Watertown Municipal Airport
Wisconsin Aviation and Central Aviation
XX XX AIRPLANE CRASH
PAPER CARRIERS TREATED TO AIRPLANE RIDE
Carriers of the Watertown Daily Times were treated to a ride in what the paper said was “a huge deluxe airliner.” The photo showed a large plane with three engines. The plane took off from a field along Coffee Road south of Watertown. That must have been back before the airport was in its present location. WDT, 10 17 2009
The Watertown Municipal Airport was commissioned in 1945 and has grown from two short grass strips, a few buildings, and seven aircraft to one of the Midwest's most progressive aviation service centers.
Airport-generated contributions to the community include:
• Home base for two companies - Wisconsin Aviation and Central Aviation.
• Employment - Wisconsin Aviation employs a total of 50 employees; Central Aviation employs 5 employees.
• Customers - Student pilots, recreational aircraft owners, and professional corporate travelers, often visiting local businesses.
• Promotes community involvement - Marine's Aero Park, fundraisers, open houses, fly-ins, Circus performances, and tours for local organizations.
• Provides site for military and governmental law enforcement training, exercises.
Wisconsin Aviation, in operation since 1981, maintains its corporate headquarters on the grounds of the Watertown Municipal Airport. Its president/CEO, Jeff Baum, serves as the airport manager for the City. As the FBO (fixed base operator) for the City's airport, Wisconsin Aviation is capable of providing a complete line of aviation-oriented services to include:
• Air charter - 20+ charter aircraft ranging from single engines to executive twin-engine jets.
• Maintenance - Factory-authorized service center for five major aircraft manufacturers.
• Flight instruction/aircraft rental - A wide selection of single- and twin-engine aircraft to meet training and rental needs including high-performance, tailwheel, and other state-of-the-art aircraft.
• Corporate aviation management.
• Aircraft sales.
• Scenic flights - A bird's eye view of the Watertown and surrounding communities.
In addition, hangar rental and fuel services are available for its home-based aircraft (80+), as well as all transient customers. In addition to the normal amenities offered at most municipal facilities, Wisconsin Aviation offers home-based as well as transient pilots with ground services such as towing, baggage handling, courtesy/rental cars, catering, and hotel reservations. Cookies and hot coffee are always available in the lobby.
Also located on Watertown's airfield is Central Aviation, which has been in existence since 1953. It is currently owned and operated by Randy Effinger. Central Aviation provides aircraft refurbishing and remodeling services to include painting, upholstery, interior design, repairs, modifications, installations.
08 19 Ralph Duddeck appointed by Watertown Airport Commission as its official representative at the Watertown Airport. WDT
10 28 Two separate inspections for Watertown Airport and Watertown Aviation Co. WDT
01 17 Watertown Association of Commerce favoring proposed airport expansion program WDT
02 11 Airport Expansion Plan voted down WDT
07 27 First major fly-in at Airport WDT
02 27 CAP CADETS
The weekly meeting of the Watertown C.A.P. Cadets is cancelled this week due to the number of cadets planning to attend Ash Wednesday church services. Saturday afternoon has been designated for preparation of the annual wing inspection. Tuesday, March 8, parents of cadets are invited to attend the regular meeting. Duty positions in the squadron are held by: Cadet 2-Lt. James Rothschadl, commander of cadets, Cadet Chuck Robinson and James Kellerman, flight leaders, Cadet Charles Doerr, projectionist and Cadet Weaver, administrator.
07 15 SECOND ANNUAL FLY-IN
Perfect weather yesterday brought out a huge crowd to the Watertown Municipal Airport where the second annual Fly-In, under auspices of the Watertown Flying Club, was held. At one time as many as 3,000 persons were on the field. Many kept coming while others left throughput the afternoon. There were 525 chicken barbecue dinners served to visitors. Approximately 100 planes flew in during the day, coming from all parts of Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa. WDT
10 04 The city council is being asked to advance $10,000 out of the general fund for completion of the Watertown airport project and is to be reimbursed by the federal government for that amount. The airport project has been underway here for years and the acquisition of additional property was approved some time ago in line with recommendations by the State Aeronautics Commission of Wisconsin which is acting as agent for the city in the program and in the securing of both state and federal funds. WDT
10 15 Considerable opposition to give the go ahead signal for the condemnation of certain lands at the Watertown airport to obtain easements in order to permit the airport expansion program to be carried out, flared at yesterday afternoon’s committee meeting of the city council. The State Aeronautics Commission of Wisconsin, which is serving as the city’s agent in the matter of state and federal assistance in the airport program, had asked that proceedings be started since it has been unable, up to now, to obtain the easements on two pieces of property. At yesterday’s meeting several councilmen said they would oppose any step for condemnation at this time. WDT
11 14 Santa Claus will arrive at the Watertown Airport next Friday afternoon at 2:20 o’clock, make a quick trip to the recreation building and join the parade which is scheduled to get underway without delay soon after. It was also announced that the Candy Stick Palace where Santa will make his headquarters will be placed in Memorial Park. First plans were to locate it in Madison Street on the Bank of Watertown parking lot but it was decided Memorial Park will offer better facilities and that is where it will go up next week. WDT
07 21 A transport plane out of aviation’s exciting past, a Ford Tri-Motor of 1929 vintage, is giving flying fans a lot of thrills out at the Watertown airport. The plane arrived here Tuesday and will remain through July 25, taking passengers up for aerial jaunts over the area. The transport, known as the Tin Goose but much more recognized as the safest airplane ever built, can carry 15 passengers at a cruising speed of 122 miles per hour. It is powered by three 450 horsepower Pratt & Whitney nine cylinder radial engines and has so much buoyancy that it can stay aloft with only one engine functioning. WDT
04 19 AIRPORT CONSIDERED AS SITE FOR SCHOOL
The board of education adopted a resolution calling for utilization of the Watertown Airport as the site for a new high school building, either junior or senior, as a long range plan for solving the growing space problem at high school.
05 31 LAST JET PLANE FLIES OUT
The last jet plane to fly out of the Watertown municipal airport will leave sometime this week, Ralph Duddeck airport manager, said today. The plane, a Canadian made craft, is now stationed at the port, it having been flown in sometime ago. Over the weekend the motors were started, causing considerable noise and annoyance, with resulting phone calls to the airport. The plane did not take off. "When the plane leaves this week it will be the last jet to use the airport," Duddeck said. WDT
01 27 AIRPORT CANNOT BE ABANDONED
Watertown’s municipal airport cannot be abandoned, T. K. Jordan, director of the State Aeronautics Commission, advises Norman L. Larson, superintendent of schools. Larson had contacted Jordan for information, and in a letter to him, dated Thursday, Jan. 28, he provided Larson with information he had requested. The superintendent’s inquiry was prompted by the suggestion of Alderman Paul Archambeau at the last council meeting that the airport be abandoned, and used for a site for the junior high school. WDT
11 08 FLIGHTOMATIC 150
Armand Falk, 1418 South Ninth Street who, with his son, Lonny Falk, operates the Watertown Airport and conducts the Falk Aviation Service, has installed the Flightomatic 150, a completely automatic flight simulator for use in the flying school training they operate. This installation enables one to learn the fast, modern way of the fundamentals of flying. It duplicates radio navigation and instrument flight conditions. It is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. While installations are increasing, few aviation services in cities the size of Watertown offer such a training facility. Falk told the Times today, “We are very proud to have installed this device and it is certainly proving a valuable and important asset for our training courses.”
05 08 SAFETY OVERRUNS
Construction of safety overruns to each end or the paved runway at the Watertown Municipal Airport will be considered by the Watertown City Council when it meets in regular session Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers of the Watertown Municipal Building. The Watertown Airport Commission is requesting funds for construction of 75 by 400 foot overruns to each end of the runway at a cost of $28,100. The city’s share would be $14,050 and the remaining cost would be paid by the federal government. A report by the airport commission noted that the additional space is needed because, “Today’s corporate aircraft need a greater margin of safety and more runway than the Piper Cub of yesteryear. Four hundred feet would greatly increase that safety margin needed for bringing today’s faster aircraft to a safe stop.” WDT
1981 WISCONSIN AVIATION, in operation since 1981
11 06 Dodge County Airport, Air Watertown offer to operate free of charge WDT
07 05 A six year statement of project intentions calls for expenditures of $120,000 in fiscal year 1984 and a new parking ramp and lights, $185,000 in 1986 for two-inch overlay on the asphalt runway, a city project in 1988 of a new parking lot for cars and $25,000 in 1989 for seal coating a runway. WDT
05 04 Airport expansion proposed; County taxes proposed for expansion.
06 25 The chairman of the Town of Watertown told a city of Watertown committee the township will not oppose the proposed expansion of the municipal airport as long as Airport Road is altered to meet highway 26. Richard Gimler told the planning commission the main concern of the community is not to have Airport Road, a major access to the township, entirely closed. Gimler said town residents had the initial perception the expansion would make Airport Road a dead-end street. But airport officials have assured him the road would be changed to meet highway 26 just south of the airport if the expansion is performed. WDT
08 26 The possibility of having the voters decide the fate of the proposed six-year Watertown airport expansion plan took another step toward reality this morning. A 991-signature petition was presented to the city clerk's office this morning asking the issue be placed on the April 1986 ballot. For a referendum petition to be valid, it must contain at least 15 percent of the number of registered voters who participated in the last gubernatorial election. In the case of Watertown, that figure amounts to 859. The city clerk's office has 15 days to check the validity of the signatures and if approved submit it to council. WDT
09 23 JEFF BAUM: WISCONSIN AVIATION BUSINESSMAN OF THE YEAR
LAKE GENEVA - Jeff Baum, manager of the Watertown Municipal Airport, was named “Wisconsin Aviation Businessman of the Year” by the Wisconsin Aviation Trades Association during ceremonies Saturday in Lake Geneva. Baum, president of Wisconsin Aviation Activities with operations at both Watertown and the Dodge County Airport in Juneau, received the honor for his achievements in the field of aviation business. “Jeff has displayed superb skills as manager of the fastest growing flight center in Wisconsin,” said Dave Weiman of the trade association. WDT
12 09 With the release this week of the state 1986-91 Airport Improvement Program, the question arises, “How significant is the April 1986 referendum on whether Watertown's airport should be expanded?” Except for an anticipated expense of $300,000 for land acquisition in 1989, the tentative program does not include any funds for the expansion of Watertown Municipal Airport. There is no sign of a new paved crosswind runway. No sign of an added 700 feet on the airport's primary runway. The program, which is tentative, undoubtedly fell well short of Watertown's request. In addition to the land acquisition funds, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation plan does set aside $1,300,000 for reconstruction work at the site in 1989. The work includes: Reconstructing the primary runway; expanding the apron area; improving drainage; and building a taxiway next to the primary runway. WDT
01 10 RUNWAY EXTENSION OMITTED IN STATE PLAN
Despite the omission of major runway extension work for Watertown’s Municipal Airport in the state six-year airport improvement program, the state has not ruled out the 1990 and 1991 project, an administrator of the facility says. Richard Wolff, project manager for the airport, was reacting to a December article in the Daily Times which summarized the recently released state program. The program, developed by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, has Watertown scheduled for a $1.6 million project in 1989. The project includes reconstructing the primary runway, constructing a primary taxiway, expanding the apron area and acquiring land. WDT
02 24 RUNWAY EXTENSION ON BALLOT
Supporters for the expansion of the Watertown airport call their promotional efforts innocent lobbying, but already their opposition is leveling charges of “dirty pool” and “intimidation” even though their campaign contains a boycott threat. With the April election just over a month away, the certain highlight of the ballot will be the statement “Be it resolved that the city of Watertown shall not expand the Municipal Airport beyond its present boundaries.” The issue is much more complicated than just the fact a “yes” vote is against expansion and a “no” is for expansion. The information on the issue and the arguments are seemingly infinite, and the beliefs are strong on both sides. WDT
05 16 RUNWAY EXPANSION TO USE NO TAX DOLLARS
When Watertown airport officials proposed an elaborate expansion plan in 1985, they said no taxpayers’ dollars would be used to build a larger terminal building. A year later, they’re holding true to their promise. Plans are still preliminary, but Watertown Airport Project Manager Richard Wolff said he hopes a new 30 by 50 feet terminal building, funded completely by airport users, will be in place by October. WDT
06 22 If Watertown borrows the money to build a combination airport terminal/hangar, it could then achieve a profit by leasing it to the airport’s base operator, the city finance committee says. “Absolutely no tax money will be used,” said Mayor Kenneth Thiel of the proposal which would result in a new estimated $235,000 terminal building. According to a resolution, which will be presented to the Common Council Tuesday, July 1, the city would borrow the money needed for the new building. The city in turn would lease the building to the base operator, now Air Watertown, at a monthly rate higher than the loan payments. WDT
08 11 An Oconomowoc construction firm should build the Watertown Municipal Airport’s new terminal/hangar facility, the city airport commission says. The airport commission Tuesday recommended that Oliver Construction, which submitted the lowest of four bids to the panel, be hired at a cost of $261,900. Oliver’s bid was nearly $35,000 less expensive than its nearest competitor. The other firms bidding on the project were H.F. Mallow Construction, $296,362; Joseph Lorenz Construction, $304,500; and DEBCO, Inc., $364,950. WDT
09 01 Use of a low interest state trust fund loan for a new hangar/terminal building at the Watertown Municipal Airport was approved on a near unanimous vote of the Watertown Common Council Tuesday evening. The council voted 12-1, with only Walter Nuernberg dissenting, to authorize the loan at an interest rate of 6.5 percent. Although the actual bids on the project were accepted by a narrow vote of 7-5 two weeks ago, aldermen followed Mayor Kenneth Thiel’s recommendation to put aside their differences and support the measure. WDT
11 03 A resounding referendum vote that endorsed a plan to expand the Watertown Municipal Airport has hardly quieted debate on the possibility of a larger facility. Last April, voters by nearly a 2-1 margin said Watertown should expand its airport. Tuesday night, nine aldermen defeated an attempt by four others to eliminate the item from the proposed 1987 city budget. “If you (the common council) want to kill the airport project, just go ahead. But you are going to have to be the ones who answer the people,” said an irritated Mayor Kenneth Thiel. “I’m getting a little uptight that the airport issue has to come up at every council meeting.” WDT
11 16 Members of the Watertown Common Council were reassured that the state is not likely to stop its commitment to fund the expansion project at the airport if the city shows interest and begins to provide some of the funding. During a Committee of the Whole meeting, Robert Kunkel, chief of airport development for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, explained to the aldermen that this year Congress appropriated $1 billion for airport improvements. Based on the state’s population, Wisconsin will receive $2.3 million. Kunkel could not guarantee to the council that Wisconsin would receive that much funding in 1989 when Watertown Municipal Airport is scheduled to undergo a $1.6 million improvement project, but said that Congress has been increasing its allotment. WDT
12 23 Employees of the Watertown Municipal Airport are now operating out of a new 11,100 square foot terminal building. Minor work still has to be done and the new furniture has not arrived, but Airport Manager Jeff Baum said the building is already getting rave reviews from the city’s chief executives. “This will probably be the finest terminal of an airport this size in the state,” Baum said. “People who have seen it (the terminal) love it.” The building, completed earlier than expected by Oliver Construction of Oconomowoc, will be paid for through a lease with the airport’s fixed base operator, Wisconsin Aviation. Watertown borrowed the $266,850 to build the terminal, but the lease payments by the fixed base operator will exceed the money the city has to pay back on the loan. WDT
01 04 70 ACRES ACQUIRED FOR EXPANSION
Watertown officials have finalized a deal acquiring 70 acres for the expansion of the municipal airport, and a state agency has asked the city to inspect the possibility of buying 31 more. Ruth Funk has agreed to sell to the city two parcels of land south of the existing airport, Assistant City Attorney Thomas Levi said. The closing date of the sale was Dec. 30, but officials declined to reveal the purchase price, saying it would hinder negotiations for other land necessary for the airport project. “We are still in negotiations with those property owners and by statute we are not required to give them the purchase price” of the Funk farm, Levi said. WDT
01 19 WEATHER STAR
A satellite hookup to the National Weather Service is the latest innovation in the Watertown Municipal Airport terminal, a facility which is already being called one of the best of its type in the state of Wisconsin. The weather access system, Weather Star, has been in operation for about two weeks, but it has been extremely well-received, Richard Wolff, who recently returned as the airport’s project manager, says. Weather Star is a computer system hooked up via satellite with Haynes Environmental Programming in Minneapolis. Haynes obtains the information directly from the National Weather Service. WDT
06 12 The runway at Watertown Municipal Airport probably will be moved about 250 feet to the south if the city goes ahead with the proposed expansion program in 1989. On Tuesday, the airport and plan commissions met with airport engineering firm Donohue and Associates to discuss alternatives for improving the city airport. A representative of the state Bureau of Aeronautics also attended the meeting. The project, estimated to cost $1.6 million, would be funded mostly by federal funds. Currently, the federal government plans to fund 90 percent of the costs and the state and city will each provide 5 percent. WDT
08 17 About 6,000 to 8,000 people attended the open house at the Watertown Municipal Airport Saturday, the biggest turnout in the event’s history, according to Airport Manager Jeff Baum. The most popular attraction was the C-130 Hercules, piloted by Watertown native Col. Heinz Poellet. About 3,000 people lined up to see the Air Force Reserve
04 27 A hangar building to house additional corporate aircraft may be built at Watertown Municipal Airport this fall. Richard Wolff, vice president of Wisconsin Aviation Inc., told the city planning commission Monday that a private investor was planning to construct a hangar building at the airport, one that was suitable for the storage of larger cabin-class aircraft often used by corporations. The construction costs for the 60-by-240- foot building would be paid by the investor, who Wolff did not identify at the meeting. The city, which would retain the rights to the land, would pay for the development of the site and for paving the taxiway adjoining the building. WDT
07 31 The Watertown Common Council will consider the sale of 11 acres of industrial land adjacent to the municipal airport to Cito Products of Watertown. A resolution will be presented to the council to authorize the sale of the land to the Watertown manufacturer, which has outgrown its current facility at 1002 S. Twelfth St. President Horst Wieder said he plans to construct a multi-level building of about 40,000 square feet. His present building, which he would sell or lease, has about 18,000 square feet. The city resolution authorizes the sale of 11 acres to Cito Products for $7,000 an acre, a price that would recover the city’s investment in the land. WDT
08 01 Nicholas E. Petros is seeking a judgment of $577,044 against the city for damages he claims he incurred due to the city’s condemnation of land needed for a runway clear zone for the Watertown Municipal Airport. “It’s frustrating,” said Mayor David R. Lenz, who already had been disappointed by the city’s loss in the first Petros suit. The new lawsuit, filed July 20 in U.S. District Court in Madison, seeks damages in addition to the condemnation settlement received by Petros in June. Including legal fees, the court settlement cost the city nearly $200,000. WDT
08 19 The city expects to receive about $660,000 from the federal and state governments in reimbursement for money already spent on the municipal airport expansion program. To date, the city has allocated or borrowed a total of $731,750 for the development of the Watertown Municipal Airport, according to Mayor David R. Lenz, mostly for the acquisition of about 100 acres of land. However, the city is responsible for only 5 percent of the costs for the estimated $4.5 million project, so the city’s total obligation will be in the neighborhood of $250,000. WDT
09 10 Emergency personnel remove an injured passenger from a single-engine airplane that crashed just south of Watertown Municipal Airport in a field west of River Drive at approximately noon today. Preliminary reports indicated that five people were injured and transported to Watertown Memorial Hospital. The plane was a Piper Cherokee 6. WDT
09 14 The Federal Aviation Administration late Thursday afternoon awarded a $626,400 grant to the city of Watertown for expansion work planned at the Watertown Municipal Airport. U.S. Sen. Robert Kasten made the announcement, saying, “I am pleased that Watertown has received this money. It will be used to acquire land for development and provide relocation assistance and environmental assistance.” The $626,400 represents the 90 percent share of $696,000 in project costs incurred at this point. Under that formula, the city of Watertown and the state of Wisconsin would each pay $34,800 toward the project. WDT
10 01 State officials have agreed to reimburse the city of Watertown for money spent on the airport expansion project, but the city probably won’t receive a check before the end of the year. The city has invested about $707,500, either through direct funding or borrowing, in the project for land acquisition, engineering studies and related costs, according to figures released by Mayor David R. Lenz. Lenz expressed his concerns about the reimbursement delay in a letter to Gelderman on Sept. 20. The mayor provided copies of the letter to aldermen and the media. According to the letter, the city has spent $137,482.85 of its own funds and has borrowed $570,000 from the state since April 1985, yet has not received any remuneration in return. WDT
02 06 The relocation of Airport Road has troubled town residents, who are concerned about the safety of using state Highway 26 for local traffic. More than 50 residents met with town officials Monday, as well as Mayor David Lenz, state Sen. Barbara Lorman and state Rep. Randall Radtke. In addition, the meeting was attended by officials from the Department of Transportation, Bureau of Aeronautics, Jefferson County and the city of Watertown. Due to the extension of the runway at Watertown Municipal Airport, Airport Road was closed to traffic last summer. Because of this residents who live on the road must use Highway 26 to travel to Watertown instead of Airport Road. WDT
04 03 Bids for improvements to Watertown’s Municipal Airport are much lower than anticipated, making it more likely that all of the proposed work included in the first phase can be accomplished in 1989 rather than delaying portions of it until next year. Bids for the project ranged from $1.2 million to $1.9 million, with the lowest bid about $600,000 below the original estimate of $1.8 million. WDT
07 30 PLANE OVERRAN RUNWAY
Four people escaped injury when their airplane overran the runway at Watertown Municipal Airport Saturday afternoon. According to Watertown police reports, the single engine Piper Cherokee 180 was travelling too fast as it attempted to land on the airport’s runway, coming from the northeast end, at about 4:34 p.m. The plane, travelling with the wind, slid on the wet pavement and off the end of the runway, eventually coming to rest in the northbound lane of Airport Road. None of the occupants of the plane were injured in the accident. WDT
08 04 EPA IMPACT
Oshkosh’s Wittman Field isn’t the only place affected by the thousands of aviation enthusiasts attracted to the Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual fly-in. Area airports —including Watertown’s — say this is also their busiest time of the year, as they handle spillover traffic from the world’s largest airshow. “This is definitely our biggest week of the year,” said Air Watertown’s line supervisor, Steve Danner. “In fact, last weekend we ran out of tie-down space. The best we could do was chock them out near the runway.”
08 14 AIRPORT CLOSED FOR 30 DAYS
Starting Monday, Watertown Municipal Airport will close for 30 days to allow workers to move dirt for construction of the new runway. John Schmeling, resident engineer for Donahue and Associates of Madison, said earth-moving equipment from New Berlin Grading Inc. will be moving dirt from the east side of the runway, across the existing runway, for fill on the west side. Also, the workers will be installing pipe crossings for drainage across the existing runway, a project expected to last two weeks. WDT
10 02 AIRPORT ROAD RELOCATED
Airport Road has been closed near the Watertown Municipal Airport, due to construction for the airport project. The road was closed this morning to allow a gas main to be installed in a trench across the pavement. Also, the road will be relocated to accommodate a longer runway area for the airport. The new road will curve west, just on the city’s southern limits, to connect with state Highway 26. Assistant city engineer Peter Thompson said work on relocating Airport Road will not be finished by the end of this year. The road project was delayed due to protracted negotiations for land acquisition.
01 14 RUNWAY AND TAXIWAY CONSTRUCTION
The federal Department of Transportation will provide the city of Watertown with funding of $1.7 million for improvements at the Watertown Municipal Airport. According to Senator Robert Kasten, the money will be used for runway and taxiway construction, land acquisition costs, and related expenses. Overall, the airport project’s cost has been projected at $4.2 million, most of which is federal money derived from user fees at the nation’s airports. The federal government contributes 90 percent, while the state and city each provide 5 percent. The city started to renovate the airport last summer, although inclement weather slowed progress somewhat. New Berlin Grading Inc. began grading work for the base of the new runway, which is located just southeast of the current runway. However, rainy weather slowed down the earth-moving work, delaying the paving of the new runway until the spring of 1990. WDT
05 12 PROPOSED PURCHASE OF 45 ACRES
The proposed purchase of 45 acres of land for the Watertown Municipal Airport will not adversely affect local agriculture, according to the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The department recently issued an agricultural impact statement on the airport’s plans to buy land for approach control for a new crosswind runway. Except for about 1 1/2 acres of land owned by Johnson Control Corp., the remainder of the property, located on County Trunk X, belongs to Charles and Walter Hinterberg. The land, zoned for agriculture, has been rented to local farmer Eugene Kieck, who primarily grows corn on the land. WDT
08 17 EFFORT TO RETURN RAILROAD PASSENGER SERVICE
Wisconsin Association of Railroad Passengers (WisARP) is spearheading an organized effort to return railroad passenger service to Watertown as early as 1992. As part of that effort the organization is seeking support from the community for the project, and also anticipates having Watertown take over responsibility for a depot. Under the plan proposed by the rail group, two trains would operate daily in each direction between Chicago and Madison via Milwaukee and Watertown, and a second train would operate daily in each direction between Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul. These two trains would also stop in Watertown. WDT
08 18 AIRPLANE CRASH SOUTH OF AIRPORT
Two days after the accident, federal officials are still searching for clues to explain why a single-engine airplane crashed and killed seven people just south of Watertown Municipal Airport. Many questions remained unanswered today, but investigators know that the airplane took off from the airport during stormy weather at about 10 p.m. Saturday with three adults and four children. WDT
10 02 RENOVATIONS PROPOSED
Two days after the accident, federal officials are still searching for clues to explain why a single-engine airplane crashed and killed seven people just south of Watertown Municipal Airport. Many questions remained unanswered today, but investigators know that the airplane took off from the airport during stormy weather at about 10 p.m. Saturday with three adults and four children. WDT
08 20 ADVANCED WEATHER SATELLITE SYSTEM
Watertown Municipal Airport is serving as a test site for an advanced weather satellite system. Area pilots shouldn’t feel like guinea pigs, however, because the new system provides a wealth of information about current weather patterns and forecasts for future conditions for airports throughout the United States. Steve Danner, operations manager for Air Watertown, said pilots enjoy using the new system, which was installed on Thursday. “They love it,” he said. “At first, they’re a little bit leery of using the thing ... but once they understand how the machine works, they think it’s great.” WDT
08 26 AIRPORT GETS A COMPLETE MAKEOVER
For the third straight summer, employees at Wisconsin Aviation have endured bulldozers, backhoes and dump trucks in the midst of their airplanes and hangars. Before the end of this construction season, their patience will be rewarded, as Watertown Municipal Airport will have received a complete makeover, including a longer runway, new taxiways and a greatly enlarged ramp area. “We’re anxious to get it over with,” said Jeff Baum, president of Wisconsin Aviation, the fixed based operator of the airport. This week, work crews from Mann Brothers of Elkhorn started ripping out the last of the old ramp, located closest to the terminal building, in preparation for an entirely rebuilt ramp. WDT
08 09 Plan for development of private businesses in the west terminal area of airport WDT
08 20 Transponder Landing System (TLS); claim to first certified landing system WDT
06 12 Sunday morning's overcast sky cleared in time for an event marking the first time an aerobatics flying team performed at Watertown Municipal Airport. Swift Magic Aerobatic Team, a three-aircraft group of pilots from Tennessee that specializes in high-speed stunts, put on an afternoon show of skydiving, formation displays and mock combats during the airport's open house. The U.S. Air Force Reserve arrived from Milwaukee and gave tours of its C-130, an aircraft flown globally and used to ship cargo and troops. Also on display was a U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter that flew in from Madison. Several thousand people attended the open house, estimated Jeff Baum, airport manager. It was sponsored by Wisconsin Aviation, Inc., the company that manages the airport.
They came from across the Midwest, and have a variety of backgrounds, but they had one common thread of interest — an aircraft called Stinson. Members of the Byron Smith Memorial Midwest Stinson Association held their 16th annual convention at the Watertown Municipal Airport during the weekend to share, compare and learn about one of the earliest private aircraft built in the United States. While more than 75 people showed up for seminars and meetings, 31 vintage Stinson aircraft that were originally built from 30 to 60 years ago sat out on the tarmac. According to event organizer Suzette Selig, there were also several people attending who were Stinson fanciers, but didn’t own one of the early planes. WDT
05 08 FUNDING OF AIRPORT IMPROVEMENTS
The merits of an application for state and federal funding of improvements at Watertown Municipal Airport were debated Tuesday during a meeting of the Watertown Common Council. A public hearing on the application drew several comments against moving ahead with planning for growth at the facility, along with several in favor of keeping the doors of state and federal funding open. Saying plans for future growth at the airport embrace a “build-and-they-will-come mentality,” Lewis Miller of Watertown told the council he was afraid money spent on such expansion would not result in booming business. He said if more air traffic was attracted to the city, it would open the door to more problems, ranging from noise to decreasing property values in the surrounding neighborhoods. WDT
06 05 Lt. CHRISTOPHER TRIPLETT
A 1991 graduate of Watertown High School will be flying a C130 military cargo plane to this weekend’s Watertown Municipal Airport open house. Lt. Christopher Triplett, a member of the 440th Air Force Reserve, will be flying the plane which is used to transport military jeeps and tanks, to Sunday’s event. He is the son of Tom and Jan Triplett of Watertown. WDT
04 06 The runway destruction at Chicago’s Meigs Field by that city’s mayor has Jeff Baum, president/CEO of Wisconsin Aviation, upset. Wisconsin Aviation operates three airports including Watertown Municipal Airport, Dodge County Airport in Juneau and Dane County Regional Airport in Madison. Baum said his company averages two to four trips a month to the lakefront airfield which could result in a $30,000 loss. “We do quite a few trips each year and those are gone. Richard Daley flat out lied that they are doing it for homeland security. There is no justification for that. He has been trying to close it for years.” WDT
05 31 Capt. Derek Poellet of the U.S. Air Force Reserve will be following in his father's footsteps on Sunday when he flies a C130 Hercules transport aircraft to the Watertown Municipal Airport's 22nd annual open house celebration. Poellet will arrive at approximately 9:30 a.m. The aircraft will be on display and open for tours during the daylong air show. The C130 is a four-engine turbo-powered prop plane used to resupply troops through air-land missions and through aerial resupply. It also carries paratroopers. On hand to watch his arrival will be his parents, Heinz and Evalee Poellet of Oak Creek. Heinz Poellet, a former resident of Watertown, used to fly C130s before his retirement and has flown the same type of aircraft to the show in the past. The Poellets have relatives in Watertown and the surrounding area. WDT
Cross Reference: 04 10 2003 / Heinz Poellet’s days as a military and civilian pilot are over, giving him more time to reflect on the blessings he has had while living in a free country. The former Watertown resident’s career as a commercial pilot recently ended, and he retired from the Air Force Reserves in 1995. Being affiliated with the military provided him with several advantages, and he was proud to serve his country. Being able to have two jobs, with United Airlines as well as Air Force Reserves, gave him and his family some financial security over the years while dealing with commercial airlines’ strikes, consolidations and downsizing.
02 07 JAYE MEMORIAL SQUADRON, CIVIL AIR PATROL
Members of the Col. R. C. Jaye Memorial Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol (C.A.P.) were recognized at the annual awards banquet Saturday night at the Holiday Inn Express. Cadet and Senior of the Year Awards were presented to Cadet 2nd Lt. Jacob Pischer and Lt. Col. David Stewart . Members promoted to the ranks indicated Christopher Heintskill to second lieutenant, cadets Blake Stevenson and Matthew Lundy to cadet airman. Commander commendation awards were presented to the following individuals for continued exemplary service, Lt. Cols. Randall Tesch and David Stewart, Maj. Richard Rupnow, 1st Lt. Walter Bird and Wayne Urban, 2nd Lt. Christopher Heintskill and 2nd Lt. Jacob Pischer. WDT
09 01 BRETT FAVRE AND FAMILY AIDED
Watertown-based Wisconsin Aviation has stepped up to the plate to aid the family, friends and neighbors of one of their biggest clients, Brett Favre. Favre’s Hattiesburg, Miss., home sustained damage in Hurricane Katrina, and relatives and friends were left without phone service, electricity, food and water in subsequent days. Jeff Baum, a pilot for Wisconsin Aviation, has been flying Favre around the country since Favre joined the Packers in the early 1990s. Favre was in Green Bay working out with the team at the time the hurricane hit his home state, but his immediate and extended family were subjected to the high winds, rain and storm damage. WDT
07 28 FOUR YEARS OF FUNDING TOTALING $630,000
The conflict of the Federal Aviation Administration withholding over $600,000 of state and federal funding from the Watertown Municipal Airport and the removal of a section of River Drive seems to be resolved. Watertown Mayor John David, who recently concluded a conference call with two FAA officials and the offices of Rep. Tom Petri, said he has received verbal confirmation that a 100-yard section of River Drive, from Boomer Street to the south, will not have to be removed in order for the airport to receive four years of funding totaling $630,000 that was being withheld. The city will not have to remove the section of road, but the concrete and wooden barriers that are currently blocking the street will have to remain there, David said. WDT
07 22 Airport Commission expected to take action on a Sunrise Building System hanger. WDT
10 28 Airport and the flight school Watertown Aviation Co. underwent two separate inspections
Wisconsin Aviation Inc., headquartered in Watertown, relocated avionics dept of Madison location WDT
02 06 50-year-old rotating beacon replaced with a new light WDT
10 26 Adam West killed in Tennessee plane crash, former Wisconsin Aviation employee,
2010 SOLVERSON AVIATION
07 17 Wisconsin Aviation Inc. and Solverson Aviation in Reedsburg have jointly agreed to consolidate some of their services in order to provide a wider exposure for their customer base. The services that will be consolidated are charter and aviation pilot training. Wisconsin Aviation is headquartered in Watertown and has operations in Madison and Juneau. It is the largest full-service fixed base operations in Wisconsin. In combining the charter and aviation pilot training services, the two companies will bring a complete central service center to the Dane County Regional Airport. The center also includes a newly constructed avionics hangar at the Madison facility. The Watertown airport also has a complete maintenance operation.
Avery Nofsinger will be honored with the prestigious Charles Taylor Master Mechanic award Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. at the Wisconsin Aviation terminal at the Watertown Municipal Airport. The Charles Taylor award is presented by the Federal Aviation Administration and recognizes individuals who have spent 50 years in an aviation maintenance profession as master mechanics. Nofsinger is a former employee of Wisconsin Aviation. Nofsinger’s name will be added to the Roll of Honor leatherbound book on display at the entrance to the FAA Aircraft Maintenance Division, FAA Headquarters, at the Orville Wright Federal Building in Washington, D.C. The applicant for the Charles Taylor award must have been a certified FAA mechanic/repairman working on an N-registered aircraft maintained under Federal Aviation Regulations for a minimum of 30 of the 50 years required. The 50 years may be completed consecutively or nonconsecutively. The award is named after Charles Taylor, the first aviation mechanic in powered flight. Taylor served as the Wright brothers’ mechanic and is credited with designing and building the engine for their first successful aircraft. WDT
10 05 Operator of the Year Award
Wisconsin Aviation was cited for overall completely friendly service to aviation.
12 03 Operator of the Year Award
Wisconsin Aviation’s new $2.5 million general aviation terminal building for private and corporate aircraft operators and their passengers at the Dane County Regional Airport will be dedicated today. The facility, located on the east ramp of the airport, will provide a state-of-the-art facility to welcome business and recreational flyers to Madison and Dane County. Wisconsin Aviation has its headquarters in Watertown where it operates the Watertown Municipal Airport. It is also the fixed base operator for the Dodge County Airport. WDT
2013 PRESENTATION BY WISCONSIN AVIATION
05 22 The Common Council held a Committee of the Whole meeting to hear a presentation from Wisconsin Aviation regarding the state of the Watertown Municipal Airport. Wisconsin Aviation President Jeff Baum spoke to the assembled aldermen about the airports general operations and the economic benefits the airport provides the city.
The airport was built in its current location in Watertown in 1946 and since that time has undergone many changes and upgrades. Currently the airport has two runways, one that is 4,430 feet and the other 2,800 feet. The airport sits on 390 acres and has 122,000 square feet of hangars that store 75 aircraft on site. In 2012, the airport handled 56,000 take offs and landings, and more than 15,000 people moved in and out of the airport for business last year.
Baum said the airport recently completed its Airport Master Plan to lay out the next several decades of improvements and upgrades to the airport. The master plan is important because it allows the airport to apply for federal and state aid in completing projects. Part of the plans call for establishing a 5,000 foot runway at the airport, which Baum said is important because for many businesses because that is the shortest runways they are allowed to fly in and out of. The longest runway at the airport is actually 5,008 feet long, Baum said, but because of obstacles on properties around the airport part of the runway cannot be used.
Other projects at the airport included building a new terminal, a new fuel farm, better signs for the airport and purchasing surrounding properties to allow the full runway to be used.
08 16 JEFF BAUM HEADED FOR WISCONSIN AVIATION HALL OF FAME
Jeff Baum to be inducted into the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame.
08 31 JEFF BAUM SCHOLARSHIP
Avfuel establishes Jeff Baum scholarship
2014 MEMORIAL HELD FOR JIM “FANG” MARONEY
04 26 Aviators from across the country gathered at the Watertown Municipal Airport Saturday to honor the life of one of the most celebrated pilots in the country, Jim “Fang” Maroney. Maroney, a legend among pilots, used the Watertown Regional Airport as his home base for his four airplanes for the last 10 years. Maroney, who lived in the Brookfield area, was flying his Havilland DHC-1 plane from French Lick, Ind., to an air show in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., when something went wrong and he crashed into a mountain in Tennessee on March 23. Wisconsin Aviation founder and CEO Jeff Baum said Maroney was one of the top air show performers in the world and traveled around the country performing at different shows.
More than 100 people attended the Saturday memorial, with some in attendance coming in from Florida, Michigan, North Dakota and other states. The ceremony featured two flybys by World War II era planes, a video tribute to Maroney’s life and many people sharing stories, memories and photos of Maroney. WDTimes article
Online article: Veteran airshow pilot Jim 'Fang' Maroney dead after crashing 'Chipmunk' aircraft in Cherokee National Forest
YouTube video clip: Jim spoke at the Mitchell Gallery of Flight membership meeting, March 12, 2014, about his career in aviation. Sadly, we lost Jim on March 23.
2015 MUNICIPAL AIRPORT DEDICATES SIGN
06 11 On May 27 a new sign marking the Watertown Municipal Airport was erected at the corner of Aviation Drive and South Church Street. The sign was a longtime goal of the Watertown Airport Commission. The late Art Risser was one the driving forces in getting the sign initiated and approved.
The Watertown Municipal Airport was commissioned in 1945 and has grown from two short grass strips, a few buildings and seven aircraft to one that houses more than 80 aircraft and sees 56,000 operations per year. Wisconsin Aviation manages the airport for the city.
08 01 PLANE CRASH ON BERYL DRIVE
Initial investigation showed that as 1978 single engine Cessna was approaching the Watertown Airport for a landing just before 6pm the plane lost engine power and crashed through some trees, coming to rest on private property. The pilot, who was alone in the plane, received minor injuries and was transported to the Watertown Hospital. Jefferson County Sheriff, Watertown Police Department, Watertown EMS and Watertown Fire Department responded to the scene. Jefferson County Emergency Communications volunteers were also dispatched to the scene to assist.
08 01 ADDRESSING AIRCRAFT vs. WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS
A sharpshooter and a burned sausage factory are playing key roles in keeping airplanes from slamming into white-tailed deer. Milwaukee Journal article
09 05 “ALL ABOUT DRONES”
Wisconsin Aviation, Inc.’s corporate office at Watertown announces a free seminar on Sunday, September 13, concerning the fast development of the use of drones. “Know Before You Fly” is an awareness program started by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to address the concerns about privacy and public safety when flying drones—particularly those with video/photographic equipment. This free seminar follows Wisconsin Aviation’s Pancake Breakfast & Airport Open House.
09 16 JOHNSONVILLE VOLUNTEERS: PLANE RIDES PROPOSED
City Council Proceedings: Review & approve request for funds from the Watertown Municipal Airport. Krys Brown, from Wisconsin Aviation, was present to talk about all of the volunteer work that was done by the Johnsonville employees at the Airport by removing brush, clearing fence lines, cutting down trees and cleaning up the habitat around the Airport. Krys estimates that this has saved the city and the airport at least $30,000.00 in labor costs. Because of that, the Airport Commission is asking the city to contribute $1,000.00 to take Johnsonville volunteers on plane rides to look at the city from the air. The Finance Committee thought this was a great idea and is suggesting the airport look at all of their budget accounts to see if they could come up with the money. If this could not be accomplished, they will contact the Mayor and come back for further discussion. A motion was made and seconded to authorize expenditure of up to $1,000.00, which was seconded and passed unanimously.
09 17 JOHNSONVILLE SAUSAGE MAKERS; WORK CREW AT AIRPORT
09 30 BENFITS OF A LOCAL AIRPORT
Jeff Baum, president and CEO of Wisconsin Aviation, gave a presentation on the Watertown Municipal Airport and Wisconsin Aviation.
The airport only cost the city about $217,600 to operate in 2015. This low operating cost is possible through the administration of the Watertown Municipal Airport by Wisconsin Aviation, a private enterprise. The airport’s employees are actually employees of Wisconsin Aviation, and thus receive their pay from that private company rather than the city. Along with the Watertown Municipal Airport, Wisconsin Aviation administers the Dodge County Airport in Juneau and the Dane County Regional Airport in Madison.
Looking toward the future Baum said what the airport needs most is to obtain classification for one of its runways to be considered 5,000 feet long. The runway is already technically that long, but due to four buildings and a road near the end of the runway, an area called the clear zone, it is only considered 4,430 feet long. To do this the airport is seeking to purchase the properties those buildings stand on and reroute Boomer Street to give the clearance needed to achieve that 5,000-foot classification. WDTimes article
10 12 REGIONAL FLIGHT CONTEST HELD OVER WATERTOWN
Student flight teams from Minnesota State University-Mankato, University of North Dakota, University of Dubuque and University of Wisconsin-Madison all came to Watertown to compete in the National Intercollegiate Flying Association's (NIFA) SAFECON Region V contest this weekend. The University of North Dakota finished the weekend in first place, and the University of Wisconsin came in second. These two teams will move on to the 2016 SAFECON national competition hosted by Ohio State University on May 16 in Columbus, Ohio. The four teams used the Watertown Municipal Airport as their base of operations and a mix of about 15 Cessnas and Pipers to compete. WDTimes article
06 07 MOWER FOR AIRPORT
Council Proceedings: Review & approve mower for Airport. Krys Brown, from the Airport, and Street Superintendent Schultz were present to explain the tractor mower situation at the Airport. It had extensive repair last year and is in need of more than $10,000.00 in repairs. Neither feel it is worth putting that kind of money into this tractor. They are proposing to purchase a John Deere tractor at a cost of $59,737.52. They are proposing to rent this for $1,400.00 per month, with those payments to go toward the purchase price. Motion was made, seconded and passed unanimously to approve this rental purchase agreement.
06 07 FINAL PROPERTY FOR RUNWAY EXPANSION ACQUIRED
Following a court decision to sign a writ of assistance, the city of Watertown, through its agent, the Department of Transportation Bureau of Aeronautics can now acquire the final property needed for the expansion of the runway clear zone at the Watertown Municipal Airport.
Late last year, the airport purchased three other properties it required for the expansion of the runway's clear zone. The additional space will allow the airport to accommodate larger aircraft that require a 5,000-foot-long runway for regulatory and insurance purposes. The three properties the airport has purchased include 1206 Boomer St. owned by Red Corner Investments LLC, 925 S. 12th St. owned by TJL Investments and 1004 S. Twelfth St. owned by Andreas and Christine Wieder.
06 16 SITE PREPARATION FOR RUNWAY EXPANSION
08 17 WISCONSIN AVIATION CELEBRATES 36 YEARS IN BUSINESS
Jeff Baum, the company’s founder and CEO, is active in day-to-day operations of the company and continues to fly charter trips from all three of its locations. He is certified to fly many types of aircraft from twin-engine propeller aircraft to executive jets. Baum also serves on numerous state and local aviation boards.
Wisconsin Aviation’s history goes back to 1981 when interest rates were at 21 percent and the country was facing one of the worst recessions ever. Baum, along with a partner, started Wisconsin Aviation at the Watertown Municipal Airport (KRYV). Since then the company has continued to grow and offer more services. Two years after its founding, the firm began operating a second fixed-base operator at the Dodge County Airport in Juneau. On Jan. 1, 1994, Madison’s Four Lakes Aviation was purchased by Wisconsin Aviation along with Coldstream Aviation (South Ramp) in 1995. In 1998, the company added avionics at Madison and interior repair and installation at the Watertown location.
In December 2002, Wisconsin Aviation dedicated its new $2.5 million, state-of-the-art general aviation terminal on the east side of the Dane County Regional Airport in Madison. In 2008 Wisconsin Aviation’s growth continued with the completion of the new avionics hangar in its Technical Services Complex.
Wisconsin Aviation is now capable of providing a complete line of aviation-oriented services including private aircraft charter, corporate aircraft management, aircraft maintenance, avionics, aircraft rental, aircraft sales and flight instruction for private pilot through airline transport ratings.
Additionally, aircraft hangar rental and fueling services are available for aircraft at all three locations.
The current aircraft fleet is well over 50 aircraft, ranging from a two-seat training aircraft to several luxurious executive jets. Over the past 10 years, Wisconsin Aviation’s annual charter operations averaged almost 19,000 flight hours while traveling over 3 million miles.
08 17 ADDITIONAL FENCING
Exhibit #8531, to authorize entering into a contract with Century Fence to provide fencing at a cost not to exceed $40,000.00 at the Airport, to be taken from Airport Major Capital Outlay Account #05-54-73-70 was presented. Resolution carried on a roll call vote: Yes — 9. No — none. Council proceedings
10 30 HANGARS OFFERED ON ONLINE BIDDING
3 Airplane hangars are offered at this online bidding only sale from Friday, October 30, 2017 to Friday, November 17, 2017 with lots closing at 10:00a.m. (CT) Hangars are located at 1755, 1759 and 1761 River Drive, Watertown Municipal Airport (RYV), Watertown, WI 53094. Hangars will sell As is, Where is, No Contingencies or Exceptions. Bidding requirements apply and successful bidder(s) are required to deposit $5,000 as a down payment at the close of the sale. Bidding requirements: All interested bidders must submit a letter from their bank or financial institution confirming the availability of sufficient funds to close the transaction prior to being approved to bid. The hangar at 1755 River Drive is 42 x 68; 2,856 sq ft. The hangar at 1759 River Drive is 54' x 60'; 3,240 sq ft. The hangar at 1761 River Drive is 54' x 60'; 3,240 sq ft. Contact Stan Jones, CAI, Wisconsin Registered Auctioneer #993 at (920) 261-6820 for complete details
11 02 CESSNA DISPLAY ERECTED
The Cessna Citation display at the entrance to the city on state Highway 26.
History of Watertown, Wisconsin