In response to Allen N. Wollscheidt's recent letter, it is only fair that all who read the Letters to the Editor know the basic facts both from a pilot and an aircraft owner's perspective.
I was honestly shocked to read the letter to the point that I first thought it was honestly a joke or spoof prank. When I realized it was a real comment on Payson's airport, I became fairly concerned.
To begin, there are no games in flying aircraft. All pilots know this and we wear the burden of safety of our passengers and individuals on the ground.
Any small town that is growing needs an airport. I myself who now live in Texas flew out of Payson in all seasons and times of day and have logged greater than 350 landings at your airport. There was a recent comment about the safety of this airport and while I was tempted to write in at that time I did not, but now I will state that although Payson Airport can be challenging to some pilots who have little experience at flying into and out of mountain airports, pilots are trained and then checked every two years for safety and current airman's knowledge as long as they fly.
To sum up, for the next two million dollar home built and desired store to be brought to town and the nicest restaurant to join your town it takes an airport as the management teams routinely visit their store/business and if the only method of visiting is a drive from Phoenix to Payson the truth is there are just too many other towns that will look better because of the efficiency airports provide.
In closing, we have right here parked at Payson Airport a writer for the largest aviation magazine in publication, Flying, and who parks his Cessna Cardinal right there at the airport.
I enjoy reading his articles and I would love it if he would comment about the recent issues at Payson Airport as he is more current on all aspects of the aviation world than I am and could lend a better understanding to the population of Payson about the importance of aviation.
Thomas Churchman, Brownwood, Texas
Editor's note: This letter was cut to fit within our 400-word limit for Letters to the Editor.