Weiser Airpark (KEYQ)
America's Friendliest Airpark
According to their website, Weiser Airpark was known as the friendliest airpark in the country. Upon driving onto the property, one would have been confronted with friendly faces who are more than ready to assist you, instead of security. I speak in past tense simply because the airpark is shutting down. The owner of the property has passed away and the family has decided to sell the land. I have had a number of flying lessons at Weiser, but never completed them to the point where I can get a private pilot's license. I was only a couple of hours away. But life happens and here I am. I took my kids with me on this day to photograph Weiser's remaining days.

It is obvious that the airpark has been around for decades, just by looking at the fuel pumps used to fuel up the number of Cessnas and Pipers used by the pilots. It's a quiet place with only the sounds of the engine propellers revving up for take off on runway 9 orĀ 27. Grass covers the landscape with the exception of the taxi ways and the runway itself, which are all made of asphalt. Everything about this place says "experience". It can be confused, or pretended, that this place goes all the way back to World War II, like in the movie "Twelve O'Clock High", but it isn't. It has only been around since the 1960s. Still, imagining what life must have been like back in its early days, surrounded by nothing but farmland, one can feel completely free and open.
Today, Weiser is surrounded by homes to the north, U.S. highway 290 to its south, a school complex to its west and some cow pastures to its east.
This airfield hosts numerous single engine and a few twin engine aircraft, mostly Cessna's and Piper Warrior aircraft. Pilot's have used this place for storage of their personal planes. A number of air schools have resided here as well and have since moved on to other locations.
As a student pilot, it is believed that if you can land on this airstrip, then you can land on any other airstrip due to it being so narrow compared to other airstrips in the area.
Wild flowers and trees make you wonder if you are on a farm or an airpark. Buildings from decades of being exposed to the elements show rust, but they have done their job of protecting the planes inside from severe weather such as thunderstorms, and hurricanes, and rarely from snow. Each facility serves not only as a shelter, but as a garage where one can service their aircraft. It truly is another world.
I have brought my kids here a number of times after grabbing food from McDonald's and we would sit in our parked car with the windows open and watch the planes perform touch and gos. The grass fields are so open I even let one of my kids sit in my lap as we drove around the field so she can pretend to be driving.
It truly was a friendly place to explore. Because of this place and the easy access, one of my kids now inspires to be a pilot as well. I will be sad when it closes its doors for the last time. Thanks Weiser for the memories.

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