Aerial view of the Reno-Stead Airport taken from an aircraft flying overhead.

Information for pilots and users of Reno-Stead Airport.

Spring 2011 Stead Airport Users Association Newsletter

Link to PDF Version of the Newsletter.

Spring 2011 Newsletter

Submitted by Dean Schultz
Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority

After investing over $40 million in airfield improvements over a 10-year period, the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority is planning a significant investment directly into the Reno-Stead Airport landside facilities.

A 2007 survey with Stead Users and Tenants identified the lack of public terminal facilities as a primary deficiency at the airport.  The airport offices are currently housed in a 1940s era building which does not meet current building system and structure standards and code.  A secondhand 1,700 square-foot modular building constructed in 1999 serves as both the pilot lounge and the visitor facilities.  Neither building is large enough for their current use, and they can’t be easily expanded, improved or merged.

The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority commissioned a feasibility study in 2009 which validated the need for additional landside amenities and facilities, identified a building program based on stakeholder input, and recommended a preferred site and building layout. As part of the 2009 feasibility study, presentations were given at advisory board meetings and for the Stead Airport Users’ Association, and input was sought directly from major airport tenants.  H+K Architects, a local architectural firm was awarded a contract by the Airport Board at their March 10th meeting to initiate design services for this new facility.  Funding for the design and construction of the new facilities will come entirely from Airport Authority revenues and thus will not alter any existing rates and charges.

Now that H+K Architects has been awarded a contract, next steps would include preliminary design which will begin with extensive stakeholder outreach, including the Stead Airport Users Association, to right-size the proposed facility to meet the needs of Stead Airport staff, tenants, and users.

Depending on stakeholder input and user demand, this new facility could also include the following functions:
·         Reno police substation
·         Centralized location for emergency operations
·         Second story view of the airfield
·         Snack/Food concession area
·         Restaurant lease space
·         Retail / Office lease space
·         FBO lease area
·         Exhibit or museum area
·         Community rooms

It is the Airport Authority’s goal that the new terminal facility will provide the following benefits and improvements:
·         A focal point for the Airport located in close proximity to the ATCT, an existing visible way-finding landmark
·         Direct airside access from the facility as well as creation of a significant landside presence
·         Provide airport staff, users, and tenants with a fully code compliant building
·         Expanded square footage for Airport Authority administrative functions
·         Expanded square footage for pilot and visitor services
·         Increased food and restaurant service facilities for airport users
·         Improved customer experience for visitors
·         A security presence if police substation built
·         A centralized location for response, rescue and recovery capabilities in emergency situations
·         Community meeting spaces

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Programs, Programs, Programs

On the evening of April 13th, the University of Nevada and the Reno Air Racing Foundation will present their third Pathways to Aviation Speaker Program at UNR’s Joe Crowley Student Union.

The featured speaker this year will be Brigadier General Taco Gilbert III (Retired) who now serves as Vice President for Business Development for Intelligence,  Surveillance and Reconnaissance Business Unit of the Sierra Nevada Corporation.

SNC is a billion dollar a year business with extensive resources located in Nevada, Colorado and elsewhere. General Gilbert was the former Commandant of the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs. For more details, see the enclosed flyer.

The Pathways to Aviation Program began three years ago as a program connecting students with aeronautics and aviation.

The Reno Air Racing Foundation, EAA and others co-sponsor the Young Eagle Flights at Stead, where over 250 young students have been introduced to the thrill of flight by a free (and short) flight around Stead. This year’s event will be June 25th, in conjunction with a planned General Aviation Day at Stead.

Please mark your calendars for the Annual SAUA BBQ
to be held on Saturday, June 18, 2011, beginning at 11:00 a.m.

We will also have a Show ‘n Shine
in conjunction with the Reno EAA’s Aviation Day at Stead.

The BBQ location will be the same – right outside of Mike’s office.

Bring a friend or two this year!


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To represent the interests of all Tenants on the Reno-Stead Airport including Aircraft Owners, Fixed Base Operators, Aircraft Repair Facilities, United States Government Agencies and all parties of interest;
To ensure that all Tenants have the opportunity to speak with a united voice to the Reno Tahoe Airport Authority (owner of the airfield facility), the Federal Aviation Administration and the Local Governments relative to safe and affordable flying in Northern Nevada;
To enrich and promote the reputation of General Aviation within our community; and
To promote a “Good Neighbor” policy with the Nevada National Guard, support facility improvements that enhance the Tenant experience and encourage affordable services, fuel prices and hangar rentals from all service providers operating at the Reno Stead Facility.


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Gliders bring glory to Carson Valley


Kurt Hildebrand, Editor

Douglas County Record-Courier
March 2, 2011

It didn’t take long for Gor­don Boettger and Hugh Bennett to break their own national record, topping their 744-mile two-seater national soaring record on Thursday with a 982-mile flight.

If you ask Boettger what his secret is, he’ll say it’s all the people who support his flights, from air traffic controllers who watch over the tiny craft, mete­orologist Doug Armstrong and his comrades at the National Weather Service, the folks at Soar NV who tow the glider into the air and a host of others who make these flights possi­ble.

But on the other hand, it’s Boettger, 42, and 78-year-old Bennett who are sitting in a cramped cockpit for ten hours at a time. The two men are great fliers, though Bennett credits Boettger’s long experi­ence with the Sierra Wave for their success so far.

We’re happy to honor all those involved in these records breaking flights.

That’s because the true bene­ficiaries of these flights are the people of Douglas County.

It is their airport that takes center stage when folks like Boettger and Bennett make their historic runs.

It is their airport that gets another plug for the beautiful winds that make the Carson Valley such a special place to fly.

So when the wind is blowing out of the west, and the lentic­ular clouds form, offer a happy thought for our fliers soaring high above.


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County OKs airport privatization

by Kurt Hildebrand
Douglas County Record-Courier
January 5, 2011

County commissioners approved a two-year contract with an independent company to manage the Minden-Tahoe Airport.

ABS Aviation Management and airport manager Bobbi Thompson received glowing reviews from four residents associated with the airport on Monday. Assistant County Manager Steve Mokrohisky said the county hired ABS when manager Keith Kallman left in spring. Privatizing the airport will result in a savings of $50,000 a year over what the county is paying its employ­ees.

Mokrohisky said the county went through the process to hire a new airport manager, but throughout the process people kept asking what the county had to do to keep Thompson.

Flying Start Aero owner John Brown said the new man­agement and approval of the airport ordinance has him very optimistic about the airport.

“What they’ve achieved over the last seven to eight months is more than we’ve seen done in six years,” he said.

Mokrohisky told commissioners that two airport em­ployees retired and another took a job with another air­port.

ABS will have to keep 5.5 employees on staff, including the manager, an operations specialist, an accountant, two full-time maintenance personnel and one half-time main­tenance personnel.

* * *
Space legend Burt Rutan to retire

An aerospace maverick who designed the historic globe-circling Voyager aircraft and the first private manned rocket to reach space will retire next year. Burt Rutan, 67, announced his plans Wednesday on the website of Scaled Composites, which he founded in 1982. His pending departure was not a complete sur­prise. In 2008, he ceded day-to-day responsi­bilities following open-heart surgery. Rutan gained worldwide fame in 2004 when his SpaceShipOne prototype won the $10 million Ansari X Prize by becoming the first privately financed manned craft to reach space.

Article from Wikipedia

The Rutan Model 76 Voyager was the first aircraft to fly around the world without stopping or refueling. It was piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager. The flight took off from Edwards Air Force Base’s 15,000 foot (4,600 m) runway in the Mojave Desert on December 14, 1986, and ended successfully 9 days, 3 minutes and 44 seconds later, on December 23. The aircraft flew westerly 26,366 statute miles (42,432 km; the FAI accredited distance is 40,212 km) at an average altitude of 11,000 feet (3,350 m). This definitively broke a previous record set by a United States Air Force crew piloting a Boeing B-52 that flew 12,532 miles (20,168 km) in 1962.

Design and development – The aircraft was first imagined by Jeana Yeager, Dick and his brother Burt Rutan as they were at lunch in 1981. The initial idea was first sketched out on the back of a napkin. Voyager was built in Mojave, California, over a period of 5 years. The Voyager was built mainly by a group of volunteers working under both the Rutan Aircraft Factory and an organization set up under the name Voyager Aircraft.
The airframe, largely made of fiberglass, carbon fiber and Kevlar, weighed 939 pounds (426 kg) when empty. With the engines included, the unladen weight of the plane was 2,250 lb. (1,020.6 kg). However, when it was fully loaded before the historic flight, it weighed 9,694.5 lb. (4,397 kg) due to the large amount of fuel required for the long-distance flight. The aircraft had an estimated lift to drag ratio (L/D) of 27.

Voyager had front and rear propellers, powered by separate engines. The rear engine, a water-cooled Teledyne Continental IOL-200, was planned to be operated throughout the flight. The front engine, an air-cooled Teledyne Continental O-240, was operated to provide additional power for takeoff and the initial part of the flight at heavy weights.

Operational history – Voyager’s takeoff took place on the longest runway at Edwards AFB at 8:01 am local time with 3,500 of the world’s press in attendance. As the plane accelerated, the tips of the wings, which were heavily loaded with fuel, were damaged as they scraped against the runway (the pilot wanted to gain enough speed that the inner wings would lift the plane, not the fragile outer wings – in 67 test flights, the plane had never been loaded to capacity before), ultimately causing pieces (winglets) to break off at both ends. The aircraft accelerated very slowly and needed approximately 14,200 feet (2.7 mi)(4.3 km) of the runway to gain enough speed to lift  from the ground, the wings arching up dramatically just before take-off. During the flight, the two pilots had to deal with extremely cramped quarters. To reduce stress, the two had originally intended to fly the plane in three-hour shifts, but flight handling characteristics prevented routine changeovers and they became very fatigued.

The plane also continuously reminded the pilots of its pitch instability and fragility. They had to maneuver around bad weather numerous times, most perilously around the 600-mile-wide (1,000 km) Typhoon Marge. Libya denied access to the country’s airspace, forcing precious fuel to be used. As they neared California to land, a fuel pump failed and had to be replaced with its twin pumping fuel from the other side of the aircraft.
In front of 55,000 spectators and most of the world’s press, including 23 live feeds breaking into scheduled broadcasting across Europe and North America, the plane safely came back to earth, touching down at 8:06 am at the same airfield 9 days after take-off. The average speed for the flight was 116 miles per hour (187 km/h). There were 40 gallons of fuel remaining in the tanks.

Sanctioned by the FAI and the AOPA, the flight was the first successful circumnavigation of the planet, passing the equator twice, non-stop, non-refueled. This has been accomplished only one time since, by Steve Fossett in the Global Flyer.

Voyager is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

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1. Aircraft always have the right of way. Respect the yellow line.

2. Taxi lanes are for aircraft movement. Please park all vehicles in taxi lanes close to your hangar so as not to interfere with aircraft movement. Most hangars have room for only two vehicles parked parallel in front of the hangar. A “wing walker” should never be necessary for someone to taxi in taxi lanes. If a wing walker is necessary, then the alley is obstructed.

3. Do not perform any maintenance on hangar ramps where the aircraft obstructs movement of other aircraft along the yellow line.

4. Vehicles should not exceed 25 MPH unless otherwise posted. Obey all posted traffic signs and slow as appropriate for conditions.

5. If you do not rent or own the hangar, do not assume you can park there. Use an authorized parking space at the end of a hangar row.

6. Due to high wind conditions, any and all trash in front of hangars is unacceptable. Take large trash items to the Transfer Station on Mt. Anderson Street, two blocks south of the Airport. Oil should be disposed of by carefully pouring it into the waste oil receptacle. ONLY OIL can be disposed of in this receptacle! All other fluids should be taken to the Transfer Station. Batteries should be traded in when a new battery is purchased. Promptly clean up all spills of fuel or other fluids and dispose of the soiled absorption material properly.

7. Do not put furniture or barbeques out in the taxi lane where they will obstruct aircraft movement.

8. The discharge of firearms is prohibited at the Airport.

9. All aircraft painting is limited pursuant to Washoe County Regulations.

10. If you like music in your hangar, keep it to a reasonable volume level.

11. Animals and small children should not run free at the Airport. All animals must be leashed and under control at all times.



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This lovely Irish prayer (author unknown) was dis­played prominently on the desk of Al Zitnick, the faithful Jewish “schleppercaun”, who sorts the “Dear Abby” mail:

“Take time to work,
It is the price of success.
Take time to think,
It is the source of power.
Take time to play,
It is the secret of perpetual youth.
Take time to read,
It is the foundation of wisdom.
Take time to be friendly,
It is the road to happiness.
Take time to love and be loved,
It is the privilege of the gods.
Take time to share,
Life is too short to be selfish.
Take time to laugh,
Laughter is the music of the soul.”

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Thomas J. Hall

Dave Miller

Dan Ross

Don Osborne, CF II

Lindley “Lin” Manning

Mike Walsh, CFI
High Sierra Aviation

Lew Gage

Ken Weigand
530-283-1023 (home)
530-518-4059 (cell)

Terry Matter

Mike Dikun, Airport Manager
775-328-6573 (phone)
775-677-1393 (fax)