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Page 39
AUSTIN EXECUTIVE AIRPORT
A History of Austin's Newest General Aviation Airport
R
on
W. H
enRiksen
Chapter 2
1973. Ray Harding's blue Aeronca Champ in the process of being painted white before it is sold to Clyde Barker.
Notice the newspapers taped over the windows. Photo courtesy of Clyde Barker.
Trading for an Aeronca Champ
seventeenth birthday, and Charlie Cole wast-
ed no time in grilling the teen on preflight in-
spections, flaps-extended speeds, and visual
flight rules--right there on the first floor of
the flight tower. A few minutes later the two
strapped into a nifty Piper Cherokee 140, and
Charlie put him through a rigorous flight test.
By the time they touched down, Clyde was a
licensed pilot.
In the months that followed, Clyde and his
father, who had also recently taken up flight
training and would soon receive his pilot's li-
cense, visited the friendly airport most week-
Bird's Nest Airport was a draw for roman-
tic adventure seekers of all stripes. In Novem-
ber 1972 a seventeen-year-old Clyde Barker
arrived for the sole purpose of passing his
check ride and earning his pilot's license.
The closest general aviation airport, Tim's
Airpark, a short eight miles west, no longer
had a pilot examiner and Ray had recently
hired Charlie Cole, an FAA certified pilot ex-
aminer, to give flight checks. Clyde remem-
bers the day he and his father, Bill Barker,
showed up--not long after Ray had repaved
the ramp and runway. Clyde arrived on his