Category Archives: Aviation

Augusta Municipal Airport manager hopes to have restaurant at airport

WICHITA — Augusta Municipal Airport manager Lloyd Partin’s latest hope for the airport is a restaurant.

“Most people fly with some sort of intention in their trip,” he says. “It gives people a reason to fly, especially for leisure reasons.”

Partin says the idea would be to lure people flying in for the proverbial $100 hamburger but also attract people driving in from around the area.

He says it’s about giving “another reason why the airport is important.”

Partin says the car rentals that the airport added are used more by nonfliers than those flying in.

There’s a hurdle to a restaurant, though.

“The primary issue right now is having access to a sewer line,” Partin says. “That’s the critical component.”

He says a microsewage treatment plant is a possibility, as is getting a line extended from Andover.

“We were discussing the possibility with the city of Andover,” Partin says. “We’re still working on that and still having discussions with them.”

Ideally, Partin would like a restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“That would be my goal,” he says. Having a full-service menu “would be a real benefit.”

“It would be a good location for something like that.”

Partin says he’s spoken with potential operators but doesn’t have anything waiting on the back burner. He says there’s interest, though.

“I think a restaurant, from the airports that have one, is kind of like icing on the cake,” he says. “It brings it full circle in terms of providing a reason for people to get out and fly.”

You don’t say

“I would have said it anyway.”

Redbird Flight Simulations owner Jerry Gregoire, noting that Cessna Aircraft representatives were at Farnborough instead of the Wichita Aero Club Thursday when he discussed what happens when accountants take over aviation companies

You don’t say

“Just maintaining pilot currency takes more ‘currency’ than I have available.”

Wichita Aero Club president Dave Franson writing in a Professional Pilot commentary about the expense of flying personal aircraft

You don’t say

“You’ll always be one of the Beeches.”

– A teasing comment during an all-female, after-hours gathering of Beechcraft colleagues, who were wishing Sarah Goertz well in her new job as digital director at Greteman Group

You don’t say

“They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to determine how to promote Wichita when we have lots of locally owned restaurants that … could be highlighted at the airport that would show what Wichita really is.”

– Wichitan Audine Stuhlsatz, who is disappointed that the restaurants under consideration for the new airport terminal aren’t all local

You don’t say

“You can bet that stewardess got a nice, free meal at Freddy’s.”

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers operating partner Scott Redler, who returned to Wichita on Southwest Airlines and heard a flight attendant say, “Welcome to Wichita, now you can get off and go get yourself some Starbucks and some Freddy’s.”

You don’t say

“Any speaker coming to Rotary is going to have a hard time topping that.”

Tammy Allen of Allen, Gibbs & Houlik on Ginger Hardage of Southwest Airlines, who rewarded everyone who listened to her speak with a $50 travel voucher

Airbus to reduce engineering staff

WICHITA — Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft aren’t the only aircraft manufacturers cutting jobs in Wichita.

Airbus also will be reducing its engineering staff.

“This is not bad news,” says spokeswoman Kristi Tucker.

“This type of staffing balance is not unusual in the aviation industry,” she says. “At some point in every project, the product leaves the engineering and design phase and goes into production, so you don’t need as much engineering focus on it.”

Currently, about 370 of Airbus’ 400 Wichita employees are engineers.

“It’s been at a top level,” Tucker says. “It’s more work than we’ve ever done or ever managed out of that office.”

She says she can’t discuss specific numbers of how many jobs will be eliminated because that’s not been determined yet.

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Kansas Aviation Museum to try to capitalize on unexplained activity at the museum

kamWICHITA — As executive director of the Kansas Aviation Museum, Lon Smith often works late – and alone – at the 1934 building, which was Wichita’s first airport terminal.

One night at about 1 a.m., he says, “I heard a loud, loud screaming sound. Sounded like a female voice more than a male.”

He walked in the direction of the sound to the darkened atrium, which once was a waiting area for passengers. He turned on the lights and started to investigate.

“When things like that happen, I tend to look for explanations, like there’s wind blowing through a window jamb or something like that,” Smith says. “It wasn’t anything like that.”

So Smith says he returned to work.

“All of a sudden, there it was again,” he says. “It was really like a blood-curdling, chills-up-your-back, somebody’s-getting-hurt kind of sound. Like if it had been a real person, I would have thought I need to go save this person from some kind of untimely demise.”

Instead, he left the building.

“I hate to admit it, but I was a little frightened.”

After six years of working there and experiencing about 25 unexplained incidents such as this, Smith has decided to start sharing his experiences.

“For quite a long time, I did not share anything about these incidents because it was my belief that some people might be worried about visiting the museum,” he says.

Smith says he’s changed his mind on the counsel of a trusted adviser.

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You don’t say

“I notice Jeff Turner has a suntan.”

Spirit AeroSystems CEO Larry Lawson, speaking at the Wichita Aero Club where his predecessor was in the audience, on how he’s gained 10 pounds and lost his tan since joining the company 10 months ago