Aviation in Dansville

 


The Dansville Municipal Airport

 

The Dansville Airport was the created by Lynn E. Pickard (1889-1968) in 1927. Pickard's love of aviation started when he would watch planes flying over Dansville as a child. Consequently, Pickard joined the Army Air Force in 1918. He was commissioned as a pilot with combat rating & later obtained commercial pilot's license. In 1919 he began flying his Waco biplane in Dansville. With a passion for flying, he created a landing field made of a 50-acre plot of land just off Maple Street.

 

On October 2, 1927 he was able to attain his dream of creating an aiport in Dansville. A crowd of 10,000 gathered for the airport dedication which included an aerial circus as well as a mid-air wedding ceremony. The Dansville Airport was established with federal aid. Dansville town and village governments shared in the cost of upkeep.

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Pickard continued his quest for a better airport facility, lobbying for the improvements. With the federally-sponsored Depression-era work relief projects, Pickard obtained several for the airport [mid-1930's]. Consequently the landing fields were able to be enlarged Eventually, in 1934, an airport hanger was constructed. In 1939, with the approval of the U.S. government, installation of a field lighting system, weather bureau station and a teletype system continued the development of the airport.

 

Civilian pilot training classes began in 1940, as a result iof World War II. 1941 brought $186,000 in federal defense funds for runway reconstruction as well as improved surface water drainage system. In 1942, Lynn Pickard was among the individuals who led the flight training courses offered there for
enlisted men. Clearly Pickard's impact on the history of aviation in the Dansville area was significant.

 


Other Historic Facts

 

1947 - Charles Lindbergh makes a 1 hr stop at the Dansville Airport
1948 - The first direct air shipment of freight occurred It was send from Foster Wheeler to a factory in Indianapolis.
1957 - The first jet aircraft landed in Dansvill. It was a Canberra fighter bomber.
1982 - The Annual Labor Day Balloon Rally begins on the airport grounds. It was later renamed the NYS Festival of Balloons and brings thousands of people to the area as the skies are filled with dozens of hot air balloons.

 

 

Airport Details

 

Coordinates: N42-34.25; W077-42.78
Waypoint: GEE-108.2 186 degrees 15.6.
Elevation: 662 feet.
Runways: 14-32 3635 x 100, asphalt surface. Lights are PCL. Building at runway 14, trees at
runway 32. 18-36 3105 x 100, asphalt surface. Lights are PCL. Building at runway 36, trees at runway 18.
Lights: SS to SR, 123.00 (3 clicks in 5 seconds, low intensity; 5 clicks in 5 seconds, medium intensity; 7 clicks in 5 seconds, high intensity); beacon.
Approaches: VOR/DME or GPS RWY 18
FSS: Buffalo 122.1R, 122.6
Communication Frequencies: Approach control Rochester 123.7, UNICOM/CTAF 123.00
Automated Weather Operating System (AWOS): 118.325, 585-335-2380.
Charts: Detroit; L12.
Fuel: Avfuel 100LL

 

Dansville_Aviation_-003.jpgSterling Airways, Inc.

176 Franklin St, Dansville NY 14437.
585-335-2076   / Fax 585-335-3012   
Frequency 123.00.
Hours 8 am to dark

 

 

 

The Dansville Pilots Association

 

In the late 1960s, the Dansville Pilots Association (DPA) was created to promote general aviation, flying safety as well as the Dansville Municipal Airport. The group worked to create a master plan that allowed for the acquisition of federal funds for furhter improvement of the airport. Consequently, the runways were resurfaced & lights updates as well as a windsock being installed in the center of the airfield. Additionally, VASI systems were installed and a VOR approach was established. Approach paths were cleared and the airfield was fenced in for greater safety and security.

 

The Dansville Pilots Association has over 50 members and seven officers. They continue to sponsor Dansville_Aviation_.jpgairshows that they are able to finance as a result of their annual spring fly-in breakfast. The Fly-in Breakfast continues to remain the finale for the Dogwood Festival and an exciting day to look up at the Dansville skies. Since 1991, the group has held an additional fly-in breakfast during Dansville's NYS Balloon Festival.

 

The Dansville Pilots Association has since built its own hanger to provide rental space for four aircraft as well as service as a location for the fly-in breakfast events. In the future, the group hopes to expand their hanger to include an office, lounge area and more.

 

New members are always welcome to join. Annual dues are $10.00. Dues can be mailed to:

Dansville Pilots Association
186 Franklin St., Dansville, NY 14437

 


The Finger Lakes Soaring Club, Inc.

 

Founded in 1949 in Batavia, the Finger Lakes Soaring Club, Inc., was originally know as the Rochester Soaring Club. However, in 1963 the club moved to Dansville while awaiting renovations to be completed at the Batavia Airport.

 

The group soon discovered that flying conditions for soaring were much better at Dansville and chose tgo make it their home. In 1994 the club changed their name to Finger Lakes Soaring Club. The club then built a 60' by 100' hangar that it uses to house the 6 gliders & two towplanes that are owned by the group. The hanger also affords the opportunity for storage of privately owned gliders of their members.

 

The club has well over 50 members and is always recruiting new members. They offer educational
opportunities such as a student instructional program. Instruction continues to remain free to members and provided by their certified flight instructors.

 

Those interested in learning to fly, wanting a glider ride or simply want to learn more are encouraged to contact the group or stop by their hanger. The Finger Lakes Soaring Club is located on the east side of the airport, in front of Mathews Bus Company. Typically members are available at the hangar on the weekends from April to November.

 

The Finger Lakes Soaring Club, Inc.
3 Forbes Street, Dansville
585-335-5849

 

 

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