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

Information for pilots and users of Reno-Stead Airport.

Winter 2013 Newsletter

Winter 2013 SAUA Newsletter

Winter 2013 Newsletter


Reno-Stead Airport tenants and customers are finally getting a place to call their own.
The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Board of Trustees has approved the construction of a Stead terminal building that could be under construction by April, 2013, with completion by next December. The $6 million building will be approximately 12,000 square feet and will be constructed by Q&D Construction, a local contractor.
The two-story building will be located between the old air traffic control tower and Aviation Classics. It will offer landside and airside access with ample parking. One of the main reasons for constructing the terminal is to provide a publicly accessible focal point for tenant and business activity at Stead.
Plans include a pilot lounge, public lobby space, an emergency operations center, restrooms and office space. The new terminal will also allow non-profit groups to hold public meetings on the airport. The Stead Airport Manager’s office will be located in the new building.
The existing Stead Airport Manager’s office, which dates back to the World War II era, will be demolished to allow construction. The existing pilot lounge trailer will also be removed. The Stead Manager will operate from a temporary trailer during construction.

Krys Bart
Krys Bart

“I have always considered the Reno-Stead Airport a jewel for this region,” Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority President/CEO Krys Bart said. “Following more than $46 million in improvements at Stead over the past decade, it is a true pleasure to see a terminal being developed that will grow with the airport for the next 50 years.”

Krys Bart Set to Retire

Krys Bart, the President/CEO of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority has announced her retirement effective December 31, 2013. She has been at the controls of Reno-Tahoe International and Reno-Stead Airports for 14 years.
The RTAA Board of Trustees has formed a committee to conduct a national search for her replacement. The process of finding a new CEO to lead both Reno-Tahoe International and Reno-Stead Airports will include hiring a search firm and the search is expected to last at least six months.
During Ms. Bart’s tenure, Reno-Stead Airport experienced more than $46 million worth of improvements. The construction of a Stead Terminal will also be complete before her departure. In 2008, Reno-Stead was awarded the FAA’s Safety Award for the Pacific Region.
At Reno-Tahoe International, Ms. Bart spearheaded more than $100 million in terminal improvements bringing a Reno-Tahoe look and feel to the airport. She also worked to attract more than $240 million in federal grants to the RTAA.
Ms. Bart has been an award-winning CEO since coming to Reno-Tahoe. In 2011, she won the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor an airport executive can win. In 2008, she served as Chairman of the AAAE. In 2010, she was named one of the most influential citizens in Nevada by the Nevada Business Journal.
Ms. Bart came to Reno after serving as the Assistant Aviation Director at San Jose Mineta International Airport. Prior to San Jose, she was the Assistant Director of Aviation at the Fresno Air Terminal.


Firm will fly you to the moon for a price

San Francisco Chronicle
December 7,2012
Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Attention wealthy nations and billionaires: A team of former NASA executives will fly you to the moon in an out-of-this-world commercial venture combining the wizardry of Apollo
and the marketing of Apple.

For a mere $1.5 billion the business is offering countries the chance to send two people to the moon and back, either for research or national prestige. And if you are an individual with that kind of money to spare, you too can go the moon for a couple days.
Some space experts, though, are skeptical of the firm’s financial ability to get to the moon. The venture called Golden Spike Company was announced last year. The firm has talked to other countries, which are showing interest, said former NASA associate administrator Alan Stern, Golden Spike’s president. Stern said he is looking at countries like South Africa, South Korea and Japan. One very rich individual — he would not give a name — has also been talking with them, but the company’s main market is foreign nations, he said.

Reno Aviation History

Reno Gazette-Journal
January 6, 2013

From the Nevada State Journal, January 6,  1921:
“Battling a Cyclone or Dizzy Whirl in Midair” could be the title of the narrative mail carrier pilot Nutter might write of his experience yesterday crossing the Sierra in a storm. His plane was caught in a whirlwind that drew his plane down to 1,000 feet AGL, then it whirled him up about 600 feet. The tossing brought the asbestos cover that protected the 300 pounds of mail on board out of the pit. But the cover jarred itself back into place and Nutter landed the plane safely in Reno.

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Reno Gazette-Journal
November 8, 2012
From the Reno Evening Gazette, November 8,  1929:
Leaving a cheering multitude behind them, a squadron of nine airplanes carrying 32 members of the University of Nevada football team left Blanchfield Airport this morning headed for Los Angeles. They landed safely at Glendale Airport at noon. The “flying wolves” were greeted with cheers on their LA arrival almost equal to the send-off rally four hours earlier in Reno. The team members were chaperoned by Carol Cross, president of the student body, Dan Budge, athletic manager, and several other officials. But there were no coaches along for the ride. Coach Philbrook could not convince his family that air travel is the safest method for a football coach with a family to annihilate space and time, so he went to Los Angeles last night on the train.

SAUA Financial Report Winter 2013

The Reno Aviation Museum Wants to Preserve Your Flying Heritage

Reno and the State of Nevada have a rich military and civilian aviation and aircraft history. Its military history has involved virtually every branch — the Army Air Force, Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Air National Guard, and their respective Reserve components.

Nearby, there is the Navy Top Gun Fighter School in Fallon, Area 51 unofficially located around Las Vegas and other places of historic significance. Nevada civilian aviation history typically brings to mind the National Championship Air Races. Regionally, historic aviation and aircraft have been prominent in transportation, surveying, fire-fighting, forestry and agricultural service, law enforcement, national defense and rescue. Research and development in aerospace and aviation technology are also ongoing with various local area companies, whether as private manufacturing concerns or as government contractors. Finally, there are many local aviation enthusiasts who design, build or restore aircraft or related components, or champion aviation in their own way.

Reno and Nevada have deservedly gained a reputation as a gathering place for pilots and aircraft activities. Many military veterans and airline retirees settle in Reno just for this reason. Therefore, it is time for Nevada to develop a Museum dedicated to showcasing aviation, aircraft and the people that have made an impact here.

The Reno Aviation Museum would provide such a venue for both local patrons and visitors from outside the area.

The Reno Aviation Museum has several key objectives:

  • Preservation — protect artifacts as found
  • Restoration — return artifacts to original form
  • Replication — reproduce artifacts
  • Archiving — store and make available historic media
  • Education — archive, develop and teach about regional aviation history and aviation related science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The positive benefits from the socio-economic impact from such a museum can be substantial. The bar can be raised with respect to regional tourism, culture, skilled labor, education and our economy. There is enough of a void, with respect to the area’s rich aviation history and culture, that the lack of a museum is glaring.

To properly sustain the collection of an aviation museum, approximately 50,000 square feet of hangar space and 10 acres of land will be needed. Based on discussions with other museum executives, $1 to 2 million will be needed to cover annual operating costs, staffing, permits, insurances and other expenses.

Raising $7 million will be the goal, which realistically will take several years. The initial step will be to acquire sufficient start-up funding and facilities where it will interact with the public, raise awareness, further financial support and inspire the need for the Reno Aviation Museum. Only with the community’s collective effort can we make the Museum a reality.


Douglas Ritter – Reno Aviation Museum
5519 Alpha Avenue
Reno, NV 89506
Phone: 775-815-0819


NTSB Targets GA Safety For Improvement

In its annual list of “most wanted safety improvements”, the NTSB on November 14, 2012, said General Aviation pilots and their passengers too often are “dying due to human error and inadequate training”. The safety board investigates about 1,500 GA accidents per year, with about 400 fatalities, and sees “similar accident circumstances time after time”. Improved education and training, and screening for risky behavior, are critical to improving GA safety, the safety board said. GA maintenance workers also should be required to undergo recurrent training, the board said, to keep them current with the best practices for inspecting and maintaining electrical systems, circuit breakers and aged wiring.
The NTSB noted that GA has the highest accident rate within civil aviation — six times higher than for Part 135 operators and about 40 times higher than for transport-category operators. Moreover, while the overall GA accident rate has remained about the same over the last 10 years, the fatal accident rate has increased by 25 percent. Pilots should be trained to use all available sources for weather information, the NTSB said, including the internet and satellites. Also, they should train on flight simulators that are specific to the avionics they will be using. Also, the NTSB said FAA tests should cover the use of weather, use of instruments and use of glass cockpits.

Pilot Killed in Propeller Accident

Flying Magazine
Bethany Whitfield
February 2, 2012
A 41-year-old pilot was killed on January 30, 2012, after being struck by the moving propeller of his 1974 Piper Cherokee. The accident took place around 8:30 a.m. at Gillespie Field in El Cajon, California, just outside of San Diego.
According to officials, the pilot, who was identified as Gordon Woodard of Lakeside, California, and one passenger were taxiing out of a hangar in the Cherokee when the engine stopped running. Woodard reportedly got out and attempted to hand prop the airplane when the propeller abruptly started to move and struck him in the head. Woodard was transported to a local hospital, where he later died from his injuries.
The accident comes less than two months after the high profile 2011 propeller accident involving 23-year-old model and fashion blogger Lauren Scruggs. Scruggs had just returned from a night flight over Dallas in an Aviat Husky when she exited the aircraft and was struck by the propeller on the left side of her body.
She sustained serious injuries, including the loss of her left hand and eye, and has since been undergoing rehabilitation. NTSB investigators say the pilot of the Husky, who is reportedly a family friend of Scruggs’, left the engine running with the intention of changing passengers at the time of the accident.
Another individual, 67-year-old Alistair Mathie, was killed in the United Kingdom on January 28, 2012 after exiting a Piper Cub and walking into its moving propeller.

Woman, 80, lands plane low on fuel; husband dies
April 3, 2012

An airport director says an 80-year-old woman who took control of a small plane from her unconscious husband was dangerously low on fuel when she landed on the runway at his small northeastern Wisconsin facility.
Helen Collins landed the Cessna twin-engine plane at the Door County Airport the evening of April 2, 2012, with help from another pilot who took to the skies to guide her to the ground. Collins’ 81-year-old husband John was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
Cherryland Airport director Keith Kasbohm said Helen Collins was making her last attempt to line up with the runway when she reported one of the two engines was sputtering. Kasbohm says the plane skidded about 1,000 feet before coming to rest.
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NV Energy Installs Smart Meters

For those tenants that have electric and/or gas meters, NV Energy has been at Stead Airport changing out those meters for Smart Meters. The change took effect through November and December. For those of you that receive your own personal hangar bill, you should receive a computer generated phone call. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call the Airport Manager’s Office at 328-6570.

In Memorium

Vincent George Swinney (1934 – 2012)

Vincent George Swinney passed away on November 20, 2012, with family by his side. Vince was born on December 28, 1934 to Vincent and Helen Swinney, of Eugene, Oregon. The family moved to Medford where he enjoyed exploring the hills with his brother Dick.
Vince joined the Oregon National Guard while still in high school prior to enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. In 1955, he was stationed in Nevada at Stead Air Force Base as a Survival Instructor. It was then that he met and married Carolyn Sandra Groves and began working on his degree at the University of Nevada, Reno.
He began his law enforcement career with the Reno Police Department in January of 1959. Primarily a juvenile officer, he also worked as a Special Investigator for the District Attorney. He took a 2-year leave of absence during this period to complete graduate studies in Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. He resigned from the department in 1969 and began serving on the Faculty at the University of Nevada, Reno where he was responsible for getting the curriculum approved for the Associates Degree in Criminal Justice.
In 1971 he joined the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department as the Under-sheriff to Bob Galli. After twelve years as Under-sheriff he was elected Sheriff of Washoe County, which he served for 3 terms. When first elected, an agency of 67 employees with a budget less than $100,000 grew under Vince’s management to 510 employees and a $36,000,000 budget. One of Vince’s many accomplishments as Sheriff was the 1988 opening of the new detention facility; one of only three in the United States to reach triple accreditation.
In addition to Vince’s professional service he also volunteered much of his time to our community. He was a member and co-founder of the Washoe County Search and Rescue and Hasty Teams, a member of Rotary, an active leader in the Boy Scouts, member of the Reno Rodeo Association (President 1982) and an Elder at First Christian Church.
Vince retired from the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department in 1995 and continued to enjoy life as a devoted spouse, father and grandfather. He was preceded in death by Carolyn his wife of 52 years. Along with volunteering with the Reno Rodeo, Vince enjoyed making toys for local children as a member of the Woodchucks, fishing and playing poker with his closest friends.