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Experimental Aircraft Association plans to support airport
Experimental Aircraft Association plans to support airport

Capt. Jeff Schultz, president of the local Experimental Aircraft Association chapter, speaks to Joint Airport Board members Thursday regarding his organization
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Jan. 23, 2009) — Most fuel sales at the joint Waynesville-St. Robert Airport at Forney Field on Fort Leonard Wood go to commercial and military pilots, and many of the airplane owners who base their private planes at Forney Field are business owners who fly regularly as part of their work. However, two volunteer organizations, the Civil Air Patrol and Experimental Aircraft Association, have informally promoted the airport in the community and the Experimental Aircraft Association president said he’d like to do more to promote the airport and its work.

“We want to get the word out that this airport is thriving and it’s getting better every time,” Capt. Jeff Schultz told Joint Airport Board members Thursday evening.

Schultz said the local organizations members include Bill Taylor, who serves as a Joint Airport Board member and is also a local pilot and flight instructor, as well as more than a dozen others who have received provisional recognition as Chapter 1481 of the Experimental Aircraft Association. Another dozen people have either expressed interest or have come to meetings without joining, Schultz said.

“What we are hoping to do is use the chapter as a social networking tool for people from the area,” Schultz said. “Instead of just being single pilots kind of out by themselves, they can come and join the chapter and meet other pilots and share resources and kind of get to know each other. I know that being military, when I was new to this area, I didn’t know anybody. It was kind of a long process to meet people one by one.”

Members aren’t necessarily living near Fort Leonard Wood, Schultz said; some members come from as far away as Rolla or Lebanon.

Schultz said he and Taylor both have planes in the Forney Field hangars and his organization could bring more pilots to the area.

“We want the chapter to be an active part of the airport; we want to be involved in what goes on,” Schultz said. “We’re very interested in the development out here. Bill and I are in the hangars now with our planes and there are other people who either want to build airplanes or bring their airplanes in.”

Joint Airport Board member Randy Becht agreed, and said he welcomes community support for the airport.

“It goes both ways, captain: we’re thrilled to have you involved, and that’s what it’s all about,” Becht said. “Keep attending and if there is anything we can do, feel free to come and let us know.”

Joint Airport Board member Jim Phillips said he’d like to refer members to the Experimental Aircraft Association who may be interested in its work, and was glad to learn that membership isn’t restricted to Waynesville, St. Robert and Fort Leonard Wood residents. A dentist who works in Lebanon and Waynesville may be interested in joining, Phillips said.

“He’s quite interested in getting a hangar space and might give a good perspective because he’s got money,” Phillips said.

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