Unicom:                    122.8

AWOS:                  118.275

Elevation           1458’ MSL

TPA:                   2500’ MSL

06/24:         5003’ L   75’ W

PAPI:       06/Left     24/Left

(Operate lights on unicom freq.)

Traffic Pattern: Left

Beacon: Sunset to Sunrise

Windsock: yes, lighted

Segmented Circle: No

 

Cleveland Center: 126.72/291.65

FSS: Altoona

[Source: ADDS]
METAR
KFKL 031356Z AUTO 30005KT 10SM CLR 26/17 A3005 RMK AO2 SLP164 T02560172 =
KFKL 031127Z 0312/0412 VRB03KT P6SM SKC FM031500 30005KT P6SM SCT060
TAF
KFKL 031127Z 0312/0412 VRB03KT P6SM SKC FM031500 30005KT P6SM SCT060 =
[Source: ADDS]
METAR
KDUJ 031353Z AUTO 28005KT 10SM CLR 26/16 A3003 RMK AO2 SLP152 T02560156 =
KDUJ 031127Z 0312/0412 28004KT P6SM SKC FM031500 30010KT P6SM SCT060
TAF
KDUJ 031127Z 0312/0412 28004KT P6SM SKC FM031500 30010KT P6SM SCT060 =

Everyone, at one point or another has dreamed of flying. The inside of a plane has a distinct

smell like an automobile, it’s a nice mix of plastic, metal, seat cushion, and leather. I grip the yoke of the

plane and feel the vibration of the plane’s engine, its heavy cadence delivered by the propeller splitting

the air. I push the throttle in, just like on my tractor, towards the motor. The Plane accelerates along the

runway, I feel the excitement and rush of speed. At just over sixty mph I pull back on the yoke and the

tires leave the surface, I am free. Free of the concerns that wear me down through the week, the bills,

the lawnmower needing fixed, kids to soccer practice, the car tire with a slow leak, and of the hectic

screaming from our constant bombardment of news media and social media. I am climbing to altitude,

and the aircraft needs my focus. I scan the horizon looking for any other free people on a morning flight.

I check my instruments one at a time in a quick scan. I reach three thousand feet, level off, send out a

radio message and feel the stress melt off in a long slow sigh, I am alive and I am living, free at last.


Who we are, and who we want to be are two different realities. At some point in the past we

dreamed great big dreams, some of them we accomplished, some of them remain out of reach, for now.

We still haven’t given up, have we? In our youth we had Fathers, Mothers, Grandparents, even Aunts

and Uncles take us to the circus, to the drag races, to concerts, and a great many events that captivated

us, and inspired in us to dream of doing it too. Many of us never got the chance to ride Motocross, or an

angry bull in Las Vegas, or to sing on stage in front of thousands of adoring fans. None of this means we

could not have done it. We made our choices, we live our lives the way we choose, the dreams are nice

reminders of a shared time with loved ones, and moments that don’t grow dim over time. These dreams

are a result of our freedom. We know, that if we choose, we can pursue these dreams and make them a

reality. We can strive to do something that most won’t and many of the world can’t. We can learn to fly

a metal bird with a fire breathing engine, take it up into the sky and spin it all the way down, pulling up

at the last minute to the gasps of an amazed crowd. We can strap ourselves to a jet engine with four

rubber tires, roaring so loud that it shakes the cold sweat right off your skin. We can sing until no note

can be reached and a perfect melody can be made that calms the nerves of others and makes them

weep in admiration of its beauty. We can do this, because we are Americans, and because it’s what we

have been doing since the beginning.


Story by Donald Kimball for the “Fire, Smoke, and Sparks” Airshow of 2016.


  • BlackHawk

  • View from the C-47

  • B-25

  • Tuskegee Airmen

  • C-47 Cockpit

  • Billy Werths Pitts Biplane