Retired Airline Captain Flies To All South Carolina
Ron Schreck is a 62-year-old retired airline captain and
now-part-time contract pilot. He spent last year's Fourth of July
holiday visiting all 109 public-use airports in his home state of
Flying his Vans RV-8 homebuilt, with its Lycoming O-360 and
constant-speed prop, he made the entire circuit in under 20 hours,
thanks in large measure to his plane's speed and capabilities, and
a computer routing calculated by William Cook, a professor of
mathematics at Georgia Tech.
So, how did Ron celebrate the 4th this year? By flying his RV to
all 68 public-use airports in the neighboring state of South
With fewer airports, Ron says he didn't even have to do any
night flying... completing the computer-optimized route of 1,052
miles in just under 11 hours. In fact, he made it home in time for
the Independence Day cookout at his home on the Gold Hill
residential airpark, where hangar talk with buddies started the
idea that led to last year's flight.
So, what's next? Ron jokes, "Only 48 states to go!" He says
he'll probably try Virginia next, although he admits making quick
stops at the airports covered by the Washington DC ADIZ will be a
Ron says one of his goals is to make small communities aware of
the value of their small airports, in a time when many
cash-strapped municipalities see a chance for a quick buck selling
off to developers.
"If news of my flight... can make just one city or county
official vote to keep their local airport, then I guess the effort
is worth it."
As for actually replicating the feat in all 50 states, Ron isn't
making any solid promises. "Texas alone has 392 public use
airports. I'm tempted to leave that to someone who's younger and
more ambitious than me."
Then again, if he hasn't thought about it... how would he know
how many public use airports there are in Texas?
(Note: Ron will be Paul Plack's guest next
week for the July 15 edition of the Aero-News Special Feature
Aero-Cast, during which he'll talk in detail about his