Just a few years ago, a group of Arkansas pilots and RAF members walked a large meadow owned by The Nature Conservancy in the Ozarks above the Kings River. They envisioned a turf airfield, where folks could land and enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, and floating the river. The RAF raised funds to create that 3,000-ft turf airfield through private donations. “Our success is the result of having developed a great partnership with this international conservation organization,” said RAF Arkansas Liaison Dave Powell.
A Favorite Destination
Trigger Gap airfield, (17A) is now a premier backcountry airfield. Volunteers have added two fire rings, an outhouse, picnic tables, and a critter-proof camp storage box. It’s just 29 nm east of Thaden Field (VBT), which serves Bentonville, and pilots from all over the country have enjoyed this special place. Campers at Trigger Gap enjoy a great view over the Kings River, famous for smallmouth bass fishing. “Trigger Gap offers a beautiful recreational flying destination for both experienced pilots and those new to this kind of flying,” Powell said.
A Pavilion is Going Up
Now, the RAF is preparing a major amenity in keeping with The Nature Conservancy’s aesthetics. This effort will be led by RAF Arkansas Liaisons Dave Powell and Harper Goodwin. Imagine landing on the smooth turf, and in the silence between the trees above the King’s River, enjoying preparing your camp meal in an open-air timber and stone pavilion. Designed by RAF Kentucky Liaison and architect Jeff Smith, the pavilion will feature solar lighting, a place to charge your electronics, and a pathway to the new composting toilet. Build a fire to take the chill off the evening, and reflect on the day around the fireplace.
Will You Help?
Completion of the pavilion is budgeted to cost $70,000, and the RAF has already raised $40,000 toward the project. “We have worked together with Arkansas pilots to create a great backcountry destination. Places like this are special, and will last a lifetime,” RAF President Bill McGlynn said. “You can help us improve this gem even more by helping us build a pavilion where aviators can get together and share flying stories around a fire,” McGlynn added.
We don’t want to build a pilot pavilion without inviting YOU!
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Donations are tax-deductible to the extent of the law.
Questions? Contact AR Liaison Harper Goodwin, email@example.com, 817-938-3334, or AR Liaison Dave Powell, firstname.lastname@example.org, 479-586-5540. For more information about Trigger Gap airfield, visit airfield.guide.