Wednesday, June 29, 2011

FAA to Study Airports

General Aviation Airports are under the FAA microscope, perhaps more now than ever before. See the recent article on the FAA.GOV website. They want to "classify airports according to the roles they support". The report is due in January 2012!! What can this mean for our beloved old airplanes? It could be a good thing! But it will take an active approach by YOU. If you value your local airfield and want to ensure its future, get involved in the dialog. Join the Alphabet groups and speak out on behalf of our kind of flying.

Coincidentally a related story also came out today on the internet news site "General Aviation News" about a recent report published by the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) Office of Aviation. In Chapter 4 of he report titled "2010-2030 IOWA AVIATION SYSTEM PLAN" the agency classifies the state's airports according to length of runway, available fuel, and services offered. Turf airports and paved airports with runways shorter than 3,000 feet in length are labeled as "Local Airports – These airports serve local aviation activity and have little or no services available. Included are airports with only turf runways and those airports that do not have the infrastructure or services to fill the Basic Service role." Other airport classifications are "Commercial", "General", and "Basic" Service airport facilities.

It appears that local, state, and federal agencies plan to use these classifications as a means for determining allocation of funds and presumably 'minimum requirements' to be imposed to help ensure that the transportation system will meet the needs of the foreseeable future. Airstrip owners and small airport owners need to pay attention whenever these agencies start talking about 'minimum requirements'. The IDOTs report already lists some recommended minimum targets for "Local" airports, such as
- 50 feet minimum runway width
- Posted contact information
- Security Plan
- Emergency Plan
- Land use definitions
- Height zoning

Such requirements, currently focused on public airports, stand to increase operating costs. They loom ominously over the skies of our favorite airfields. And as these classifications and labels take hold, it won't be long until private fields will also be affected. It is important for airport users to GET INVOLVED at every level (local, state, federal). Lets all stay abreast of this issue as it unfolds and work to minimize its impact.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Curtiss Robin Page - July 2011 Feature Robin

Barnstmr is pleased to announce the addition of a new Curtiss Robin Page on Barnstmr's Random Aeronautics web-log. We have added it as a new "tab" at the top of this site. We hope you will visit this page often to see what's going on in the Curtiss Robin world.

Feature Robin s/n 393 - July 2011

Al Holloway, Quincy, CA recently sent me some nice photos of his Curtiss Robin B rebuild project. Al, founder of Holloway Engineering, is a noted restorer of old airplanes and even more recognized for his engine overhaul expertise. These photos illustrate the outstanding work he is doing to preserve his OX-5 powered Robin s/n 393. This Robin was originally registered as NC45H, but is currently showing on the FAA registry as NC127H. I asked Al to help me out with a writeup and he promised to do so. But that was over a month ago. I am sure he is busy working on the Robin. And besides, these photos say all that needs to be said about Al's beautiful craftsmanship. Click on the images to see the enlarged size picture.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Vol. 1 No. 2

The Sphere of the Air College

Parks Air Lines, Inc. and Affiliations

This segment of Parks scrapbook items includes more than 45 pages of photos and news articles detailing the earliest beginnings of Mr. Oliver L. Parks’ aviation endeavors. The plot unfolds as Oliver Parks began his career as airplane pilot and car salesman for Gravois Motor Company. You’ll be amazed to discover how quickly he established Parks Air Lines, Inc., which grew to include Parks Airfield, Parks Aircraft Company, Inc. and Parks Air College. Mr. Parks article, titled “The Sphere of the Air College”, published in March 1929 in Aero Digest magazine provides a fitting closure to this segment.

© 2011 by Terry L. Bowden


Wednesday, June 15, 2011


In the pages that follow, you will find a hodge-podge collection of photos and information that I collected over the years, with the greatest of intentions, to someday publish some articles, books, or perhaps a few short stories about aviation history. Though a few of these records have not been published before, a majority of them have. Still, I collected this stuff anyway because it was fascinating to me. Perhaps there’s not much here of interest to others, but I have enjoyed finding and assembling these items into a semi-organized mess. I don't see a book happening any time soon. So, I hope you'll enjoy these scrapbooks in the mean time....Terry

Vol. 1 No. 1

The Complete Story of

Parks Aircraft, Inc.

This document contains more than 40 pages of Scrapbook material and the original 13-page manuscript called, “The Complete Story of Parks Aircraft, Inc.”, written by Terry Bowden. A polished 7-page version of this work became published in “Vintage Airplane Magazine”, December 1991.

© 2011 by Terry L. Bowden

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