By JAMES J. PIEKLO
You know the type. They move next to a railroad track or an airport then immediately start complaining about the noise.
I happen to live directly under the flight path of Ocean City Municipal Airport (26N) in New Jersey, and I don’t mind the noise in the least. Our in-house VHF radio is tuned not only to the Ocean City Unicom, but also to our near-by “large” airport, Atlantic City International Airport (KACY).
Even since I can remember I wanted to fly. To this day I remember a doctor telling me that my eyes would never allow that happen.
It is hard for a 6 year old to have his life-long ambition squelched. But that discouragement did not stop my interest in aviation and I became an avid model builder at least.
As luck would have it, I embarked on a career that in some respects is not very much different from aviation, the marine industry. I frequently would fanaticize I was flying a plane while steering a boat in the ocean or on the Intracoastal Waterway.
So, when we had the opportunity to purchase our home, the fact that it was lined up with the Ocean City runways actually was a bit of a selling point, although the water views also played a major role!
Summer weekends are especially busy at Ocean City, as it is a shore resort community. I can spend hours on the deck with the radio tuned to our local frequency and binoculars close at hand to hear the planes departing and arriving.
For the most part 26N attracts small single and twin engine planes, although a frequent summer visitor is a Citation jet, which on landing probably is quieter than most of the single engine prop models coming in.
Occasionally we will have a helicopter drop by and last summer the highlight was a B-25 in town for our local air expo. I say highlight because it made two low passes over the house and I was able to get a few nice shots of the bird with its gear down.
Many a summer evening is spent out our deck watching the Dolphin helicopters from the Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City as they practice their intercept techniques. Boy, that looks like fun!
One of the items on my to-do list is to take a trip on a Waco biplane that gives rides during the summer months. I don’t know if I would go for the aerobatic ride, but the fact that the plane usually goes right over our home would provide an opportunity for some super aerial shots of the domicile.
So, there you have it pilots. The next time you land or take off from 26N, chances are there will be this guy down on the ground listening to your radio communications and/or watching you through the binoculars, all the while wishing he was up there with you.