One of the problems of developing pilot resources at backcountry airstrips is having to bring in all the building materials.
But that’s not a problem for volunteers with the Recreational Aviation Foundation, who are planning to build a pilot shelter at the airstrip on Georgia’s Creighton Island.
But before they can build the pilot shelter from wood on the island, volunteers first needed to build a portable sawmill.
RAF volunteers from Georgia, Florida, Virginia, and Connecticut met at the privately-owned airfield Feb. 18-20, 2022, for a work party.
“We spent our time degreasing and repainting the enormous Continental engine that will power the mill,” said Georgia RAF Ambassador Eric Davis. “It’s now a bright Cub yellow!”
Once the machine is operational, the crew will begin milling lumber for a pole barn to protect the mill, “as the coastal weather is extremely unkind to everything made of steel,” Davis explained.
“Our plan is to mill the lumber from the island to build a pilot shelter,” added RAF Georgia Ambassador Lou Furlong.
Furlong and Davis were joined by Davis’s father, as well as Florida Liaison Bobby Capozzi, who hauled saws and equipment in and began cutting wood.
Also part of the work party were Virginia Ambassador Alan White and Connecticut Liaison Drew Lyons. A few other volunteers helped install the RAF fire ring and readied the airstrip for the season.
“Mostly we cleaned up the area and set up the sawmill engine,” Furlong said.
To fly in — other than for scheduled events — pilots must obtain permission from owner Frank Williams at 912-269-5194 within 24 hours prior to arrival to obtain a runway report.
For more information on Creighton and the required Safety Briefing, see the RAF’s Airfield Guide.