Archive for Features

Precious Stone

AKRON — In the 1970’s, Mary Hruby became a pilot when a lot of women wouldn’t dream of it. It was a joy that she shared with her husband. Then icing over the Sierra Mountains forced them down, and when rescuers finally found the airplane wreckage, the snow had been falling for days. The Sierra Mountains had claimed a life, but miraculously spared two others.

Aerial Advertising

By Britni Williams | ELYRIA, Ohio —   “Have a seat in my office,” Konrad Balunek said as he slid aside the door.  He wasn’t dressed in what one would consider business attire. He wore faded blue jeans with a white T-shirt and worn, brown work boots. His office didn’t have the sterile feeling of a typical […]

Diving into Marriage

By Rachel Hagenbaugh  | ALLIANCE, Ohio. — At first, Warren Swegal is just a dot 10,000 feet in the air.  Gradually, the shape of the parachute starts to take form.  Sometimes he spins around in a circle, but only for a few seconds.  To those on a ground, it seems like a long time.  For the […]

Hubble Repairman’s Daughter

WADSWORTH, Oh. – She can’t drive a car, but this 15-year old girl traveled from Holland to a small country airfield in Ohio to learn how to fly an airplane. The proud father snapping photos of her from the taxiway is one of our nation’s leading space-based telescope repairman.

An Unusual Gift

MADISON, OH–Forty-six years ago, Gretchen Reed was picking someone up from a small airport in Painesville when she first saw Charles Reed, a diehard pilot she knew through family friends. She was 21 and “he was just the ultimate cool,” she says.


It’s a sunny early October day with temperatures in the high 70s. Pilot Bruce Grider preflights the Piper Pawnee towplane and several members of the Fun Country Soaring club at Reader-Botsford Airport in Wellington, Ohio, are preparing sailplanes for flight.

Home Field Advantage

WOOSTER — Mark Scheibe grew up at an airfield. On a clear day from 2,500 feet above, you can still see his childhood home and the heated hangar on the airport that bears his family’s name, Scheibe Field Airport (OI55).

The Old and the Bold

KENT — Some time after the first solo and before becoming licensed, every pilot who has learned how to fly since the 1920s has been warned, “There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots—but there are no old bold pilots.” How then, does one explain Richard Schwabe?

Small World

Dr. Ron Siwik had to make a decision: Comply with an air-traffic controller who demanded he deviate from his flight path. Or ignore the voice on the radio and risk immediate peril in one of the world’s most hostile nations. This is the choice he faced in Rangoon, Myanmar, on his 24,604-mile, around the world solo flight in 2008.

Streets Paved In Gold

RAVENNA, Oh. – Near the end of the war, Peter Graichen frequently heard this phrase as a young boy growing up in Germany. So when the time was right, he packed up, and headed for America’s “streets of gold,” but he only wanted to find the one leading to the nearest airport.

We’ll Save Your (Anonymous) Life

CLEVELAND — Few being airlifted from the scene of an accident will ever know their rescue pilots. And that’s how those in the cockpit prefer it. During the intensity of a mission, the task at hand drives harder than the fear that a person in the back may be a friend or, even worse, a relative.

Bear in the Air

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Most wouldn’t be surprised to hear Ohio State Trooper George King is on the lookout for marijuana fields and highway speeders. But few would guess where he’s hiding: in the clouds. King works for the aviation section of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. He flies a Cessna 182, which is nothing like […]

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