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Page 51
A History of Austin's Newest General Aviation Airport
W. H
Chapter 2
1981. Dave Mandot's "Fly Baby" in front of the original shop hangar building.
Photo courtesy of Dave Mandot, Bob Collins.
The Winds of Change
Nothing stood still at Bird's Nest Airport.
On a Monday Ray entered the shop hangar
and approached Dave Mandot and said he
had good news. "Roy McKinley and Roy Scott
both landed pilot jobs," he said calmly in the
face of awful news. "I need another flight in-
structor. And that's you." McKinley headed
off for an airline out of Abilene, and Scott took
up with Alfred D. Hughes Corporation flying
executives wherever they needed to get to in a
hurry. Sometime thereabouts, Ray had more
cheery news. "JB is moving on. It's time you
got your airframe and powerplant license."
Between flying and training and socializing
and unbolting the worn parts and rebolting
the new, Dave spent so much time at the air-
port he decided to buy an old trailer and haul
it out behind the flight office and live at the
airport full-time. Why not? He was young and
free of attachments and had a few dollars in
the bank. Now that he only had a short walk
to the hangars, the first thing he did was buy
a hand-built single-seater named "Flybaby"
from a friend, John Thorne, who had bought
it from Jerry Ingram, who had built the air-
plane from scratch. Eight months later, he