A unique community for pilots

Everyone knows the exercise. When you go to buy a luxury home in Palm Beach, it will have a pool, tennis court, three (or four or 14) car garage, nice lawn, water view, lots of bathrooms and bedrooms, a gym and maybe a putting green. Or maybe a nine-hole golf course and a stable.

Well, how about getting better and having an aircraft hangar? Yes, you can be in your kitchen and on one side open a door and two steps down there is your garage with your car (or cars) in it. Or on the other side, open another door, drop down and you’re in your hangar with your jet or helicopter. Or maybe two or three.

Yes, you can do that. It’s in Wellington’s Palm Beach County where a few years ago that town’s founder, C. Oliver Wellington, liked the idea of ​​having his own airplane hanger right outside his window. room with his Cessna inside. Traffic? Forget it. This is the truly royal way to get around. He teamed up with a few other people who owned airplanes—Guerry Strilling and Arthur Elisson—purchased four hundred acres of open land suitable for building a runway, and there he was.

He called it the Wellington Aero Club. It was when Ronald Reagan was president. 1983. And the city let him. By following all the rules, of course. Have rows of bright lights on the sides of the runway that Wellington could turn on in the cockpit as he entered his approach pattern. Have something like the remote that other people use to open their garage door to get swallowed up in his shed so his Piper Cub, or Comanche, or Airbus can get out of the rain. And then the next time he’s ready to go, he’ll fill up (a shared private gas pump on site) and drive up the 4,000 foot runway and five minutes later he’ll be climbing through the clouds to go visit his cousin in Tallahassee.

When this man and his friends first opened the Aero Club, as they called it, they all knew who was home and who wasn’t by the peculiar sound of one of the residents’ planes so that he roared. Oh, did I say they all lived along one side or the other of the trail? Talk about a view.

Today the Aéro Club is a bit more complicated. It’s now a whole community of people’s homes – 240 of them. And not everyone has a plane. Some people just like to watch planes come in and out. It’s a bit like living alongside a golf course. With the occasional whine of an airplane engine instead of a good three-shot of wood to green.

And it has a club house with dining room and kitchen, a large catering room for residents who will book it for weddings or bar mitzvahs and there is a bar and a pool table.

The usual.

And there is a fee to park there even with that. It’s $200 an hour in the aircraft parking lot. You can afford it.

About Theresa Burton

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