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Featured Airstrip

Each month we highlight an airstrip that the RAF has positively impacted. We hope that you will get out and enjoy these airstrips. This month's Featured Airstrip is North Fox Island in Michigan.

The RAF completed a formal agreement with the State of Michigan to open North Fox Island, located on an 820-acre island in Lake Michigan.  

Beginning in 2014, the RAF organized work parties to restore it for safe use, and has committed to its ongoing support.  

Ryan Field Work Party Scheduled for June 9

In the past, a dozen volunteers have turned out to prepare Ryan Field (2MT1) for another summer of safe and scenic operations. This year, the Ryan Field Work Party is scheduled Saturday, June 9 to separate it from the June 15-16 AOPA Fly-in in Missoula with Seeley Lake fly-out, and we look forward to another successful, fun turnout!

Get out west at RAF's annual Ryan Fly-In

Thanks to a positive response last year, the 2018 RAF Fly-In at Ryan Field (2MT1) in Montana, being held June 22-24, will again feature an “Out West” theme. We’ve contracted with the popular Swan Mountain Outfitters (SMO) to provide both Friday and Saturday evening dinners for reasonable cost.

June Events

June is shaping up to be very busy with fly-ins, workshops and work parties. Please plan on joining us for one or more events. Clicking on any event title will take you to the RAF events calendar page with more information.

June 2: McKenzie Bridge Airport Work Party, Oregon

The Keystone Connection

The Keystone Connection, RAF’s 2018 biennial educational conference began in State College, Pennsylvania May 17 and concluded May 19 after a weekend of education and networking opportunities for volunteers. RAF Secretary Alan Metzler and his family hosted the wrap-up barbecue in their pastoral Reedsville hangar. Education continued right up to the dinner bell, with presentations on survival gear, and how to create a safety briefing.  

Coming from across the nation, State Liaisons, RAF Ambassadors and other key volunteers attended, with Oregon State Liaison Richard Mayes and his wife Sarah taking long-distance honors. Sarah serves as one of the RAF’s VP’s of Appreciation, as does Patricia Tyler who attended with her husband, RAF Vice President Jack Tyler. Volunteer Coordinator Erin White, National RUS Liaison John Nadeau, and all nine RAF directors were also there.

Thanks to arrangements made by RAF Director Todd Simmons, the Keystone attendees were treated to a fast paced kickoff presentation by legendary acrobatic performer Michael Goulian. Michael shared his “12 G” performance that has put him in first place in the Red Bull Air Race championships.  Michael even demonstrated his version of a short field landing in his highly modified Edge 540 sponsored by Cirrus when video showed what it’s like to land over the trees and between the grandstands on an auto race track at a recent Red Bull event.












House fire changes plan but not spirit

Minnesota RAF supporter Jim Hanson and his wife Mary Alice had planned to attend the RAF's biennial conference in May, the Keystone Connection, but suffered a house fire, losing nearly everything. “Here's what's left of my RAF shirt,” Jim wrote of this photo.

While they were busy dealing with insurance, restoring power, water, and communications, they were surprised when RAF’s John and Tricia McKenna showed up on their drive back to Montana from Pennsylvania.

Productive Negrito Work Party pleases USFS

Over the weekend of May 3-6, the New Mexico Pilots Association sponsored a work party at USFS Negrito Airstrip (0NM7) in New Mexico to replace thousands of feet of downed cattle fence surrounding the airstrip. 

The event was hosted by New Mexico RAF State Liaisons Larry Filener and myself; both us are also actively involved in NMPA. 

Arizona’s Spring Flying Season Continues

May's Double Circle Ranch event in Arizona was a real treat for attendees as the weather was ideal. Folks flew from as far away as Albuquerque to spend just a few hours with us, and we were joined by four turkey hunters from Tucson and Chandler as they utilized the lodge alongside pilots. Local rancher Darcy Ely was kind enough to provide her grill and picnic tables once again, and graced us with a good visit, discussing the area and the challenges of ranching.

Bowstring Call to Action fills the room

RAF Minnesota Liaison Kurt Pennuto wants to thank everyone who took time to respond to a Call To Action regarding Bowstring Airport. The impressive turnout on May 2 included 43 pilots — many of whom are RAF members — a resort owner, and the videographer who produced the Bowstring Fly in video. Twelve airplanes flew in. The County also received 28 emails, letters and phone calls. All wanted Bowstring to retain its open status.

Eagle Scout's Successful Payson Fly-In


That’s the best description of the April 6-8 fly-in at Payson, AZ, (KPAN) for a weekend of fun and camping.