Just released is “The Pilots’ Guide to the Airports of Historic Massachusetts” by John Fiske. The book covers the history, area attractions and aviation lore of the Commonwealth’s 38 airports.
A travel buff, outdoorsman and skilled diver, as well as private pilot, Fiske previously edited the Appalachian Mountain Club’s River Guides.
Fiske’s research highlights how aviation grew up in Massachusetts. The first airport in the Commonwealth was in Newburyport, at Plum Island (2B2). The busiest is Logan (BOS). The second busiest is Nantucket (ACK), which was the setting for the NBC hit series “Wings.” World War l pilots who wanted a place to fly after returning home built the airport in Fitchburg. Cranberry farmers built one for aerial spraying in Hanson.
Fiske describes each airport in historical context as well. Logan Airport, in East Boston, was the site of an active clipper ship building industry in the 19th century. Gardner Municipal Airport in Gardner is where factories produced millions of chairs. Southbridge Municipal Airport in Southbridge is where optical equipment was made, and Westfield Airport, where the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s A-10s are based, was famous for buggy whips, and is still known as “Whip City.”
“Writing the Pilots Guide was a lot of fun,” Fiske says. “Massachusetts has such rich history. Viewing it through the lens of aviation gives it a different glow.”
Fiske added he is developing Pilots’ Guides for other states.
For more information: www.johnfiske.com