Each month we highlight an airstrip with hopes that you will get out and enjoy these special places. In honor of our 20th anniversary month, we’re featuring Lincoln, Montana.

Flying to Lincoln, Montana S69, you’re within sight of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The airport, owned by Montana Aeronautics Division, is a paved, lighted 4,240 foot airport at an elevation of 4,600 feet within the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. It lies along the Blackfoot River. For A River Runs Through It fans, those are the waters that haunted Norman MacLean. You can camp at the west end of the field, close enough to hear its riffles. It features a dedicated tie-down area, outhouse, fire rings, and tables. Potable water is available at the most western hangar hydrant. 

Fortunately, the abundant local wildlife stays on the wild side of the airport perimeter fence, but you can see a beautiful (static) grizzly bear specimen at the Forest Service Ranger Station, on your shortcut toward the hamlet of Lincoln. Try breakfast at Lambkin’s along Highway 200. You’ll receive a warm Montana welcome. Also across Highway 200 from the Ranger Station is the Blackfoot Pathways: Sculpture in the Wild http://www.sculptureinthewild.com/. An airport courtesy car is available for use by incoming pilots and their passengers, and volunteers have provided bicycles for the two-mile trip to town.

Speaking of volunteers, this airport is lovingly tended by the “LAF” or Lincoln Airport Foundation, the brainchild of founding RAF Director Jerome Cain. He’d purchased his retirement ranch a few miles west of Lincoln in 1990, and the purchase included a hangar at the Lincoln Airport. This motivated Jer to earn his pilot license in California prior to his retirement and permanent move to Lincoln in 1994. In 2019, he decided there needed to be a 501c3 Public Charity to support Montana Aeronautics’s efforts at S69, so he created LAF – consisting of all Lincoln’s hangar owners. LAF volunteers plow snow to keep the airport open throughout the winter, and mow grass all summer. In return, Aeronautics has funded many of the improvements requested by the LAF. 

Lincoln hosts an annual Fly-In barbecue potluck on the fourth Saturday of July, which Jer started in 2003. He expanded it to a Lincoln Airport Community Open House which has continued ever since with sponsorship by the LAF. Typically, hangar doors roll open for viewing aircraft, EAA members conduct Young Eagle flights, and community emergency service organizations display and demonstrate equipment. Mark July 22, 2023 on your calendar and fly on in to share a dish and enjoy fellowship and great food with your pilot friends and community members! (See the RAF Calendar for details.)

RAF supporters have another big reason to thank Jer. In 2003 during a strategic planning session in Bozeman MT, he created an IRS 501c3 Public Charity for the newly-forming RAF, authorizing donors to get tax benefits for their contributions, and the rest is RAF history.

Featured photo by Bob Frank-Plumlee.

Submitted on June 28, 2023.


  1. Brad Walker on July 1, 2023 at 7:47 am

    My wife and I first visited Lincoln by plane several years ago and were greeted by Jerry upon arrival (he had looked up our tail number while we taxied in!) The airport is wonderful and located in a beautiful setting…we really enjoyed riding the bikes through the sculpture park on our way into town. We returned several years later for the annual potluck gathering and Jerry & Liz were gracious to put us up at their ranch. We looking forward to returning back and exploring more of the area and visiting friends we’ve made there….

  2. Tim Conway on July 6, 2023 at 7:45 am

    Although much of the funding is provided by the FAA and State of Montana Aeronautics Division, most of the labor is provided by a network of local volunteers, headed-up by Jerry. The volunteers play an important role as the airport’s eyes and ears to maintain its safety and useability. As the article mentions, the airport has some nice but underutilized campsites very near the Blackfoot River that provide the perfect setting for a weekend getaway (please note the campsites are outside the airport’s wildlife fence). S69 is a beautiful airport in a beautiful setting that you’ll be glad you decided to visit and while you’re there, say hi to Jerry!

  3. Ron Normandeau on July 6, 2023 at 11:02 pm

    You will notice the Blackfoot River just east of the south end of the runway. There are camp sites at the south end and some of the best fishing in the state.

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