Craig Fuller, president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, recently responded to an invitation from Recreational Aviation Foundation President John McKenna to Montana’s Russian Flat.
“This airstrip is a wonderful example of how a local pilots organization like the Montana Pilots Association, in conjunction with the Recreational Aviation Foundation, can work to bring a facility like this to the public,” Fuller said.
The first public airstrip created on United States Forest Service land in more than 45 years, Russian Flat is a 4,000-foot grass strip, ideal for recreational use, according to Recreational Aviation Foundation officials. It adjacent to a tree-sheltered campground and is within walking distance of the south fork of the Judith River. To allow for reseeding, the strip will open to the general public in 2010.
“This is the reason that we all started flying, so we could go to places like this,” said Bill Ryan, a pilot who accompanied Fuller on the trip. “Even if our lives take us in different directions, career and flying wis, we still want to be in this kind of special place.”