Texas Flying Legends plans Wiscasset stay
Texas Flying Legends has lined up dates for a planned summer stay at Wiscasset Municipal Airport, the first in two years, Airport Advisory Committee member Steve Williams announced May 17. Williams told the panel, plans call for the first of five World War II fighters to arrive July 9. The others would arrive weeks later and all would depart by Aug. 31, Williams and Airport Manager Frank Costa said.
As with the 2015 visit, TFL will do no air show at the town-owned airport on Chewonki Neck Road; an open house with static displays of the aircraft may be set, Williams said. TFL has two private performances planned off-site, he said.
“I’m excited ... I think it’s wonderful that the aircraft can come even in a limited sense this year.”
Williams, of Georgetown, is a pilot, Wiscasset hangar owner and treasurer of Maine Aeronautics Association. TFL contacted him recently to ask about housing the aircraft in hangars on the southwest end. The hangar owners were agreeable, so that’s the plan, he said. Costa said the hangar owners’ aircraft will go in a town hangar, and that TFL may pay the airport for housing those displaced planes. No amount has been set, Costa said.
The Legends’ stay will add to the airport’s summer fuel sales, Costa said. A sixth aircraft, the Legends’ B-25 bomber, is too big for the Wiscasset airport; it will be housed in Brunswick, Williams said.
The meeting was the second one since selectmen filled two openings and the panel returned to having a quorum, making the sessions meetings instead of workshops.
Randall Williams of Wiscasset is working to get federal approval to offer scenic rides and flying lessons, Costa said. He also said the airport lost a possible renter for the main terminal’s second floor because the space is not Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant. And the airport has had to get a third phone line, for credit card transactions, after the town moved from Time Warner Cable to GWI for phone service.
After the move, the airport couldn’t process card payments, Costa told the committee. “It was a nightmare.” The airport took cards’ information to process later, so customers could still get fuel. Costa said GWI has not billed the town yet for the new line, so he didn’t have the installation or monthly costs on it.
An inspection of the beacon tower would have cost more than the $1,000 it did, if blueprints hadn’t been found at the Maine Department of Transportation, Costa said. Maine Municipal Association’s insurance program required the inspection, he said. Members Bryan Buck and Ray Soule questioned why the town should have to pay for an inspection of a structure the federal government built.
“This doesn’t seem appropriate to me at all, that the town should have to pay,” Buck said. “I agree,” Soule said. The Wiscasset Newspaper has a message in to MMA.