Just a few years ago, a group of Arkansas pilots and members of the Recreational Aviation Foundation walked a large meadow owned by The Nature Conservancy in the Ozarks above the Kings River. They envisioned a turf airfield, where pilots could land and enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, and floating the river.
The RAF raised funds to create that 3,000-foot turf airfield through private donations.
“Our success is the result of having developed a great partnership with this international conservation organization,” said RAF Arkansas Liaison Dave Powell.
Trigger Gap Airfield (17A) is now a “premier backcountry airfield,” according to RAF officials.
“Volunteers have added two fire rings, an outhouse, picnic tables, and a critter-proof camp storage box,” officials report. “It’s just 29 nm east of Thaden Field (KVBT), which serves Bentonville, and pilots from all over the country have enjoyed this special place.”
“Trigger Gap offers a beautiful recreational flying destination for both experienced pilots and those new to this kind of flying,” Powell added.
Now, the RAF is raising funds to build a new visitors pavilion on the airfield.
“We have worked together with Arkansas pilots to create a great backcountry destination. Places like this are special, and will last a lifetime,” RAF President Bill McGlynn said. “You can help us improve this gem even more by helping us build a pavilion where aviators can get together and share flying stories around a fire.”
Designed by RAF Kentucky Liaison and architect Jeff Smith, the pavilion will feature solar lighting, a place to charge your electronics, and a pathway to the new composting toilet.
Completion of the pavilion is budgeted to cost $70,000, and the RAF has already raised $40,000 toward the project. It is now reaching out to pilots and aviation enthusiasts to raise the remaining $30,000. There are different levels of contributions, with donations tax-deductible.