Monroe County Timeline

Events Matching "air" in Topic "Transportation"

Hardin petitions for road
The first petition to the Monroe County Commissioners for the construction of a road comes from William Hardin and others, who seek a path from Bloomington to Scott's Ferry on Salt Creek, and thence to the Lawrence County line. The commissioners approved the construction and so order it to be completed with the county paying for the entire project. The popular road - our oldest road - is later called Fairfax Road. [Image of Fairfax village from 1856 plat map.]
Source: Charles Blanchard, Counties of Morgan, Monroe, and Brown, Indiana (Chicago: F. A. Battey & Co, 1884), 375. map
Trains collide
1867, Jul 24
A southbound mail train and north bound pay train collided this afternoon attempting to pass each other on the same track. The collision occurred three or four miles south of Bedford, Indiana caused by slow timing on the part of the pay train. James M. Shrock, a baggageman, was bruised and a passenger named Hooper suffered a sprain to his ankle. No one was fatally injured. Both locomotive engines are battered but likely to be repaired easily in the next few days. Despite yet another collison on the Louisville, New Albany, and Chicago line the company has decided to take a look on the bright side calling their lines the safest in Indiana, and certainly in Monroe County, due to their lack of fatal injuries despite such accidents.
Source: "Railroad Collision," Bloomington Progress, August 1, 1867.
Murder trial continues
1867, Aug 15
Willis McMinniway's plea for change of venue, in the case of his murder of rail agent and telegraph operator James S. Johns, has been denied. Johns was employed by the Louisville, New Albany, and Chicago Railroad and was well-liked in his community of Gosport. With the venue change overruled by Judge Eckles of Bloomington, a fair jury will be selected in Owen County, where the crime took place, by selecting men from areas of the county farthest from the scene of the murder. The counsel for the prosecution are Hon. P.C. Dunning, William Montgomery, Esq., and Mr. Broadwell, the prosecuting attorney. Judge Eckles has appointed Hon. S.H. Buskirk for the defense. There is little doubt that McMinniway will be found guilty with a verdict of the death penalty expected to follow.
Source: "The Gosport Murder," Bloomington Progress, August 15, 1867.
Rail company obtains air line
1883, Feb 3
The Crawford Syndicate surrenders to the Louisville, New Albany, and Chicago Railroad 158 miles of new track, forming an air line (straight railroad, shortest route rather than easiest route) between Chicago and Indianapolis, on which trains will commence running immediately.
Source: "An Air Line," Evening Gazette, February 3, 1883.
Rail rate war continues
1883, Sep 21
There is no change today in the passenger rate war between Chicago and Louisville. Sidney B. Jones, and other representatives of the Louisville, New Albany, and Chicago line are growing frustrated and anxious, Jones saying today, "We are like the Irishman at Donnybrook Fair. Whenever the head shows up we will hit it."
Source: "No Change," Daily Nebraska State Journal, September 21, 1883.
Rate war ends
1883, Oct 4
The railroad war over passenger rates to Chicago ends at midnight. A compromise has been affected by which the new air line division of the Louisville, New Albany, and Chicago Railroad will be admitted to the Union passenger depot of the Panhandle Company.
Source: Atchison Globe, October 5, 1883.
Rail employee has brass poisoning
1887, May 31
It is reported that Philip Higgins, a longtime employee of the Louisville, New Albany, and Chicago Railroad machine shops in Bloomington, is suffering from brass poisoning, believed to be brought on by overheating while at work repairing a locomotive.
Source: Bloomington Telephone, May 31, 1887.
Delta Airline founder born here
1889, Oct 8
Collett Everman Woolman, one of the founders of Delta Airlines, is born. Woolman's father was a physics professor at Indiana University at the time. The Woolman family would move to Champaign Illinois where his father would teach at the University of Illinois and Collett would attend high school and college.
Source: Monroe County Birth Index 1882-2016, Bk H 2-35 p 2913.
Fatal wreck at Wilson's trestle
1890, Jan 28
The fast express on the Air Line division of the Louisville, New Albany, and Chicago Railroad crashes at the trestle over Wilson's Creek, 16 miles north of Indianapolis. 7 people die and another 20 are injured when the truck of the tender jumped track, the ladies coach and sleeper car falling from the trestle into the creek below and quickly catching fire.
Source: "Seven Persons Killed," Newark Daily Advocate, January 28, 1890.
Air travel starts in county
A man who calls himself Mr. Sanders, a local barnstormer performing at the county fair, marks the first instance of air travel in Bloomington, taking off in a hot air balloon.
Source: George Smith, "From A Balloon To Turbo Jets," Daily Herald Telephone, September 24, 1968.
Fairfax Harrison visits Bloomington
1911, Feb 23
The Bloomington Commercial Club gives a dinner for 200 businessmen in honor of Fairfax Harrison, the president of the Monon Railroad Company. Harrison promises to build a new passenger station at the corner of Kirkwood Avenue and Morton Street. In a letter to Secretary Von Behren, Harrison says, "I am personally very much alive to the mutual importance of the relation between Bloomington and this company."
Source: "Promises Fine New Station; Monon President Accepts Invitation From Bloomington Commercial Club," Indianapolis Star, February 24, 1911.
First airplane flies in Bloomington
1911, Oct 11
Horace Kearney, early aviator, flies his airplane in Dunn Meadow for the first flight ever in Monroe County. He snags a barbed wire fence while taking off, and only gains enough altitude to crash land without life-threatening injuries.
Source: "Kearney Falls But Will Live," Bloomington Telephone, October 18, 1911. more...
First resident takes to the air
1912, May 24
Elizah Hendricks becomes the first Bloomington resident to fly in an airplane.
Source: "Looking Back on Old Bloomington," Daily Telephone
Smith writes about Underground Railroad
IU Dean of Education and Bloomington native Henry Lester Smith writes about the Underground Railroad in Monroe County, using oral history provided by his family. Smith writes that the following individuals were supportive of the cause to help slaves from 1845-1860: Thomas Smith, James Clark, Rev. J.B. Faris, John Blair, Samuel Gordon, Samuel Curry, William Curry, Robert Ewing, John Russell, D.S. Irwin, W. C. Smith, T.N. Faris, Austin Seward, and John Hite. Many were affiliated with the Reformed Presbyterian Church.
Source: "The Underground Railroad in Monroe County," Indiana magazine of history, September 1, 1917. more...
Dixie Highway completion expected
1917, May 18
Dixie Highway supervising engineer Professor U. S. Hanna announces that Blair and Kerr will pack down the metal on the road and the road will be completed in a few weeks.
Source: Bloomington Telephone, May 18, 1917.
Wylie Carter buys airplane
W. Wylie Carter buys his first plane becoming the first person in the city to own their own plane.
Source: "Wylie Carter, Air Pioneer, Dies at 76," Herald Telephone, November 27, 1971, Obituaries.
Airport to open in 10 days
1928, Jul 6
The Bloomington Star announces that the newly acquired Bloomington airport will be ready to receive flyers in about ten days. A state commercial aviation officer inspected the new airport and is impressed with its location. He also compliments William Brown and the Graham Garage Company for obtains such a suitable field for this section. Wylie Carter, Bloomington aviator, will be the first to occupy it. Plans to erect two huge flood lights for night landing and construction of a beacon to guide aviators will be constructed as well.
Source: "Opening of Airport Expected in 10 Days," Bloomington Star, July 6, 1928, 1.
First pull off parachute
Ed Hill, a local barnstormer, uses the first pull off parachute in an experiment just south of town. When Hill's plane reached a suitable altitude, he crawled out on the wing of the biplane with his parachute strapped to him. Throwing the parachute off the wing, he was pulled off into the air by the billowing cloth and landed safely in the scrub, his plane crashing.
Source: Bob Breunig, "Air Service Climaxes 40 Years In Bloomington's Air Progress," Bloomington Star Courier, December 16, 1949.
Chamber launch plans
1932, Feb 2
The Chamber of Commerce launches plans to bring regular air mail and express service to Bloomington.
Source: "World Review 10 Biggest News Stories of the Year," Evening World, January 2, 1933, 4.
Robbins visits city
Henry Ford built the Twin Goose airplane, a tri-motor job, and "Red" Robbins popularizs it with his stunts and exhibitions in the air. Popular across the country, Robbins even visited Bloomington, showing off his aerial stunts.
Source: Bob Breunig, "Air Service Climaxes 40 Years In Bloomington's Air Progress," Bloomington Star Courier, December 16, 1949.
Cadet injured in plane mishap
1933, Mar 16
Cadet Lawrence S. Fulwider, of Bloomington, is injured after having to parachute out of his plane during a solo flight in Kelley Field, Texas, where he is stationed as a cadet in the army air corps. A fellow cadet, Charles D. Rogers, also experienced plane troubles, but died when his plane crashed.
Source: "Cadet Lawrence Fulwider Injured in Plane Mishap," Evening World, March 18, 1933.
Wilson resigns as stewardess
1937, Jan 4
Nancy Jane Wilson resigns from her position as an airplane stewardess following a crash of the plane in which she had once served. Her roommate, who had been a stewardess on duty in Nancy's place during the crash, was killed.
Source: "Chronicle of Daily Events During 1937 in Bloomington and about Monroe County," Evening World, January 1, 1938, 6.
Mysterious plane flies over city
1938, Jan
A mysterious airplane flying over Bloomington draws a large crowd to the Municipal airport. The plane is later identified as a National Guard unit from Terre Haute.
Source: "Daily March of Events Chronicled Through 1938 in Review," The Evening World, Bloomington, Indiana, December 31, 1938, 3.
Judah get his start
Garwood Judah (appointed airport manager in 1947) gets his start, taking his first flying lesson from TVA pilot Ridge Patterson, and his first ride in the air cost him $.50 for a seven minute aerial tour of Bloomington
Source: Bob Breunig, "Air Service Climaxes 40 Years In Bloomington's Air Progress," Bloomington Star Courier, December 16, 1949. more...
Chamber plans for airmail
1938, Mar 29
The Chamber of Commerce makes plans for a one-day airmail service from Bloomington on the anniversary of the airplane.
Source: "Daily March of Events Chronicled Through 1938 in Review," The Evening World, Bloomington, Indiana, December 31, 1938, 3.
Air mail
1938, May 16
The air mail flight is in its final preparations for its first flight which is to take place in Bloomington.
Source: "Daily March of Events Chronicled Through 1938 in Review," The Evening World, Bloomington, Indiana, December 31, 1938.
First airmail flight
1938, May 19
Jack Harrington with Bloomington's 4,865 pieces of mail is set to fly to Indianapolis. This is Bloomington's first airmail flight.
Source: "Daily March of Events Chronicled Through 1938 in Review," The Evening World, Bloomington, Indiana, December 31, 1938. more...
First air mail delivery
1938, May 19
Jack Harrington's flight to Indianapolis marks the first air mail delivery out of Bloomington as his Waco F carried four bags of mail to the capital city. Businessmen in both cities celebrate with window displays and special promotions.
Source: Bob Breunig, "Air Service Climaxes 40 Years In Bloomington's Air Progress," Bloomington Star Courier, December 16, 1949. more...
City acquires Eller Farm
The city acquires Eller Farm for the development of a municipal airport.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Eller farm purchased for airport
The city buys the old Eller farm for development into a municipal airport. The site was recommended by Vern Ruble and Alfred Evens, working as a site selection committee with an engineer from the Civil Aviation Authority. The decision is forwarded to the mayor and the city council by a committee of the Chamber of Commerce.
Source: Bob Breunig, "Air Service Climaxes 40 Years In Bloomington's Air Progress," Bloomington Star Courier, December 16, 1949.
Baldwin operates air field
Shortly after the city's purchase of the Eller Farm for development of a municipal airport, Ernie Baldwin, a well known Bloomington aviation pioneer, is appointed as manager of the new air field.
Source: Bob Breunig, "Air Service Climaxes 40 Years In Bloomington's Air Progress," Bloomington Star Courier, December 16, 1949. more...
Airport plans hit delay
1939, Sep 22
Plans for the city to purchase the Eller Farm for the airport hits a road block. City Attorney Q. Austin East was supposed to get approval for the transfer of funds in Indianapolis but is not able to make it up to Indianapolis in time this afternoon. It is reported that if construction does not start by October 1st, then IU cannot qualify for a state pilot training course under the Civil Aeronautics Authority.
Source: "Airport Plans Again Meet with Delay," Bloomington Evening World, September 23, 1939, 1.
Bloomington airport grant approved
1940, Jan 19
President Roosevelt approves the WPA grant of $202,266 for the construction of the new Bloomington airport.
Source: "1940 Chronology," Evening World, December 31, 1940.
New airport approved
1940, Jan 19
President Roosevelt approved a WPA grant of $202,266 for the construction of the new Bloomington airport.
Source: "1940 Chronology," Bloomington Evening World, December 31, 1940.
CAA officials discuss airport
1940, Jan 23
Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA) officials confer with city officials on the development of the new Bloomington airport.
Source: "1940 Chronology," Evening World, December 31, 1940.
WPA clears trees
1940, Feb 14
Works Progress Administration workers finish clearing the trees from the new Bloomington airport site.
Source: "1940 Chronology," Evening World, December 31, 1940.
Trees cleared
1940, Feb 14
WPA workers clear all trees from the new airport site.
Source: "1940 Chronology," Evening World, February 14, 1940.
Chamber plan for airlines
1940, May 28
The Chamber of Commerce announces plans to bring new airport stops to Bloomington from three new Chicago and Southern Airline routes.
Source: "1940 Chronology," Evening World, December 31, 1940.
New flights planned for airport
1940, May 28
Chamber of Commerce announces plans to bring to the new airport stops for 3 new Chicago and Southern Airlines routes.
Source: "1940 Chronolgy," Evening World, December 31, 1940.
Carman announces limestone business
1940, Jul 12
Engineer Victor Carman announces that limestone companies will furnish stone for a hangar of the new airport.
Source: "1940 Chronology," Evening World, December 31, 1940.
New airport discussed
1940, Nov 26
At the 4th roundtable meeting, members discuss the 10 vital community problems, one of them being the airport. Further construction at the new airport cannot continue without engineering aid. The city has the necessary funds of $89,000 with the WPA to send a qualified engineer to coordinate the work. The proposed hangar, for which limestone men agreed to supply the stone for, is the second step. The stipulation is the limestone suppliers wish the hangar to be built immediately, then in the summer. However, this matter has not come up again since it is impossible to build a hangar before the airport is finished. Two airline officials have made investigations but will not commit themselves until the airport is built.
Source: "Community Coordinating Council Will Be Established for 1941; Bloomington Leaders Discuss Ten Vital Problems At Fourth Roundtable; Confident U.H.S. Will Continue," Evening World, November 27, 1940.
Petition drawn
1940, Dec 26
Freeholders along the county road that joins state highways 48 and 45 draw up a petition for its improvement. This road is adjacent to the new city airport.
Source: "1940 Chronology," Evening World, December 31, 1940.
IU builds hangar
Indiana University builds a new administration building and hangar. These buildings will later be purchased by the airport.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017 map
IU invests in airport
Indiana University builds a hangar and administration building at the Bloomington airfield in order to provide facilities for the Civilian Training Program under the guidance of the Department of Military Science and Tactica. More that 200 students receive preliminary flight training through this wartime program.
Source: Bob Breunig, "Air Service Climaxes 40 Years In Bloomington's Air Progress," Bloomington Star Courier, December 16, 1949.
Baldwin resigns air field post
1943, Jul
Ernie Baldwin, manager of the city's air field since 1939, resigns his position. The Civil Air Patrol assumes responsibility for the operation of the field with Ben Rechter stepping in as the new manager.
Source: Bob Breunig, "Air Service Climaxes 40 Years In Bloomington's Air Progress," Bloomington Star Courier, December 16, 1949.
Airport designated Kisters Field
The airport is designated as Kisters Field in honor of Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Lt. Gerry H. Kisters.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017 map
Weir gets his wings
Charles O. Weir, son of E.T. and Grace Weir, gets his pilot's wings in the Army Air Corps. In 1949 he was the first helicopter pilot to perform an air rescue mission north of the Arctic Circle. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with two clusters, and Korean Service Medal with three battle stars while serving in the 3rd Air Rescue Squadron, the most decorated squadron in the Korean War. He was later a cartoonist. He grew up in the Weir Funeral Home, 403 W. Kirkwood Ave.
Source: "Obituaries: Charles O. Weir," The Herald Times, July 20, 2000. more... map
Aviation commission formed
1944, Jan 1
In 1943, State legislature empowered third class cities to establish their own boards of aviation commissions and Bloomington was the first city to take advantage of the law. Today, Donald Hansen, E.B. Duane, Ben Rechter, and John E. Stempel will take office as the city's first Board of Aviation Commissioners and assume responsibility for the operation of the air field.
Source: Bob Breunig, "Air Service Climaxes 40 Years In Bloomington's Air Progress," Bloomington Star Courier, December 16, 1949.
Chitwood replaces Rechter at airport
Ted Chitwood has replaced Ben Rechter as manager of the city's air field.
Source: Bob Breunig, "Air Service Climaxes 40 years In Bloomington's Air Progress," Bloomington Star Courier, December 16, 1949.
Hudson dies in plane crash
1947, Nov 6
Ellettsville merchant Paul Dewey Hudson crashes a Luscomb Silvaire aluminum single engine plane into the side of a wooded hillside on the Hunter Farm about three miles northwest of Bloomington. Hudson, commander of the Ellettsville American Legion Post, is killed instantly when the plane reportedly power dives from an estimated 2,000 feet above the hillside. This accident is believed to be the first airplane related fatality in Monroe County.
Source: "Airport History Has Been Marked By Some Crashes," Daily Herald Telephone, September 24, 1968.
3 Bloomington airports
The city directory states that Bloomington has three airports, one municipal and two commercial.
Source: Polk's Bloomington City Directory 1948 (St. Louis, MO: R. L. Polk and Co., 1948)
Stewart lands without wheel
1948, Mar 1
Eugene Stewart makes a spectacular belly landing at the airport. His Cessna loses one of the wheels of its landing gear while flying. No one is harmed me in the crash landing.
Source: "Airport History Has Been Marked By Some Crashes," Daily Herald Telephone, September 24, 1968.
Airplane crashes
1948, May 30
Two pilots crash on the Ben Oliver farm, eight miles northwest of Bloomington: Both men die from injuries: Veteran Dwane Wiggins was 24-years-old and an IU senior living the Lamba Chi house. John Nikirk, 26, served in the Navy in the South Pacific. [Image of Dwane Wiggins.]
Source: Bloomington Evening World, May 31, 1948. more...
Stunt flyer dies
1949, Jan 1
Famed aerobatic and stunt flyer from Bloomington, Leon (Red) Geer, is killed when his Stearman plunges out of control into a swamp near Eagles Nest fishing camp in Leesburg, Florida. Geer once served as manager of Veterans Field, the old airport. At the time of his death, he was practicing for entry into the International Aerobatics Contest held in Miami.
Source: "Airport History Has been Marked By Some Crashes," Daily Herald Telephone, September 24, 1968.
Plane is caught in banner
1949, Sep 8
James Abram, of the Abram Flying Service, crash lands near the airport after an advertising banner becomes entangled around the tail of his Stearman biplane. Abram sustains minor cuts and bruises after landing just off the southeast edge of the runway.
Source: "Airport History Has Been Marked By Some Crashes," Daily Herald Telephone, September 24, 1968.
3 Bloomington airports
The city directory states that Bloomington has three airports: one municipal and two commercial.
Source: Polk's Bloomington (Monroe County, Ind.) City Directory 1950 (St. Louis, MO: R. L. Polk & Co., 1950)
Postmaster collects for first airmail
1950, Jan 4
Postmaster George Purcell reports he has collected over 2,000 envelopes to be carried on Turner Airlines inaugural flight through the city. These covers are from 42 states, with all represented except Delaware, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Wyoming, as well as Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Switzerland. During the inaugural flight these envelopes will be stamped with one of two official cachets.
Source: "Receive Covers From 42 States For First Local Airmail Hop," Bloomington Telephone, January 4, 1950.
Weather delays airmail service
1950, Jan 9
Postmaster George Purcell and a representative of Turner Airlines announce that airmail service will be delayed. The service is delayed as the necessary test flights were not made last week due to bad weather throughout the state. Despite the postponement, Purcell says that anyone wishing to collect the first flight covers can send them to the post office where they will be kept until airmail service starts.
Source: "Bad Weather delays Air Mail Service," Bloomington Daily Telephone, January 9, 1950.
Start of airline service announced
1950, Jan 16
Spokesmen at the airport say today that the air service to the city by Turner Airlines will probably begin between January 25 and 30. Several delays have been caused by weather, preventing the flights between Indianapolis and Louisville through Bloomington from beginning.
Source: "Start of Airline Service Now Set for Jan. 25," The World Telephone, January 16, 1950.
Turner receives single engine permit
1950, Jan 21
Turner Airlines, scheduled to start regular air service to the city on January 25, becomes the last airline in the United States to obtain the Civil Aeronautics Board's approval to operate single engine aircraft. Turner and other similar "feeder" lines in Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas, and throughout New England are now the only one which have permission to single-engine planes of their airline routes.
Source: "Turner Last to Receive Single Engine Permit," The World Telephone, January 21, 1950.
Postmaster pitches airmail plan
1950, Jan 26
Postmaster George Purcell announces that he has received word from the General Superintendent's office of Postal Transportation Service in Cincinnati that airmail service will begin on Jan. 30th through Turner Airlines. Previously announced schedules will be followed with southbound feeder planes due in at 7:28 AM and 1:58 PM and northbound planes due at 9:13 AM and 3:43 PM.
Source: "Air-Mail Run Due 'Definitely' January 30," Herald Times, January 26, 1950.
Turner airlines is inaugurated
1950, Jan 30
At 7:28 a.m. two 4-passenger planes land at the airport and are taxied up to the Administration Building. After the signing of several papers, Postmaster Purcell puts an airmail pouch on board and Mayor Lemon, Donald Hansen, and Bob Petranoff board for the flight to Louisville. The planes return to the airfield at 9:13 a.m. to the inaugural crowd to complete their journey.
Source: "'Feeder' Airline Run Inaugurated," Herald Times, January 30, 1950.
Turner Airline routes announced
1950, Jan 30
With the inauguration of Turner Airlines, future routes and fares have been announced. Southbound flights to Louisville arrive at 7:28 a.m. and 1:58 p.m. Northbound flights to Indianapolis arrive at 9:13 a.m. and 3:43 p.m. One way fares are $3.57 to Indianapolis, $6.21 to Louisville, $7.19 to Lafayette, and $15.07 to Chicago.
Source: "'Feeder' Airline Run Inaugurated," Herald Times, January 30, 1950.
Break-in at airport
1950, Feb 13
Two break-ins net thieves $15 in cash and $125 in office equipment from the airport. The Miller's Grocery Store is also broken into but nothing is stolen.
Source: "Break-Ins Reported At Kisters Field, Grocery," Herald Times, February 13, 1950.
Turner completes inauguration
1950, Feb 17
Turner Airlines completes inauguration of service on its final segment of a 655 mile network of feeder service having initiated service between Indianapolis and Cincinnati via Connersville, Indiana. The airline routes, now certified by the Civil Aeronautics Board, also operate from Louisville to Chicago through Bloomington, Indianapolis, and Lafayette, and from Indianapolis to Grand Rapids via Kokomo and South Bend, Indiana and Kalamazoo, Michigan. In addition, new summer flights are being proposed that will fly through the city.
Source: "Turner Completes Air Network ," Star-Courier, February 17, 1950.
Turner Airlines makes history
1950, Feb 20
Turner Airlines makes history as they become the only scheduled domestic carrier operating both light-plane and transport-type equipment when it recently inaugurated Chicago-Indianapolis-Louisville service through Bloomington with single-engine Beech Bonanzas. Indianapolis-Cincinnati service, with Beech Bonanzas as well, gives Turner Airlines a completely activated system of 655 route miles. The feeder has been operating its Indianapolis-Grand Rapids link with DC-3s since November of last year and looks to begin the use of larger planes over all of its routes by summer.
Source: "Long and Short of It," Aviation Week, February 20, 1950.
Contract signed with Turner
1950, Mar 25
The Board of Aviation Commissioners signs a contract with Turner Airlines for the use of the airport. The city will charge Turner $40 per month, covering the right to land on the runway, the use of office space, and the use of the terminal for passengers, for a one year trial period. The $40 rate is on a sliding scale depending upon the number of flights Turner has coming through the city. After the trial period the commissioners will decide whether they are charging too much or too little. Bud Woodburn, local ticket agent, is keeping 60 day interval records on the airline business and says that airline business is looking up in large part thanks to the recent good weather for flying.
Source: "Aviation Board Signs Contract With Turner; Negotiates Use of Kisters Field," Herald Telephone, March 25, 1950.
Flight schedule changes
1950, Apr 1
Turner Airlines service changes today with southbound flights arriving at 11 a.m. and 4:25 p.m. and departing at 11:04 a.m. and 4:29 p.m. and northbound flights arriving at 12:35 p.m. and 6 p.m. and departing at 12:39 p.m. and 6:04 p.m.
Source: "Aviation Board Signs Contract With Turner; Negotiates Use of Kisters Field," Herald Telephone, March 25, 1950.
Aviation commission report released
1950, Apr 19
Don Hansen, president of the City Aviation Commission, releases annual report listing outstanding developments of the for the year of 1949 such as the completion of a $139,999.90 runway paving project, the paving project being 100 feet wide and 3,800 feet long. The report also mentions Turner Airlines mail and passenger plane service contract, installation of a complete field filter system for sewage disposal, painting of buildings, re-roofing of hangars, removal of hazardous trees, and the installation of a stoker in the administration building. Airport receipts reached $152,807.73 from a $38,797.62 balance; $5,028.30 received from airport operations; $46,580.96 in tax money; $62,400.85 in federal grants. Expenditures reached $150,308.66; $7,658.50 for salaries; $6,664.40 in operating expenses; $98.20 for new equipment; $50 for tree removal. The aviation commission ended the year with a balance of $10,098.17. An average of 15 planes were based at the airport with gasoline sales reaching 25,655 gallons.
Source: "Reports Airport Has 'Slow But Healthy Growth'," The World Telephone, April 19, 1950.
Turner to install 4 flights
1950, May 6
Turner Airlines announces that on May 25, two flights north and two flights south will be made daily with 25-passenger DC-3 airplanes instead of the present small Beech-craft Bonanzas. There will be no direct flights to Chicago but north flights will continue to Grand Rapids, MI. The two flights south will begin in Grand Rapids and end at Louisville. The first flight will leave at 10:49 DST for Louisville and the first northbound flight will leave at 12:33 DST. The second southbound flight will leave at 2:59 DST. The second flight north will leave at 4:45 DST. Flight time to Indianapolis is around 25 minutes and to Louisville, 43 minutes.
Source: "Turner Airlines Ready To Install 4 Daily Flights," Herald Telephone, May 6, 1950.
DC-3 flights to be inaugurated
1950, May 24
Turner Airlines is set to inaugurate regular flights with new DC-3 passenger planes tomorrow at 10:45 DST. These plans will allow the carrying of a larger number of passengers and mail as well as freight. DC-3 flights, with the ability to carry freight, will not only connect more passengers to more cities but also connect the city to some 22,000 Railway Express offices throughout the country, some on direct airlines and others available via rail connection for express freight delivery.
Source: "First Turner DC-3 Due In Tomorrow; Will Inaugurate Full-Time Use," Herald Telephone, May 24, 1950.
Turner revises plane schedule
1950, May 24
J.J. Medaries of Turner Airlines says that with the inauguration of 21-passenger DC-3 planes flight schedules will be revised. The schedule revision is also due to the lengthening hours of daylight and therefore flying hours. R.C. Collins will become full-time station manager for Turner under this schedule revision, taking over for Bud Woodburn of Munn Aviation. Medaries also reports that should the airport install runway and obstruction lights the DC-3s will be able to continue this schedule through the winter. The flight schedule is as follows: southbound arriving at 9:45 a.m. and 1:55 p.m. and departing at 9:49 a.m. and 1:59 p.m.; northbound arriving at 11:29 a.m. and 3:39 p.m. and departing at 11:33 a.m. and 3:43 p.m. The last Beechcraft Bonanza flew through the city today, with Mayor Lemon, Chamber of Commerce Director David Pyle, Postmaster George Purcell, and others being invited to the DC-3 inauguration tomorrow morning.
Source: "Airline Revises Plane Schedule Through City," The World Telephone, May 24, 1950.
DC-3 flights inaugurated
1950, May 25
Turner airlines' first 21 passenger DC-3 lands to meet a group of city officials, Railway Express representatives, newspaper reporters, and radio men at the airport's administration building. Mayor Lemon, Donald Hansen of the Aviation Board, Garwood Judah the airport superintendent, and W.T. McMahon and C.F. Horning of Railway Express represented the city. In addition to Turner officials, the flight also carried two sacks of air mail and 1,000 pounds of air express freight, marking the first time air express freight came to the city. With the new express freight service, the city's businesses can now reach any large city in a matter of hours and foreign cities overnight. Started 23 years ago with 4 airlines serving 26 cities, the air express freight service has now grown to serving 23,000 offices through 28 airlines.
Source: "First DC-3 Turner Flight Made To City; Starts Regular Runs Here," Herald Telephone, May 25, 1950.
Hoadley passes solo flight
1950, Jun 1
Twelve year old John Stephen Hoadley successfully completes a solo flight in an Aeronca Champion monoplane called "Blue Nose" after nine hours and fifteen minutes of instruction. John's father is the airport owner, Ed Hoadley.
Source: "'Pilot' Hoadley, Age 12, Among Youngest to Pass Solo Flight," The World Telephone, June 3, 1950, 1, 2.
Airport lighting to be proposed
1950, Jun 26
Funds for the installation of a night lighting system at the airport in order to expand the air operating day are added to the 1951 city aviation budget to be approved in July by the City Council. The federal government has already earmarked funds with which to share half the cost of any improvements with the city. City aviation officials consider the addition of a lighting system to be their number one project in the continued growth of the airport. Should the system be approved it will include runway threshold, approach, and obstruction lights as well as a rotating beacon to designate the airport as a lighted one, increasing air traffic to the city. The construction of a new administration building for the airport has been left from the 1951 budget plan in an effort to ensure the approval of the lighting system.
Source: "Lighting System Considered No. 1 Project at Airport," The World Telephone, June 26, 1950.
Board to meet on airport lighting
1950, Jul 12
The City Aviation Commission will meet with representatives of the Civil Aeronautics Administration and the Indiana State Aeronautics Commission to discuss plans for the addition of a lighting system at the airport. The lighting system would make it possible for night flights by transport type aircraft. New runways were completed last year with future plans for installation of a runway lighting system. Small tunnels were placed under the runways so that future lighting could easily be installed. Should the City Council approve the lighting system, the project will cost around $27,000, half of which would be from matching funds provided by the federal government.
Source: "With Runways Completed: Aviation Board To Meet On Kisters Light Problem ," Herald Telephone, July 12, 1950.
Aviation experts recommend new lighting
1950, Jul 18
Indianapolis aviation experts Col. C.F. Cornish, K. Robert Hahn, and A.W. Compton, strongly recommend the installation of a $27,000 lighting system for night operation to the city's aviation commission. Hahn states that air traffic has doubled in the past six months and will re-double within the next eight months should the airport add night lighting as well as an H-facility, a radio broadcasting system to guide planes. Should these not be installed he fears a 65% decrease in business during the winter. It was also pointed out that night lighting may be crucial with the present warfare in Korea, the airport serving as an important link in the transportation system of the Crane Naval Ammunition Depot. Even though half of the funds for the project is expected to come from federal sources, city budget strains serve as a major setback to the project.
Source: "At Cost of $27,000; Urge Lights For Kisters Airport," Herald Telephone, July 18, 1950.
Runway improvements necessary
1950, Aug 11
Robert Hahn, general counselor for Turner Airlines, addresses the Kiwanis Club, calling for the addition of runway lights and radio controls at the airport. Hahn points out that the majority of airmail delivery takes place during 5-6 p.m. when the bulk of letters reach the post office. However, with daylight ending around 5 p.m. in the approaching winter months, planes can not land or depart during this time without lights and radio. These improvements to the runway are even more crucial as Turner Airlines plans to add Gary to their air service, meaning the city could gain a direct link to Chicago by air. As part of his talk, Hahn showed a color movie stressing the importance of this lighting entitled "Harnessed Lighting" about the development of pet airplane motors by Allison Division, General Motors.
Source: "Kisters Field Needs Told to Kiwanians; Efficiency Said To Be Hampered," Herald Telephone, August 11, 1950.
Runway lighting could help promote growth
1950, Aug 11
The airport requests $13,500 of its budget be used to install runway and obstruction lights and a beacon light. This would increase operations from 65% of the day to 90%. The airline currently carries 135 passengers and over 900 pounds of air mail per month as well as 1,000 pounds of freight per day. The city should be a natural hub for air traffic in South Central Indiana with its relation to Indianapolis, Evansville, Louisville, and the Crane Naval Ammunition Depot but the absence of an adequate lighting system is a hindrance. With the addition of lights the city has the opportunity to become independent from Indianapolis and for businesses and employment to grow.
Source: "You Can't Keep Up These Days In An Oxcart--," Herald Telephone, August 11, 1950.
Airport lighting vetoed
1950, Aug 29
The City Council left a $17,000 item in the new budget to buy a 25-acre tract of land in the southeast part of the city for a new park but killed a proposed $27,000 lighting system for the airport. The park was kept in the city budget after the Council received a 233-signature petition in favor of its development. In total, the City Council cut $116,478.76 from the budget with reductions to the Board of Health, Engineering Department, City Administration, Planning Commission, Fire Department, City Park Maintenance, Aviation Department, Rose Hill Cemetery, and the Division of Recreation taking the tax levy from a proposed $2.71 down to $2.23.
Source: "Budget Cut; City's Tax Rate $2.23; Council O.K.'s Park; Vetoes Airport Lights," Herald Telephone, August 29, 1950.
Judah pieces together lighting system
1951, Jan 8
Garwood Judah, manager of the city airport, is looking through stockpiles of used airport equipment in other cities in an effort to get together enough lights, beacons, and equipment to get CAA-approved night flying here. Working on a very limited budget, Judah has been begging, borrowing, and improvising but for the most part airport managers in other cities are helpful and willing to give or sell at a nominal price whatever that don't need. Judah hopes to have runway lights installed and approved by the summer.
Source: Herald Telephone, January 8, 1951.
CAB opens airline hearing
1951, Feb 19
The Civil Aeronautics Board opened hearings on feeder and trunk-line air service for cities in Indiana, including Bloomington, and Ohio. Attorney Vern Ruble, on behalf of the Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, and Donald Hanson, president of the Bloomington Aviation Commission attended the hearing today, representing local interests. At the hearing Lake Central has petitioned to extend its temporary operating certificate to December 31, 1954, for permission to serve Gary, Indiana, and for permission to operate over several new route segments.
Source: "CAB Opens Hearing On Airline Pleas; Wants Operating Certificate Extended To '54," Daily Herald Telephone, February 19, 1951.
Night flights may come to city
1951, Mar 9
Although $27,000 for the purpose of a night lighting system at the airport was sliced by the City Council, the airport may yet see a lighting system installed. Airport Manager Garwood Judah is working with the CAA and Indiana aeronautics authorities to secure obsolete equipment from other airports to be over-hauled and used as temporary night lighting until the airport can obtain sufficient funding from the city. Judah says the necessary lighting for night flights include a rotating green and white beacon, obstruction lights on buildings, floodlights on the ramps, and boundary lights on the runway. If everything goes according to plan, the refurbished lighting will be installed as soon as the ground is installed and Judah hopes to receive approval for night flights this fall.
Source: "Reconditioned Equipment May Bring Night Flights to City ," Star-Courier, March 9, 1951.
Airport suffers wind damage
1951, May 4
One hundred mile an hour winds rip trees up, pull utility lines down, and break windows and doors throughout the county. The airport suffers the most damage during this storm sustaining major damage to four planes, a workshop, and a hangar. Airport manager Garwood Judah reports that 12' x 20' doors were pulled loose from one building and 14' x 16' doors and the covering of a hangar were torn off. Dennis Sacks' Aeronca Chief was a total loss. Dewey Boshears' J3 cub was badly damaged. Two other planes left on the field had their wings torn off.
Source: "Airport Suffers Major Damage in Wind Storm; Power Lines Down Throughout Area," Star-Courier, May 4, 1951.
Fatal airplane crash
1951, May 19
Fred Murray, 39, sustained a severe leg injury and is in grave condition, while fellow passenger Major Horace S. Secor, 35, and pilot Stanley Eugene (Ted) Williams, 36, have died following a plane crash just 10 minutes after its take-off. Coroner Lyons pronounced Williams and Secor dead at 1:45 p.m. while Murray was rushed to the hospital. Representatives of the Civil Aeronautics Authority and the administrative department of the local airport are conducting separate investigations with the cooperation of state, city, and county authorities. Upon inspecting the plane, airport manager Garwood Judah rules a wing-over maneuver was performed at too low an altitude causing the crash.
Source: "Pilot Misjudged 'Wingover' Buzzing Quarry-Witness ," Daily Herald Telephone, May 19, 1951.
Beacon planned for airport
1951, Jun 13
The airport announces plans to install a 51-foot steel tower for a double beacon light. Airport officials put in a request for the tower and beacon a year ago and have finally received approval. Airport manager Garwood Judah says the green and white beacon is an important step in designating the airport as a lighted one. Judah hopes to have CAA approval for night flying by winter.
Source: Bill Dyer, "Rounding the Square," Herald Telephone, June 13, 1951.
Plane set to land on highway
1951, Jul 3
Bud Woodburn, commander of the local Civil Air Patrol (CAP), announces plans to land a PT-17 airplane on north highway 37. The plane will then be towed into the city by a jeep and used as the CAP's float in the Legion Day Parade. Woodburn assures that all legal aspects have been cleared. The only uncertainty is whether parade parking will be along College Avenue. In this event, the plane's wings will not be able to make it through. Either way, the CAP cadets will march in the parade.
Source: Herald Telephone, July 3, 1951.
Beacon installed at Kisters Field
1951, Aug 12
Bloomington's municipal airport, Kisters Field, takes another step towards graduation into the 24-hour service class. A beacon, which has been donated by the State Aeronautics Commission, is installed atop the 58-foot tower in the field.
Source: "Kisters Field Soon to Have Lights," Herald Telephone, August 13, 1951. more...
Beacon light installed
1951, Aug 12
A beacon light donated by the State Aeronautics Commission is installed on top of the 58-foot tower at Kister's Airport field.
Source: Bennett P. Reed, "Sands Of Time," Daily Herald Telephone, August 12, 1964.
Airport reports lights coming soon
1951, Aug 13
A green and white beacon is installed atop the 58-foot tower, which was donated to the airport by the State Aeronautics Commission. This marks an important step in the airport as being designated to the 24-hour service class. When the beacon first goes into operation, it will have two white beams of light that flash 13 times a minute to signal the presence of an airport to passing planes. Later, when the landing lights can be operated on a 24-hour basis, one of the lights will be green signaling a 24-hour operational airport. Currently, the airport only has portable runway lights that are turned on by request, otherwise they are turned off around 9PM when airport personnel go home.
Source: "Kisters Field Soon To Have Lights," Herald Telephone, August 13, 1951.
Airport beacon tested
1951, Aug 17
Work on a new beacon tower is completed at the airport as well as the installation of ground lights bordering the runway. Ground-air communication for Lake Central Airlines has been in operation for two weeks. Despite these improvements, the airport still needs a radio-homer to be designated 24-hour operational.
Source: "New Airport Beacon Light Gets Test," Star-Courier, August 17, 1951.
Airport funding restoration rejected
1951, Sep 19
The Aviation Commission's appeal to the State Tax Board for the restoration of $7,500 cut from the Commission's budget by the County Tax Adjustment Board is rejected by the City Council. John Stempel of the Aviation Commission had hoped to regain this funding for a permanent drainage system to protect the paved runway, approach lights for night operations, and an electronic apparatus for guiding planes approaching the runway in poor-visibility conditions. Councilman J.B. Black Jr. and Mayor Thomas L. Lemon felt the vote was no reflection on the Aviation Commission.
Source: "City Rejects Plea of Aviation Unit," Herald Telephone, September 19, 1951.
Airport project gets go-ahead
1951, Nov 1
The airport is among 226 airport construction projects approved to be undertaken by the Civil Aeronautics Administration between now and June 30 of next year. The airport will receive $5,000 for grading and drainage on the northeast-southwest landing strip. The construction, based on the Federal Aid program, involves the expenditure of $15,030,607 in federal money and $13,821,132 to be put up by either local or state sponsors.
Source: "Kisters Airport Projects Given U.S. 'Go-Ahead'," Herald Times, November 1, 1951.
Airport lighting system completed
1951, Dec 3
Airport manager Garwood Judah reports that the main lighting system necessary for night flying has been completed, which includes the rotating beacon, main runway lights, obstruction and hangar lights, flood lights for the taxiing area, and a lighted wind sock. Unscheduled night flights can now be made to the city. However, scheduled airlines can not fly in until a hazard light has been installed on the hill southwest of the airport. Judah also hopes to install a radio homer-beacon so planes can locate the airport when visibility is restricted.
Source: Herald Telephone, October 3, 1951.
Judah honored
1951, Dec 12
Garwood Judah, scheduled to continue his position as airport manager, is honored for his service thus far, being appointed in May, 1947.
Source: "Appointed in 1947," Herald Telephone, December 12, 1951.
Airport considers expanding
1952, Mar 7
The Board of Aviation Commissioners considers the purchase of 15 acres to the south west corner of the airport property, currently owned by John Rawlins. Airport manager Garwood Judah labels this land as an obstruction to safe take-offs as the area is covered by trees. Judah believes that buying this land and cutting the trees may be cheaper than installing obstruction lighting throughout the area as well as providing space for an emergency landing if a plane fails during take off.
Source: "Aviation Board May Buy 15 Acres for Airport Safety," Star-Courier, March 7, 1952.
Board votes on 15 acres
1952, Mar 7
The Board of Aviation Commissioners votes in favor of starting negotiation for the purchase of 15 acres of land adjacent to the airport. The land currently owned by John Rawlins is considered a hazard to continued flying activities. Should the land be acquired, it will be cleared of timber. The board also discusses probable costs of future airport improvements to be submitted to the City Council at a later date.
Source: "To Negotiate For Land At City Airport; Considered Hazard To Flying Here," Herald Telephone, March 8, 1952.
Annual report is filed
1952, Mar 13
The Aviation Commission reports it received $29,691.72 last year for operations and spent $22,779.83 ending the year of 1951 with a balance of $6,911.89. Expenditures included $8,429.36 for salaries, $7,999.37 for operating expenses, $1,216.69 for new structures and improvements, and $5,134.41 for new equipment including tools. Notable improvements of the airport include completion of the main airport lighting system, purchase of a fire truck, purchase of a mower for runways, installation of hot water system in airport restaurant, and obtaining a new snow plow.
Source: "Aviation Commission Shows Balance Of $6,912 For Year ," Herald Telephone, March 13, 1952.
Judah discusses improvements
1952, Mar 13
Airport manager Garwood Judah reports that the airport already has a two-way radio allowing ground-to-air communication. However, a radio homer beacon is still need for night and bad weather landings. The airport and the airline plan to split this cost 50-50. Another step in airport improvement involves the purchase of 15 acres, currently a landing and taking-off hazard. The City plans to cut the timber from the land so that a plane developing engine trouble is less likely to wind up in the trees.
Source: Herald Telephone, March 13, 1952.
Purchase of 15 acres is negotiated
1952, Mar 15
It is announced that the Board of Aviation Commissioners has negotiated the purchase of 15 acres of wooded land along the southwest corner of the airport, which is owned by John Rawlins. Once the city obtains this land they plan to remove the timber from the area. Airport manager Garwood Judah explains that this will remove two hazards as planes with engine troubles will have room to turn around for an emergency landing and the Public Service Company power line tower, just beyond this wooded area, will be visible once the trees are removed.
Source: "City's Land Purchase To Eliminate Airport Hazard," Herald Telephone, March 15, 1952.
CAB hears renewal plea
1952, May 12
The Civil Aeronautics Board is in the middle of a hearing concerning the renewal of Lake Central Airlines' certificate to operate. The hearing will determine whether the airline's certificate to operate as a scheduled air carrier shall be renewed, permitting continued service to various Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Illinois cities, including Bloomington. Lake Central officials believe the airline has proved itself as successful in the feeder airline business generating a net profit over $168,000 and providing useful service in record time. The hearing will be moved to Washington next week for final conclusion at an early date.
Source: "CAB Hears Lake Central Renewal Plea; Conclusion Due At Early Date," Daily Herald Telephone, May 12, 1952.
Model plane contest biggest in nation
1952, Jul 3
The model plane contest at the airport on July 20th may be one of the largest meets of its kind in the nation this summer, it appeared today, with prospects excellent that model builders from a five-state area will participate later this month. Several national champions may even be in attendance. Bob's Hobby Shop and Humphreys Dodge-Plymouth Sales and Service share sponsorship of the event. The competition will consist of 7 different events in over and under 21 divisions. The two youths in the under 21 division with the highest cumulative point totals will be sent to the International Finals as guests of the Plymouth Motor Corporation, staying in Detroit for five days with the chance to win one of 127 trophies and $7,000 in war bonds. The competition will be sanctioned by the Aeronautical Model Association (AMA)so all records established during the meet will be nationally recognized.
Source: George Bolinger, "City's Model Plane Contest May Be Biggest In Nation," Herald Telephone, July 3, 1952.
Plane crashes by Kisters Airport
1952, Jul 18
An airplane misses the runway and crashes, sending a family of four to the hospital. Mrs. Carnahan, the mother, is in critical condition with a head wound, while her husband Walter sustains cuts and lacerations. Their two children Jean, 12, and Michael, 11, were treated for some minor cuts then released.
Source: "Plane Crashes Near Kisters," Daily Herald Telephone, July 19, 1952, A, 1.
Carnahans recover from crash
1952, Jul 25
The Carnahans, a family of four, narrowly escaped death after their Stinson plane crashed on a farm a quarter of a mile north of the airport around 10:30 PM. Returning from a vacation in Nevada, the family planned to visit Mrs. Calahan's parents on the way home. Walter H, 36, sustains a broken arm. Margaret Ann, 35, is rushed to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis in critical condition from a head injury and broken vertebrae. Jean Anne, 13, is not injured and her younger brother, Michael, 11, has only a cut on his nose. Airport manager Garwood Judah attributes the crash to the fact that the runway lights were not on at the airport as the family was not scheduled to arrive after dark.
Source: "'Flying Carnahans' Recovering From Airplane Wreck Injuries," Star-Courier, July 25, 1952.
Airport acquires generator system
1952, Aug 11
Airport manager, Garwood Judah reports that the airport has acquired a complete gasoline driven generator system valued at $10,000 for only $1,025. The system, required for running the runway lights and radio homer beacon transmitter in the case of an emergency, is actually powerful enough to power the entire airport, including the restaurant.
Source: "Kisters Field Gets Standby Electric Unit; Obtains $10,000 Value For $1,025," Herald Telephone, August 11, 1952.
Airport readies for night flights
1952, Aug 11
The airport prepares to install day-night landing instruments. The city and Lake Central Airlines are splitting the cost of installation of the radio antenna. Airport manager, Garwood Judah says the city is installing all ground equipment while the airline will provide the antenna, install it, and get it licensed for operation. The ground-to-air signal, also called a homer beacon, will permit night landings and bad-weather daytime landings for the the airline.
Source: "Kisters Field Gets Standby Electric Unit; Obtains $10,000 Value For $1,025," Herald Telephone, August 11, 1952.
Airline buys Lake Central
1952, Sep 14
A Lake Central Airlines official says that about 98% of the stock in the company has been sold to the Wisconsin Central Airlines. However, this sale will not be completed until it is approved by the Civil Aeronautics Board in Washington. Brothers W.W. and John Weesner, who will soon own much of the stock of Lake Central, say that the sale may not be finalized for several months. The Wisconsin airline is a successful company also operating several other trunk lines. Airline service through the city is expected to stay the same without interruption.
Source: "Wisconsin Airline Buys Lake Central; No Interruption Expected Here," Herald Telephone, September 14, 1952.
Airport lights to be tested
1952, Nov 12
Airport manager Garwood Judah announces that it will be lit tomorrow, Nov 13th, for a complete test of the new lighting system that has taken more than a year to fully install. Judah says there will be no ceremony at this time, simply a test for possible weak spots before it is officially inspected by the CAA. The system, made with excess equipment from other airports, includes a beacon, runway lights, a lighted T, obstruction lights on surrounding hills and buildings, and a stand-by power generator.
Source: "New Kisters Field Lights To Be Tested; Await CAA Approval," Herald Telephone, November 12, 1952.
Airport researches lightning patterns
1952, Nov 13
Airport manager Garwood Judah, in discussing the possibility of the airport's new lighting system being knocked out by lightning, states that lightning follows a set pattern. Engineers recording lightning damage for 10 years found that the city was relatively free of bad lightning damage but there are some areas more susceptible than others. Judah also pointed out that power outages during storms are not caused directly by lightning but by safety devices put in place to ensure that lines are not over-loaded and is not relatively worried about the new runway lights being wiped out.
Source: Bill Dyer, Herald Telephone, November 13, 1952.
Airport plans for air-ground radio
1952, Nov 20
Lake Central Airlines announces plans to install a transmitter for air-to-ground radio at the airport on November 29. Airport manager Garwood Judah says that after the installation is complete, he will notify the Civil Aeronautics Authority that the airport is ready for official inspection. If the new lighting system as well as the air-to-ground radio are approved, the airport will be ready to receive air traffic in bad weather and after dark. Judah also reports that the new lighting system and stand-by power unit run satisfactorily after being tested with only a few minor adjustments needing to be made.
Source: "Air-Ground Radio Set For Kisters Field," Herald Telephone, November 20, 1952.
CAB reopens airline service case
1952, Nov 29
Lake Central Airline is informed that the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) will reopen the Indiana-Ohio service case for limited reexamination following a motion the airline filed on November 20. The case involves scheduled air transportation to cities in Indiana and Ohio served by Lake Central that the airline has asked for permission to continue to serve. The reopening of the case permits the CAB to officially recognize the change in management of Lake Central Airlines and render a favorable decision on route extension and renewal.
Source: "CAB Reopens Indiana-Ohio Service Case; Air Transportation In State at Issue," Herald Telephone, November 29, 1952.
Judah corrects error
1952, Dec 3
Airport manager Garwood Judah reassures local taxpayers that the new lights at the airport did not cost $50,000. A typographical error wrote $50,000, the actual value of the equipment, rather than $5,000, which is the price Judah paid for the equipment.
Source: Bill Dyer, Herald Telephone, December 3, 1952.
Weather prevents landings
1952, Dec 3
Airport manager Garwood Judah grows frustrated today as heavy snow reduced visibility to zero several times at the airport. Planes are forced to go on to the next station to land and many passengers are unable to get home.
Source: Bill Dyer, Herald Telephone, December 3, 1952.
Injured soldiers return for holidays
1952, Dec 15
An Army DC-3 landed late tonight full of amputees, victims of the Korean War. Tillman Croddy is dropped off at the airport to meet his uncle, Turner Croddy of Bloomington. Young Croddy's return is part of the Red Cross-U.S. Air Force's joint "Operation Santa Claus" to get boys home for Christmas.
Source: Bill Dyer, Herald Telephone, December 16, 1952.
CAB renews Lake Central contract
1952, Dec 31
The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) renews, until December 31, 1954, the temporary authority of Lake Central Airlines to operate in the Indiana-Ohio area. The order extends the local air service of Lake central on Route 83 to include the Ohio cities of Springfield, Dayton, Columbus, Marion, Mansfield, Cleveland, Youngstown, Zanesville, and Dover and the Indiana cities of Gary and Peru, as well as, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. However, the CAB does not renew Lake Central's authority to serve Connersville, Bedford, and Bloomington, Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky.
Source: "CAB Renews lake-Central Air Contract," Herald Telephone, December 31, 1952.
Two Bloomington airports
The 1952-53 city directory states that Bloomington has two airports: one municipal and one commercial.
Source: R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers, Polk's Bloomington (Monroe County, Ind.) City Directory 1952-53 (St. Louis, MO: R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers, 1953)
CAB cancels air schedules
1953, Jan 2
The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) announces that Lake Central Airlines service will be discontinued leaving the city without air passenger, freight, or air mail service until an alternate air line service can be found. Other lines of the Lake Central route were renewed with only the Indianapolis-Bloomington-Louisville flight being excluded. Effective date of the order has been set for February 28. Airport manager Judah Garwood says this decision was an unexpected blow to the airport as so much work has gone into making improvements.
Source: "CAB Cancels Air Schedules to City," Star-Courier, January 2, 1953.
CAB ruling confuses officials
1953, Jan 2
City and airport officials are left flabbergasted by a Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) ruling cutting Bloomington off the airline route of Lake Central Airlines. Airport manager Garwood Judah, who has been working to improve airport safety, immediately went to Indianapolis to find out all he can about the ruling. Donald Hansen, chairman of the City's aviation board is unhappy about the ruling but refuses to comment further until more was learned. Dick Wright, Lake Central's local agent was even surprised. This ruling will leave the city without passenger, airmail, or air freight service unless another airline is allowed to serve the area.
Source: "City Puzzled By Loss of Lake Central; Flabbergasted Officials Say," Herald Telephone, January 2, 1953.
City appeals CAB ruling
1953, Jan 6
The Bloomington Board of Aviation Commissioners will file an appeal to the Civil Aeronautics Board, protesting the city's removal from Lake Central Airline's service. Donald Hansen, president of the Aviation Board, urges citizens to contact the CAB in anyway they can in order to protest their ruling. The city was removed from Lake Central's routes as passenger traffic was not sufficient enough to pay even half the station's expenses. However, airport manager Garwood Judah argues that traffic would have been greater had the number of flights through the city had not been cut in an earlier CAB ruling.
Source: "City To Appeal CAB Ruling; Loss of Lake Central 'Feeder' Opposed Here By City Aviation Board," Daily Herald Telephone, January 6, 1953.
Airline troubles
1953, Jan 9
The city has been declared an unprofitable station for airline business by the Civil Aeronautics Board, therefore causing the discontinuation of Lake Central airline services. The Cab cited that passenger travel originating from the city averaged one a day during the past year. The decision is unfair as in recent months a lot of work has been put into improving the airport for airline service. Not all airport officials are discouraged though, saying that the local airport has one of the finest concrete runways in the state and will soon obtain more safety equipment making it one of the most important potentials for air travel in the state.
Source: "Airline Troubles," Star-Courier, January 9, 1953.
Air force mix-up
1953, Jan 13
Airport personnel are confused as two Air Force C-47's land to pick up only three men- General William Kean and his two aides. It is later discovered that one plane had been dispatched to get the General but apparently got lost. Another one was soon sent here from Chanute Field, Illinois. Both planes happened to come in at the same time. The General and his aides boarded one plane and the other was sent back to its base. General Kean was here for a visit with I.U. military officials.
Source: Bill Dyer, "Rounding the Square," Herald Times, January 14, 1953.
Cities join in seeking appeal
1953, Jan 19
Other Indiana cities have joined Bloomington in requesting the reversal of the Civil Aeronautics Board's ruling on terminating Lake Central Airline service. An 11-page booklet containing facts and figures to back the argument that the CAB's ruling is unfair and contrary to evidence is written and mailed by attorney James T. Kent, Board of Aviation Commissioners president Donald Hansen, and airport manager Garwood Judah.
Source: "Other Cities May Join In Seeking Airline Service ," Daily Herald Telephone, January 19, 1953.
Airmail in trouble
1953, Feb 6
A total of 6,944 pounds of mail went out of the local airport in 1951, a fact that should have had some bearing on the Civil Aeronautics Board's (CAB) decision to discontinue airline service. The airmail load from here would have been much more had 273 out of Lake Central's 1,022 flights not been cancelled due to overcast and bad weather. In addition, in the last 3 months of 1951 Lake Central reduced its daily flights from 4 to 2, cutting down the airmail load and passenger traffic. The city has spend a considerable amount of money and time on more instrumentation to improve service and safety with airport officials believing that the city is important enough to warrant reliable airline service and that such service should be restored.
Source: "Tons of Air Mail; CAB: Please Note," Star-Courier, February 6, 1953.
IU joins airline fight
1953, Feb 9
University president Herman B. Wells writes to a Civil Aeronautics Board member. Wells appealed to fellow Hoosier Oswald Ryan, writing of the strong support of the University, its Board of Trustees, faculty, ans student body for reversal of the CAB ruling. Wells also urged university deans and department heads to write similar letter to the CAB on behalf of the continuation of airline service.
Source: "I.U. Joins In Fight To Keep Airline; Wells Appeals To CAB Member," Daily Herald Telephone, February 9, 1953.
City keeps air service
1953, Feb 21
The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) authorizes air service to continue to from Bloomington to Indianapolis on Lake Central's Chicago-Louisville route, reversing the CAB's previous order discontinuing service. The Chamber of Commerce plays a major role in reversing the CAB decision, sending letters to all manufacturing and industrial firms in the city urging them to write appeals for the continuation of airline service. Indiana University also files their own appeals to the CAB. As a result for the time being Lake Central will continue service with Ozark being considered to take over the route.
Source: "Bloomington Kept On Airline Run," Herald Telephone, February 21, 1953.
Lake Central announces service change
1953, Feb 25
Lake Central Airlines notifies their local station agent, Richard Wright, to advise Railway Express and the Post Office that airline services will be continued after February 27. Wright will also stay on as a station agent rather than being transferred as planned. With the reversal of the CAB's decision, airline service will continue, however, flights will no longer originate and terminate in Louisville but in Bloomington.
Source: "Lake Central Makes Plans To Keep Stop; Sends Notification Of CAB Decision," Herald Telephone, February 25, 1953.
Student solos over airport
1953, Feb 25
Darroll French, an Indiana University student, became the first student to solo over the airport in over a year with the total flight lasting 15 minutes. Commercial flight instructor Tom Grogg reported French's flight as satisfactory. Grogg also said he has 15 other student fliers being a combination of both Indiana University students and townspeople, including a young woman in high school, Marilyn Parker.
Source: "Illinois, Purdue Flight Clubs To Send Flying Representatives To Kisters Sunday," Herald Telephone, February 25, 1953.
Flying representatives to arrive
1953, Feb 25
Purdue University and Illinois University flight clubs are scheduled to send flying representatives to the city on Sunday morning. The two groups will number a total of 25 students and they will arrive here in approximately a dozen planes. The visitors, making the flights as part of their regular club activities program, plan to eat breakfast as the airport, inspect airport facilities, and take off once again with their visit lasting only about two hours.
Source: "Illinois, Purdue Flight Clubs To Send Flying Representative To Kisters Sunday," Herald Telephone, February 25, 1953.
Lake Central schedule posted
1953, Feb 26
Lake Central Airlines announces their new schedule of flights following the reversal of the CAB's decision. Two flights will arrive in Bloomington, one from Chicago at 12:19 p.m. and the other from Indianapolis at 3:34 p.m. Two flights will also originate here, one going to Grand Rapids, Michigan departing at 12:30 p.m. and the other stopping in Indianapolis departing at 3:45 p.m. The CAB also announce that they will investigate Ozark Airlines as a possible replacement for Lake Central. It is believed that Ozark may be better able to service the area.
Source: "Lake Central Posts New Schedule; Two Flights Daily Due in City ," Herald Telephone, February 26, 1953.
Air service improved
1953, Feb 27
After much indecision on whether air service would continue, airport manager Garwood Judah says that the city was able to impress the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) with the reasons why air service had not had greater patronage, resulting in an improvement of service. Judah hopes that the new schedule, which doubles the number of daily flights, will increase patronage. He also believes that once the airport is able to handle night flights, then patronage will increase farther. The schedule will be run by Lake Central temporarily though a switch may be made to Ozark Airline pending a complete study of the case.
Source: "New CAB Order Doubles Air Service to Bloomington," Star-Courier, February 27, 1953.
Firm seeks to buy Lake Central
1953, Mar
A Toledo firm - Transport Airgroup, Inc. - files a notice of intention to intervene in a Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) hearing in an application by North Central Airlines to buy Lake Central. North Central gave notice it will oppose the intervention. The Toledo firm's Ozark Airlines is asking the CAB to give it all the routes now served by Lake Central in addition to its own. On March 31 the CAB will hear Ozark's petition. Congressman William G. Bray has expressed that he believes Ozark could better serve the area and open the city to connections to the west via their St. Louis line.
Source: "Toledo Firm Seeks To Buy Lake Central; Ozark Airlines Also Asks Routes," Herald Telephone, March 20, 1953.
Homer beacon installation stalled
1953, Mar 4
Airline service is under threat again as the installation of a homer beacon, which would permit night and bad weather landings, has been stalled. The Civil Aeronautics Board's earlier ruling of cutting airline service to Bloomington has been reversed after countless letters from Bloomington officials and businessmen. However, with the temporary cancellation of airline service, a permit for a new homer beacon was transferred from the city to a different, operational airport.
Source: "Port 'Homer Beacon' Held Up By CAB; Again To Seek Kisters Installation," Daily Herald Telephone, March 4, 1953.
Judah to attend hearing
1953, Apr 6
It is reported that Airport manager Garwood Judah will attend a preliminary hearing in Washington, D.C. on the city's airline service in hopes of giving it a more permanent status. Judah says the hearing will simply be a meeting of all communities whose airline service has come under question in order to schedule further hearings, sort of like making a court docket. Congressman William G. Bray has been keeping the local aviation commission and Judah informed on the Civil Aeronautics Board's proceedings.
Source: "Hearing On City Airline Service Due; CAB Review Set For Wednesday," Herald Telephone, April 6, 1953.
Ozark files plea
1953, Apr 8
It is reported that Ozark Airlines of St. Louis has filed a petition with the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to take over Lake Central's routes that service Bloomington. Ozark alleges that Lake Central is unfit, unwilling, and unable to serve as well as willfully and repeatedly violating CAB regulations. Ozark petitioned to take over Lake Central's route between Chicago and Bloomington by way of Gary, Lafayette, and Indianapolis as well as several others.
Source: "Ozark Files Plea To Take L.C. Routes; Petition Involves Bloomington 'Stop'," Herald Telephone, April 8, 1953.
Air reserve squad to meet at IU
1953, Apr 14
Bloomington's Flight of the 9595th Volunteer Air Reserve Training Squadron will hold its last weekly meetings in April Wednesday night with two lectures and a movie on the program for Air Reservists. Captain Clarence M. Platen will speak in "The Airman Inspector," while Major Robert E. Thrasher's topic will be "Transportation." The film, "Operation Vittles," deals with air-lift operations. The flight will meet in Room 214 of the IU Science Building starting at 7:30.
Source: "Air Reserve Squad To Meet At I.U.," Herald Telephone, April 14, 1953.
City loses bid for jet squad
1953, Apr 14
Bloomington invites the orphan 113th Fighter-Bomber Jet Squadron to come inspect the airport facilities with the view of using the city as their new home base. However, it seems this invitation has come too late as Seymour and Anderson are already strong contests for the base.
Source: "City Bid For Jet Squad Is Too Late," Herald Telephone, April 14, 1953.
Aviation commissioners' president re-elected
1953, Apr 17
It is reported that the city's Board of Aviation Commissioners re-elects Donald Hansen as president. Others elected: E.B. Duane, vice-president; John E. Stempel, and Paul L. Feltus. Hansen tentatively decides to make a survey of air travel to present to the Civil Aeronautics Board. At that time the CAB will again take up the question of continuing airline service to the city. Lake Central is currently continuing the service on a temporary basis as Ozark Airlines seeks to take over the route.
Source: "Don Hansen Again Heads Aviation Unit; Duane, Stempel Hold Offices ," Herald Telephone, April 17, 1953.
Otteson plans travel study
1953, May 2
S.F. Otteson, an IU business analyst, plans to study all transportation in the city. Should the board approve his plans, the results he compiles and analyzes will be used in the upcoming Civil Aeronautics Board (CAD) hearing on airline service in the area. This study will encompass all methods of transportation, something that has never been attempted before. As for concrete details, Otteson can not disclose them until he has received commissioner approval.
Source: "City Travel Study Plan Is Readied; Air Board To Hear Details," Herald Telephone, May 2, 1953. more...
Air service interest surveyed
1953, May 13
Businesses and private homes will soon be receiving questionnaires and oral question by telephone pertaining to the city's airline service. The questions, prepared by business analyst S.F. Otteson, will assess how much travel was done last year by local business persons, by all modes of transportation, and how much business travel came into the city. Businesses will also be asked questions about freight shipments and whether or not they utilized the airline. IU students will telephone private homes. All of this information is crucial to an upcoming Civil Aeronautics Board hearing on the continuation of airline service.
Source: "City To Be Surveyed On Airline; To Sample Interest Of Community," Herald Telephone, May 13, 1953.
Travel study concluded
1953, Jul 1
A travel study, conducted by S.F. Otteson, indicates that most of the city's business travel has been to the north and the east, and that most local business men would do more traveling by air here if adequate airline schedules were made available. Completed today, the study shows that Chicago leads all other cities in receiving traffic from Bloomington. In contrast, personal flights leaned more to the south. Overall, it was found that majority of travel was not made through the airport but it could have been should schedules be improved.
Source: "Most Travel From City To North, East; Residents Want More Service," Herald Telephone, July 1, 1953.
Model airplane contest planned
1953, Jul 17
It is announced that the 2nd annual model airplane contest, set for the coming Sunday, will award three county youths a chance to win all-expense-paid trips to the International Model Plane Championships in Detroit.
Source: "Model Airplane Contest Set At Kisters, Sunday," Herald Telephone, July 17, 1953.
Model plane contest winners announced
1953, Jul 19
Steve Hoadley, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Hoadley, Don Goodwin, son of Mr. and Mrs. I. C. Goodwin, and Ronnie and Donnie Salee, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Salee win the model plane contest at the airport. These four youths have won all-expense paid trips to compete in the International Model Plane Championship in Detroit. Originally only three winners were scheduled to be awarded the trips to Detroit but since Donnie and Ronnie, twin brothers, entered as a team, they won the third trip.
Source: "Will Go To International; Four City Youths Win Model Plane Contest," Herald Telephone, July 20, 1953.
BOAC appeals for air service increase
1953, Aug 14
The Board of Aviation Commissioners (BOAC) appeals to the chairmen on the Civil Aeronautics Board in Washington D.C. for a restoration in two round trip flights per day through the county's airport. The board points out that the airport is now certified for instrument take-off and landing since installation of the required equipment on July 1.
Source: "City Aviation Board Appeals For Increase in Air Service," Star-Courier, August 14, 1953.
Airline traffic increases
1953, Oct 26
Ozark Airline officials testify at a Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) hearing that the line's passenger traffic has increased in each of the 3 years of its operation. The line seeks authority to extend its service to more than 15 cities on feeder routes in Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Kansas. Several airlines are opposing Ozark's proposals as they look to keep or take over these routes themselves.
Source: "Ozark Shows 3-Year Increase In Traffic," Herald Telephone, October 26, 1953.
Decision on air service delayed
1954, Jan 1
Members of the City Aviation Board see little hope of increasing air service to the airport before hearings of the Civil Aeronautic Board on a permanent air service are completed. Garwood Judah, manager of the airport, says a recent letter he received seems to be a direct refusal by Lake Central Airlines to increase service from one to two round-trip flights per day. This comes while the Civil Aeronautic Board is finishing hearings on which airline should serve the city, Ozark or Lake Central, further delaying the decision.
Source: "CAB Hearing Slows Decision On Air Service ," Star-Courier, January 1, 1954.
Aviation board buys new truck
1954, Feb 4
The Board of Aviation Commissioners meet to discuss reelecting all officers, preparing an argument for airline service for submission to a Civil Aeronautics Board examiner, and purchasing a new 1.5 ton truck. This last item is met with protest from local dealers, who declared to purchase should have been made in Bloomington instead of Nashville as all the bids were within $50 of each other. Board president Donald Hansen states the board decided to spend the extra $5 purchasing the Chevrolet on the basis that the money will be recovered over a period of years in economy of operation and cheaper parts.
Source: "Aviation Board Keeps All Officers; Buys New Truck, Writes Brief On Airline Service," Herald Telephone, February 5, 1954.
Citizens notice ammunitions
1954, May 26
There has been speculation here that ammunition is being shipped from the huge Navy ammunition manufacturing and storage depot to troubled Central American countries due to a recent surge of military shipments going out of the local airport. U.S. officials confirm that arms and ammunition are being airlifted into Honduras and Nicaragua by way of Alabama airfields. However, Navy officials will not confirm that the shipments going through the city are going to
Source: "Crane Depot Mum On 'Airlift' Activity," Herald Telephone, May 26, 1954.
Lake Central and Ozark hearing scheduled
1954, May 27
Airport manager Garwood Judah hopes to obtain loop service for the city as the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) announces a hearing for Lake Central and Ozark Airlines to battle for service to Bloomington. Judah says he does not have a preference for one airline but simply hopes too connect his city to Indianapolis and Chicago.
Source: "City Hopes For Airline 'Loop' Flight; 2 Lines To Get Hearing On June 15," Herald Telephone, May 27, 1954.
Lake Central wins service battle
1954, Aug 24
Lake Central and Ozark Airlines have been fighting for the same routes, with the result seeming to be a toss-up, until it was announced today that Lake Central has won. Lake Central vice president Lloyd Hartman says the airline is now looking to implement 2 round-trips daily including a morning commuter service and a late afternoon flight to Chicago via Terre Haute, Danville, Illinois, Indianapolis, and Bloomington. Hartman also hopes to plan a public ceremony once this new schedule is finalized.
Source: "L-C Eyes 2 Round-Trip Flights Daily; Commuter Service To Chicago In Airline's Planes; Public Ceremony In Works For Start of New Program ," Herald Telephone, August 24, 1954.
Airline changes schedule
1954, Nov 26
Lake Central announces a flight schedule that offers two round trips to Chicago, and two round trips to Indianapolis. Chicago service will depart at 7:28 a.m. and 3:23 p.m. and arrive at 9:18 a.m. and 5:13 p.m. Return flights will leave Chicago at 9:05 a.m. and 5:05 p.m. and arrive at 10:51 a.m. and 6:51 p.m. Flights to Indianapolis will depart at 10:55 a.m. and 6:55 p.m. arriving at 11:19 a.m. and 7:19 p.m. Morning flights to and from both Indianapolis and Chicago will fly daily while the evening flights will fly daily with the exception of Saturday.
Source: "New Flight Service Announced By Lake Central," Star-Courier, November 11, 1954. more...
New flights speed mail
1954, Nov 30
Postmaster Lyle Fowler states that mail reaching the post office approximately 30 minutes before scheduled Lake Central flights will be processed in plenty of time to make the next plane. Airmail will leave for Chicago at 7:28 a.m. and 3:23 p.m. Therefore, letters reaching the post office by 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. will be on the next flight. The Railway Express Company will take the mail from the post office to the airport in time for these flights.
Source: "Added L-C Flights To Speed Mail; Only Half-Hour Needed To Process," Daily Herald Telephone, November 30, 1954.
Airline finally inaugurated
1954, Dec 1
Officials at the airport call it the day we've been waiting for for 5 years as the first flight from Chicago to Bloomington arrived this morning. The first customer of the new line was Thomas VanHook, cashier of the First National Bank. Flying with him was David C. Krimendahl, director of the Indiana Aeronautical Commission and Gwin Hicks, D.S. Getchell, and J.W.E. Humphrey, all of Lake Central. There to receive them was Mayor Emmett Kelly, Herman B Wells, Postmaster Lyle Fowler, and representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and Board of Aviation Commissioners. Lake Central's local station manager, Fred Robinson, served as master of ceremonies with the importance of these new flights to the University and the Crane Naval Depot emphasized by short talks by their respective representatives.
Source: "Lake Central Inaugurates New Service; Rites Held As Flights Added," Daily Herald Telephone, December 1, 1954.
Commuter service marks transportation milestone
1954, Dec 3
The first passenger airplane arrives from Chicago on Lake Central Airline's new commuter service between Chicago and Bloomington, a major milestone for the city's checkered air service history. Five of Lake Central's executive officers arrived for the inaugural ceremony, welcoming the first paying passenger Thomas Van Hook, assistant cashier at the First National Bank.
Source: "Bloomington-Chicago Airline "Commuter Service" Marks Milestone in Transportation," Star-Courier, December 3, 1954.
City lists 2 airports
The city directory shows that Bloomington has two airports, one municipal and one commercial.
Source: Polk's Bloomington (Monroe County, Ind.) City Directory 1955: Including Monroe County Taxpayers (St. Louis, MO: R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers, 1955)
Passenger boardings increase
1955, Jan 11
In a report to the Aviation Committee of the Chamber of Commerce, airport manager Garwood Judah, indicates the increase in airline service between the city and Chicago since the introduction of new commuter flights through Lake Central Airlines in December 1953. According to the report, 119 passengers boarded planes in December as compared to 38 last year in the same month; passengers deplaned here were 87 last month and 0 in December of 1953.
Source: "L-C Passenger Boardings Show Sharp Increase Here," Herald Times, January 11, 1955.
Chamber looks for parking sites
1955, Sep 27
A committee is assigned by the Retail Merchants Division of the Chamber of Commerce to find options on potential off street parking to relieve the traffic congestion in downtown Bloomington. Robert Allen, chairman of a division committee assigned to solve the parking problem, names representatives of the four Bloomington banks, attorney Calroy Baker, Merritt Calvert, Lane Wells and Mayor Emmet Kelly to the group.
Source: "C.C. Seeks Sites for Park Lots," Herald Telephone, September 27, 1955.
Airport growth concerns Judah
1955, Nov 15
Airport manager Garwood Judah voices concerns about the airport's future should a new bill before Congress authorize an ROTC flight program at universities, including IU, as well as the Indiana National Guard moving their light planes to the local airport. Air traffic has increased to the airport since the first paved runway in 1949 and with Lake Central's 4 round-trip flights. With all this growth the airport will need new hangars and an administration building as well as more paved runways. Another major concern is the lighting system which Judah fought a long battle to get in working condition for night flights.
Source: J.D. Burton, "Kisters Field Suffers 'Growing Pains' In Booming Air Age With A Future; More Runways, Buildings Needed," Daily Herald Telephone, November 15, 1955.
Airport expansion needed
1955, Dec 15
Airport Manager Garwood Judah announced that the airport's main building will have to be enlarged if the airport is to keep abreast with modern developments in aviation. About 15 locally-owned planes are kept at the airport presently. 4 commercial flights a day land on the 3800 feet of paved runway.
Source: "Need To Expand For Future," Herald Telephone, December 15, 1955.
Three survive plane crash
1956, Jun 1
Two firefighters, Edwin Miller and Wallace Holmes, and a reporter, J.D. Holmes, survive a plane crash thanks to the quick thinking of Miller, who was piloting the plane. The three men were taking aerial photos over Spencer of the flooding that had happened the day before when their motor died. Miller calmly and expertly landed the plane in a field of red clover as they could not reach the airport to land.
Source: J.D. Burton, "'Tighten Your Belts, We're Going In' Signals Tense Moments For Trio In Tiny Plane with Dead Motor; Safe Landing In Field Ends Expedition," Daily Herald Telephone, June 1, 1956.
IU students killed in plane crash
1956, Sep 30
Two IU students, Joseph R. Thomas Jr. and Frederick E. Wittenberg, are killed from an airplane crash at Kisters Field airport. The plane plummets due to dangerously low altitude while performing stunts, which is against Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) regulations.
Source: Robert Gildea, "Students Die In Plane Stunt," Daily Herald Telephone, October 1, 1956, A, 1.
Mayor asserts 10th St move is inconceivable
1957, Apr 27
Mayor Thomas L. Lemon responds to a reports or rumors that the State Highway Commission might end maintenance of State Road 45 on E. 10th. Lemon states that is "inconceivable". The Mayor's statement came after it was learned yesterday from a reliable source that the State Commission is seriously considering the transfer of Road 45 from 10th St to 3rd St. Such a change switch would place a heavy financial burden on the City to repair the street, which is currently in bad condition.
Source: "Mayor Asserts 10th St. Move is 'Inconceivable'," Daily Herald Telephone, April 27, 1957.
City maps street repair job
1957, May 4
Mayor Lemon announces that street resurfacing and repair work will be more than double that done in 1956, weather and budget permitting. Lemon suggests that, despite the increase in street repair, it will probably be two more years before all streets and alleys are in first class condition.
Source: "City Maps Big Street Repair Jobs," Daily Herald Telephone, May 4, 1957.
Airline plans to expand
1957, Jul 12
James W.E. Humphrey, director of public relations for Lake Central Airlines announces at a Kiwanis Club meeting that the airline plans to quadruple the in and out flights at Kisters Field by 1960, giving the city eight outbound flights each day with direct service to 18 major cities and six additional online cities.
Source: "Four-Fold Expansion Seen In Lake Central Service to City," Daily Herald Telephone, July 12, 1957.
State promises road improvements
1957, Oct 17
State Highway Chairman John Peters promises improvements for routes serving Bloomington. These routes include State Road 37 between Bloomington and Bedford and State Road 46 between McCormick's Creek State Park and Spencer.
Source: "Roads 37, 46 Slated For Improvement ," Daily Herald Telephone, October 17, 1957.
City lists airport
The city directory states that Bloomington has one municipal airport.
Source: Polk's Bloomington (Monroe County, IND.) City Directory 1958 (St. Louis, MO: R.L. Polk & Co., Publishers, 1958), 11.
Kister's Field plans approved
1959, Aug 17
The State Aeronautics Commission approves plans for $105,000 in improvements at Kister's Field for the airport.
Source: Bennett P. Reed, "Sands Of Time," Daily Herald Telephone, August 17, 1964.
Airport ownership transferred
Airport ownership is transferred to Monroe County and a bond issue funds the construction of a new hangar and an Airline Terminal Building.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Musgrave starts as commissioner
Lester Musgrave, farmer and orchard owner north of Bloomington, starts his term as county commissioner. A Republican, Musgrave serves for 6 years and gets to work on projects like Lake Monroe as well as improvements to the garage, jail, ditch drainage, the airport, and roads, incl. adding 17 new bridges in one year. By the end of his term in 1966, Monroe County has 800 miles of roads.
Source: "Many Changes Have Come in Lester Musgrave's Six Years of Office," Herald Telephone, December 25, 1966, 3, 8.
Plans approved for new terminal
1961, Feb 4
Revised plans for an airport terminal building at Monroe County's Kisters Field are approved by Board of Aviation Commissioners chairman Harlan Hilliker. Hilliker states that the board hopes to advertise again for bids within a week. Bids were received in December for construction of the one story 2,000 square foot building, but all were rejected as being too high. Commissioners still hope to have the terminal completed by summer. The building will have a stone and glass exterior with center lobby, offices for Lake Central Airlines, restrooms, and utility rooms.
Source: "New Plans Approved For Airport Terminal," Daily Herald Telephone, February 4, 1961.
New plans approved
1961, Feb 4
It is reported that plans for a new airport terminal to be built at Monroe's Kisters Field are approved. It is hoped that the terminal will be completed by summer.
Source: Judy Redifer, "New Plans Approved For Airport Terminal," Daily Herald Telephone, February 4, 1961, 1.
Contracts for new airport terminal awarded
1961, Mar 6
Contracts for a new terminal building at Kisters Field are awarded by the Monroe County Airport Commissioners. Total cost of the building under the four contracts awarded will be $30,090.54. It will be a one story 2,000 square foot building with stone and glass exterior and a flat roof.
Source: "Contracts Let For New $30,000 Airport Terminal," Daily Herald Telephone, March 7, 1961.
Airport gets federal funds
1962, Jan 25
The Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) approves a request for federal funds of $22,000 to improve Monroe County Airport. The funds will be matched by local funds, which are already budgeted for 1962.
Source: "Airport Gets Funds From U.S.," Daily Herald Telephone, January 26, 1962.
Plane flips mid-flight
1962, Jun
A Piper Colt, piloted by Thomas A. Ringo of Bloomington, flips upside down mid-flight after brushing a tree top near the airport as it approached for a landing. Ringo is uninjured but a passenger, Wilfred B. Bahr, suffers minor lacerations. The plane skids to an upside down landing near the southwest edge of the runway.
Source: "Airport History Has Been Marked By Some Crashes," Daily Herald Telephone, September 24, 1968.
FAA awards grant for airport
1966, Jan 14
The original project grant request (for $476,890) is granted an additional $314,428 from the FAA. Plans include relocating the building area and utilities as well as building three hangars, a fire station with engine and generator space, and a 5,200 foot runway.
Source: "FAA Awards $791,318 For Airport," Daily Herald Telephone, January 14, 1966.
FAA provides funding
1966, Jan 19
Indiana senators Vance Hartke and Birch Bayh announce that the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) has granted $791,318 to the Monroe County Airport. The original grant request was for $476,890 for construction and improvements at the airport. The FAA granted an additional $314,428 for these improvements.
Source: "FAA Awards $791,318 For Airport," Daily Herald Telephone, January 19, 1966.
Improvements on airport
1966, Jan 21
It is reported that the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) has approved $791,318 for Monroe County Airport improvements. Plans include a new 5,200 runway which will allow for more passengers and better service.
Source: "Better Airport Possible By November," Daily Herald Telephone, January 21, 1966.
Airport expansion delayed
1966, Mar 9
It is reported that construction, which was supposed to begin in spring on the Kisters Field expansion, is delayed until summer due to delayed funds.
Source: Paul Lee, "Kisters Field expansion held up; runway and hangars to be built," Indiana Daily Student, March 9, 1966.
Funds for airport reported
1966, Apr 19
It is reported that Monroe County has budgeted the $2.36 million for the airport expansion at Kisters Field.
Source: Paul Lee and John Shirley, "Budget Kisters funds," Daily Herald Telephone, April 14, 1966.
County sells bonds airport expansion
1966, May 4
It is reported that Monroe County is selling $1,490,00 worth of revenue bonds on May 27th for the airport expansion. The money will represent the county\'s share of the cost of the $2.4 million expansion cost, the rest of which is provided by a federal grant.
Source: "County To Sell Revenue Bonds," Daily Herald Telephone, May 4, 1966.
Airline purchases jets
1966, May 21
Lake Central purchases 3 new Boeing 737-200 planes, which can seat 111 and will operate in 1968. They are the first airline to purchase this model of airplane.
Source: "Lake Central Getting New Jets," Herald Times, May 21, 1966.
Airport criticized
1966, Jun 8
In a letter to Mayor John H. Hooker Jr., Max Karant, vice president of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, states his opinion that the Bloomington airport is one of the filthiest he has seen.
Source: "Airport Rapped!," Daily Herald Telephone, June 8, 1966.
Four lane 37 is planned
1966, Jul 7
Highway Commission Chairman Robert S. Whiteheasd announces that preliminary engineering work on the new four lane Bloomington-Bedford highway is included in the 1966-68 program of the Indiana Highway Commission. Whitehead says that the new 20 mile highway will extend from approximately 700 feet south of Dillman Road south of Bloomington to a point on Highways 54 and 58 between Avoca and Oolitic.
Source: "Four-Lane Is Planned To Oolitic," Daily Herald Telephone, July 7, 1966.
Airline is recommended
1966, Jul 12
It is announced that Lake Central Airlines is recommended by Civil Aeronautics Board Examiner for a route between Detroit, Michigan and Toronto, Canada. In the application, Lake Central proposes to use a Convair 580 and other points beyond Detroit including: Toledo, Dayton, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Terre Haute and Evansville.
Source: "Lake Central Airlines Recommended For Toronto Route," Star-Courier, July 12, 1996, 4.
Lake Central passengers set record
1966, Jul 12
It is announced that the Bloomington air station is one of nine on the Lake Central route to set new passenger records during June with 2,033 passengers boarding Lake Central flights.
Source: "Lake Central's Passengers Here Help Set Record," Daily Herald Telephone, July 12, 1966.
Ceremony for expansion
1966, Jul 27
A groundbreaking ceremony is held to celebrate the construction of a new runway, hangars, and a new service building for the new airport expansion. The ceremony is attended by Monroe County Airport officials.
Source: "Break Ground For Airport Expansion," Daily Herald Telephone, July 27, 1966.
Crews work hard on airport
1966, Aug 18
Construction crews are working 24-hour days on the expansion, with 2 hour breaks between shifts for equipment service.
Source: "24-Hour Days Put In On Airport Work," Daily Herald Telephone, August 18, 1966.
Airport progress announced
1966, Sep 5
President of the County Airport Board, Harlen Hilliker, predicts that Monroe County will have the new airport completed in less than six months.
Source: "Improvement Of Airport Forecast," The Bloomington Tribune, September 5, 1966, 17.
Air service approved
1966, Sep 30
Lake Central Airlines is hoping to expand service to include a service between Bloomington to Louisville by December 1.
Source: "Bloomington-Louisville Air Service Is Approved," Daily Herald Telephone, September 30, 1966.
Rain slows construction
1966, Oct 2
Heavy rains bring construction on the airport's buildings and runway to a halt, but not contractual arrangements with Torp Aero. Management of the airport, maintenance, and construction remains with airport manager John Myers, while ramps services and UNICOM will be covered by Torp Aero.
Source: Walt Niekamp, "Rain Slows Airport Building But Not Other Improvements," Sunday Herlad-Times, October 2, 1966.
Bloomington-Gary air taxi approved
1966, Oct 5
Weekend flights from Gary to Bloomington are proposed by the City of Gary, as well as two daily flights from Gary to Indianapolis.
Source: "Bloomington-Gary Air Taxi Service Okayed," The Bloomington Tribune, October 5, 1966.
Rogers Co. now an airline
1966, Oct 30
The Ralph Rogers Company airline, based at Monroe County Airport, is now considered to be a 'Corporate Airline' with two twin-engined Aero Commanders, as well as a Bell 47G4 helicopter in 1963. The company delivers construction materials and passengers essential to construction sites in the east central US.
Source: "Known Name Of Ralph Rogers Is Carried On 'Corporate Airline'," Bloomington-Bedford Sunday Herald-Times, October 30, 1966, 4, 4.
Passengers increase
1966, Dec 11
Lake Central Airlines report a 16.8% increase in revenue passenger miles during November.
Source: "Lake Central's Passenger Miles Up 16.8 Per Cent," Bloomington-Bedford Sunday Herald-Times
Administration building constructed
The airport administration building is constructed and operations are moved to the East side of the airport.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Two Iowans die in plane crash
1967, Jan
Carl Cecil Adler, 58, of Sioux City, Iowa and Eleanor Inez Ashley, 27, of Anthon, Iowa die when their 1960 model Beechcraft Travelaire smashes into the gully east of the Herman McArtor residence near the airport. Conditions are mildly foggy when the plane crashes. Adler was a part time employee, and Ashley a full time employee, of Airways Service Inc. of Sergeant Bluff, a commercial air freight firm. The plane was loaded with RCA equipment for local businesses.
Source: "Airport History Has Been Marked By Some Crashes," Daily Herald Telephone, September 24, 1968.
Airport wreck kills two
1967, Jan 25
Two people are found dead in a wreckage near the Monroe County Airport
Source: "Bloomington's Year: A look at the major local news reported during 1967 in the H-T," Daily Herald-Telephone, December 29, 1967.
Bids for airport work
1967, Mar 31
Monroe County Board of Aviation Commissioners opened new work bids for a new building complex at the westward edge and lighting for the 5,200 foot runway. The new complex will include a new administration building, fire and crash building, three hangars, and the relocation of the central hangar to the south edge of the property.
Source: James Root, "Open Bids For Airport Work," Herald Times, March 31, 1967.
Construction begins Airport Expansion
1967, May 24
Construction on the new airport expansion will start this week if weather permits. Workmen are ready to surface the runway once the ground dries. New construction includes the mile long runway, a new service area, relocation of two hangars, construction of four new hangars, an administration building, and a fire and emergency building.
Source: "Airport Construction To Start This Week," The Bloomington Tribune, May 24, 1967.
Airport budget down
1967, Aug 1
The new budget has a reduction of $10,720, as the budget proposed in 1968 was $53,783 and the airport is currently operating on $65,503.
Source: John Fancher, "Airport Budget Is Down $10,720," Herald Times
New runway plans
1967, Aug 27
Lake Central Airport announces it is trying to phase out older DC-3 planes and plans to build a new runway in Bloomington long enough to allow for larger planes.
Source: Mike Welber, "Six Left Awaiting An End," Target, August 27, 1967, 15.
Airport income increases
1967, Sep
The new hangar rental schedule and office space at Monroe County Airport is expected to increase annual income by $39,000.
Source: "Airport Income Expected To Increase By $39,000," Herald Times, September 30, 1967.
Defect reported in runway
1967, Sep 21
It is reported there is a defect has been found in the new runway. A large hump in the middle of the airway is limiting pilot's sight of the whole airway, posing a safety hazard to planes.
Source: Vigilante, "Find Defect In Airport Strip," Star-Courier, September 21, 1967.
Criticism of runway unjustified
1967, Oct 1
It is reported that the "defect" addressed in the "Bloomington Weekly" is a rise in the new runway which places the highest point of the airway 9 feet above the approach ends. This slope is accepted by the FAA and poses no dangers. According to engineers an entirely flat runway was possible but the cost of construction for it exceeded funds available.
Source: Walt Niekamp, "Criticism Of Airport Runway Is Unjustified," Bloomington-Bedford Sunday Herald-Times, October 1, 1967.
Women's flying race
1967, Oct 22
Women race airplanes over a 250 mile race course through southern Indiana. Scoring is based on both time and fuel consumption basis. There are categories for both antique and normal airplanes.
Source: Richard Balough, "Women's Flying Race Takes Skill," Bloomington-Bedford Sunday Herald-Times, October 22, 1967.
Ladies pilot race
1967, Oct 23
Fair Ladies Annual International Air Race is held in Bloomington. 34 planes from 7 different states are entered for the second international race in Indiana. The Fair Ladies are members of Ninety-Niners, who have charters clubs in every state and several other countries.
Source: "Fair Ladies In The Pilot Seat," The Bloomington Tribune, October 23, 1967, 1, 6.
Jets coming
1967, Nov 14
Robert Clifford, vice-president in charge of operation at Lake Central Airlines, says jets are coming from the Allegheny merger. More runway may be necessary. Clifford says, 'It would be wise for all of us to look forward to 6,200 feet 150 feet wide.'
Source: John Fancher, "'Jets Are Coming-Get Ready,' Lake Central Executive Urges," Herald Times, September 14, 1967.
Hangar rate fought
1967, Nov 21
The new airport hangar rates are fought as new fees require $35 per month for hangar rental space for a single engine plane and $60 per month for the same space of a twin-engine plane. A $40,000 single engine plane could get a $35 hangar spot, while a $10,000 twin engine could get the same spot for $60. Dr. Neal Baxter of the Board of Aviation argued that owners of planes worth several thousands of dollars shouldn't protest higher fees.
Source: John Fancher, "Hangar Rate Hike At Airport Fought," Daily Herald Telephone, November 21, 1967.
CAP celebrating 26 years
1967, Dec
The Bloomington Composite Squadron (CAP) is joining with over 2,300 Civil Air Patrol units throughout the US to elebrate the 26th anniversary of the Civil Air Patrol. CAP is an all-volunteer force that flies search and rescue efforts and educate the general public on aviation.
Source: "CAP Celebrating 26 Years," Daily Herald Telephone, December 2, 1967.
Height limits by airport
1967, Dec
The Monroe County Board of Aviation Commissioners seeks an airport zoning ordinance restricting the construction or planting of future structures to under 150 feet. The ordinance is required by the government to get the $400,000 grant for the airport expansion program.
Source: James Root, "Airport Seeks Height Limits," Daily Herald Telephone, December 7, 1967.
Airport expands staff
1967, Dec
It is announced that the Monroe County Airport's administrative staff will be expanded with expected costs of the upgrade to be $12,000 - $15,000.
Source: "Extra Man To Help Run," Herald Times, December 8, 1967.
Airline capacity increases
1967, Dec
Four of the six daily flights at Lake Central will be replaced by Convair 580s, which can hold up to 55 people, replacing the current 24 passenger Nords. Bloomington will now be linked directly with the airports at Dayton and Cleveland, Ohio.
Source: "Bigger Lake Central Planes To Serve Bloomington Jan.3," Star-Courier, December 22, 1967, 3.
Landing regulations tightened
1968, Jan 8
Allegheny Airlines has tightened airline landing regulations, restricting landings of planes if conditions are that pilots have cloud cover lower than 1,000 feet and a visibility less than 3 miles. It does not apply to airports with full landing system equipment, which Bloomington does not have. The closest airport to have this is Indianapolis.
Source: "Allegheny Tightens Landing Regulations," Herald Times, January 8, 1968.
Traffic warrants tower
1968, May
A count of traffic was taken at the Monroe County Airport with note of 400 take offs and landings. The count was taken during spring vacation, when air traffic would be lower. Federal authorities have been asked to provide a new tower for Monroe County Airport.
Source: John Fancher, "Shuttle Air Service Near," Daily Herald Telephone, May 28, 1968.
Lake Central ends business
1968, Jun
It is announced that Lake Central Airlines will no longer be a business as of July first, after which it will be merged with Allegheny Airlines. Service in Bloomington will be continued by the new merged business.
Source: John Vesey, "Lake Central Air Lines Scheduled To End Business," Courier-Tribune, June 25, 1968, 1, 1, 10.
Runway device tested
1968, Jun
Monroe County Airport is testing a new device called REIL or Runway Identification System and is two high intensity stroboscopic lights installed at the end of the runway to mark the approach of the end of the runway. The strobe units flash twice a second and angled so that both lights can only be seen when an airplane is in position for final approach. They are meant to help pilots in conditions with low visibility.
Source: Walt Niekamp, "REIL And The Runway That Winks," Target, June 30, 1968.
Airport flagged 'most dangerous'
1968, Jul
Many pilots find that Monroe County Airport is hazardous due to its lack of a control tower. The increase of traffic in planes and student fliers as well as the surrounding hills and weather conditions such as fog and haze limiting visibility makes dangerous conditions at the airport.
Source: John Mahan, "Monroe County Airport 'Most Dangerous'," Courier-Tribune, July 9, 1968, 1,8.
Airlines merge, airport renovations
1968, Jul 1
Lake Central Airlines officially merges with Allegheny Airlines. Airport renovation will soon be under way so that Allegheny is able to operate anything from DC-9s to turbo jets out of Bloomington. These renovations include extending the present runway to 7,000 feet and establishing parallel taxiways.
Source: George Smith, "From A Balloon To Turbo Jets," Daily Herald Telephone, September 24, 1968. more...
Lake Central merges
1968, Jul 14
Lake Central Airlines merges with Allegheny, giving Bloomington passengers more access to direct flights to major cities.
Source: Walt Niekamp, "No Bands, Fanfare At End Of An Era," Target, July 14, 1968, 8.
Flights discontinued in Monroe County
1968, Aug 7
Three flights from the Monroe County Airport were discontinued by Allegheny Airlines. These flights involved the five cities of Louisville, Indianapolis, South Bend, Kalamazoo, and Grand Rapids. Maniford Neill, manager at the Allegheny Airlines office, claims Monroe County does not see as much demand for flights as nearby areas.
Source: "Allegheny Halts 3 Flights Here," Herald Telephone, August 7, 1968.
Flying club expands
1968, Dec 8
It is reported that the Indiana University Flying Club is expanded to more than 85 people. Members pay a monthly fee and initiation fee to be taught how to fly, as well as lower hourly rental fees for airplanes. They own four airplanes and meet twice a month. Two thirds of the club have pilot's licences, which require 60 hours flying time to maintain.
Source: Joanne Couch, "Group gets off ground," Courier-Tribune, December 8, 1968, 3, 7.
ILS equipment needed
1969, Jan
Two Allegheny airlines crashing at the Bradford, Pennsylvania airport due to no tower or instrument landing system (ILS) has Bloomington airport, also without a tower or ILS system, wanting to get a tower. Monroe County Airport will not be provided one until more money becomes available, so util then Allegheny and the FAA assure that all safety precautions will be taken.
Source: "Bloomington airport needs ILS equipment," Courier-Tribune
Air control tower explored
1969, Jan
It is reported that the possibility of constructing an air control tower is explored at the annual meeting of Monroe County Board of Aviation Commissioners. Due to limited funds from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the possibility of Monroe County building its own tower was discussed, as it could take five or six years to get a tower from the FAA.
Source: John Fancher, "Air Control Tower Possibility Explored," Herald Telephone, January 28, 1969, 1.
Allegheny to drop Bloomington
1969, Jun 5
Allegheny Airlines proposed to drop Bloomington as a stop-over on its daily flights between Indianapolis and Louisville. Mayor John H. Hooker opposes, saying he feels that Bloomington is "locked-in" with inadequate air, rail, or highway service. City Councilman Ralph Johnson found after a phone survey that flight is not often used by executives or IU due to the time that it arrives, and if it is not used then it should not be opposed.
Source: "Council opposes Bloomington drop," Courier-Tribune, June 6, 1969.
Chamber concerned about airline
1969, Jul 16
The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce's Aviation Committee hopes to meet soon with Allegheny to discuss airline service expansion. Chamber executive Charles Stroh hopes to have Allegheny's president and vice president, Les Barnes and Tom Ferguson attend the meeting.
Source: "C of C, Allegheny to discuss flights," Courier-Tribune, July 17, 1969.
Allegheny providing new planes
1969, Sep
It is announced that Allegheny will be phase out the old Nord planes for Convair 580s. There will also be 3 daily flights to Chicago and 4-6 dailty flights to Indianapolis daily using the new planes.
Source: "Getting new planes, service," Courier-Tribune, September 5, 1969.
Allegheny plans expansion
1969, Sep
Allegheny Airlines is planning to provide a total of 11 daily flights from Monroe County to Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Chicago after November 1st. November 1st is also the date in which the old Nord planes will be replaced with larger, newer Convairs.
Source: John Fancher, "Allegheny Plan Nov.1 Expansion," Herald Telephone, September 10, 1969.
New airport at Lake
1969, Sep
Director of Indiana's Department of Natural Resources, Perley Provost, announces that a new port for sea planes is a strong possibility at Lake Monroe.
Source: "Lake Monroe may have new airport," Courier-Tribune, September 7, 1969.
Pilots take step on tower
1969, Oct
Monroe County Pilots Association write to the FAA, asking if the FAA will provide controllers a tower. Monroe airport has already been approved for a tower due to its level of traffic, but it may be a long wait for the FAA to provide a tower. The tower is necessary to avoid any collisions between planes.
Source: "Pilots take step on control tower," Courier-Tribune, October 17, 1969.
Group to push for tower
1969, Oct
Two members of the Monroe County Airport Commission will go to Washington D.C. to lobby for a new control tower for Monroe County Airport. The group will meet with Representative John Myers of the FAA to discuss the condition of the traffic at the airport.
Source: Tom Schumaker, "Local Group Will Travel To D.C. To Push For Tower," Herald Telephone, October 24, 1969.
Chamber seeks support
1969, Oct 6
The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce is seeking letters endorsing a decision allowing Vercoa Air Service to operate with Allegheny Air Service, adding five daily round trips between Bloomington and Indianapolis on weekdays, 4 on Saturday and 3 on Sunday. The Vercoa planes will be smaller and be listed under Allegheny's name.
Source: "Chamber Seeks Support For Commuter Air Service," Herald Telephone, October 6, 1969.
Cummuter service awaiting approval
1969, Oct 28
Vercoa Air Service announces that the company may not be able to begin commuter service from Bloomington to Indianapolis commuter service under Allegheny Airlines until November 15th. Vercoa President Bill Britt says they are still waiting for Civil Aeronautics Board to approve the application submitted September 15th. It is normal for applications to take 30 days to approve.
Source: "Air commuter service awaits CAB approval," Courier-Tribune, October 29, 1969, A, 12.
Aviation Board gets proposal
1969, Nov
It is reported that the Monroe County Aviation Board agrees to support the proposal from the County Pilot's Association for a portable aviation tower, as long as it does not stop from getting a permanent tower built, and if the FAA will pay for it and help man it. The Airport has been told that a new tower may be built within the next two years if funding is available.
Source: "Aviation Board Gets Proposal," Daily Herald Telephone, November 19, 1969.
Safe flying session held
1969, Nov 23
Over 100 attend FAA conducted session on safe flying at Monroe County Airport. The FAA emphasized not flying under the influence of medication or alcohol and following pilot safety procedures, spurred from recent aircraft accidents in Indiana.
Source: "Over 100 attend session at airport on flying safety," Courier-Tribune, November 24, 1969.
Funds for tower
1969, Nov
It is reported that if a bill goes through Congress, then the Monroe County Airport may get funds to build a control tower next year. The bill will provide $10.8 million for constructing 54 control towers, Bloomington being one of them.
Source: "Funds For Tower Hinge On Bill," Herald Telephone, November 24, 1969.
Airline expanding service
1970, Feb
It is announced that the Allegheny Airlines Commuter Service will begin April 1st between Bloomington and Indianapolis. The new service will add five additional flights between Monroe County Airport and Weir-Cook Airport.
Source: "Airline commuter service to Indianapolis starts April 1st," Courier-Tribune, February 20, 1970.
Airport park
1970, Apr
It is announced that a park will be constructed at the Monroe County Airport. Airport commissioners are getting cost estimates on the addition of 10 hangars on the field.
Source: "Airport park gets 'go' sign," Bloomington Courier, April 19, 1970.
Tornado damages airport
1970, Apr 19
A tornado touches down near the airport, destroying several aircraft and damaging other airport buildings. The tornado also demolished some dozen or more houses as it moved on to the Highland Village area. The tornado is the first one to strike the area since the 1930s, when a tornado struck the Clear Creek area.
Source: John Meekins, "Tornado Rips Through Highland Village Area," Bloomington Courier-Tribune, April 20, 1970.
Air tower planned
1970, Jul 7
Congressman John Myers reported today that the U.S. Bureau of the Budget has released 10.8 million for 54 airport control towers, including one for Monroe County Airport. Site construction is expected to start next spring.
Source: John Fancher, "Air Tower Bids Planned," Herald Telephone, July 7, 1970.
Tower prospects hazy
1970, Jul 28
FAA officials indicate that the tower will not be complete until fall of 1972, as opposed to Congressman John Myers' prediction for spring 1971. Officials informed Monroe County Airport manager John Myers that the specifications for the tower will not be available until September 1st, and bids will not take place until spring 1971.
Source: Avery Comarow, "Prospects for tower hazy," Courier-Tribune, July 28, 1970.
Aid needed for airport
1970, Nov
The Monroe County Airport is in need of new electronics to help pilots land during bad weather. Electronics include an Instrument Landing System (ILS) and approach lighting. The Indiana Aeronautical Commission is pushing Legislature to allow the legislation that many states have providing funds for airport funds.
Source: George Smith, "Monroe Co. Needs Aid On Airport Problems," Herald Telephone, November 23, 1970.
Allegheny to base here
1971, Feb
It is reported that Allegheny Airlines will shelter aircraft overnight at Bloomington beginning March 1st and flying twice daily to Chicago's O'Hare Airport through Indianapolis, if allowed by the Civil Aeronautics Board.
Source: Rob Deckard, "Allegheny to base here," Courier-Tribune, February 2, 1971.
Tower delayed
1971, Mar
Local airport officials can no longer speed up the construction of the new airport tower, which has been moved back to fall of next year. Airport manager John Myers describes it as "a federally-funded and federally-constructed facility...there's nothing we can do to hurry it along." Officials announced in Kansas city that more design work must before beginning on the control towers.
Source: Rick Roth, "Local Hands Tied On Tower," Herald Telephone, March 4, 1971.
Airport growing rapidly
1971, Apr
The Monroe County Airport has doubled in size much sooner than expected as the airport has bought the final piece of land that expands it to twice the size it was in 1964. The added size means the runway can expand from 5,200 feet to 7,000 feet.
Source: Rick Roth, "Monroe County Airport Growing At Rapid Rate," Herald Times, April 11, 1971.
Airport Board purchases land
1971, Apr 8
The Airport Board purchases 93.5 acres of land for future expansion.
Source: "In March, Politicians Move To Center Stage," Daily Herald-Telephone, December 29, 1971, 15.
More hangers needed
1971, May 23
A dramatic increase in traffic at Monroe County Airport means that more hangars for the airport are being planned. There is a waiting list for open spots in the current hangars, however there are only 3 on that list, with 64 airplanes already residing at the airport.
Source: Don Jordan, "Heavy traffic making airport increase size," Courier-Tribune, May 23, 1971.
Costly projects urged
1971, Jul
The FAA has sent a letter strongly recommending improvements before getting an instrument landing system (ILS). These improvements include lengthening the runway from 5,200 feet to 6,500, as well as straightening the runway. These recommendations will cost at least 1.5 million for the Monroe County Airport.
Source: Don Jordan, "Costly projects at airport urged," Courier-Tribune, July 27, 1971.
Bypass crosswalk debated
1971, Sep 24
The construction cost of crosswalk for Arlington School is estimated at $250,000. Commission chairman Ruel Steele and Monroe County officials calculate together for the best solution for 47 Arlington students who live on the south side. School officials ask for reimbursement for busing students across the bypass. With expected residential growth in the north side, the crosswalk would be more expensive than busing cost, leading local residents to question the crosswalk's necessity.
Source: Bill Schrader and Tom Schumaker, "Expense of By-Pass Crosswalk For 47 Pupils Questioned," Herald Telephone, September 24, 1971. more...
Airport plans require statement
1971, Oct
The engineering firm in charge of expansions at Monroe County Airport are drawing up an environmental statement listing projected growth, noise patterns, and wildlife effects the expansion may cause to send to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Source: Don Jordan, "Airport plans, report unveiled," Courier-Tribune, October 8, 1971.
Airport expansion plans shared
1971, Oct 18
The Monroe Country Commissioners Board has heard the plans for the new Monroe County Airport Expansion. Plans include runway expansion; taxiway expansion; runway and taxiway lights; and an overlay to runways and taxiways and for the airplane parking to be expanded.
Source: Sandy Ellett, "Commissioners Hear Airport Expansion Plan," Herald Times, October 19, 1971.
Wylie Carter dies
1971, Nov 27
W. Wylie Carter, born April 11, 1895, dies at Bloomington Hospital at the age of 76. Carter was a WWI veteran, a former automobile dealer, and air pioneer. He was the first man to own his own private plane, first to land within city limits, first to deliver an air mail package in the city, and first to take aerial motion pictures of the city. Carter got his first airplane in 1927, barnstorming around Indiana as a commercial flyer. Carter's last tour was in 1928 however, as a plane he was landing in Indianapolis crashed and he stopped flying.
Source: "Wylie Carter, Air Pioneer, Dies at 76," Herald Telephone, November 27, 1971, Obituaries.
Money for airport an obstacle
1971, Dec
Monroe County Board of Commissioners voted to support an improvement plan to improve Monroe County Airport. To complete this, the airport needs $600,000.
Source: Sandy Ellett, "Money Chief Obstacle To Airport's Expansion," Herald Times, December 5, 1971.
Airport accused of favoritism
1971, Dec
The FAA responds to claims of favoritism by the Monroe County Airport towards Torp Aero. It is reported that Torp Aero has claimed all office space in the administration building, leaving office space for a new service - T and D - with office space in a hangar, which is inadequately heated and requires T and D to bring their own heating devices. Additionally it is reported that T and D must pay out of pocket for a $300 false ceiling. The FAA states Torp Aero must demonstrate that all rented space is necessary, leaving the Airport uncertain of the legalities of taking space from Torp Aero.
Source: Don Jordan, "'Favoritism' At Airport Evokes FAA Response," Courier-Tribune, December 16, 1971.
Airport bonds initially approved
1971, Dec 6
The Monroe County Commissioners unanimously approves a $650,000 bond for airport improvements. The bond still has to go before the Monroe County Council and State Board of Accounts before given final approval, and if approved, will raise tax by 4 cents. The $650,000 will become part of a share of $970,261 share of $1.9 million improvements to the airport.
Source: John Meekins, "Airport Bonds Get Initial OK; Council, State Will Consider," Courier-Tribune, December 7, 1971.
Commissioners approve airport bond
1971, Dec 7
Monroe County Commissioners approve a $650,000 airport bond.
Source: "Annexation, Sewers Make Late-Year News," Daily Herald-Telephone, December 31, 1971, 24.
Airport bond not favoured
1972, Jan
Interviews with 7 members of the Monroe County City Council shows that 3 oppose the new bond, 2 support, and 2 are undecided but leaning towards one. One opposing council member, Marion Gottfried, explained her opposition, saying she has yet to see evidence of positive effects of the bond, despite approving some of the airport's improvements.
Source: Sandy Ellett, "Airport Bond May Face Tough Sledding," Herald Times, January 9, 1972, 1,4.
Airport bond approved
1972, Jan 31
The Monroe County Council votes 4-3 to approve the $650,000 bond for airport improvements. After 90 minutes of debate, six member of the council were deadlocked, the tie breaker being cast by Council President Robert Woolery. Property tax rates will be raised 5-6 cents.
Source: Greg Paeth, "Airport Bond Issue Gets 4-3 Council Approval," Courier-Tribune, January 31, 1972.
Council approves airport bond issue
1972, Jan 31
The Monroe County Council approves a $650,000 airport bond issue.
Source: "'72 Big Year In Bloomington.. Miller Dr. Among Top Issues," Daily Herald-Telephone, December 30, 1972, 2.
Review of dispute
1972, Feb 10
The first meeting for 1972 of the Monroe County Board of Aviation Commissioners is held with discussion topics focusing on election of officers, bonds for improvements on the airport, as well as the rental dispute between Torp Aero and T and D Air Services. T and D claims that the airport is showing favortism towards Trop Aero, as they have rented all office space in the administration building, leaving T and D to a makeshift office in one of the hangars.
Source: Sandy Ellett, "Review of Rent Dispute Set For Airport Board," Herald Times, February 9, 1972.
Lease renewed at airport
1972, Feb 11
Torp Aero's lease for all four offices in the administrative building, denying T and D air Services' appeal. It is announced that rent has been raised for the office space from $50 per month to $75. The board does deny favoritism for Torp Aero and explains their reasons, stating that the services provided by the company such as operating the airport's unicom system, cleaning the administrative building, and running the offices on weekends.
Source: Don Jordan, "Torp Aero Lease Renewed At Airport," Courier-Tribune, February 11, 1972.
Environmentalists challenge new runway
1972, Feb 11
An environmental group called Crisis Biology, made up of mostly IU faculty and students, questions the airport's proposal to lengthen the runway. The group states that the change will increase noise rates and have environmental impact. The airport states that the additional runway will ensure the safety of passengers.
Source: Don Jordan, "Petition Fighting Issue At Airport," Courier-Tribune, February 11, 1972, 1-2.
Airport residents concerned
1972, Feb 22
Nearby residents of the Monroe County Airport fear having to leave when the airport expands. One resident claims that where the airport is now, the walls of his home vibrate and states that that larger and more frequent jets may make it collapse.
Source: Pete Cooke, "Airport Residents To Leave?," Courier-Tribune, February 22, 1972.
Crisis Biology gets data
1972, Feb 22
A meeting on the ecology effects of the airport expansion runs for more than 3 hours, in which 2 engineers as well as airport manager John Meyers give information they have gathered out to the public. As of yet, Crisis Biology has no criticisms, according to Jim Jontz, a member of Crisis Biology. He adds that citizens received good cooperation from engineers and John Meyers.
Source: "Crisis Biology Gets Airport Data," Daily Herald Telephone, February 25, 1972.
1,400 against bond
1972, Mar
Petitions containing more than 1,400 names is counted in opposition of the bond for the expansion of the airport. County Auditor Louis Goodman says it will take about a week to verify if all the names to determine that they are legitimate property owners, and that 496 valid signature are needed to push the bond back until next year.
Source: Stephen Hofer, "1,400 Are Against Airport Bond Issue," Herald Times, March 4, 1972.
Airport bond hearing set
1972, Mar 2
A bond hearing for the expansions of the Monroe County Airport is scheduled to present environmental statements to the court. The statement includes a description of the project, a report of environmental effects, alternatives of the project, serious effects on the environments and commitment of natural resources.
Source: Greg Paeth, "Airport Bond Hearing Is Thursday," Courier-Tribune, February 25, 1972, 1-3.
Report bias charged
1972, Mar 2
Monroe residents attending the bond hearing complain that they are not allowed to talk about the financing of the airport project. Judge Bridges, the hearing moderator, states that he was instructed to keep the topic only top the ecological impact of the project, if it were to be done. Airport Manager John Myers states that the hearing on the bond issue was advertised to be on January 31.
Source: Sandy Ellett, "Report Bias Is Charged," Herald Times, March 3, 1972, 1-7.
Bond issue dead
1972, Mar 5
The airport bond issue dies, with 1,416 county residents opposing the bond. Only 496 are needed to stop the bond from going into effect. The bond issue will not be able to be passed for one year after its defeat.
Source: Greg Paeth, "Airport bond Issue Is Dead Of 497 Signatures," Star-Courier, March 5, 1972.
Airport reduces service
1972, Mar 9
Reductions in service at Monroe County Airport include dropping REA Express service and one Convair flight between Bloomington and Chicago by Allegheny Airlines. Officials of REA Express and Allegheny claim that the defeat of a $650,000 bond had nothing to do with the reductions, however John Meyers, Monroe County Airport Manager, maintains is does.
Source: Bill Schrader, "REA, Allegheny Cutting Local Airport Services," Herald Times, March 10, 1972, 1-2.
Airport services cut
1972, Mar 10
The Bloomington airport cuts REA Express services and one flight between Chicago and Bloomington from the Allegheny Airlines.
Source: "'72 Big Year In Bloomington..Miller Dr. Among Top Issues," Daily Herald-Telephone, December 30, 1972, 2.
Date set for airport tower
1972, Apr 5
The target date for a new control tower at Monroe County Airport is announced as July 1973. The tower will be paid and operated by the FAA. It will be about 36 - 40 feet tall and 20 feet square.
Source: Bill Schrader, "Airport Tower Target July,'73," Herald Times, April 5, 1972.
New drive for Airport
1972, Jun
Monroe County Airport starts a new petition for the approval of the bond that had been defeated in March by more than 750 signatures. The bond aims to help expand the airport, hopefully allowing for the pilots to land more safely and with less risk of crashing.
Source: Greg Paeth, "New Drive Starts To Update Airport," Courier-Tribune, June 17, 1972.
Weddle Brothers get contract
1972, Aug 30
It is announced that Weddle Brothers Construction was awarded the subcontract for a new control tower at Monroe County Airport. They will be responsible for handling site preparation, building foundation, and finishing work on the interior while the 30 foot tower will be pre-engineered by Pascoe Steel Corporation in Pamona, California.
Source: Bill Schrader, "Weddle Brothers Get Airport Tower Contract," Herald Times, August 30, 1972.
Commuter service to replace Allegheny
1972, Sep 13
It is reported that Allegheny Airlines plans to replace their direct service with Vercoa Air Service. Allegheny vice president for commuter operations, Robert Jenkins, says that cities in which service has been turned over to a commuter service will be able to transport more passengers and air express, mail and freight services have been improved.
Source: James Root, "Commuter Service May Replace Allegheny Flights," Herald Times, September 13, 1972, 1,4.
Airport security tightened
1972, Oct 22
A new portable metal detector is being installed at Bloomington Municipal Airport in compliance with FAA anti-hijacking regulations. The metal detector is hand held and is simply waved over passengers as they pass through the gate to detect metals.
Source: Byron Rohrig, "Security Is Being Tightened," Bloomington-Bedford Sunday Herald-Times, October 22, 1972, 2.
Stamps give mobility
1972, Dec
It is announced that all Indiana Ladies Auxiliary of Veterans of Foreign Wars are collecting stamps to help purchase a $12,000 bus by April for persons confined to wheelchairs.
Source: "Stamps Can Give Mobility," Courier-Tribune, December 5, 1972.
Control tower built
The airport Control Tower is completed.
Source: Airport Annual Report map
Anti-hijack plan started
1973, Jan 5
It is reported that expanded anti-hijacking procedures have been ordered by the FAA, requiring passengers boarding flights at Bloomington Municipal Airlines to be screened to detect any object that can be used as a weapon. In addition, all bags or packages being carried by passengers will be searched, and only passengers who are cleared at the checking table will be permitted outside the boarding door.
Source: Byron Rohrig, "Anti-Hijack Plan Started Today," Daily Herald Telephone, January 5, 1973.
Firemen leaving airport
1973, May 1
Members of the Monroe County Airport Board learn that the Van Buren Township Volunteer Fire Department, which has been leasing airport property and utilities for $1 a year since 1970, is leaving. The move is being contemplated due to dissatisfaction on the fire department's part with the present situation.
Source: John Ross, "Firemen Leaving Airport," Courier-Tribune, May 2, 1973, A, 4.
Bridges flagged in poor condition
1973, Aug 20
An engineering firm recommends that 19 county bridges be replaced or repaired in order to meet federal standards.
Source: "An Eventful 12 Months in Bloomington," Daily Herald Telephone, December 29, 1973.
Airport opens control tower
1973, Sep 21
The new traffic control tower opens at Monroe County Airport.
Source: "An Eventful 12 Months in Bloomington," Daily Herald Telephone, December 29, 1973.
Baldwin dies
1975, Mar 23
Ernest E. Baldwin dies at 65. He was the president of Bloomington Packing Company and director of the Indiana Meat Packers Association as well as the former owner of the Airport Roller Rink. Considered a pioneer in aviation, he served as the first manager of the municipal airport. He lived in Ellettsville.
Source: "Obituaries: Ernest E. Baldwin," Daily Herald Telephone, March 23, 1976, 2.
Baker's Junction established
The home of John and Cheryl Baker becomes Baker's Junction on Fairfax Road in Smithville, using the former Monon train depot that once served the Clear Creek rail line. The couple work to turn their property into the Baker's Junction Railroad Museum and entertain visitors annually on Halloween for a Haunted Train. [Image of Clear Creek Monon Station courtesy of IU Mathers Museum ID 1973-11-0378].
Source: David Hackett, "Rails and rants merge at Baker's Junction," The Herald Times, July 1, 2002. map
Mayor asks for air service
1979, Feb
Mayor McCloskey telephones his prepared statement to Chicago after fog prevents him from flying there to plead with officials for expanded air service to Bloomington. He asks the government to expand commuter flights to Bloomington after a study was done showing a demand for more flights to St. Lewis, enough to justify 18 flights per week, and claimed Bloomington needed additional flights because it is home to several national companies and scholastic organizations.
Source: "Bloomington Mayor Asks For Expanded Air Service," Indianapolis Star, February 24, 1979.
Grant for transit
1979, Feb 7
Federal grants $950,785 to Bloomington Transit Authority to purchase eight new buses, two supervisory cars, two wheelchair vans, a new garage, and six more new bus shelters.
Source: Janet Graham, "Grant to enable city to buy eight buses," Indiana Daily Student, February 22, 1979.
Flight approval sought
1979, Mar
Bloomington officials seek approval on a subsidy which, if approved, will allow for flights from Bloomington to St.Louis. Some air officials feel that it is unlikely for Bloomington to be approved because the subsidy is focused towards small towns who need essential flights.
Source: Harry Mortner, "Bloomington - St.Louis flight approval sought," Indiana Daily Student, March 5, 1979.
Airport now 40
1979, Aug
Monroe County Airport, once known as Kisters Field until 1959, is now 40 years old and has increased from 229 acres to 322 acres. Since acquiring paved runways, Monroe County Airport has increased its number of planes from 15 to 68.
Source: John Stempel, "Airport is 40 years old," Herald Times, August 11, 1979, 1-2.
Ray Charles' plane crashes in Bloomington
1985, Oct 19
A private plane carrying Ray Charles runs off a Monroe County Airport runway during heavy rain, landing Charles and the 28 members of his entourage about 300 feet north of the runway in a cornfield. Charles is unharmed and only one person, the pilot, is admitted to Bloomington hospital. Charles was scheduled to perform at the IU auditorium with B.J. Thomas, but because the instruments and equipment were not allowed off the plane pending Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board investigations, Thomas did the show alone.
Source: "Ray Charles' plane crashes in Bloomington," Sunday Herald-Times, October 20, 1985.
Airline terminal converted
The old Britt Airline Terminal is converted into an office building and the administration building on the east side becomes the new airline terminal.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Cook Aviation buys fuel service business
1987, Dec 10
Cook Aviation Inc., a subsidiary of Cook Inc., purchases Torp Aero Service the major supplier of fuel to airplane customers at the Monroe County Airport.
Source: "Cook Aviation buys fuel service business," Herald Telephone, December 11, 1987.
Land aquired to extend runway
The airport acquires land needed to extend runway 17/35. One of the homes on this land will later serve as an airport administration building.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
ARFF building constructed
An Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) Building is constructed to house the airport's new ARFF vehicle.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Aircraft apron remodeled
The aircraft-parking apron is reconstructed and enlarged by 50%. New apron lighting is installed.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
County approves funds
Monroe County Council approves appropriations summing up to $2,470,000 to finance airport expansions.
Source: "County Council OK's Funds For Highway, Airport," Daily Herald Telephone, January 1, 1996.
Airport takes over control tower
The airport takes over Air Traffic Control Tower operations. The airport becomes connected to the City's sewer system.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Taxiways reconstructed
Airport taxiways are reconstructed and hangar development begins. The south end of the airport is connected to water, sewer, and gas.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Chitwood dies
1999, Apr 19
Ted Chitwood dies. Born in Unionville, he was the son of Michael and Grace (Stevens) Chitwood. He was the former manager of the Monroe County Airport, owned and operated Chitwood Flying School, and owned Chitwood Hardware and Wheel Horse Dealership in Ellettsville. He was an Army Air Corps veteran of World War II and a member of South Rogers Street Church of Christ.
Source: "Obituaries: Theodore "Ted" Chitwood," The Herald Times, April 20, 1999.
Britt terminal is demolished
The old Britt Airline Terminal is demolished to make way for the Fine Light Corporate Hangar, scheduled to be complete in February 2001.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Airport enters cost-share program
2001, May
The Air Traffic Control Tower enters into a cost-share program with the FAA resulting in a 49% savings for these services to the community.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Airport added to ground stop
2001, Sep 11
The airport is included in the nationwide ground stop following terrorist activity.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Airport receives land grant
2001, Dec
The airport receives a land purchase grant from the FAA of $2 million to purchase 185 acres on the West boundary. The airport also receives additional FAA grants for the purchase of new snow removal equipment, phase I construction of a taxiway parallel to runway 6, runway 35 safety area corrections, and the construction of a vehicle service road to accommodate the southwest portion of the airport coming to a total of $3,249,590.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017 map
Airport reports economic impact
The Aviation Association of Indiana reports the airport's economic impact as $26.8 million annually.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Phase I taxiway completed
2002, Aug 12
Phase I of the parallel taxiway construction for runway 6/24 and the runway 17 safety area correction projects are completed with the runways being reopened to aircraft traffic.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Perimeter road completed at airport
2002, Sep
The construction of the vehicle perimeter road, servicing the southwest portion of the airport, is completed and opened for use.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Airport acquires land
2002, Dec
The airport continues to grow as it acquires 11 new parcels of land, totaling 180 additional acres and 9 homes.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Airport negotiates land purchase
2003, Sep
The airport negotiates the purchase of the remaining five acres of the land identified in the Land Acquisition Grant Project 17.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Phase I fence commences
2004, Aug
The Board of Aviation Commissioners awards the contract to commence phase I of the airport perimeter fence project. This project provides a 10-foot chain-link fence and electronic gates to replace existing fence.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Airport reports economic impact
2004, Oct
The Aviation Association of Indiana computes the airport's economic impact as $35.3 million annually, up from $26.8 million in 2002.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Phase II fence commences
2005, Jul
The Board of Aviation Commissioners awards the contract to commence phase II of the airport perimeter fence project. This project completes the 10-foot chain-link fence surrounding the airport's safety and security areas.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Kisters Field rededicated
2005, Nov 15
The Monroe County Commissioners rededicate the airport as Kisters Field in honor of WWII Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Lt. Gerry H. Kisters. A plaque, which was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Dick Beard, is mounted in the airport's public lobby and unveiled to family and friends.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Site prepped for new hangars
2006, Apr
The airport begins site preparation for three large privately owned hangars on the most recently purchased property along Kirby Road. Funding for this project is provided by the Cumulative Capitol Development Funds set aside for airport development by the Monroe County Commissioners. This project allows for placement and compaction of approximately 12,000 to 15,000 yards of earthen fill.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Plane crash kills 5
2006, Apr 20
The airport and community suffers the tragic loss of 5 Indiana University students who were attempting to land in adverse weather conditions.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
FAA grants funds to airport
2006, Sep 5
The airport receives FAA grant to reconstruct the underground drainage and asphalt taxiways surrounding the airport-owned T-hangars. The project costs just over $755,000 and is expected to be completed in the spring of 2007.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Airport reports economic impact
2006, Dec
The Aviation Association of Indiana reports the airport's impact as $33.6 million annually, down from $35.3 million in 2004.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Airport team completes ARFF training
2007, Jul
Airport maintenance employees complete the required training necessary to assume the FAR Part 139 Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) standby and response duties at the airport. The employees' training consists of performing the specific task of initial response to an aircraft accident operating under FAA Part 139 until mutual aid responders arrive.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Rules completed for airport commerce
2007, Sep
The Board of Aviation Commissioners complete a comprehensive set of rules and regulations for operations and business conducted at the airport. These rules provide a reasonable, non-arbitrary, and nondiscriminatory structure for the effective use of the airport.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Airport receives wind cone grant
2007, Oct 29
The airport begins installation of supplemental wind cones per FAA Part 139 requirements. The airport received a Federal Airport Improvement Grant of $126,704 to complete this project.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Wind cone project complete
2007, Nov 9
The $126,704 project to add supplemental wind cones to improve airport safety is completed.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
IU sells aircraft
2008, Jun
Indiana University Flight Department sells existing aircraft and ceases their operation at the airport.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
New airport regulations adopted
2008, Aug
The Aviation Board of Commissioners adopts its comprehensive rules and regulation document, first proposed in September of 2007, as official policy by which business and operations will be conducted at the airport.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Taxiway improvement project funded
2009, Jun
The Aviation Board of Commissioners accepts a federal grant for an airport improvement project in the amount of $500,000 for the construction of a connecting taxiway from the corporate hangar complex to runway 35.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Fence improvement is completed
2010, Jan
The $410,150 project to improve terminal area fencing and electronic gates at the airport is completed.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Colton Harris Moore steals aircraft
2010, Jul
Colton Harris Moore, a.k.a. The Barefoot Bandit, allegedly forces entry into at least four privately owned aircraft hangars at the airport stealing a Cessna 400 Corvallis which was owned by John 'Spider' Miller. Moore will later travel off the coast of the United States, crashing into water 6 miles off the coast of Abaco Island in the Bahamas.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
USDA assesses airport
2010, Aug
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) begins a Wildlife Hazard Assessment as part of a grant the airport accepted earlier that year. The yearlong study will provide an accurate evaluation of the wildlife in a five-mile radius of the airport and make recommendations for a program to mitigate the wildlife hazards found.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Airport installs security cameras
2011, Feb
Security cameras and recording devices are installed in order to monitor and record several key locations of the airport.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Land near runway collapses
2011, May
The collapse of land near the airport's primary runway prompts extensive investigation and testing to determine the integrity of the runway environment. The area is determined safe to continue operations but investigations indicated that the area has concerns of sinkholes forming under the runway. The Board of Aviation Commissioners seeks $11 million in federal funding for runway repairs.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Grant accepted for corporate hangars
2011, Jun
The Board of Aviation Commissioners accepts a grant of $315,790 for preliminary design of future corporate hangar development and the required phase I environmental investigation of the sinkhole areas in the runway environment marked for future repairs.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Hangar contracts mature
2011, Jul
The first of several hangar contracts that will revert back to the airport mature. These improvements are now the property of the airport and revenues from the leases will supplement the Aviation General and Construction Fund.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Control tower operations threatened
2013, Feb
Serious budget cuts caused by governmental sequestration trickle down to cuts within the FAA. As part of the Federal Contract Tower Cost Share Program, the county airport is included on a list of 189 control towers scheduled for closure later in the year by the FAA. Due to countless hours put in by federal and state legislators, local officials, and airport management the FAA agrees to continue the program through 2014.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Alion Science & Technology begins operations
2013, Apr
Alion Science and Technology begins operations at the airport, marking the first military contractor affiliated with Crane NSWC to base their operations in the county.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Grant accepted for sinkhole repairs
2013, Sep
The Board of Aviation Commissioners accepts a grant from the FAA for the Sinkhole Mitigation/Runway Rehabilitation project. The Airport Improvement Program grant funds the sinkhole repairs and asphalt overlay project totaling $10,938,767.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Primary runway reopens
2013, Nov 19
Following extensive repairs after a sinkhole collapsed in the surrounding area, the airport's primary runway reopens for traffic.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Airport wins top designation
2014, Oct 16
At their annual conference The Aviation Association of Indiana names the Monroe County Airport the "Airport of the Year" and gives $1000.00, which is to be given to the winner's designated community organization. The New Hope Family Shelter is the recipient.
Source: Laura Lane, "Around the Area: Local facility named Airport of the Year," Herald Times, November 1, 2014.
Airport named Airport of the Year
2014, Oct 16
The airport is named as the Indiana Aviation Association's Airport of the Year. This annual award is presented by a panel of airport professionals that evaluate airports and their active roles in demonstrating sound business practices, promoting aviation safety, aviation education, economic development, attention to environmental concerns and corporate citizenship and outreach. The airport is honored with a $1000 donation to the Board of Aviation Commissioners' choice. This donation is given to New Hope Family Shelter Inc.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Lease agreement is approved
The Board of Aviation Commissioners approves the lease agreement for 3.3 acres at the north end of the aircraft parking apron to allow for the construction of BMG Aviation Jet Center. When complete, this nearly 40,000 square foot facility will house BMG Aviation's FBO operation, flight training, and aircraft maintenance relocated from their current buildings near the ATCT.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Skybridge Tactical begins operations
2015, Oct
Skybridge Tactical, a Miami, Florida based company, begins military operations in the former Ace High flight training hangar at the airport.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
State funds airport snow plow
The airport receives a State Apportionment Grant of $251,319 for the purchase of a large snow removal vehicle.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Airport receives grant for fence
The airport receives a $557,502 Federal Airport Improvement Grant for phase II of the perimeter fence skirt.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Defense support operations close
2016, Sep
Skybridge Tactical and Alion Science and Technology both close their defense support operations at the airport.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Payton named person of the year
2016, Oct 21
Bruce Payton, the Monroe County's airport director, is awarded the Person of the Year award at the Aviation Indiana Annual Conference. An active member of Aviation Indiana for more than 30 years, Payton has held several offices including president, vice president, board member, conference chair, and liaison chair. Payton has received this award due to his work with the Civil Air Patrol, Kisters Kid Aviation Program with the Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington, the Harmony Alternative School Aviation Education Program, Boy Scouts of America, and airport internship programs.
Source: Herald Times, October 21, 2016, Local business briefs.
Airport purchases land
2016, Dec
The Board of Aviation Commissioners purchases 55 acres of land adjacent to the northeast portion of the airport's airfield. County Commissioners and Monroe County Council approves the purchase of this land at the price of $1,197,500. This valuable land provides additional land for development of future businesses capable of connecting to runway operations.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017
Airport reports property
2016, Dec 31
The airport owns approximately 1090 acres of land, an airport administration building, and administration office building, five corporate hangars, 48 t-hangars, a snow removal equipment building, an aircraft rescue and firefighting building, a maintenance shop, and the air traffic control tower. Tenants own 34 additional buildings that serve as hangars and/or offices. The airport remains operational 24 hours per day and is home base for slightly over one hundred registered aircraft.
Source: Annual Report of the Monroe County Airport, 2017

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