Weather at the Paonia airport on Saturday morning, May 4, proved just about perfect for taking novice flyers up for their inaugural flights.
The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) launched its initiative in 1992 to provide youth with a taste of aviation.
Mark and Cheryl Husmann, owners of Smiling Aviation and the managers of Blake Field, hosted a Christmas open house in conjunction with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly reconstructed main runway, Runway 3-21.
The Husmanns report that the existing runway was about 28 years old and might have lasted another 10 if not for some water working its way underneath the northeast end.
Reconstruction of the main runway at Delta's Blake Field began on Monday, September 10. The base of the 30-year old runway has experienced some failure that will be addressed during the construction process.
First responders answering the call to a mass casualty EMS drill Saturday came upon a realistic scene of a crashed airplane and a simulation of burning wreckage.
Volunteer actors playing roles of airplane crash victims -- the "walking wounded" -- drifted about the exercise area acting dazed, confused and awaiting arrival of emergency help.
Last August, when a newborn baby needed life-saving treatment available only at a Front Range hospital, an air ambulance took off headed for Delta's Blake Field.
The baby was transported and, according to reports from airport managers Mark and Cheryl Husmann, a little life was saved by the mission.
In seeking to appoint a representative to the North Fork Airport Advisory Board, Town of Paonia board of trustees sought applicants who either own a business or property within town limits or are a town resident. They also wanted someone with good communication skills who has an interest in aviation and in the betterment of the North Fork Valley Airport.
The Paonia Board of Trustees is accepting applications from individuals interested in serving on the Delta County Airport Advisory Board. The town appointment is for a three-year term for an ex-officio, non-voting member.
An appointment to the Delta County Airport Advisory Board by Paonia trustees was tabled at the June 28 meeting after trustees ended up with three names for consideration. A special meeting to discuss the appointment will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 12, prior to the regular town board meeting at 7 p.m.
A GPS (instrument approach) landing system recently went into operation at Blake. The high-tech navigation gear is a major upgrade for operations and is the result of five years of planning, acquisition and installation, according to Blake Field managers Mark and Cheryl Husmann.
As the Town of Paonia grapples with cash shortages caused by years of overspending and theft of more than a half million dollars in cash, the board of trustees is considering ways to raise capital. Under consideration is liquidation of assets, including the town's 75 percent ownership in the North Fork Valley Airport.
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