to the tarmac in pursuit of my license to fly. In Spring 2004 in Cincinnati, OH I began my flight training, the majority of that flight training took place at Cincinnati's Blue Ash Airport (KISZ). It was there that my formal knowledge of aeronautics was formed as were some of amazing aviation memories.

When I heard that Blue Ash Airport, the airport where I first soloed and also where I successfully completed my Private Pilot checkride, was losing its 30-year battle to keep the airport open, I knew that once again I would need to decide how to say goodbye to an airport. Before giving in though I reached out to see if there was anything I could do from Chicago to help save the airport. Although organizations like Preserve Blue Ash Airport are still fighting, I learned there was little short of donating millions of dollars that could be done to save the airport.

I determined the best way for me to say goodbye to this airport was to revitalize my memories and celebrate this unique and special airport. On a wonderful Saturday afternoon I took off from Chicago Executive and flew along the beautiful skyline of Chicago and over the remains of Meigs Field (which has still yet to be put to any better service then the airport it once was) enroute to Blue Ash, OH.

blue_ash_3096B.jpgAlthough a lovely day it was quiet as I approached the airport. As I entered the pattern I noticed the sparse tarmac that had once been filled with airplanes of varying sizes. Despite the sparse tarmac I smiled as I looked at the unique layout of this airport which has a taxiway that weaves through a little wooden pass, it was great to see this familiar airport once again.

As I crossed the runway threshold I could see that the runway was badly in need of repair and maintenance, sadly that aid will never come. Instead that disrepair will make the demolition job just that much easier. While the plane was being refueled I strolled along the tarmac with Al Waterloo who flew with me on this trip down memory lane. It was both comforting and disappointing that not much had changed at Blue Ash Airport or Co-Op Aviation since I had last visited. I learned that many of the planes had already vacated in search of a new home like Lebanon-Warren County Airport.

Some might find it strange to love an airport, but I love this airport. I am not the only one that is a bit sentimental about this airport. In a recent issue of Flying Magazine Martha Lunken shared her memories of Blue Ash Airport. Fellow aviation blogger Steve Dilullo who writes A Mile of Runway Will Take You Anywhere recently made his first visit to Blue Ash Airport to check it out before it is no more (be sure to check out his video of the unique taxi experience at Blue Ash). Al Waterloo who joined me for this flight was also touched by this special airport and published his thoughts on how this airport closing is an example of why General Aviation is Broken.

It will be sad when the news comes that the bulldozers have closed this general aviation airport like so many before it. Blue Ash Airport will no longer benefit from those that have been inspired to learn to fly because of its existence. However, I hope that the inspiration is strong enough that aviation enthusiasts will seek out the nearest General Aviation airport and still pursue their dreams and help drum up renewed support for General Aviation in Cincinnati.

Posted by at June 24, 2012 10:47 PM
Comments

I LOVE THE SCREEN SHOT OF THE ORIGINAL FLIGHT SIM! I remember playing that with my dad on our first computer back in the 80's. I was about 4 years old and have owned every version of Flight Sim since.

Thanks for having me along to the Blue Ash Airport. May the memories be shared in hangars to come!

Posted by: Al Waterloo at June 27, 2012 7:18 AM | Reply

Sigh, it's sad when it comes to this. Whether or not it's a favorite airport it's always sad to see another piece of infrastructure get torn apart. I'm glad both you and I had a chance to get down there one more time before Blue Ash is no more.

Posted by: Steve at June 27, 2012 10:49 AM | Reply

I got chills thinking about flying over that airport. Sad that it's going to be gone. I grew up in the area so I am very familiar with the Blue Ash Airport. I lived close enough that as a kid I used to watch dozens of planes fly close to our house.

Posted by: H. Edwards at July 20, 2012 9:31 AM | Reply

Hello!

Posted by: pills at October 28, 2014 4:16 AM | Reply

Hello!

Posted by: photos_viagra at October 29, 2014 2:03 PM | Reply

Hello!

Posted by: generic at November 14, 2014 11:14 AM | Reply

Hello!

Posted by: viagra_sample at November 19, 2014 1:14 PM | Reply

Hello!

Posted by: super at November 19, 2014 1:17 PM | Reply

Hello!

Posted by: cialis_sample at November 27, 2014 1:08 PM | Reply

Hello!

Posted by: pills at November 27, 2014 1:11 PM | Reply

Hello!

Posted by: viagra at November 27, 2014 10:30 PM | Reply

Hello!

Posted by: viagra at November 27, 2014 10:30 PM | Reply

Hello!

Posted by: generic at November 27, 2014 10:36 PM | Reply

Hello!

Posted by: generic at November 27, 2014 10:38 PM | Reply

Hello!

Posted by: prescription at November 27, 2014 10:41 PM | Reply

Hello!

Posted by: viagra at December 2, 2014 11:11 AM | Reply

Hello!

Posted by: viagra at December 3, 2014 4:12 AM | Reply

Hello!

Posted by: online at December 3, 2014 6:35 AM | Reply

Hello!

Posted by: viagra at December 3, 2014 6:37 AM | Reply

Hello!

Posted by: online at December 3, 2014 6:40 AM | Reply

Post a comment