Stuck in Yankton Again (Yea!)

Like farmers talking about the weather, pilots and crew have been enjoying great hospitality at Yankton, South Dakota's Chan Gurney Municipal Airport while waiting out the thunderstorms pin wheeling around OSH and AirVenture. An epic OSH arrival event when clear weather arrives is in the making.
Like farmers talking about the weather, pilots and crew have been enjoying great hospitality at Yankton, South Dakota's Chan Gurney Municipal Airport while waiting out the thunderstorms pin wheeling around OSH and AirVenture. An epic OSH arrival event when clear weather arrives is in the making.

If you ever needed a weather magnet just throw a fly-in... as anyone headed to AirVenture today can tell you. With the rest of the country clear for flying, AirVenture has a nice big, lazy low pressure rain vacuum slowly circling the field. Meanwhile, eager would-be AirVenture attendees are piling up north, south, east and for us, west of Oshkosh.

Bumping along from the left coast we arrived last night with the setting sun in Yankton, South Dakota fore-armed with the knowledge the Yankton Regional Aviation Association hosts a much-appreciated open house in conjunction with the city of Yankton at their Chan Gurney Municipal Airport. Using the airport's terminal building--itself once a pocket-sized regional airline terminal--simple do it yourself meals and oversized reclining chairs suitable for a comfy nights sleep await. It's all in air-conditioned comfort, the shower in the airport's maintenance hangar is available and it's all for whatever you put in the donation kitty. Homey, unpretentious and offering open-access wifi, it's a perfect rest for weary and weather-challenged travelers.

Truly, such hospitality is a hallmark of aviation, especially in the mid-west, and one big reason we keep coming back for more. In what seems like an increasingly uncivilized, hostile world for those of us living among the crowds it's so refreshing to be treated as a welcome visitor. It's also a great way to make new friends as like-minded aviators gather around their electronics to seriously chat about the weather and plot their entry to the giant EAA national convention.

So here's a big thanks to the Yankton Regional Aviation Association and busy Chan Gurney Airport Supervisor Mike Roinstad for making our stay as easy, comfortable and welcoming as possible.

And the best news? After this early spot of weather bother the forecast is scheduled fair for the rest of AirVenture. See you there!

Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson is a professional magazine writer and nurtures an ongoing affair with all things internal combustion. His writing is most often found in automotive magazines, but aviation is his first love. Working as a line boy, he learned to fly while in high school, but still hasn't mastered the art of keeping a paper chart in an open cockpit.

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