Vol. 1 No. 2 2002
The Flight Line______
Jackson County Airport - Reynolds Field Newsletter
Jane Zomer, Editor
The Jackson County Airport Board Commissioner Robert McNitt, Chairman Commissioner James E. Rice, Secretary Commissioner Ken Beardslee, Member Commissioner Cliff Herl, Member Member at Large – Thomas Davis 517 768-9618 517 789-1008 517 750-2828 517 569-3202 517 782-7163
Airport Manager – Kent Maurer 517 788-4225 KMAURER@CO.JACKSON.MI.US Visit our Website at www.co.jackson.mi.us/airport
THE NEWSLETTER HAS A NAME! In the last issue of this newsletter a contest to ―name the newsletter‖ was announced. The winning entry of ―The Flight Line‖ was submitted by David Zomer. David is employed by Jackson County as a Court Officer and is married to Jane Zomer, the Administrative Assistant/Assistant Airport Manager here at the airport. The contest committee felt that the title ―The Flight Line‖ that David submitted was an excellent name for this newsletter. David Zomer won a $25.00 gift certificate to the Airport Restaurant. Congratulations to David for his creative entry. reported. Perhaps the patterns themselves would reveal some clue as to the origin of these unexplained patterns. Circles, diagonals and other geometric forms were appearing everywhere on the airfield, but revealed no obvious clues about their origin. The most unexplained pattern was the ―happy face‖ located somewhere in the extreme northwest section of the airport. Finally, investigators decided to check with airport staff to determine if anyone had observed anything suspicious this past summer. Max Clore, who retains the primary responsibility for mowing 400 plus acres of the airfield was interviewed about his possible knowledge of this strange phenomenon; Max just smiled slightly and said: ―I haven’t seen anything suspicious while mowing, but if I do I’ll be sure to let you know.‖ While this mystery remains unsolved, the ―signs‖ of JXN do seem to add aesthetic value to the airport for area pilots. If anyone has information about this mystery, please call the airport office. BAHAMA BOUND “MON” By: Steve Wellman The winter of 2001/02 was like any other Michigan winter, the days grew short and winter set in, so I began to look for an opportunity to plan a spring get away to somewhere much warmer. My airplane partner (my wife Dianne) thought a trip to the Bahamas would be an ideal spot; a resort about 300 nm S.E. from Ft. Lauderdale on Long Island, Bahamas called Stella Maris. I sent for the Bahamas Pilots Guide and customs forms from Sporty’s, which made the customs thing a non-problem. The only additional things I needed to purchase were approved life vests, and current charts for the Bahamas. John and Shirley Eiler decided they wanted to go also, so John and I coordinated our plans to meet at Long Island, Bahamas. We both departed from Jackson about 8 A.M. on Thursday, April 18 in clear skies and a slight tail wind. With John and Shirley in their Apache and Dianne and myself in our Cardinal RG, we cruised to our first stop in Knoxville, TN, in about 3 hours. We landed, fueled and were quickly back off the ground and on our way to Florida. With my new Garmin GNS430, filing direct sure makes things easy. We landed in Fort Lauderdale
SIGNS? During the spring of 2002, and long before Mel Gibson’s movie Signs, area pilots reported seeing strange patterns mysteriously appearing at the Jackson County Airport. These patterns, similar to the famous crop circles, would seemingly appear overnight in the grassy areas of the airfield. An immediate investigation was conducted to determine the possible cause of JXN’s ―signs‖. A check with area law enforcement officials was not helpful as no suspicious activity had been observed, or if observed, was not
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while John and Shirley diverted to Daytona. The morning dawned in Ft. Lauderdale to 3000 broken, >6 miles and winds out of the east at 7 knots and we looked forward to the 3-hour flight down to Stella Maris. As we passed Binimi, the blue/green water was awesome as we passed down the island chain. The over-water stretches were never much more than 60-80 miles and we were within gliding range of numerous airports along the route. With the exception of the airspace around Nassau, we were in contact with Miami center the entire route. We pulled up on the ramp in front of a small building with the Bahaman Customs sign on the front. We got our baggage out of the airplane for his inspection, but he said he did not want to see that, just the paperwork. Clearing customs took all of about 2 minutes. A taxi driver was quick to loan our baggage and we were on our way to the resort. Each day the resort had activities that you could participate in such as sailing, snorkeling, sea kayaking, scuba diving, beach excursions, fishing or just laying around. We managed to try a little of everything while we were there. By the third day Dianne and I were experts about the island. That was when John and Shirley showed up. Dianne and I elaborated about our vast wisdom of the Bahaman culture and tremendous knowledge of the tourist attractions. We spent the next day snorkeling, sea kayaking and eating. Then it was time to think about leaving the island. We made plans to leave the following morning. Departing the Bahamas was as much a non-event as arriving. All they really wanted was their $15 per person departure tax they collect before you can leave. I fueled the plane at $3.60 per gallon. We filed an International IFR flight plan, called US Customs and gave them our ETA into Ft. Lauderdale Executive and we were off the ground. After all of the stories of what to expect from Customs when entering the U.S. in Florida, I made certain I had all of the paperwork correct and was prepared to
off load the airplane. To my delight, none of that happed, the Customs agent looked at the paperwork, took the forms he needed and said we could go. I think it paid to have everything done ahead of time. The remainder of the trip took us to Houston, Texas to visit our daughter and then on to Shreveport, Louisiana for a visit with our son. The final leg of the trip was to take us back to Jackson on Sunday, April 28. All was going according to plan until the alternator decided to quit over northern Arkansas, in solid IMC. We proceeded to get vectors into Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Everyone was very friendly and the lady at the front desk gave us her car to use for the day. What trusting people. The next morning Bob, the local mechanic, promptly fixed a broken wire in the alternator. I can’t say enough about the hospitality of those people in Pine Bluff. The rest of the trip was very uneventful and we arrived back home about 6 P.M., a total of eleven days and 3500 miles from when we started. I would recommend the Bahamas trip for anyone interested in really getting away from it all. The outer islands are not your typical tourist vacation and the price was very reasonable. The issue of dealing with Customs is not difficult and is not a concern. Just follow the rules and you will have no problems. JXN USER’S MEETING On August 1, 2002, a ―User’s Meeting‖ was held at the Davis’ hangar. This combined informational meeting and social gathering was well-attended by a cross section of people who own hangars, fly aircraft and do business at the Jackson County Airport. Hot dogs, hamburgers, and sodas were enjoyed by all. J.K. Curtis, the Air Traffic Control Tower Manager, talked with the pilots about ―hold short‖ and ―back taxiing‖ protocols with a strong emphasis on preventing runway incursions. He complimented those individuals who responded to the recent Cessna 310 crash for their efforts. Airport Manager Kent Maurer spoke of
the upcoming project for replacement of taxiways A and B, the airport’s new security procedure, and the process for revision of the rules and regulations. He then entertained questions and comments from the group. This type of meeting is being planned on a regular basis in the future. Thanks to Murd Davis for opening his hangar for this occasion; to Ben Jordan for his cooking skills; to the airport staff for set up and clean up; and, to Kent Maurer for furnishing the food and beverages. If someone is interested in hosting the next User’s Meeting – please give the Airport Manager’s office a call.
2002 SPECIAL EVENTS AT JXN Special events at the Jackson County Airport were a huge success this past year. The IAC (International Aerobatics Competition) in May, Michigan International Speedway races in June, July and August, plus the Hot Air Jubilee (also in August ) all combined to make JXN a major special events venue. The 2002 CAN-AM Aerobatic Competition – Henry Haigh th th Challenge was held July 6 and 7 at the Jackson County Airport. Competitors from all over the United States and Canada competed in ―Primary‖, ―Sportsman‖, ―International‖, ―Advanced‖ and ―Unlimited‖ divisions. The aerobatic box (the imaginary rectangular area in the sky) for the competition was located north of runway 6/24. Special thanks go to the members of EAA Chapter #304 for cooking food and loaning out their hangar for three days; to Jackson Community Ambulance for staging an ambulance and crew at the Airport during the event; and to the Blackman Township Department of Public Safety for staging a fire truck and public safety personnel at the Airport during the competition. The 2003 Aerobatic competition is scheduled for the July th 4 . The Michigan International Speedway races created a tremendous amount of air, car, and race fan traffic this past summer. Jackson handles the
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vast majority of race-related air traffic for MIS. Runway 14/32 is closed for use as a parking ramp during MIS weekends. Most race crews arrive on Thursday afternoon, which is no secret to hundreds of NASCAR fans who turn out to welcome their favorite drivers. On Sunday evening after the race is concluded the process is reversed. The airport staff worked diligently to provide a safe, secure and efficient traffic flow for all. Many volunteers staffed key traffic and entrance gate control points. The Jackson Convention and Tourist Bureau provided free bottled water to drivers and crews. Skyway Aviation furnished food for pilots and crews during the weekend. The Jackson Community worked hard to make the MIS drivers and crews feel welcome and we are looking forward to 2003. The Hot Air Jubilee set attendance records during their 2002 event held at the Jackson County Airport. Over 70 hot air balloons, a jet-powered fire truck traveling over 300 miles an hour, an air show, a carnival and even ―Laura the elephant‖ drew tens of thousands of spectators to the airport. The Hot Air Jubilee staff started meeting with Airport staff and volunteers at regular monthly meetings starting in January. This event has been heralded by the Jackson Citizen Patriot as ―One of the premier spectator events in Jackson County‖. The Hot Air Jubilee gives thousands of people a unique opportunity to enjoy ―their‖ airport on an annual basis. All in all, the 2002 special events season was a huge success for the Airport. We are looking forward to the 2003 season being even better. AIRPORT SECURITY IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY In the aftermath of September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks the importance of security at airports has become th painfully evident. Since September 11 security at major commercial air carrier airports has increased tremendously with the objective of preventing an attack similar to those of September th 11 . Many security experts predict that because of the increased security at passenger terminals, terrorists may
focus on a smaller, general aviation airport to facilitate a future attack. The importance for airport users to be ―ever vigilant‖ cannot be over stated. Here are a few tips for recognizing suspicious activity at an airport—please be observant for: 1. 2. Aircraft with unusual or unauthorized modifications; Persons with vehicle loitering for extended periods in the vicinity of the airport, especially people in the airport operations area; Pilots who appear to be under the control of others; Persons with above average interest in aircraft and their performance; Persons wishing to obtain aircraft without prior credentials; Persons who present apparently valid credentials, but do not have a corresponding level of aviation knowledge; Stolen or missing aircraft; Anything that doesn’t look right or does not fit the pattern of lawful, normal activity at an airport; and, Report suspicious activity immediately!
matching picnic tables and donated them to the airport. All in all, this area has become more park-like and has been enjoyed by hundreds of people this year. A heartfelt thank you to John Eiler and the Hangar Owners Association at JXN for their kind donation of the picnic tables—they are a great addition to the airport!
EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT JANE ZOMER ASSISTANT AIRPORT MANAGER Jane Zomer was certified as an Assistant Airport Manager on June 10, 2002 by the Bureau of Aeronautics. The Bureau of Aeronautics governs the certification process for airport managers and assistant managers. She has been with the Jackson County Airport since 1995. She was previously employed by Willbee Concrete Products where she worked as an office manager and executive secretary for the President and Vice President of the company for 13 years. Jane has made Jackson her home since 1973 when Jane and her husband moved here from the East Lansing area. Jane was born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She earned a bachelors degree in Business Administration from Western Michigan University in 1971. Jane’s husband Dave is a Court th Officer in the 12 District Court system. Jane and Dave have two adult children Becky and J.D. Becky is an RN, married and living in Springfield, Ohio. J.D. is a teacher in the Houston, Texas school system and also coaches high school basketball there. Dave and Jane have two grandchildren; nine year old Kyle and 15 month old Matthew. Jane enjoys her job at the airport citing ―the diversity of the job‖ and ―the terrific people I am surrounded by‖ as two of the most enjoyable aspects. Jane has provided a very stable presence at the airport over the past seven years, and served
3. 4. 5. 6.
Remember to keep all gates closed when not in use. Make sure that unauthorized vehicles do not enter the driveway gate after you have entered, i.e., wait for the gate to close before you pull away. If we work together we can make our airport more safe and secure.
PICNIC TABLES DONATED The efforts to improve the appearance and utility of the area in front of the restaurant were enhanced by a recent very generous donation. Earlier this year airport staff removed large shrubs and re-landscaped the lawn area on the ―ramp side‖ of the airport terminal. The airport then purchased two commercial-quality benches. John Eiler, on behalf of the Airport Hangar Owners Association purchased two
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as the Acting Airport Manager during much of 2001. Jane has a very caring and professional manner and is an asset to the Jackson County Airport. JXN is fortunate to have such a professional and dedicated person serving as the Administrative Assistant/AssistantAirport Manager. Congratulations to Jane for this notable accomplishment!
certificates and other awards for completing several levels of ATSI training in each category utilizing Airport News and Training Network (ANTN’s) programming. Airports will also receive plaques when their employees accumulate a predetermined number of total hours of ANTN viewing in a oneyear period. Be sure to watch in our upcoming newsletters for special recognitions of our staff for participating in this program.
watching planes take off and land while eating good food, what more could you ask for? Weekend traffic at the restaurant is always busy. People enjoy flying in to Jackson and enjoy eating together in a friendly atmosphere. Dianne says she hopes to be in business for many years to come to serve the community. Besides her regular menu to the public, she also provides aircraft food catering. Hours of operation are 7:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M., 7 days a week. Try them out sometime!
Airport Training and Safety Institute In times of shrinking budgets and increasing workloads, it becomes essential to prioritize. Unfortunately, when budgets are trimmed and schedules are rearranged, we keep hearing the same thing: training is the first to go. Stop and think for a moment—how did you learn all the rules and procedures of working ? Training. There is no substitute. Learning the other way, by trial and error, could end up costing an airport much more than it would have to spend on employee training, and of course, safety could be at risk as well. Since January 1, 1996, the Airport Training and Safety Institute (ATSI) has enabled airport employees to choose the training that best applies to their specific job or area of interest while having the option to learn more about other facets of airport life. After all, the more informed airport employees are about the operations of the entire airport, the safer and airport will be. Starting this month, the staff at Jackson County Airport are fortunate to be a part of this training program that will help equip them to better serve the Jackson community. By watching ANTN programming or videos, a participant can obtain a certificate of completion signifying that they have completed a substantial amount of training in their field. Our staff will earn completion
SOMETHING TO SHARE ? If you have something you would like to share in the Newsletter, please bring it in to the Airport Manager’s office or send it, or email it to Kent Maurer. He will be glad to review what you have and try to include it in the next issue. This space could be your interesting article! Contact the Airport Manager at 517 788-4225.
Business Spotlight Airport Restaurant & Spirits Dianne Weems, owner and operator of the Airport Restaurant and Spirits has been married to Jeff Weems for 25 years. They have one son Joe; three step children, Rob, Tina, and Shawn; six grandchildren, Mike, Brandon, Eli, Juda, Alan, and Jaylynn. Dianne has worked in the restaurant business since 18 years of age, starting as a waitress and working her way into management 14 years ago. She has owned her own business for 6 years. Dianne says she finds the restaurant work to be exciting-trying to create new ideas and specials to her menu. The Airport Restaurant and Spirits employs 22, most of them long term. Dianne says ―we meet new people everyday and many of them become part of our extended family.‖ With the unique atmosphere of