Hapkido Online

Monday, August 13, 2012

Start a Hapkido Online Club!

A great way to lean Hapkido is to start a club. It's impossible to learn Hapkido alone, you may as well make it a group event. The neat thing about this is you have a willing group of uke's to work with. When a member makes it to black belt they can transition the club to a fully fledged Hapkido School and begin teaching their own students.

The rules to your individual club are entirely up to you, it's your club.

1. Your club members do not necessarily have to be members of Hapkido Online or THA to practice Hapkido with you, however you can't test them for (Hapkido) Gup rank till you are at least a 1st Dan in Hapkido.

2. If you have club members that want to gain rank in Hapkido they will be have to be reviewed and tested by me or another one of the teachers at Hapkido Online such as Master Feathers (in the Digital Dojang). Of course any THA instructor can promote your club members as well (if your club members are members of THA).

3. In other words in order to be promoted, people have to join. Once they join they are exactly like any Hapkido Online member in that they are members and can train and test through Hapkido Online. In a club environment you can all work together to learn the content, it's a heck of a lot of fun and creates a pool of uke's.

4. You can charge your own club fees outside of Hapkido Online to your club members if you desire, that is none of my business.

5. Once you attain first dan your Hapkido Club can then transition to a fully fledged Hapkido School. Then you are your own school entity and will interface directly with GM Rodemaker regarding your THA affiliate school status. At that point you won't be working through Hapkido Online much anymore, though we can always use member schools.

6. These rules only apply to Hapkido Online and not necessarily to the Tactical Hapkido Alliance. Your membership and member school status to THA is above me and resides with GM Rodemaker.

Learn more at www.hapkido-online.com .

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Aerospace: Curiosity on Mars

Well it looks like NASA has managed another modern technological feat.  They've landed a new unmanned rover dubbed 'Curiosity' on Mars.  As a rule I feel a little dispassionate about unmanned vehicles, I still long for the days of manned space exploration.  But I have to admit this latest mission was quite daring.

Earlier rovers arrived via combination of retro rockets, parachutes, and encased in a series of rubbery bubbles.  They bounced along the Martian surface like a beach ball.

Curiosity would arrive in a much more science-fictionally pleasing manner.

Curiosity rode in at high velocity.  She entered the Martian atmosphere with small puffs of guidance thrusters carefully keeping the heat shield facing the fury of friction induced burning.  When it had lost sufficient velocity the heat shield was set free.  The photo above was actually one of the first taken by the rover as it watched its own heat shield fall away.

Now the daring part the rover was lowered carefully to the surface tethered to a rocket pack.  The rockets were controlled enough to allow  'Curiosity' to gently kiss the Martian soil with its own six diminutive wheels.  Once the rover was safely on Martia Firma it cut the tether loose and the rocket pack roared away like a child's balloon set free.

Congratulations to the people of NASA for your successful landing and I hope Curiosity meets and exceeds it's two year mission parameters.

Source: www.nasa.gov

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hapkido Online: Update

Hello Hapkido Friends,

You may have noticed the Korean text at the top of Hapkido Online.  Getting it on there was quite an adventure.  I admit freely that I do not speak Korean, if anybody out there does perhaps you can tell me if I've got it right.  According to three different digital translators this is the most literal translation of Hapkido Online.

Another change is I've removed the static image on the homepage and replaced it with a nice clean slideshow that gives new people a taste of what the site is about without having to read much or click around.

I also replaced the flaming hand art with a more refined looking version.  Now you can see the tips of the fingers for example.

I think the sight is starting to really look nice.  A quick search of the very little competition out there and I think you will agree, ours is the nicest.

On the content side of things we've got nearly 85% of Yellow Belt complete.  More yellow belt filming next week hopefully.

I've begun textual and graphic work on High Yellow.  Included is some very fine instruction from Master Tim.  I've decided to insert the interception drills in at this level.  Some have advised that I should introduce it at the very beginning.  However I want it to be on the paid side of the password because the stuff is combat gold.  For you members feel free to skip ahead a bit and try the drills, they are awesome.  We do not have film of these just yet.  Hopefully we can grab some video next week.

Finally my birthday is near (12th of July) and the only thing I asked for this year was the graphic software to make my very own custom fight science style visuals of the human body. As I have promised so I will deliver.  I can't wait to get started.

Instructor Jon


P.S.  I would like to ask a prayer request for Mr. Braxton.  You might know him as Master Tim's faithful uke.  Braxton has developed tendinitis in his wrist and it's impeding his progress.  Not only is Braxton Master Tim's son but he is an accomplished Hapkidoin in his own right.  Get well soon my brother.

I would also like to ask a prayer request for Mr. John who is David's uke and an accomplished Martial Artist as well.  Mr. John has a broken foot.  Hang in there and get well soon.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Inside North Korea, a Review and Commentary

I recently watched the National Geographic Documentary Inside North Korea.  The show follows an optometric surgeon who has been granted rare access to the most secretive country on the planet.  Nat Geo's own Lisa Ling and her film team pose as helpers to the medical team.

I have a special fondness for the Korean people.  For years I've studied Korean Martial arts and I have gained insight an interest about Korea through the pursuit of their fighting skills.  Korea is situated between China and Japan and throughout history has proven to be a melting pot of the two cultures.  Nowhere is this more evident than in Korean Martial arts.  In spite of foreign influences the Koreans have managed to carve out a cultural identity that is all their own.

South Korea is well known but North Korea is a real mystery, even to its neighbors.  Getting to see this rare glimpse on the other side of the fence is quite shocking.  It seems an entire nation that has through fear and absolute poverty been brainwashed by Kim Jong-Il.  The show highlights just how deeply rooted this idolatry is in the North Korean Culture.

In ten days the surgeon was able to restore sight to over 1,000 North Koreans and after being able to see the first thing they did was kneel and praise an image of Kim Jong-Il.

The conditions in that country are deplorable.  Medical Care is nonexistent, food is rare, and people live in abject fear even within their own homes.  North Korea is not the third world.  The country has a massive million man army and a nuclear arsenal. Despite what it has militarily it's people live in depravity.

Frankly it breaks my heart to see such a noble people completely repressed and deluded in this way.  I don't know what the future holds for North Korea but it is clear to me that this situation is a blight on mankind.  It's an offense to all freedom loving peoples and cultures.  As an American it's easy to pass judgment on North Korea as an evil regime worthy of destruction.  I hope that in time we will remember that the Korean people are ultimately victims of the their communists oppressors.  The North Koreans hate us because that is all their culture and government have taught them about us.

The Soviet Union fell under the economic weight of itself.  One hopes that eventually Communist North Korea will fall as well.  It is certainly on the ropes.  My hope for North Korea comes from South Korea.  South Korea fought alongside us in the Korean war and they still stand side by side with American soldiers every day guarding the line.  This author hopes that someday when Kim Jong-Il's evil regime falls and the communists throw in the towel that North Koreans will reunite with family in South Korea and the South Koreans will show them the joys of freedom and that America isn't the demon they have been lead to believe.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Martial Justice

Any time you're in an intense, potentially life-threatening situation, the body naturally kicks into "fight or flight" mode. It's an unconscious reaction where -- in a matter of adrenaline-pumped nanoseconds -- you size up the danger and either a) fight your way to safety or, if the perceived danger is too great b) flee the scene. If you're Priscilla Dang, though, sometimes you do both at the same time.

Dang was on a run in a Vancouver, Wash., neighborhood last Friday when two teenagers on bikes, one 16, the other 18, approached her from behind. "One went in front and made eye contact with me like a smirk, like I thought he was saying 'Hi,'" said Dang of the encounter to KATU. "The next thing I knew I was pretty much groped on my bottom behind left side."

Unfortunately for the alleged gropers, the 23-year-old woman has taken kung-fu lessons since she was 5. Her family owns the Summit Wushu Academy, an Oregon martial arts studio.

She instantly pushed one of the teenagers to the ground and made him apologize. When the second teenager called her a derogatory term, Dang says she snapped, hitting him in the face several times while simultaneously dodging his punches. According to The Columbian, when he pulled out a knife she used his bike as a shield until a passerby showed up and called 911.

"I think they knew they messed with the wrong girl," Dang added to KATU.

Both suspects fled the scene and were later apprehended by sheriff's deputies, reports KPTV. The 18-year-old suspect is now facing fourth-degree assault charges, while the 16-year-old will be judged by a juvenile prosecutor.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Parental Justice: Father Beats Daughters Molester to Death.

A Texas father beat a man to death after catching him molesting his four-year-old daughter in a horse barn, The Houston Chronicle reports. The incident happened Saturday evening near Shiner, Texas.
Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon identified the victim as a 47-year-old man from Gonzales, Texas. He was reported dead at the scene, however, his name will not be released until his next of kin is notified.Harmon said the father and daughter were with several other people at the family’s barn to groom and tend to the horses. It isn’t clear whether or not the father knew the victim well or at all, according to The Chronicle.The sound of the little girl’s screams were later heard coming from the barn and instinctually, the father rushed to his daughter’s aide. After reaching the barn, he found a man sexually assaulting his daughter – undoubtedly a dad’s worst nightmare.

After pulling the attacker off of her, the father repeatedly struck the man in the head.The young girl was taken to DeTar hospital in Victoria where doctors ran tests to determine whether sexual assault had occurred, The Houston Chronicle reports. She was eventually released.In the aftermath, nearby residents are having a hard time feeling any sympathy for the alleged child molester.“He got what he deserved, big time,” Sonny Jaehne, a Shiner resident, told the Victoria Advocate.Another Shiner resident Mark Harabis said he agreed with the father’s action “totally.”

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Aviation: Aging Air Force, Father and Son fly same plane

The Wall Street Journal recently wrote an excellent story about a father and son flying the exact same aircraft in the Air Force some 30 years apart.  Remember this the next time people balk at the budget for military spending.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Monsanto buys Beelogics

Monsanto the most probable suspect in CCD honey bee disappearances recently bought Beelogics a firm trying to determine the cause.


Folks I am normally in favor of entrepreneurship and business success but this is just diabolical!  I am not normally in favor of government intervention in business but this is one time when it really is needed.

Write your local, state, and national leaders:


Ask them to put an end to systemic pesticide.  Every country that has done this  so far i.e. France and Italy have seen a great reduction in Colony Collapse Disorder.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Hapkido: Do you want to learn Martial Arts? I am here to help.

One of the difficulties I have had in teaching Hapkido to military people is that either they or I have to transfer every three to four years.  It is fair to say that I have students all over the world at this point.  I myself would have to spend hours upon hours in a car just to get to my own Hapkido teacher.

 A students commitment to learn is mirrored by the teachers commitment to teach.  I have felt the burden of not being able to continue teaching my students.  With that in mind I began tooling around with the idea of an interactive Hapkido website, so that I can effectively continue teaching my people anywhere in the world.  I had the idea some three years ago and even made an early site that didn't really work too well.

 I decided recently to give it another try.  I'll be the first to admit that I am not a great web designer.  I decided to use a provider and work from a standard template this time and the results have been WAY better.  I've only been building the site for about a week but it is already a great resource!

 I've known so many who desire martial arts training but never pursue it.  Many never learn martial arts because it's either too expensive or sometimes not even available in their area. 

 When I began learning martial arts (20 years ago) it was reasonably affordable (my first classes cost $14 a month).  That has changed considerably over the years.  Nowadays Hapkido instruction (if you can even find it) runs between $80 and $250 a month.  Even learning from a DVD series runs in the $500 range, sometimes more. 

 Some try to learn from free videos on YouTube and such but this is a very inefficient way to learn and often ignores the fundamentals that a beginning student must learn.  If you have learned this way, good on you, but I bet if you could you would rather have formal instruction.

 So with all this in my mind and in my heart I give you Hapkido Online:

 Please understand that this is a work in progress, I've only been at it for about a week now.  But already it has all the elements that I feel are needed to 'distance learn' a martial art:

  • Step by step instructive videos with written tutorials
  • A forum for questions
  • A video conferencing feature for interaction with teacher and student
  • A pool of willing instructors
  • A pool of willing students

So far I've only begun fleshing out the White Belt level but every week more content will be added till it has every single practical Hapkido move.  I am happy to offer White Belt through Yellow Belt absolutely free of charge.  In conventional terms that is like three to six months of training for free.

Regrettably I cannot offer the whole site free of charge because it costs money to keep it running.  Believe me when I tell you though that I will be operating it 'at cost'.  I am not looking to make money here, simply to teach Hapkido to those who want to learn.  I have decided to charge what I paid 20 years ago, $14 a month.  I am also offering a onetime lifetime membership to any military, fireman, police, or other "people who serve" at a greatly discounted price out of gratitude for your service.  Simply mention that you are 'one who serves' in your application.

 As I add content to the site I will put updates in this thread of the blog.  If you decide to join you will have my undivided attention and instruction and occasional help from three other guest black belts. 

I look forward to training with you!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Aviation: The Hummel Bird, Morry's Gift from God

The original Hummel Bird, courtesy of  Terry Hallett

The Hummel Bird is what I like to call a growth design.  What that means is the designer started with an existing design and he improved it to suit his needs.  If a design changes enough it in fact becomes a completely new aircraft.  So it is with the Hummel Bird.  Morry Hummel started with a set of plans for a Windwagon and redesigned it with larger bulkheads for canopy and shoulder harnesses.  He also changed the design to a tail dragger. 

He would build the first plane in 1980.  "In July of 1982, the plane was featured in an article written by Jack Cox, of Sport Aviation.  Jack dubbed Morry's new creation the Hummel Bird." (See Works Cited)

The Hummel bird uses a 1/2 VW engine.  Yes dear reader you read that correctly.  They literally cut a V/W engine in two parts to have one reasonably powerful lightweight power-plant that has easy to find abundant spare parts.  Most 1/2 Volkswagen engines run in the 37 HP range and sip fuel.  In spite of the modest power needs the clean little Hummel zips right along at 100 mph and only stalls at 37 mph.

The sturdy metal construction can withstand 6 G's which is a lot more than most of want to endure for any length of time.

The Ultra Cruiser "God's Gift". Used with permission

For over 20 years Hummel Aviation has been selling plans of the legendary Hummel Bird and related aircraft.  Morry Hummel the man is a fascinating aviation personae.  In 1995 a bolt broke on the aileron control system of his Mini-Max and caused Morry to crash.  It was nearly fatal and he spent months in the hospital recuperating. Morry made a pact with God, if God let him live he would tell people about Jesus.  During this difficult time he designed and ultralight version of his Hummel Bird called the Ultra Cruiser, God's Gift.

Morry and Myra Hummel, Courtesy of Terry Hallett

God spared Morry and he completed the first Ultra Cruiser, God's Gift in 2000 and began selling plans.  Morry Hummel is a blessed man who has shared his blessings and his lesson about Jesus right alongside his wonderful Hummel Bird.

Works Cited:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Aviation: The New Breed, Thatcher CX4

Thatcher CX4, ain't she sweet. courtesy of Peter Beck

The Thatcher CX4 is part of a new generation of aircraft that are practical, affordable, and easy to build. 

Roger Miller in his partially built CX4, good time to make airplane noises.  Courtesy Roger Miller

How easy?  Well most of the plane is 6061-T6 Aluminum cut with tin snips and bent to shape on a plywood table.  Pieces are assembled with Avex flush rivets which are pulled from one side so you don't even need another person to buck them. 

A key feature is that the CX4 can be built entirely from plans or many of the parts can be purchased prefabricated to save time.  Most of the 'kit' parts can be purchased a piece at a time which means no large outlay of money to get started.  Even in 'kit' form WITH engine it can be built for less than the cost of a KIA automobile  (see CX4works below).

VW 2180 from Hummel engines. The engine is made by Scott Casler and has 76 HP. Courtesy of Roger Miller

The CX4 is powered by the affordable Volkswagen engine that can be purchased for the plane from Great Plaines Aircraft Supply or Hummell engines.  Unlike many VW powered aircraft this one has very spritely performance and will cruise along happily at 125 mph.  The gentle 40 mph stall speed and sprung landing gear makes this aircraft suitable for landing on grass.  If you compare it to say a Volksplane, you will notice that it's a very clean fully enclosed shape that lends to this sporty performance. 

Open cockpits are nice on hot days.  Courtesy of Todd Henning

* Note: If you are partial to open cockpit flying the CX4 canopy can be removed.

Mr. David Thatcher Sr. reports that:

"The performance has been the real surprise for me. I never dreamed it would fly so great. It has a very gentle stall and is easy to land. I have only 300 total flight time as a private pilot yet I got in it and flew it without any trouble at all. It is stable and faster than I thought. I'm flying along with my hands folded in my lap, working off the 40 hours needed to complete the requirements. When the wing drops a little I just add a little opposite rudder and the wing comes right back up, never having to tough[sic] the stick. It has excellent cross wind handling too."

Courtesy of Roger Miller

The CX4 is a handsome plane that fits pilots of all sizes.  She would be equally suited for weekend flying or cross country travelling.  If cross country is your mission a 3 gallon auxiliary fuel tank is available.  One of the amenities that this plane sports is a heater and vent for all season flying.  Another nice feature is that the wings can be removed in about 20 minutes for transport.  This plane can be built as a tail dragger or tricycle.

This CX4 has an active builder/pilot/dreamer community who is always willing to lend hand.  Mr. Thatcher has surely designed a great aircraft and is sharing it at a very affordable price.  The CX4 has earned its rightful place as an aircraft for the next century.

On the horizon is the prototype 2-place Thatcher CX5.  More on that aircraft as it devolops.    

Works Cited: 


Friday, January 20, 2012

Aviation: Netflix for Pilots Update 'The Legend of Pancho Barnes''

The Legend of Pancho Barnes

Recently Netflix has added a documentary called The Legend of Pancho Barnes.  It is available for instant viewing. 

For most of you Florence "Pancho" Barnes needs no introduction but for you young people out there I shall provide a brief history lesson. 

Most of us came to know of the aviatrix Pancho Barnes through the book and film 'The Right Stuff'.  She also appears in the book 'Yeager'.  I have also seen her mentioned in a number of books about Amelia Earhart for they knew one another.

Florence earned the nickname Pancho when she ran away from a marriage to a preacher and hopped a gun running boat to Mexico.  Legend has it that the preacher wouldn’t give her a divorce so she used to buzz the church during service every Sunday.  She was a record setting pilot in her own right and flew as a 'stuntman' in a number of famous movies such as Howard Hughes's 'Hells Angels'.  She was friends to a number of Hollywood movie stars and famous pilots of the day.

In the early days of test flight a place called Muroc Air Force Base (which would later be called Edwards) drew the best pilots around.  They lived in tents on the high desert and flew the fastest machines ever built.  The nearest town was hours away so Pancho saw an opportunity and built a fine ranch and watering hole that would in time come to be known as the 'Happy Bottom Riding Club'.  All of the big names in aviation at that time hung out at Pancho's.  Some of the names include: Jimmy Doolittle, Bob Hoover, Chuck Yeager, and many of the Mercury Seven astronauts.

In the 1980's a film was made about Pancho starring Valerie Bertinelli.  This was a very watered down version of reality.  This video is not available at this time.  As much as I enjoyed the ealier one it really didn't portray Pancho correctly.  The real life Pancho was not a particularly attractive woman and she had a mouth on her that would make sailors look for an exit. 

This new documentary gives the larger than life woman her due.  Starring the voice talents of Kathy Bates and Tom Skerritt the film is engrossing.  The Legend of Pancho Barnes also features interviews with many icons of aviation such as Chuck Yeager, Bob Hoover, and Buzz Aldrin.  

I think it is fair to say that this is must see TV for all pilots.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Beekeeping: Systemic Pesticides and Colony Collapse Disorder

Permission Requested.

Cherished readers a recent study points to systemic pesticides as the largest contributing factor in Colony Collapse Disorder.  For those of you who don't know.  The honeybee (Apis mellifera) is currently in decline.  The toll on the honey producing, pollination, and beekeeping industry have been catastrophic.

What is the difference between a systemic pesticide and other types of insect poisons?  Systemic pesticides are seeds that are filled with pesticide so that as the plant grows it always has pesticides in it.  This kills most insects outright when they try to consume the plant.  For bees the situation is more mysterious.  Because bees only eat the pollen and the nectar of the plant it usually doesn’t kill them outright.  Instead it messes them up so bad they can't find their way back to the hive.  Within 24 hours thriving colonies go out to forage and never return often leaving a befuddled queen and a few nurse bees behind to defend the hive.  It is sure death.

With regular pesticides the farmer and the beekeeper could work together.  The farmer says next week I am going to spray my crops and the beekeeper can make sure the bees aren't there to get sprayed.  But with systemics there is never a good time for the bees to pollinate the crops.

What can you do?  I urge you to please write to your public officials and congressman.  Reference this study:

Make companies like Bayer pull systemic pesticides from the market.  Another thing you can do is try to buy local organic produce and especially local honey.  The food is better!  Also get in contact with your local beekeeping association and ask what you can do to help.

If we lose the bees be prepared to lose a lot of other things you enjoy like fruit, vegetables, spices, and things like almonds.  A world without bees is a world where your food is bland and tasteless and costs ten times as much as it does today.  In fact I would posit that mankind needs the bees more than the bees need mankind.  The honeybee is one of God's gifts to mankind don't throw it away.


Update:  New Warré Hive Forum is open for business!

Aviation: My Childhood Airport Immortalized

Hi Folks,

 I just want to let you know that my childhood airport has made the Abandoned & Little-Known Airfield registry:

It pleases me that the place will be remembered here for pilots past, present, and future.  I would especially like to show my gratitude to Mr. Paul Freeman for taking the time to add Haerr Field to the list and doing such an excellent job of showing us the place. 

The Abandoned and Little-Known Airfield website has over one million readers and is an invaluable resource for pilots and aviation historians.  Unlike The Writings of Jon the Abandoned and Little-Known Airfield website is advertisement free.  This resource relies on contributions from readers like you.  I encourage you to donate to Paul's site so that we will have it always.

Aviation: Letters to the Editor

Kids love airplanes! Used with Permission

Kids and Aviation

By: Christian Von Delius


In Aviation Memories: My Childhood Airport part 2, There was discussion of involving kids with aviation.

Recently, in our Yahoo plasma cutting forum, I wrote concerning a comment posted on how people would just make the things they needed, back in the day. They were discussing building go-karts out of junk when they were kids.

My response:

Sadly, let's see kids today do that.. :-( I volunteer at Flathead Youth Aviation where we teach kids how to build airplanes. Nearly every kid who has come in has never run ANY sort of powertools.

In fact, actual discussion: "It needs to be 3/16 of an inch..No, that is 3/4 of an inch"..They barely can grasp reading a tape measure. Most can now do 1/8ths" but it is still a challenge for some to do 1/16th's. And calipers and 1/1000ths are still under construction..
Used with Permission

We have about 20 kids on and off. They learn safety, and most can now buck rivets, use a chopsaw, a tape measure, pop riveter, drill press, air tools (cutoff wheel, air drill,..). But most importantly, they learn how to 'think', something they don't get off of TV.

And they are watching themselves build an actual airplane (a Thatcher CX4)(and work on others..) For every number of hours they participate, they are rewarded with an hour of flight instruction. About 4 of the kids are serious about becoming pilots. And some of the parents participate as well, and are learning things too (and we learn stuff from the kids and parents also :-) http://flatheadyouthaviation.org/ to check it out.



Solidworks Design & CNC Plasma Cutting

         -a division of-

       "We build ideas.."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Aviation Memories: My Childhood Airport part 2

Folks recently I spoke with Mr. Norman Haerr who is the man who built and owned my childhood airport and still owns the property today(my parents managed the airport in the 1980's).  He kindly shared some newspaper clippings he had folded up in his logbook.  They are from the Quincy Herald Whig Circa 1966.  I have transcribed the written text below:

Caption: Three of four planes housed in Haerr's hangar sit in front of gasoline pumps near end of runway. Alfred (Bus) Schaller, operator of Tic-Toc Motel, south of Taylor, sits in cockpit of plane in foreground. Airfield is now in use, although Norman Haerr says some final "touching-up" is still in progress.

Caption Reads:
Norman Haerr watches panorama ahead as he flies plane above Missouri bottomland west of Misissippi river and Quincy (upper right corner). Haerr and his father, Rudy Haerr, Marion county farmers have built airstrip and hangar on farm on north side of Route 24 between Taylor and West Quincy. Light plane operators can be in downtown Quincy in few minutes after landing at Haerr field.

Caption Reads: Haerr airport as it appears from air showing northwest-southeast runway as white path diagonally across field.  Rudy Haerr home is south of hangar; home at left is that of Noel Smith.  White path across lower photo is Route 24.  Hangar can accommodate eight small planes.

On Haerr farm east of Taylor

 Quincy has a new landing field near its front door.

Known as Haerr airport, it is located five miles west of Quincy on Route 24 and is designed to give owners of private planes quick access to the city.

Haerr airport, owned and operated by Norman Haerr and his father, Rudy, prominent Marion county farmers, is only a few minutes' ride from downtown Quincy.

Using no government funds or public subscription, the little airport was built by the Haerrs on their farm three quarters of a mile east of Taylor, MO.

It has a smooth, sod northwest - southwest runway, 3,100 feet long and 250 feet wide, and a hangar that will accommodate eight small planes.  Gasoline pumps have been installed near the runway.

* AFTER a little "touching up," the Haerrs say, final approval of the federal aviation agency will be given.  Officials of the Kansas City office of the FFA[sic] reviewed the air field to see there was no conflict with air routes and have given tentative approval to the project.

Construction of the hangar was started last November and completed this spring.  Relatives assist father and son in the work.

"I paid some of them for their help by giving them flying trips," Norman Haerr said Saturday, with a smile.

The building is of the usual type aluminum[sic] siding with sliding doors and concrete floor and conforms with hangar standards.

Four planes are now housed in it.  One is owned by the Haerrs.  Another is the property of Leeser and Stauffer Trucking company of West Quincy.  A third belongs to Alfred (Bus) Schaller, operator of the Tic-Toc motel, south of Taylor, and a fourth is jointly owned by a group of four or five fliers.

* Norman Haerr takes a realistic view of his pet project. "You never know just how something like this will go over," he said.  "If it is used extensively, the hangar is so constructed that additional wings can be added to either side to accommodate more planes, and we can blacktop the runway.  If it is not used, we can use the building to store machinery and grain, and plow up the landing strip and put it back into crops."

The new field will not be in competition with Quincy Flying Service at Baldwin field, Haerr explained, but will actually implement the facilities of the big airport east of town.

Norman Haerr is a sub dealer of Fred Schott, manager of Baldwin field, for Cessna airplanes, and refers all service work there.

Haerr said as soon as possible a lounge, with rest rooms and other services will be installed.  He said lights will be added to the field in the near future.

Wilbur Boehl of Palmyra and Alden Shipp of Quincy will be instructors.

"I have enough hours to be an instructor, but I haven't taken my test yet," Haerr explained.  He was taught to fly while attending the University of Missouri at Columbia.  He has a private pilot's license and about 45 hours' flying time.

* A Crop-Spraying plane from Kansas used the field several times recently, and the pilot told Haerr he was convinced a DC-3 could land and take off here."

The soil is a sandy loam that dries quickly.  Haerr said that even after a good rain of an inch or more, the field could be used within 10 hours.

Flying is becoming increasingly popular, Haerr said, and farmers have "taken to the air" in increasing numbers.  He has worked with Flying Farmers Clubs, and though not yet a member, he plans to join soon.

*Rudy Haerr is not a flier but he enjoys flying and likes to look over crops and other farming operations from "upstairs".

"Doc's Airpark," operated in West quincy[sic] area from 1947 untill 1955, was largely conducted as a flying school.  It's owner and operator was Dr. J. E. Haffner, Quincy dentist.  Since 1955 all aviation activities have been centered at Baldwin field.

Authors Note:  I would like to thank Norman Haerr for providing his article clipping and Shannon Haerr for digitizing it for me.  It is my honor to preserve this little slice of your family history here.  Article was orginaly published in the Quincy Herald Whig in 1966.

Aviation: Another One Bites the Dust

What remained of the old runway before Wal-Mart.  Used with Permission

My family and I decided to raise our collected cholesterol a bit at the local Sonic a while back.  While we were sitting there eating our Coneys and sipping Cherry Limeade I noticed something peculiar.  In the distance hidden behind some old buildings and junk a kudzu covered airport rotating light beacon still on its tower.  We only transferred to the area last summer so we are still new.  My wife had heard a rumor that an airport used to be here.

I believe the X at the end of the runway means this airport is already closed.  Used with Permission.

Apparently, years before Gloucester had a community airport.  Now in its place are soccer fields, Wal-Mart, and Home Depot.  All that remains are the beacon and the small building standing near it.  The rest is gone.  The photo below shows the beacon tower as it was then.

Gloucester Meller Field the tower on right still stands.  Used with Permission.

So what used to be a charming little airport with 15 planes or so (all made in the USA) is now a Super Wal Mart.  You go inside Wal Mart and most of the goods are imported from China.  The two box stores employ a large segment of the community so that is something I guess.  When you speak to the employees at Wal Mart they don't seem very happy though, like they see themselves somewhere else, somewhere better.  Where once you could land get a cup of coffee and hanger fly with a smiling airport manager now a row of unhappy locals work the registers running barcode covered products over lasers.  The air used to be filled with the sound of wind and Lycoming and Continental engines now is just the din of shopping and the routine beep of laser scanners.

In the works cited below I have placed the most precious of links.  A website cataloging the rise and fall of airports around the country.  This site tells the tale of Gloucester's lost airport and reports the demise of many others.

When you are driving to your local airport next time ask yourself, how much time does this one have left?  They are vanishing one by one, like some rare species on its way to extinction.  How long before the only things flying are commercial and private aviation is all but gone?  When will the last antique fly-in happen?  When will the last airport pancake breakfast be eaten?  Who will drop the last flour bomb in friendly competition?  Perhaps a day looms on the horizon when the only small planes left will all say the word 'express' on the side of them.

You have no doubt heard my lament before and perhaps you groaned at it.  What can we do?  What can we do to save private flying for future generations?  Well I suspect the answer lies in having fun.  You have to involve the community and especially the young people in your area.  When I was a kid if I helped wash and wax a plane often the payment for my hard work wasn't money but in fact was a ride in the plane when I was finished.  Host a fly in, and don’t just invite other pilots but open the gates to public and make sure they know it's happening.  Children love to sit in the cockpit of most any plane and pretend they are flying, just give them the opportunity to be kids like we were.

The city fathers of your town need to know just how valuable the airport is to the community, involve them.  Heck give them rides, encourage them to get a pilot's license. 

When I was ten years old a friend of mine got his hand caught in a meat grinder.  His parents rushed him to the doctor and he said that if Doug wasn’t rushed to Columbia Medical hospital halfway across the state in the next hour he would lose his hand.  His dad called my dad and my dad put Doug and his father in the back of his plane and flew to Columbia.  Because of this Doug still has his hand and all his fingers today.  If this happened now his hand would be lost because the airport just isn't there anymore.  This is only one story and I am sure there are others all across the nation.  They need to be told again and again to the people in power.

The world doesn’t need more Wal-Marts or Home Depot's.  Heck I bet soccer fields could be safely integrated into an airport with a little planning.  In fact I think it's a great idea to have a reason to bring kids to the airport on a regular basis.  Give them a reason to watch airplanes take off and land it will inspire them to fly just the way it inspired us when we were kids.  Make the airport a multi-use space, that is a great idea.  Don't let the FAA make it become some fenced in sacred place that only pilots are allowed to inhabit.  Flying truly is for everybody.

Works Cited: