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Page 13
AUSTIN EXECUTIVE AIRPORT
A History of Austin's Newest General Aviation Airport
R
on
W. H
enRiksen
Introduction
because the individuals mentioned, and many
not referenced by name, deserve all the rec-
ognition I can bestow upon them. Scores
of people, from politicians to earthmoving
equipment drivers, contributed in convert-
ing Bird's Nest Airport into Austin Executive
Airport. The number of contributors is stag-
gering and, as a heartfelt tribute to these
folks, I have listed their names in the back
of the book. If I've forgotten anyone, please
let me know and I promise to add his or her
name before the next printing.
Building an airport or writing a book can
both be frightening endeavors--ones in which
you have a direction and an ever-present feel-
ing in the pit of your stomach that you've lost
your compass. Each step of the way is into
the uncharted abyss of the unknown. Each
step requires learning new skills and an ach-
ing determination to lift your head and move
forward even in the face of limitless opposi-
tion. In researching the book, we spoke with
dozens of fellow pilots and jumpers and bal-
loonists whose enthusiasm and eagerness to
share their stories made my next step that
much easier. Some of the stories included
are humorous, three parts hangar flying, and
way-back-when tales impersonating legend.
Others are teary-eyed and emotional. Some
are meant to educate, and still others are in-
tended to record the events and actions as ac-
curately as possible.
My hope is that anyone who picks up this
book, a pilot or historian or budding airport
builder or a teenager looking for adventure,
will leaf through these pages and come away
with that tingly spontaneous feeling I got
while watching Brian Terwilliger's One Six
Right
, that each of us is part of a larger story,
that off-the-map beauty surrounds us, and
that whether we recognize it or not, our own
small world is a place of infinite possibility.