Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields:

Southwestern Pennsylvania

© 2002, © 2014 by Paul Freeman. Revised 2/28/14.

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Please consider a financial contribution to support the continued growth & operation of this site.



Aliquippa-Hopewell Airport (revised 1/19/14) - Altoona Airport (original location) / Altoona-Duncansville Airport (revised 2/26/14)

Pittsburgh-McKeesport Airport / Bettis Field / Curtiss-Bettis Airport (revised 11/27/13) - Campbell Airport (1st location) (revised 9/8/13)

Campbell Airport (2nd location) / Pittsburgh Metro Airport (revised 10/17/09) - Conway Airport / Conway-Pittsburgh (revised 2/28/14) - Glade Mill Airport (added 1/18/14)

Leechburg Airport (revised 1/19/14) - Mayer Field (revised 9/8/13) - Rodgers Field (revised 10/16/12) - Seven Springs Airport (revised 9/8/13)

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Glade Mill Airport, Valencia, PA

40.72 North / 79.89 West (Northeast of Pittsburgh, PA)

Glade Mill Airport, as depicted on the November 1972 Detroit Sectional Chart (courtesy of Richard Finley).

Photo of the airport while open has not been located.



According to an article entitled “Former Glade Mill airport for sale, Owners set selling price on 130 acres in Middlesex at $3.7 million”

by Shari Berg in the 12/30/07 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (courtesy of Richard Finley),

the land of this small airport “has been owned by the Brantner family, of Shaler, since the 1960s.”



A 1969 USGS aerial photo showed the start of an east/west runway being constructed.



Glade Mill Airport was evidently opened at some point between 1969-72.

The earliest depiction which has been located of Glade Mill Airport

was on the November 1972 Detroit Sectional Chart (courtesy of Richard Finley).

It depicted Glade Mill as having a single paved east/west 2,100' runway.



According to Richard Finley, Glade Mill Airport “was a relatively short-lived enterprise.”



The earliest photo which is available of Glade Mill Airport was a 4/22/93 USGS aerial view looking northeast,

after the airport had evidently been abandoned.

It had a single paved east/west runway, with a single building on the north side.



An article entitled “Former Glade Mill airport for sale, Owners set selling price on 130 acres in Middlesex at $3.7 million”

by Shari Berg in the 12/30/07 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (courtesy of Richard Finley)

said, “The land that once was home to Glade Mill Airport in Middlesex is up for sale.

Located just off Route 228 behind Marshall Stamping on Glade Mills Road, the vacant 130 acres has caught the eye of several developers.

The land has been owned by the Brantner family, of Shaler, since the 1960s.

The family wants to sell the property intact and has no plans to subdivide it, said Greg Broujos, with NAI Pittsburgh Commercial, the agent in charge of the listing.

The family hopes to sell the property for an estimated $3.7 million according to the listing for the site.

Mr. Broujos said his agency is intent on selling the property for light industrial use, which is how it currently is zoned by the township.

Because the former private air strip is overgrown, it is doubtful anyone would use it for that purpose again, he said.”



Glade Mill Airport was still labeled on the 2010 USGS topo map, even though the airport had already been closed for years by that point.



An 8/29/12 aerial view looking northeast showed the Glade Mill runway & building remained intact though very deteriorated.



The site of Glade Mill Airport is located south of the intersection of Glade Mill Road & Clifford Lane.



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Altoona Airport (original location) / Altoona-Duncansville Airport, Duncansville, PA

40.52 North / 79.87 West (Northeast of Downtown Pittsburgh, PA)

The original Altoona Airport, as depicted on a 1920 Army Air Service Map of Landing Fields (courtesy of David Brooks).



The original airport for the town of Altoona was located 4 miles to the southwest,

adjacent to the southwest side of the little hamlet of Duncansville.



The date of construction of Altoona Airport has not been determined.



The earliest depiction which has been located of Altoona Airport in Duncansville

was on a 1920 Army Air Service Map of Landing Fields (courtesy of David Brooks).



The earliest photo which has been located of Altoona Airport in Duncansville

was a 12/16/38 aerial photo (from the Pennsylvania Geological Survey).

It depicted Altoona Airport as an irregularly-shaped grass property,

with a hangar on the northeast corner, and an airport circle marking in the center.

Remarkably, a single airplane was seen in flight at low altitude just to the right of the airport circle marking.

Richard Finley also observed, “This typical little airport boasted some fancy artwork on the surface of the field that included the airport name”, on the northeast side.



Inexplicably, the Altoona Airport in Duncansville was not depicted on USGS topo maps from 1938, 1943, 1953, 1956, or 1964.



A flight simulator scenery depiction by Richard Finley looking southwest at a Stearman overflying the Altoona Airport.



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Altoona Airport in Duncansville

was on the March 1940 Cleveland Sectional Chart.

It depicted Altoona as a commercial/municipal airport.



A 9/30/43 aerial view looking north from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock)

depicted Altoona Airport as having an irregularly-shaped grass field.



The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described Altoona Airport

as a 90 acre irregularly-shaped property having a “clay, sand, and sod (rough)” all-way landing area, with the longest dimension being 3,600' north/south.

The field was said to have a single 80' x 54' wooden hangar, and to be owned & operated by private interests.



The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Altoona-Duncansville Airport was on the 1953 Cleveland Sectional Chart.

It depicted Altoona-Duncansville as having a 2,400' unpaved runway.



A 5/24/58 aerial photo (from the Pennsylvania Geological Survey)

appeared to show the Altoona Airport after it had been abandoned, with the newly-constructed Route 220 having been cut through the northeastern corner of the field,

over the site of the former hangar.

However the airport circle marking remained in the center of the field,

along with the faded “Altoona” marking on the northeast corner.



By the time of the 1960 Cleveland Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe),

the Altoona Airport in Duncansville was no longer depicted.



A 9/4/67 aerial photo showed that a large industrial building had been built over the northeasten portion of the Altoona Airport site at some point between 1958-67.

However, a faint trace of the airport circle marking was still recognizable in the center of the field.

Ironically, the Altoona Airport site continued an aviation role,

as a short runway for constructing model aircraft had been constructed on the middle portion at some point between 1958-67.



A 10/6/11 aerial photo showed no remaining trace of the Altoona Airport,

but ironically a small paved east/west runway for model aircraft could be seen in the middle of the site.



As of 2013, the model aircraft runway at the Altoona Airport site was operated by the Altoona Radio Control Club.



The site of Altoona Airport is located south of the intersection of Route 22 & Runway Lane, appropriately enough.



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Rodgers Field, Pittsburgh, PA

40.52 North / 79.87 West (Northeast of Downtown Pittsburgh, PA)

A 7/28/28 photo of Lt. Marion Grevemburg in front of a Lincoln-Page LP-3 of Gardner Aviation at Rodgers Field (courtesy of Richard Finley).



Nothing was depicted at this location on the 1922 USGS topo map.



According to pghbridges.com, “Rodgers Field opened in 1925.”



According to Richard Finley, Rodgers Field was “named after Cal Rodgers ([who flew the] first transcontinental airplane flight in the Wright biplane named 'Vin Fizz').

It was a joint city-county airport. There was an Army officer in charge of it.

Rodgers Field soon became Pittsburgh’s first municipal airport.

The National Air Tour landed in Pittsburgh in the summer of 1927.

It was 7/2/27 when the National Air Tour landed at Rodgers Field.

Several of the pilots on the 1927 Tour were sponsored by local clubs including the Mercater Club & the Harvard Club of Western Pennsylvania.

A committee of the Pittsburgh Association of Credit Men gave a dinner at the Nixon Hotel for Tour pilot Frank Hawks & his wife.

Other pilots ate an informal dinner at Hotel Schenley & enjoyed a theater party at Duquesne Garden.

Locals took particular interest in talking with E.W. Cleveland who was from Bridgeville.”



The earliest dated depiction which has been located of Rodgers Field

was a 7/28/28 photo of Lt. Marion Grevemburg in front of a Lincoln-Page LP-3 of Gardner Aviation at Rodgers Field (courtesy of Richard Finley).



On 8/31/28 Amelia Earhart & non-pilot publisher, George Putnam, flew from Bellefonte, PA & landed at Rodgers Field.

During the landing Amelia hit a hidden ditch revealing the weakness of the Avian II's landing gear.

The gear collapsed, the plane went up on its nose, and the next day & a half were spent in a herculean effort the get the Avian flying again as soon as possible.

The Avian was repaired in record time and they departed on 9/2/28 for for Dayton.



An undated aerial view looking west at Rodgers Field (courtesy of Richard Finley), showing a hangar & 2 grass runways.

Richard observed, “The airport looks like it is at its zenith. The trees are in full foliage. A lot of activity apparent at the field.

Probably in those heady days just before the stock market crash. Maybe the summer of 1928 or 1929.”



A flight simulator scenery depiction by Richard Finley looking north at Rodgers Field circa 1920s,

showing 2 unpaved runways with 4 hangars on the northeast side.



A flight simulator scenery depiction by Richard Finley looking north at a Vickers Vimy biplane departing Rodgers Field circa 1920s,



No airfield was depicted at this location on the 1930 USGS topo map.



A 1931 photo of Lt. L.M Watson, Seth Hughes, F.A Kummer, Helen MacCloskey, and pilot Walter Lees in front of his Bellanca at Rodgers Field (courtesy of Richard Finley).



According to Richard Finley, “An estimated 5,000 people witnessed the 1931 National Air Tour visit to Rodgers Field.

One of the 'hits' of the visit was a Bellanca aircraft powered by a Packard diesel engine & flown by Walter Lees.

Lees & Frederick Brossy had just established a world's record non-refueling endurance flight of 84 hours & 33 minutes.

Local George 'Speed' Dickson, a resident of Pittsburgh was given a standing ovation at the field.”



According to Richard Finley, “They discontinued support for the field in 1931 since Allegheny County Airport was being built.

It must have still been there in 1934 because there was an aero club trying to raise the money to keep it open in early 1934.”



A 10/2/38 aerial photo annotated by Richard Finley to show the location of Rodgers Field, along with several identifying landmarks which correlate with the 1928/29 photo.

Richard observed, “It was primarily in an triangular area just north of the Fox Chapel High School.

The field location is a triangular area between the golf course & Powers Run Road.

There is a house & an elongated building across the road from Rodgers Field that appears both in the [1928/29] Rodgers Field picture & the 1938 aerial picture.

In the area on the left side of the Rodgers Field picture there is a tree line that has been cut down in one spot for what I see as a second runway.

To the left of the tree line in that picture is the golf course.”



No airfield was depicted at this location on the 1939 USGS topo map.



A 7/3/10 aerial photo of the site of Rodgers Field shows the triangular outline of the airfield property to remain recognizable,

but no elements of the airfield itself remain.



The site of Rodgers Field is located west of the intersection of Powers Run Road & Yorkshire Drive.

A residential street named Rodgers Drive located on the opposite side of Powers Run Road.



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Seven Springs Airport (7SP), Seven Springs, PA

40.01 North / 79.32 West (Northeast of Pittsburgh, PA)

A 4/1/77 USGS aerial photo depicted Seven Springs Airport as having a single east/west runway, with a single small building at the northeast corner.



Nothing was depicted at this location on a 1967 aerial photo.



According to its FAA Airport/Facility Directory entry, Seven Springs Airport was activated in 12/70.

It was built to support the Seven Springs ski resort, a mile to the northeast.



Seven Springs Airport was not yet depicted on the 1973 USGS topo map.



The earliest depiction which has been located of Seven Springs Airport was a 4/1/77 USGS aerial photo,

which depicted a single east/west runway, with a single small building at the northeast corner.



The 1981 USGS topo map depicted Seven Springs Airport as having a single east/west runway, with a single small building at the northeast corner.



A 1994 airport directory depicted Seven Springs as having a single 3,045' paved Runway 10/28,

with a taxiway leading to a few small buildings on the northeast side.



A March 1995 USGS aerial view looking southwest depicted Seven Springs Airport as having a single asphalt Runway 10/28,

with an asphalt taxiway leading to several hangars on the northeast side.

A hill & a significant drop-off were visible very close to the north & northwest sides of the runway.



The 1996 USGS topo map depicted Seven Springs Airport as having a single paved east/west runway.



A November 2003 aerial view by Paul Freeman looking west along Seven Springs' Runway 28.

Paul landed at the field, to find it unattended.



The earliest photo which has been located showing an aircraft at Seven Springs Airport was an April 2005 aerial view looking southwest,

showing one single-engine aircraft parked along the ramp.



An August 2007 aerial view looking southwest showed 2 aircraft along Seven Springs' ramp.



A circa 2007-2011 aerial view looking south at the Seven Springs Airport ramp.



NOTAM 03/014 declared Seven Springs Airport closed (for reasons unknown) on 3/3/09.



The last photo which has been located of Seven Springs Airport was a 5/9/10 aerial view looking southwest.

No aircraft were visible on the field.



Seven Springs Airport was still depicted on the 2011 Sectional Chart,

even though it had been NOTAM'd closed since 2009.

Depicting an airport as open more than 2 years after it had been closed would seem to be a safety issue.



Seven Springs Airport continued to be listed in the FAA Airport/Facility Directory as of 2011, although with the status of “Closed indefinitely”.

It was described as having a single 3,045' asphalt Runway 10/28,

and having 2 based aircraft: 1 single-engine aircraft & 1 helicopter.

The field was said to conduct an average of 23 takeoffs or landings per week.

The owner was listed as “Seven Springs Airport Authority”, and the manager was listed as John Mates.



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Leechburg Airport, Leechburg, PA

40.63 North / 79.57 West (Northeast of Pittsburgh, PA)

Leechburg Airport, as depicted on a 9/25/38 aerial view (from Penn Pilot).



According to an article entitled “EPA to test Kiskimere well water” in the 5/8/11 Aspinwall Herald (courtesy of Ron Plante),

[Gib] Querio's grandfather, Gilbert Meyers bought the 80 acres along Airport Road in 1929.”

"My grandfather always wanted to fly," Querio said. "He drove truck, hauling steel."

Meyers developed his site into an airport, flying to deliver the U.S. mail & housing other small aircraft, according to Querio.



The earliest depiction which has been located of Leechburg Airport was a a 9/25/38 aerial view (from Penn Pilot).

It depicted the field as having 2 grass runways with an airport circle marking,

and 2 light planes parked near a hangar & another small building on the northeast corner.



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Leechburg Airport

was on the March 1940 Cleveland Sectional Chart (courtesy of Richard Finley).

It depicted Leechburg as a commercial/municipal field.



A 10/4/43 aerial view looking north from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock)

depicted Leechburg Airport as having 2 unpaved runways, with a hangar on the northeast side.



The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described Leechburg Airport

as a 120 acre L-shaped property having 2 sod runways, the longest being the 3,000' NNE/SSW strip.

The field was said to have 2 hangars, the largest being an 80' x 61' wood, metal, and concrete structure.

Leechburg Airport was described as being owned & operated by private interests.



The 1954 USGS topo map depicted Leechburg Airport as having 3 small buildings on the northeast side of an open field.



A 6/15/58 aerial view (from Penn Pilot) depicted Leechburg Airport as having 2 grass runways.

A checkerboard-roof hangar had been added at some point between 1938-58,

and 2 light planes were visible on the field.



A Flight Simulator scenery re-recreation by Richard Finley of a Waco SRE Aristocrat overflying Leechburg Airport.



Wes Grady recalled, “Leechburg Airport... In the early 1960s, Gil was a Piper Training Center.

He had 2 PA-11 Super Cubs that were used for primary instruction & an instrument-equipped PA-22 Tri Pacer for more advanced training.

The photo showing the 2 hangars & the house next to them is the way I remember the airport. Gil & his wife lived in the house.

The hangar with the checkerboard pattern contained his classroom, a small office that the flight instructor (Chuck Watovich) used.

The other hangar, which is cocked a bit, contained his instruction aircraft.

There was a fuel pump in front of this hangar & a place to the side away from the road where planes were washed.

I worked at the airport from 1962-64. First pumping gas, washing planes & spinning props on the PA-11s.

I started my instruction with Chuck, who was a great instructor but a lousy bookkeeper.

I devised a system for him that guaranteed he got paid for all instruction & the student got credit for all hours flown, and only for hours flown.

I ended up getting free instruction in return.

The runways were grass (I know because I cut them with Gil's tractor).

Landing involved coming around a hilltop & then straightening out for touchdown.

Too high & you had to really slip it in & too low and you would be picking oak leaves out of your teeth.

The first time I ever got it perfect, Chuck got out of the plane & told me to go solo. I lost a really good shirt that day!”



A 9/11/67 aerial view (from Penn Pilot) showed that Leechburg Airport's primary NNE/SSW runway

appeared to have been lengthened on the south side at some point between 1958-67.

But there were no aircraft visible on the field.



The Aerodromes table on the May 1968 Cleveland Sectional Chart (courtesy of Ron Plante)

described Leechburg as having 2 turf runways, with the longest being 2,350'.



According to an article entitled “EPA to test Kiskimere well water” in the 5/8/11 Aspinwall Herald (courtesy of Ron Plante),

In the 1960s, when the Nuclear Materials & Equipment Corporation opened its plutonium plant

and started discarding nuclear waste from its Apollo plant into its nuclear dump in Parks,

Querio's family opened a mobile home park next to the airport.”



A 1969 aerial view showed that Leechburg Airport appeared to be closed,

with trailers or other unidentified objects being stored on the eastern part of the airfield.

The checkerboard hangar remained intact, but there were no aircraft visible on the field.



The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Leechburg Airport

was on the November 1972 Cleveland Sectional Chart (courtesy of Ron Plante).

It depicted Leechburg as having a 3,300' unpaved runway.



According to an article entitled “EPA to test Kiskimere well water” in the 5/8/11 Aspinwall Herald (courtesy of Ron Plante),

It was just a few decades ago that skydivers dropped in

and ultralights buzzed the rural hillsides to cheering crowds for air shows at the Leechburg Airport in Parks Township.”

In the 1980s, “Querio was still trying to build up his airport operations,

which included a Cessna pilot training school, repair shop, offices & other businesses

with plans for building homes for people who could taxi their plane to their front door.

When Babcock & Wilcox proposed installing a waste incinerator at the Parks site in the 1980s,

an avalanche of public protest & bad publicity erupted & never really stopped.”

"When all the stuff came out in the paper, no one wanted to live here," Querio said. "I didn't want to live here."



Leechburg Airport was no longer depicted on the

October 1990 Cleveland Sectional Chart (according to Richard Finley).



According to an article entitled “EPA to test Kiskimere well water” in the 5/8/11 Aspinwall Herald (courtesy of Ron Plante),

Gib “Querio closed his airport facilities in the early 1990s

and sold 73 of his 80 acres to Butler man for a housing development.”



The 4/7/93 USGS aerial photo showed the airfield remained intact.



Leechburg Airport was still depicted on the 1996 USGS topo map, with a few small buildings on the east side of a clearing



Wes Grady recalled, “If I had know the airport was for sale back in the 1990s, I would have bought it without a second thought & opened the airport.

The last time I was up there, the hangars were still there,

and the wind sock, or at least a few shreds of it, was still flying from the top of the canted hangar, in 1999 or 2000.”



A circa 2005-2010 aerial view looking south at the checkerboard-roofed hangar at the site of Leechburg Airport.



A 7/3/10 aerial view looking south at Leechburg Airport showed the field remained intact, including the checkerboard-roofed hangar.



According to an article entitled “EPA to test Kiskimere well water” in the 5/8/11 Aspinwall Herald (courtesy of Ron Plante),

An airplane hangar, faded to sky blue with rust-burnt edges, and an idle office building is about all that is left of Gib Querio's dream of a residential air park.

Financial & legal problems, coupled with the airport's location next to a nuclear dump & plutonium plant, sunk more than Querio's business plans.

He is among about 15 residents who have requested that the EPA test their well water

for contaminants that might have traveled from the nuclear operations in the village of Kiskimere in Parks.

Although the plutonium plant, owned by Babcock & Wilcox & predecessors Atlantic Richfield Company & the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation

is long gone, the legacy of potential nuclear & chemical contamination remains.

And the last vestige of the nuclear operations, a nuclear waste dump, will soon be excavated by the Army Corps of Engineers,

who will send the contaminated dirt & debris to a dump in Utah.

Querio suspects the well water at his former airport site, flight school & trailer park

might have had something to do with the birth defects of his second child and his wife's premature death.

Querio was one of several hundred plaintiffs who settled lawsuits for close to $90 million

with Babcock & Wilcox & the Atlantic Richfield Company several years ago on claims of loss of life, personal injury and property damage.

The companies have always maintained that their operations did not cause the illnesses and damages alleged in the 14-year federal court lawsuit.

Now, Querio is trying to sell his land & fix his natural gas wells, which he says are filling with ground water & producing less.”



The article continued, “Querio's settlement for personal injury & property damage of about $120,000 from Babcock & Wilcox,

according to court records & a lesser amount from the Atlantic Richfield Co. was not a windfall, according to Querio.

Some of the money paid for the legal expenses when Querio got sued.

The new landowner alleged that Querio didn't disclose that a nuclear dump was next to the airport property.

The case didn't make it to court & was discontinued in 2002, according to Armstrong County Court records,

but Querio said he paid considerable legal expenses to defend himself.”

What's left of his airport land, Querio said, "The property now is a liability."

And the rumors surrounding contamination outside the nuclear dump area, Querio said, "are killing me."



The site of Leechburg Airport is located west of the intersection of Surrey Lane & Airport Road, appropriately enough.



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Conway Airport / Conway-Pittsburgh Airport, Conway, PA

40.67 North / 80.23 West (Northwest of Pittsburgh, PA)

Conway Airport, as depicted on a 11/9/38 aerial view (fromPenn Pilot).



According to the Conway Borough website, this small general aviation airport dated back to 1920.



The earliest depiction which has been located of Conway Airport was a a 11/9/38 aerial view (fromPenn Pilot).

It depicted the field as having 2 grass runways of approximately 1,300' in length.



A 10/21/43 aerial view looking north from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock)

depicted Conway Airport as having 3 unpaved runways, with several buildings along the south side.



Ken Hendrickson recalled, “I worked as a lineboy at Conway Airport from 1944 (14 years old) through 1948 then as an instructor on the GI bill till 1950.

I had a GREAT career that all started at Conway as a lineboy shortly after my 14th birthday at $5/week & 2 hours of flying.”



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Conway Airport was on the June 1945 Cleveland Sectional Chart (courtesy of Dick Merrill).

It depicted Conway as a commercial/municipal airport.



The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described Conway Airport

as a 70 acre rectangular property having 3 sod runways, the longest being the 1,500' northeast/southwest & east/west strips.

The field was said to have a single 70' x 50' iron hangar,

was described as being owned by Beaver County, and operated by private interests.



A 1947 aerial view showed 7 light aircraft parked around one small building on the south side of the field.



A 1947 photo by Ken Hendrickson of Taylorcraft “94967, one of 4 Taylorcrafts we brought from Alliance OH when we moved the factory.

Ben Mauro sold it to 8 of us for $1600 ($200 apiece) for helping to move the factory.

The selling price back then was $2,200.”



A 1947 photo by Ken Hendrickson looking west at 5 Taylorcrafts at Conway Airport.



In 1949 C.G. Taylor bought the assets of Taylorcraft from the former company, and started a new company Taylorcraft, Inc. at Conway.

The company re-started production of the BC-12D Traveler & the BC-12-85D Sportsman.

The company produced few aircraft & the type certificates were sold to Univair & production was halted.



Ken Hendrickson recalled, “I helped move the Taylorcraft factory from Alliance Ohio (which Ben Mauro the owner of Conway had purchased, I believe it was late 1946 or 1947).

Jack Gilberti was the aircraft engineer at Taylorcraft at Conway.”



The Taylor Aircraft Company headquarters moved to Connellsville, PA in 1950.



A 1952 aerial view showed 3 light aircraft parked on the south side of the field.



The 1953 Cleveland Sectional Chart depicted “Conway-Pittsburgh” as having a 1,900' unpaved runway.



The 1953 USGS topo map depicted “Conway-Pittsburgh Landing Field” as having 2 unpaved runways with the hangar on the southeast side.



The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Conway Airport was on the was on the January 1955 Cleveland Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy),

which depicted “Conway-Pittsburgh” as having a 1,900' unpaved runway.



According to Richard Finley, the Taylor Aircraft Company ceased operations in Conway in 1956.



A 6/3/58 aerial view (fromPenn Pilot) depicted Conway Airport as having several grass runways.

A single light plane was visible next to the buildings on the south side.

This presumably was the Taylorcraft plant, but the buildings hardly looked big enough for aircraft production.



A Flight Simulator scenery re-creation by Richard Finley of a Cub overflying Conway Airport.



According to Richard Finley, the manager of Conway Airport was Joe Rabassi.

The airport closed (for specific reasons unknown) in 1961.



According to Richard Finley, “After the airport closed, the hangar served as a grocery store then flea market.”



Conway Airport was no longer depicted on the May 1968 Cleveland Sectional Chart (courtesy of Ron Plante).



A 1969 aerial view showed that houses had been built over the western portion of the runway,

but the hangar remained intact.



According to Richard Finley, “The hangar was destroyed by a fire in the mid-to-late 1980s.”



The 4/7/93 USGS aerial photo showed the foundation of the hangar as the only remaining trace of Conway Airport.



A circa 2005-2010 aerial view looking north at the site of Conway Airport.

What appeared to be pavement at the bottom of the photo is actually the remains of the hangar foundation.



A 7/3/10 aerial view showed the foundation of the hangar as the only remaining trace of Conway Airport.



According to the Conway Borough website, as of 2011 the location of the hangar was “the present site of Albert’s Heating

behind the Shank’s convenience store.

Some of Conway’s streets were laid out following the taxi and runways for the airport,

including Highland Avenue & Foote Streets.”



The site of Conway Airport is located west of the intersection of Highland Avenue & Sampson Street.

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Aliquippa-Hopewell Airport, Aliquippa, PA

40.59 North / 80.29 West (Northwest of Pittsburgh, PA)

The 1954 USGS topo map depicted Aliquippa Airport as having 2 unpaved runways, with a single hangar at the south end.



This small general aviation airport was evidently established at some point between 1947-52,

as it was not yet listed among active airfields in the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock),

and a 1947 aerial photo depicted nothing but farming fields.

The earliest depiction which has been located of Aliquippa-Hopewell Airport was a 1952 aerial photo.

It depicted the field as having 2 perpendicular grass runways, with a single hangar at the south end.



Aliquippa Airport was not yet depicted on the 1953 Cleveland Sectional Chart.



The 1954 USGS topo map depicted Aliquippa Airport as having 2 unpaved runways, with a single hangar at the south end.



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Aliquippa-Hopewell Airport

was on the January 1955 Cleveland Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It depicted Aliquippa-Hopewell as having a 2,000' unpaved runway.



A severe thunderstorm caused significant damage at Aliquippa-Hopewell Airport on 5/12/56.



A 1956 aerial photo showed Aliquippa-Hopewell had gained a second building on the southeast side at some point between 1952-56,

and a single light plane was visible on the field.



A 3/3/58 aerial view (fromPenn Pilot) showed Aliquippa-Hopewell Airport

to consist of 2 grass runways, with several small buildings at the south end.

At least 3 light aircraft were visible on the field.



According to the book “High Frontier: A History of Aeronautics in Pennsylvania”,

the Chief Engineer of Taylorcraft, Jack Gilberti, assembled enough capital

to organize his own firm, Volaircraft Inc. at the Aliquippa-Hopewell Airport.

The company was established in 1958.



Ken Hendrickson recalled, “I helped build the Volaire factory at Aliquippa as I was also an investor in the project.

Jack Gilberti was responsible for the updates to the airplane.

Jack designed the Volaire & we had about 50 airplanes in parts built when we ran out of money.

We were saved from bankruptcy when Rockwell bought us out.

I flew the Volaire several times during the flight testing.”



A 1959 aerial photo showed a total of 7 light aircraft at Aliquippa-Hopewell.



A Flight Simulator scenery re-creation by Richard Finley of a Grumman Tiger overflying Aliquippa-Hopewell Airport.



Gilberti designed & built a prototype Volaire 10, a 3-seat, all-metal high-wing aircraft which first flew in 1960.

The production version, the Volaire 1035, received its Type Certificate in November 1961.



The 1961 Pittsburgh Local Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe)

depicted Aliquippa-Hopewell as having a 2,000' unpaved runway.



An improved 4-seat version, the Volaire 10A (or 1050), went into limited production at Aliquippa in 1963.

Within a year, Volaircraft had attracted the interests of Pittsburgh's Rockwell Standard Corporation,

whose Aero Commander Division lacked lower-priced models.

On 7/12/65 Rockwell acquired Volaircraft for $1.6 million & merged it along with Meyers Aircraft Company

into the Aero Commander operations.

Before Rockwell consolidated their light aircraft production in OK & GA in 1966,

the Aliquippa plant, which Gilberti continued to manage, turned out 60 examples of the Volaircraft 1050,

with a 150 hp engine, and sold them as Aero Commander 100s.



A 9/15/67 aerial view (fromPenn Pilot) depicted a considerable transformation of Aliquippa-Hopewell Airport compared to the 1958 photo.

A portion of the north/south runway had been paved, and the Volaire factory buildings had been added at the southeast side of the field.

At least 9 light aircraft were visible on the field.



The May 1968 Cleveland Sectional Chart (courtesy of Ron Plante)

depicted Aliquippa-Hopewell as having a single north/south paved 1,700' runway.



The November 1968 Cleveland Sectional Chart (courtesy of Richard Finley)

depicted Aliquippa-Hopewell as having a single north/south paved 1,700' runway.



A 1969 aerial view showed a total of 9 light aircraft parked around the factory buildings.

A row of T-hangars had been added on the northeast side at some point between 1967-69.



The last aeronautical depiction which has been located of Aliquippa-Hopewell Airport

was on the November 1972 Cleveland Sectional Chart (courtesy of Richard Finley).

It depicted Aliquippa-Hopewell as having a single north/south paved 1,700' runway.



According to Richard Finley, “When Volaire closed, they sold the factory to a company that produced modular houses.

I was working at Greater Pittsburgh tower from June 1973 to September 1976.

At some point during that period I made a small field trip with one of our supervisors to investigate rumors we had heard at PIT approach

that the airport [Aliquippa-Hopewell] was now closed & they were building modular homes at the old aircraft factory.

Between August and December of 1973, I carpooled with this supervisor.

I suspect that field trip may have occurred on the way home while we were carpooling.

We looked into the old hangar & found they were indeed building modular homes & there were no aircraft to be seen on the field.”



On 9/28/81, some or all of the former airport property was purchased by the Department of Labor's Mine Safety & Health Administration

to house its emergency mine operations.

The Township of Hopewell invested some $225,000 in infrastructure improvements

in anticipation of the commencement of operations of this Federal facility.

However, the facility never opened, as the field operation was transferred to a neighboring state.

Subsequently, the Mine Safety & Health Administration reported the property as excess & it was transferred to GSA.



The 1983 USGS topo map still depicted the Aliquippa-Hopewell Airport, with a single north/south runway,

but the field may have been closed by that point.



The 4/7/93 USGS aerial photo showed that several buildings had been built over much of the airport property,

including one which replaced the former factory on the southeast side.

The former T-hangar remained on the northeast side.



As of 9/23/93, the airport property was designated as surplus & placed in GSA's surplus property inventory.



The “Hopewell Township Investment Act of 1995” required the General Services Administration to transfer this land

to the Beaver County Corporation for Economic Development.

The goal of the Corporation is to utilize this property as the centerpiece of a Hopewell Aliquippa Airport Industrial Park

and thereby promote economic development & create needed jobs for the people of Hopewell Township.



A circa 2005-2010 aerial view looking north at the site of Aliquippa-Hopewell Airport,

showing the remains of the paved north/south runway, and the row of T-hangars which remains on the northeast side.



A 7/3/10 aerial view looking north at the site of Aliquippa-Hopewell Airport,

showing the remains of the paved north/south runway, and the row of T-hangars which remains on the northeast side.



George Wolf reported in 2010, “My college roommate has just built a house near Aliquippa,

and one of the roads leading to his home is 'Airport Road'.

You can see the runway appears to have trees / brush growing at it's edges, and a turnaround point at it's northern end.

Some of the buildings appear as though they could be old hangars, as well.”



The site of Aliquippa-Hopewell Airport is located west of the intersection of Kane Road & Airport Road,

appropriately enough.

____________________________________________________



Mayer Field, Bridgeville, PA

40.37 North / 80.1 West (Southeast of Pittsburgh, PA)

The earliest depiction which has been located of Mayer Field

was a 1922 photo of Casper Mayer in front of an unidentified biplane (courtesy of Kenneth Scholter).



Aviation pioneer Casper Mayer established Mayer Field in 1919.

Mayer Field was one of the first commercial airfields in the Pittsburgh area.



A circa 1920s photo of pilots Ed "Dutch" Schultz & Frank Mayer in front of Mayer's first airplane (a Laird Swallow) at Mayer Field.



A 1928 photo of a Ryan NC4398 the “Pride of Pittsburgh” amongst an admiring crowd at Mayer Field (courtesy of Richard Finley).

The original caption read, "Casper Mayer’s first Ryan, Mahoney-Ryan B-1, Wright R-790 (J-5-9) 220 HP, C4398 c/n 71,

Mr. Mayer, Walt Chambers and Mayer’s pilot, J. Warren Smith. Mayer Field Bridgeville, PA 1928".



The earliest chart depiction which has been located of Mayer Field

was in the 1929 Pennsylvania Rand McNally Standard Indexed Map with Air Trails (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



A 1931 photo by August Katrencik of Theresa Misanik at Mayer Field in front of a Ryan B-1 Brougham (Charles Lindbergh's 'Spirit of St. Louis' was a modified version of this type).

Note the Mayer Field name on the hangars at right.



The Airport Directory Company's 1937 Airports Directory (courtesy of Bob Rambo)

described Mayer Field as a commercial airport,

consisting of a 40-acre rectangular sod field having 3 cinder runways,

with the longest being the 1,625' northeast/southwest strip.

A hangar was said to be marked with “Mayer Field Bridgeville PA”.



A November 9, 1938 aerial view of Mayer Field

depicted it as an open grass area, with at least 2 runways, oriented east/west & northeast/southwest.

A circular airport marking was in the center of the field,

and several buildings were located on the eastern corner of the field.



An undated aerial view of Mayer Field (courtesy of Joe Fife).

Three planes were visible on the field at the top-right, including one visible inside a hangar, which was marked with “Mayer” on the roof.

The field appeared to consist of a single unpaved runway.

Joe recalled, “I grew up in Bridgeville & went there as a small boy to look at airplanes.

These pictures came from an aviation historian in Bridgeville - John Bennett.

He owned a drug store in Bridgeville, and flew out of Mayer Field.”



An undated (circa 1920s or 30s?) aerial view of Mayer Field (courtesy of Jack Haller).



A Flight Simulator scenery re-creation by Richard Finley of a Fairchild 24 overflying Mayer Field.



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Mayer Field

was on the March 1940 Cleveland Sectional Chart (courtesy of Richard Finley).

It depicted Mayer as a commercial/municipal field.



A circa 1940 photo by William Mason looking northeast at 2 Piper Cubs near Mayer Field's hangar (courtesy of Edward Wolf).



An undated aerial view looking west at Mayer Field from a circa 1940s Christmas Card from Eckert Keystone Aviation Inc. (courtesy of Edward Wolf).



A 10/29/43 aerial view looking north from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock)

depicted Mayer Field as an irregularly-shaped grass landing area.



The April 1944 US Army/Navy Directory of Airfields (courtesy of Ken Mercer)

described Mayer Field as having a 1,600' unpaved runway.



The 1945 Haire Publishing Company Airport Directory (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

described Mayer Airport as a “class s-1” airfield, owned by Eckert Keystone Aviation, Inc.,

and operated & managed by George Eckert.

The airport was said to consist of a 26 acre rectangular field,

which had a 2,000' cinder southwest/northeast runway

and a 1,600' sod east/west runway.

The field was also said to have a 110' x 60' hangar, and to offer training, fuel, and service.



The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described Mayer Field

as a 62 acre irregularly-shaped property within which were 2 sod runways: 1,625' northeast/southwest & 1,080' north/south.

The field was said to have 2 metal hangars, the largest measuring 100' x 50',

and it was described as being owned & operated by private interests.



Ginnie Wauthier recalled, “I lived directly across the street from the airport

and my husband lived right next to the hangar.

I have pictures from 1949 of my dad holding me outside our home & in the back ground was Mayer airport.”



The last photo which has been located of Mayer Field was a 1952 aerial view.

It depicted the runways as remaining clear, but no aircraft were visible on the field.



The 1953 USGS topo map depicted Mayer Airport as having an irregularly-shaped outline with several buildings along the southeast corner.



The last depiction which has been located of Mayer Field

was on the January 1955 Cleveland Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It depicted Mayer as having a 1,400' unpaved runway.



Mayer Field evidently closed at some point in 1955,

as it was no longer depicted at all on the December 1955 Cleveland Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).



According to resident Ginnie Wauthier, “Mayer airport was sold

so that the shopping center [the Geat Southern Shopping Center] could be built.”



By the time of a 5/7/57 aerial photo,

the shopping center had been built over the site of Mayer Field,

and there was no longer any trace remaining of the former airport.



Joe Fife reported in 2006 that the site of the airport “is now the Great Southern Shopping Center.”



An 8/29/12 aerial photo did not show any trace remaining of Mayer Field.



The site of Mayer Field is located north of the intersection of Route 50 & Mayer Road,

appropriately enough.

____________________________________________________



Pittsburgh-McKeesport Airport / Bettis Field / Curtiss-Bettis Airport, Pittsburgh, PA

40.36 North / 79.9 West (Southeast of Downtown Pittsburgh, PA)

Bettis Field in 1927, during a visit by Charles Lindbergh.



This field was originally known as the Pittsburgh-McKeesport Airport.



An early Mifflin Township resident, Barr Peat,

lived quite near to the end of a field where early barnstorming aviators would land.

One day a plane landed in the field,

and the grass was so high that the pilot did not see a tree stump & crashed his plane on landing.

This planted the seed into Barr Peat’s mind that there ought to be an airport around here somewhere.

When Barr Peat looked down from this grassy meadow at the top of the hill

he noticed a big beautiful pasture directly below.

This 144 acre property was owned by Harry Neel.

Barr Peat contacted Neel, who was a personal friend, and made a deal in 1924 to allow planes to land on his property.

This began a 25 year span for the flying field.



Airplane rides were sold for a small charge,

and aerobatics were performed for the thrilled spectators who began to appear.

Soon other planes arrived & the site started to look like an airport.

Crowds assembled every weekend to the field to take rides

and watch all the excitement the early aviators had to show.



While the thrills of flying went on, Barr Peat continued working on his dream of an airport.

Barr Peat scraped some money up to have the field graded.

Sam Brendel put a "couple of thousand dollars" into supplying the field with aviation fuel & oil.

The first airshow at this fledgling airfield was promoted in 1925 with the help of Congressman Clyde Kelly.

The U.S. Army Air Corps brought transports, bombers, and pursuit planes.

There was parachute jumping & an air race.

Elmer Best stated, "It was on a triangular course, about 15 miles around.

One pylon, about 30 feet high, was at the intersection of Homestead-Duquesne Road & Brierly Lane."



Sightseeing rides & air show thrills were becoming a regular thing for many residents.

They could take flying lessons from Bob Trader’s flying school.

Aviation was catching on in the area at the Pittsburgh-McKeesport Airport, as it was known at that time.



Aviators began using the field more

and the Airways Tavern was built across from the airport.

In 1925, with some other small buildings on the field & grading completed,

the Pittsburgh-McKeesport Airport Company announced the opening of the field to the public.

Attending this grand affair was Lt. Cyrus Bettis & the Army Air Corps.

The airport was managed by Barr Peat who welcomed spectators to inspect the facilities.

The opening also included the announcement that the field would become the base of operations

for air mail service under government contract.



Barr Peat & Cliff Ball were very anxious & willing to progress.

They knew that the business was there.

It was up to Cliff Ball to buy the equipment & he was continuously looking for new equipment.

When Ball bought airplanes in those days they were "bare-bone"

and a lot of other things had to be purchased.

They were interested in getting the airmail service started.

In 1925 the Kelly Air Mail Act provided that private carriers could bid on airmail contracts.

The nation’s first contract was awarded to Clifford Ball Airlines.

The contract was for the 120 miles between Pittsburgh & Cleveland.

Due to some equipment & financial problems the airmail service did not start until 1927.



Cliff Ball Airlines did announce a passenger service between Pittsburgh & Cleveland.

Fares were $15 one-way & $25 round trip for a one hour twenty-minute flight each way.



Aviation during the Twenties was highlighted by barnstorming & air racing.

Lt. Cyrus Bettis, of the U.S. Army Air Corps,

won the Mitchell Trophy for air racing in 1924 & the Pulitzer Trophy in 1925 with a world record flying speed of 249 mph.

He also represented the Army in air shows around the country.

In 1926 Lt. Bettis was en route from Philadelphia to Selfridge Field in Michigan,

leading a formation of 3 Army airplanes.

Near Bellefonte, PA they encountered a heavy fog & Bettis hit the treetops & crashed into Jack’s mountain.

After he regained consciousness,

Bettis crawled to a road several miles away.

He was rescued & taken to Walter Reed Hospital.

He seemed to be recovering from his wounds, but 14 days later he died when complications set in.

To honor this great aviator the airfield was renamed as Bettis Field in 1926.



Roscoe Turner came to Bettis Field with what was at the time the largest biplane in the world,

a Sikorsky twin-engine bomber.



In 1927, the first airmail was received & sent out on Cliff Ball Airlines. Ball had purchased 9 biplanes.

At least one of these, the Miss Pittsburgh, survives today in Rhinebeck, NY.

The blue & silver craft, carrying the mail in a front baggage area, flew daily from Pittsburgh to Cleveland.



Charles Lindbergh lands the "Spirit of St. Louis" at Bettis Field in 1927.



Also in 1927, Charles Lindbergh landed at Bettis,

in the course of his goodwill tour of the world in the Spirit of St. Louis.

The airfield was packed that day.

"The streets were lined with people all the way through Lincoln Place" recalled Walt Godleski.

At the airport the Spirit was put in a hangar sideways, because it would not fit in the largest hangar otherwise.

Ken Scholter, remembered that the stipulation for Lindbergh’s appearance

was the Spirit had to be hangared.

"We greased some boards & slid the wheels along them into the hangar," recalled Scholter.

Col. Lindbergh left at noon the next day as a crowd of 30,000 cheered him.



A circa 1920s photo of the Bettis Field terminal building.



In 1928 the National Elimination Balloon Races were held at Bettis Field.

According to reports more than 150,000 people jammed the field,

the largest crowd ever to witness an air event in Pittsburgh.

The 14 entrants got the weather go-ahead & lifted off at 6 p.m.

Within a half hour a thunderstorm brewed & the balloons were caught.

A number of them were struck by lightning & went down.

Army balloon # 3 was hit near Youngwood, PA, and Lt. Paul Evert died in the crash.



In 1928, Barr Peat & Bo Phelan, another investor in the airport company,

sold their original shares they purchased for $2,000 for $50,000 each.

In 1929 Ball sold his remaining interests to Curtiss-Wright.

Cliff Ball Airlines eventually evolved into Pennsylvania Airlines.



Bettis Field, as depicted on the 1929 Rand McNally "Standard Indexed Map With Air Trails" (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It described Bettis Field as being operated by the Pittsburgh-McKeesport Airport Corporation.

The field was described as being 1,650' x 2,500' in size, with a beacon light & landing lights.



From 1929 on Bettis Field began losing some of its glamor.

The depression hit, taking away jobs & money & the novelty of airplanes flying was beginning to wear off.



Bill Wood recalled, “I grew up in McKeesport

and my uncle, August (Gus) Becker, owned & operated the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics from 1929.

Gus Becker purchased Bettis Field from Curtis-Wright in 1930 & used the facility from the early 1930s.

Bettis Field was used by the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics

for training aircraft & engine mechanics for work in the civil & military aviation field.

Most civilian graduates were later employed by the airlines operating in the USA.”



A 1930 aerial view of Bettis Field.



In 1932 the Allegheny County Airport opened only one mile to the west,

and it was at that time the largest airport on record.

Commercial planes & transports moved there, leaving Bettis with small private planes.



Two undated colorized photos from a postcard sent in 1933 of “Curtiss-Bettis Airport”.



The 1934 Department of Commerce Airport Directory (according to Chris Kennedy)

described "Pittsburgh-Bettis Airport" as being an irregular sod field measuring 2,500' x 2,200',

with 3 hard-surfaced runways in the center of the field, with the longest being an 1,800' north/south strip.



A Flight Simulator scenery re-creation by Richard Finley of a Ford Tri-Motor overflying Bettis Field.



A Flight Simulator scenery re-creation by Richard Finley of a Ford Tri-Motor at Bettis Field.



An undated aerial view looking northeast at Bettis Field (courtesy of Dan Almashy),

showing 3 runways, as well as several hangars along the west side of the field.



An aerial view looking northwest at Bettis Field,

from The Airport Directory Company's 1937 Airports Directory (courtesy of Tom Beamer).

The directory described Bettis Field as having 3 sod runways, with the longest being the 1,800' north/south strip.

The aerial photo in the directory depicted 2 fairly substantial hangars on the west side of the field,

which were described as having "Curtiss-Bettis" painted on the roof.



A circa 1930s aerial view looking southwest at Bettis Field (courtesy of Bill Wood).



An October 2, 1938 aerial view (courtesy of David Brooks) depicted Bettis Field as having 3 paved runways,

with the hangars & administration building along the southwest side of the field.



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Bettis Field

was on the March 1940 Cleveland Sectional Chart (courtesy of Richard Finley).

It depicted Bettis as a commercial/municipal field.



A circa 1940 aerial view by William Mason looking east at Bettis Field (courtesy of Edward Wolf).



Bill Wood recalled, “My father, Bill Wood,

was the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics superintendent during most of World War 2.”



Bettis Field, as depicted on the 1943 Cleveland Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



The last photo which has been located of Bettis Field while still operational was a 10/29/43 aerial view looking north

from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).

It depicted Bettis Field as an open grass landing area with 2 hangars along the west side.



Bill Wood recalled, “World War 2 was spent training US Army Air Force mechanics under contract to the War Department.

Classrooms were located in the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics building in downtown Pittsburgh.

Bettis Field had 2 hangars & a number of shops that were used to give practical experience working on aircraft & powerplants.”



The runway at Bettis was evidently paved by 1944,

as the 1944 US Army/Navy Directory of Airfields (courtesy of Ken Mercer)

described Bettis Field as having a 2,500' hard-surface runway.



A 1945 Pittsburgh Department of City Planning topo map labeled the property as “Curtiss-Wright Corporation Bettis Field Airport.”

It depicted the terminal building & 3 hangars, along with a portion of one runway.



The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described Bettis Field

as a 150 acre irregularly-shaped property within which were 2 macadam runways: 2,000' northeast/southwest & 1,535' WNW/ESE.

The field was said to have 2 hangars, the largest being a 125' x 104' brick structure,

and it was described as being owned & operated by private interests.



The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Bettis Field was on the June 1945 Cleveland Sectional Chart (courtesy of Dick Merrill).

It depicted Bettis as a commercial/municipal airport.



Bill Wood recalled, “My uncle, August (Gus) Becker, used the facility through 1945,

when Gus sold Bettis & Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics to the current owners.”



The last photo which has been located of an aircraft at Bettis Field was a 1948 aerial photo,

which depicted a few light aircraft around the terminal at the southwest corner.



However, other sources have reported that Curtiss-Wright sold Bettis Field to Westinghouse in January of 1949,

and Westinghouse closed the field.

The Bettis Field property was redeveloped as the site of the Bettis Laboratory,

which developed naval nuclear propulsion technology for submarines & aircraft carriers.



A 1949 aerial view showed closed-runway “X” markings having been painted on either end of both runways,

and no aircraft were visible on the field,

which otherwise remained intact.



A 1952 aerial view showed that buildings had covered portions of the airfield at some point between 1949-52,

but the majority of the northeast/southwest runway remained intact.



The 1953 USGS topo map showed that 2 of Bettis Field's runways remained intact, but industrial buildings had been constructed on either side of them.



According to Erik Wagner, “The last airplane landed at Bettis long after it closed.

In the late 1950s someone landed a single-engine aircraft there.

Ostensibly, the pilot said it was mistaken identity due to the then-prevalent smoke obscuration.

He thought it was Allegheny County, the large former air-carrier field 1 mile to the West.

Of course, it was, by then, the classified atomic power plant operated by Westinghouse

as Admiral Hymen Rickover's pet project for the US Navy nuclear propulsion project.”



An indication of the sensitivity of the Bettis Laboratory may be seen by examining the 5/29/67 USGS aerial photo,

on which the site of Bettis Field was completely censored,

which has not been seen on any other USGS aerial photos of that era.



In the circa 2000 aerial photo,

the remains of 2 paved runways (northeast/southwest & northwest/southeast) were still plainly apparent,

along with 2 former hangars along the west side of the field.



The Bettis Laboratory was still open as of 2003,

and is operated for the Department of Energy by Bechtel Bettis Inc.

Two large former hangars & the former administration building still remain standing (as of 2003),

as part of the Bettis Laboratory.

If you drive by on Pittsburgh-McKeesport Boulevard & look through the fence at the former hangars,

the wings & propellers in cement-relief images are still visible.



A 2006 aerial photo showed that the remains of the 2 paved runways still existed

along with 2 former hangars & the administration building along the west side of the field.



A circa 2006 aerial view looking north at the former hangars which remain along the west side of the former Bettis Field.



A circa 2006 aerial view looking north at the former Bettis Field Administration Building.



The site of Bettis Field is located north of the intersection of Pittsburgh McKeesport Boulevard & Bettis Road,

only one mile east of the Allegheny County Airport.



See also:

http://facweb.stvincent.edu/academics/english/faculty/wissolik/AIRPORTEARLYDAYSPART1/index.htm

http://www.15122.com/MTHS/NEWS/April2002newsletter.pdf

____________________________________________________



Campbell Airport (1st location), Cuddy Hill, PA

40.35 North / 80.18 West (Southwest of Pittsburgh, PA)

The original location of Campbell Airport, as depicted on the 1960 USGS topo map.



This general aviation airport located down in a valley was named after its owner, Charles Campbell.



Nothing was yet depicted at the eventual location of this airport on the 1953 USGS topo map nor on a 9/29/57 aerial photo.



Jay Gelm recalled of Campbell Airport, “I knew Mr. Campbell Sr when I soloed out of the valley airport in 1958.

It was in operation before it was charted on any maps.

Things moved very slowly back then as far as updates on any maps or charts.

When I was there it was already operating as an airstrip before 1958.

On or about that time Campbell Sr. was flying a Twin Navion there.

I recall one day he attempted to take off with the nose wheel 'hangar bar' still attached to the nose gear.

He left the airport operation basically to his son Chuck Jr. while he took care of the Campbell Coal Company.

My instructor there was a Pittsburgh pilot named Clark Woodard.

Chuck Campbell Jr. was running the operation down in the valley & sold Champion Aircraft.

I purchased a ¼-share in N7512E, a Champion 7AC.

While I was in the process of a Private & Commercial ticket I would at times fly with Chuck

to Wisconsin to the Champion factory & ferry a new one back for him.

At that time they were also selling the small Mooney M20 & M21, a very cramped 4-place.

The strip in the valley had what I would call the first VASI 3-light landing system.

They built a box with 3 lights angled up, red to low, green OK, and white high.

It worked quite well at night & was there for quite a few years.”



A 1959 aerial view showed 2 light aircraft on the field,

which consisted of an unpaved northwest/southeast strip, with a single building on the southeast side.



Campbell Airport was not yet depicted on the 1960 Cleveland Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).



The 1960 USGS topo map depicted Campbell Airport as having a single unpaved northwest/southeast runway,

with 2 small buildings along the southwest side.



The earliest depiction of the field which has been located

was on the 1961 Pittsburgh Local Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).

It described Campbell Airport as having a single 3,000' "slag" runway.



According to Erik Wagner, "I remember the old runway operating with Chuck Campbell Sr. as owner.

Campbell operated a twin Mooney by the way."



A 1962 view along the runway of Campbell Airport, with a plane overhead (courtesy of Nina Cotter).



Campbell Airport was described in the 1962 AOPA Airport Directory

as having a single 2,500' asphalt Runway 13/31, and the operator was listed as Charles Campbell.



At some point between 1962-67, the original Campbell Airport in the valley

was replaced by a new Campbell Airport along the top of a ridge slightly to the south.

The original runway became the site of Pittsburgh International Dragway, a drag strip.



A May 26, 1967 aerial photo appeared to show the former runway

of the original Campbell Airport after it had been reused as a drag strip.



A 1969 view along the former runway of Campbell Airport,

reused at the time as the Pittsburgh International Dragway (courtesy of Nina Cotter).



The Pittsburgh International Dragway closed in 1976,

and the former Campbell Airport property has presumably been abandoned since that time.



A recent (1980s?) view along the former runway of Campbell Airport,

after the closure of the Pittsburgh International Dragway (courtesy of Nina Cotter).



The airfield layout of Pittsburgh Metro Airport, from a 1994 airport directory,

showing both the original runway (at the top), and the later runway (center).



An 8/29/12 aerial view looking northwest showed the original Campbell Airport runway to remain largely intact.



The site of the original Campbell Airport is located west of the intersection of Route 50 & Route 978.

____________________________________________________



Campbell Airport (2nd location) / Pittsburgh Metro Airport (8G4), Cuddy Hill, PA

40.35 North / 80.18 West (Southwest of Pittsburgh, PA)

A May 26, 1967 aerial photo appeared to show the site of the 2nd location of Campbell Airport

shortly after it began operation at its new location (or while it was still under construction).



At some point between 1962-67, the original Campbell Airport in the valley

was replaced by a new airport with a single paved runway along the top of a ridge slightly to the south.



The earliest depiction that has been located of the 2nd location of Campbell Airport was a May 26, 1967 aerial photo.

It appeared to show the site shortly after it began operation at its new location (or while it was still under construction),

with a single paved northwest/southeast runway,

and a few small buildings along either side of the southeast end of the runway.



A 1969 aerial view showed a well-used airfield,

with over a dozen aircraft, including at least 2 twin-engine aircraft.



Kimberlee Campbell reported, “I am the daughter of the owner, Charles Campbell Jr.

Actually, my grandfather was not much involved ever in the running of the airfield, or of the dragstrip;

it was mostly my father, who sold Mooney's, then MU2's, and later Swearingen Merlins, and finally Piper Cheyennes.

I myself flew out of the upper airport, and got my license there as a young woman.”



Jay Gelm recalled, “Not too long after being built, a very high wind or microburst sent almost all the parked aircraft over the hill.”



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of the 2nd location of Campbell Airport

was on the 1976 Pittsburgh Local Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).

It depicted Campbell Airport as having a single 3,600' paved runway.



Kimberlee Campbell reported, “The airport did continue to function after the death of my father in 1978;

however, the climate for business was not kind in the early 1980s - you may remember the incredible rates on loans back then -

and my mother was unable to continue to run the airport.



By the time of the 1982 AOPA Airport Directory (courtesy of Ed Drury),

Campbell's runway had been lengthened to 5,000',

and the operators were listed as Campbell Air Midwest, Pittsburgh Corporate Aircraft Service Center,

and Piper Corpac Service Center.



According to Erik Wagner, "The new runway was extended to 5,000' because Campbell sold Mooney MU-2's

and later opened Cheyenne Air Center (Corpac) to sell Cheyennes.

I remember the old runway operating with Chuck Campbell Sr. as owner."



According to Chris Kennedy, Campbell Airport was described in the 1986 Flight Guide

as having a single 5,000' "rough" paved Runway 13/31.

By that time, the former runway was no longer depicted on the diagram.



At some point between 1986-93, it was renamed Pittsburgh Metro Airport.

In the 1993 USGS aerial photo, a total of at least 13 aircraft were visible parked on the field,

and 2 hangars sat at the southeast end of the runway.

The lettering "PGH METRO" was painted on the runway in front of the hangars.



The airfield layout of Pittsburgh Metro Airport, from a 1994 airport directory,

showing both the original runway (at the top), and the later runway (center).

The operators were listed as Pegasus Aviation, Pittsburgh Metro Airport, and Tri-State Helicopter.



According to a pilot who once flew out of the field,

Pittsburgh Metro Airport was purchased at an unknown date by developers,

who stopped maintaining the airport (fuel service, etc.)

and began to run large trucks back & forth along the runway (to access the large hangar for storage purposes).

At that point the state provided the option of stopping the trucks or closing the airport.

Pittsburgh Metro Airport was closed in 1994-95.



According to Erik Wagner, "Pittsburgh Metro (Campbell Airport) went into foreclosure

and was purchased by a developer who had little interest in airplanes.

After he could not get permission to do what he wanted,

he was unable to make a deal to reopen the airport."



In the late 1990s a small group of local pilots made a pitch to purchase the airport & reopen it,

as they had secured funding for replacing the runway

and other improvements from state & local government.

However, the pilots were unable to come to financial terms with the owner-developer,

so the deal was terminated.



Given Pittsburgh Metro's relatively close proximity to PIT,

and the continuous appearance of radio towers around the population base,

it doesn't appear as if the airport will ever become a viable GA facility again.



Kimberlee Campbell [daughter of the former airport owner] reported,

To me, and after all of my father's work to build up that airport, it was very sad to see that it is no longer used.”



An account of the recent status of the former airport was provided by local pilot Jonathan Goodish,

who visited the site in the late 1990s.

The old airport entrance is located just off of Route 50.

The entrance is in a valley, and there is a long, winding asphalt road

which leads to the airport at the top of the hill.

An old illuminated sign remained with some of the lettering for "Pittsburgh Metro" still visible,

but not enough to identify the entrance.

However, an old aircraft-tamper warning sign did remain at the entrance, making the field easy to identify.



About halfway up the entrance road there appeared to be grading

from where a hangar once stood on the hillside.

At the top, there were 2 smaller hangars & one larger hangar.

One of the smaller hangars still had a "King" avionics sign on the side.

The runway ran along a ridgeline at the very top of the hill,

and still existed complete with a rusted windsock skeleton & faded "PGH METRO" lettering.

The runway existed but was cracked & somewhat overgrown.



When Goodish overflew the airport site in 2000,

there appeared to be trailers lined up along the entire length of the runway.



A circa 2000-2005 USGS aerial photo of the Pittsburgh Metro Airport site

showed trucks lining the former runway.



A close-up from the circa 2000-2005 USGS aerial photo of the former hangars,

as well as the Runway “31” markings & “PGH Metro” lettering which remain evident on the former runway.



Myles Lilley reported that in an aerial photo from 2002,

"it seems that the trucks that were parked on the runway at Pittsburgh Metro Airport were gone."



Myles Lilley reported in 2006, “I visited the old Pittsburgh Campbell / Metro Airport last week

and it still has storage trailers on the runway.

The runway markings are visible & even my 5 year-old son recognized the old buildings as an airport.

It would still be a nice airport (if I hit the lottery).

Right now a screen printing business, a landscaping company and the storage company occupy the land.”



A circa 2007 aerial view looking west at the west side of the site of Pittsburg Metro Airport,

including the former hangars, and the Runway “31” markings & “PGH Metro” lettering which remain evident on the former runway.



Pittsburgh Metro Airport is located west of the intersection of Route 50 & Route 978.



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