A homeowner in Waukesha for 20 years, Steve is president of the Waukesha Dog Parks Organization and enjoys motorcycling, fishing and staying on top of politics.
This last weekend was another Wings Over Waukesha air show. Special this year, not only at the air show, was honoring pilots from WWII. I was saddened today while glancing at the obituaries to see that Fred Flood has passed away. Most aviation people in the county who have been around for a while or at least remember when Aero Park Airport graced Lisbon and Lannon roads, knew Fred. Also many Amateur (ham) Radio operators knew Fred, (W9WAW) from his television/video experimentation before we all took television for granted.
Fred and my father, Robert, also a pilot and ham radio operator, worked together. It was from that relation that Fred entered into my life. One day my Dad announced to me that he joined me into a sailplane club, also known as gliders. Fred was my instructor and after less than three hours of instruction, I soloed a WWII trainer, a Schweizer TG-2. Fred also taught me much about the mechanics of aircraft. We would remove the wings from the sailplane in order to transport it to other fields or to recover it from an off-airport landing. He also had another sailplane, a Brieglib BG-6, that we rebuilt. I learned fabric work on that plane and also why the fluid that is brushed on the fabric to fill it is called "dope". Breathing too much makes you drunk, or dopey. As time went on I got my pilot's license and eventually began flying the same airplane that towed our gliders into the air.
Fred was also a lifelong member of the EAA, Experimental Aircraft Association. Fred was a champion of grassroots aviation and keeping it as affordable as possible so that more people could enjoy the thrill of flight. Fred and I belonged to chapter 250 of the EAA located at Aero Park Airport and we held several Father's Day air shows with Fred and I giving sailplane rides to the public. Aviation has lost a great contributor. As we lose these fine men and more airports close down or are choked by increasing federal security, out country becomes blander and we become less unique.
God speed Fred. I'm sorry that our tow rope disconnected.