Column: Oldest pilot at airport shares story
STERLING – It’s been great to see so many people come to my office hours in recent weeks to share ideas and suggestions. I’ve heard from people on what’s important to them and encouraged others in the community to get involved.
This week, I’ll share the story of Bill Havener. At 84, Havener, of Sterling, is the oldest pilot based at and flying from the Whiteside County Airport.
Havener visited me in Rock Falls to talk about his experience. He learned to fly in 1950 at the Rock Falls airport, where he earned his private pilot license and multi-engine rating.
He joined the local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association – EAA Chapter 410 – in 1977.
Over the years, Havener has flown more than 20 types of airplanes. He also founded the Benevolent Order of Bended Blades, an “international order that recognizes pilots who have inadvertently damaged a rotating aircraft propeller without causing any great bodily harm to anyone.”
As Havener noted, he proudly wears a cap with the words, “Senior Airport Bum – Whiteside County Airport.”
I congratulate Havener on decades of experience in flight and wish him continued success.
Last week in Sterling, two local community organizers let me know about upcoming fall festivals and celebrations.
This month marks the first anniversary of Fourth Fridays: Where People and Arts Collide. This month’s celebration begins at 6 p.m. Sept. 28.
Janna Groharing, co-founder of Fourth Fridays, said many special activities are being planned, including a cake pour outside the Sterling Main Street office.
Find out more about Fourth Fridays at facebook.com/FourthFridaysPAC or call Groharing at 815-625-1248 to get involved.
In addition, Sterling Main Street is holding its first Harvest Moon Festival on Oct. 13. The festival gives people in the area something to celebrate in the month before the holidays kick off with Thanksgiving.
The Harvest Moon Festival will have music, a petting zoo, food and activities. The United Way Chili cook-off will be part of the day of activities, starting at 9 a.m. downtown.
Stay tuned to an upcoming edition for all the details. Happy fall.
Sauk Valley Media reporter Kiran Sood covers government and happenings in Sterling and Rock Falls. She can be reached at email@example.com or at 800-798-4085, ext. 529.