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?
WADSWORTH — Why are aspiring pilots from Belgium, France and Japan traveling to a small country airfield in Ohio? Dan Weltzien knows—he invited them. He also manages one of the most affordable flight training operations in the world from his apartment above Skypark Airport’s narrow airstrip. But don’t ask him about the Egyptian mummy case.
TIFFIN — Brad Newman married Dwight Knepper’s daughter, and he figured he would help the Knepper’s out with odd jobs around the airport. Now Brad runs it, and Dwight gets to supervise. Flight training, a charter service, top-notch maintenance and propeller shops have helped transform the small airport and attract a steady flow of business into Seneca County.
TIFFIN, Oh. – It takes skill, dedication, unyelding resourcefulness and a sense of humor to keep general aviation’s 50-year old fleet of airplanes flying safely year after year. Meet three sharp sticks on a team of amazing mechanical men, Tom Schulze, Frank Sabo and Tom McGuire of Tiffinaire at Seneca County Airport.
ALLIANCE, Oh. – What do you get when you cross an aerobatic pilot, airport owner, aviation historian, and flying legend with an auctioneer and a minister? Forrest Barber. Barber, along with his wife Patricia, are the king and queen of Barber Airport in Alliance, Ohio. Faced with the rising costs of airport ownership, they plant soybeans and corn to stave off commercial zoning and wonder how much longer the airport will last. Local pilots are hoping forever.
This photoessay accompanies the feature story, “Hubble Repairman’s Daughter.