Warwick Municipal Airport hosts Tenant Appreciation Day Sept. 10

| 13 Sep 2017 | 03:03

— On Sunday, Sept. 10, Carol Greene, the daughter of the late aviation pioneer Fred Wehren, and her husband were among the guests at the annual Warwick Municipal Airport Tenant Appreciation Day.
Her father, who flew in World War I, became a land developer and turned an abandoned airstrip in the New Jersey marshes into Teterboro Airport. He also developed much of Ringwood, N.J., along with Greenwood Lake Airport.
Wehren, who passed away at 97, flew his Jet Ranger helicopter until age 82. Greene is also a pilot. And on Sunday, she and her husband, Dick, had an opportunity to take a spin and a splash down on Greenwood Lake with Steve Kent, Cessna regional sales manager and vice president of the Warwick Valley Pilots Association, in his amphibious Cessna aircraft.
Guests enjoyed a static display of antique aircraft, musical entertainment and lots of food.
The town, which leases the field to the Pilots Association, owns Warwick Municipal Airport.
Unlike many of the airport's community events, this event is geared to thanking the approximately 50 local pilots and their families who base their aircraft at the airport. And more than a few of the tenants are owners of vintage airplanes with historic manufacturers' designations like Stearman P17, Boeing P23, Cessna L-19 Bird Dog, Ryan PT-22 and Tiger Moth.
According to "Orange County Airports Past and Present," by June Simpson, Warwick-Wickham Airport, now known as Warwick Municipal Airport, has a history dating back to 1926 when Mary F. Clark deeded farmland to the Wickham Lake Development Corporation, which had plans for the establishment of an airport for early pilots.
In 1932 development of the airport became a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, which was completed in 1938.
By that time, the Town of Warwick had already purchased the 86 acre airport for $5,000.
Ed Gorski, who had served as Amelia Earhart's mechanic, and his wife, Julia, managed the airport in 1942 when it was selected as a Civilian Pilot Training Program during World War II.
In 1967 the Town of Warwick purchased an additional 41 acres for the airport.
During the 1970s the airport fell into disrepair but in 1983 the Warwick Valley Pilots Association leased the field from the Town of Warwick and immediately made dramatic improvements.
The association also initiated its own "good neighbor" rules and regulations for the direction of flight in the local traffic pattern and banned "touch and go" practice landings and take-offs as well as transient night landings.
"We have a lot to offer here," said Airport Manager Dave MacMillan. "It's a beautiful small airport. The views are magnificent. The area is fenced in along with a security gate. And we're all here to help."
For additional information about the Warwick Municipal Airport, call MacMillan at 845-987-1320.
- Roger Gavan