Friday, December 18, 2020

Invisible VS Visible

Surveying the northern property boundary

Yesterday, in freezing temperatures and drizzle, a crew surveyed the final boundary of airport property. The project took over two years to complete - over two years beyond the month originally estimated. It was an arduous process. However, it was necessary for the airport’s long-term outlook. The downside for us is that to outsiders it is invisible. A great task nearly complete yet seemingly non-existent to those who use the airport.

We realize people would rather have events; pilots would rather have stories to tell; followers would love to see tangible evidence of work. Yet, all too often the real work goes unseen. But, for those who need tangible, please allow us to point to the approach path of runway 36.

Working our way up the hill.

Trees have been steadily growing towards the certified approach path (trapezoid) for years. Naturally, 2020 was the year they reached it. This led to one of our most severe underestimations of all time.

After drone flight, bucket truck, binocular, ground, and satellite imagery surveys of the trees, we estimated removing five to eight of them would solve the problem. Then the work started.

Every time a tree fell another appeared behind it. No matter how hard we tried (not just us, but also professionals) to identify every suspect tree, it continued to happen. Eventually this led us to the only solution that offered any chance of completing the task – we’d remove all but a small handful of trees in the approach path area.

Mind you, we love our trees. However, we would never have been anywhere close to completion if we hadn’t made the call and gone with absolute removal. As one neighbor who also loves his trees said, “Take them all the way down so we don’t have to do this every year.” It turned out to be sound advice. The approach path should be clear of trees for some time to come. After all, somewhere in the neighborhood of two hundred trees came down.

That said, the project isn’t finished. There is a still a lot of cleanup to do; several trees along the runway still have to come down; the roadway needs landscaping to resolve the issue of the ugly stumps left behind. Yet, anyone who uses the field can clearly see the massive amount of work that went into this highly noticeable project.

To do this job we've had to buy equipment, hire in a
professional tree removal service, then spends weeks
by ourselves and with friends to get to this point. Cleanup
is the next phase. For this we'll need a dozer, full time
skid steer/grapple work, and many
days of manpower. 

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