The people of theTruckee Tahoe Airport
My name is Bob Horvath. I am a local business owner and pilot for Los Medicos Voladores (Flying Doctors).A few of our neighbors are not very tolerant with the Truckee Tahoe Airport and its impact on the surrounding community. In an effort to garner support for first restricting and then closing our airport, they have referred to Truckee pilots as “fat cats,” “boys with their toys,” and a “pilots club.” I know a lot of the pilots based at Truckee, so I decided to knock on a few hangar doors. You may be interested to hear what I found out about the airplane owners at the airport. • An excavation contractor who volunteered work and equipment to build new soccer fields, bicycle paths, and graded baseball fields for the Truckee Donner Recreation & Park District and Tahoe Truckee High School.• A plastic surgeon who has been flying weekly to his Truckee office since 1982. The Truckee/Tahoe market for this medical service has not been able to support a full-time plastic surgeon; the airport made it possible.• A retired airline captain who served six years on the noise abatement committee for the Portland International Airport.• A retired military pilot who flies “Search and Rescue” for the Washoe Sheriff Aero Squadron.• A young lady who learned to fly at the Truckee Tahoe Airport and ultimately flew a KC-135 tanker in Desert Storm after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy.• Another young lady who flies search and rescue missions for the Civil Air Patrol.• A former airport board member who has flown a local teacher and an airport employee to remote areas for their handling of family emergencies. She also flew to Ogden, Utah, to pick up delayed yearbooks just in time for a local middle school graduation.• A local business owner who serves on the board of the Northern Nevada Juvenile Diabetes Research Association. • A Southwest Airlines captain who participates in The Adopt-A-Pilot Program (four weeks of math, science, geography, history and creative writing for fifth-grade students at North Tahoe Middle School). He also paid for two local kids to attend an aviation summer camp.• An animal eye specialist who flies in and out of Truckee providing veterinary services in the Sierra mountain region. • A husband and wife pilot team who also teach middle school and provide interpreter services to the Flying Doctors. • A husband and wife team who fly wounded animal emergency flight services for the wildlife shelter. • A local flight instructor who has given more than 200 free flights to local kids (the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Young Eagles program). • An entrepreneur who sits on the boards of five Biotech firms and uses his plane to fly to meetings.• An attorney who contributes to the Tahoe Adaptive Ski School program.• An FAA medical examiner who is scholarship chairman for the Donation of Wheelchairs via Rotary of Mexico.• A past director of the Tahoe Maritime Museum. • A Squaw Valley ski instructor.• A local contractor employing 13 Tahoe residents who has served as a board member of the Tahoe City Public Utility District.• A nurse at Tahoe Forest Hospital.• A professor of astronomy and electrical engineering at U.C. Berkeley.• A local realty company owner, co-founder of Truckee River Bank and president of the Tahoe Sierra Board of Realtors.• A local published author/flight instructor, editor at large for a magazine.• A local but world famous photographer who does pro bono photography for our schools and the Truckee River Legacy Project.• A former Placer County supervisor.• Founders of the Tahoe Wildlife Shelter.• A garbage man.• A speech pathologist for the school district who helps rehabilitate stroke patients at Tahoe Forest Hospital.• A manager of a local water company.• Numerous firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, Angel flyers and Los Medicos workers.I have only contacted 42 of the 200-plus hanger tenants.Clearly, as a group, they are true contributors to our local culture and economy. How about you? Do you know any of these folks? If you do ask them about the importance of the Nov. 2 election. Bob Horvath is a business owner and pilot in Truckee.