Nov 27-07

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2007: November: Nov 27-07
Stambaugh airport    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by E. Neil Harri

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 04:33 am:

E. Neil Harri has been up in the air again, this time flying over the Iron River area, snapping a photograph of the Stambaugh airport. Maybe he was getting this shot for future reference, in case he ever has to make a landing on that strip with low visibility, then he can just pull this picture up on his laptop and guide the plane down there like playing a video game. :->

I'm kidding of course, as I know there's much more to landing a plane than playing games. Here's a map for those of you that aren't quite sure where Stambaugh is, just south of Iron River and west of Crystal Falls.


Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 07:06 am:

Hold on, I'm coming in for a landing!!

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 07:33 am:

I'll just stay on the ground!

By Ray Laakaniemi (Rlaakan) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 07:59 am:

That is West Iron County High School just off to the right of the far end of the runway. Home of the Wykons!

By Heikki (Heikki) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 08:41 am:

I know where Stambaugh is, which has now been Iron River for several years. That's my old high school to the right of the far end of the strip. Back in my high school days (50's), the landing strip was grass. We'd practice driving golf balls on it during lunch break. As Ray says, the Home of the Wykons, but before the middle 60's it was the Stambaugh Hilltoppers. One can see Nelson Field (sports field) on the right edge of the photo opposite the school. Thanks for the photo Mr. Harri!

By Cindy Pihlaja Russell (Gone2long) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 09:41 am:

What exactly is a Wykon?

By E. Neil Harri (Ilmayksi) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 10:45 am:

I did land there the day I took the photo. I had to adjust one of my tracking antennas.
Bob Loo flew wildfire detection and wildlife flights out of there for many years. He flew until his passing at 78 years old. I forget how many new engines and overhauls he had in his 1959 Cessna Skylane.
Our skydive club flew out of there a few years to jump into Ski Brule's annual sping ski party in the mis 80's. Bob flew us a few times.Half a day jumping, with landings on bottom of ski hill in front of lodge, and half a day skiing was the rule.
There are a couple new hangers there so I expect it to be around for awhile yet.It has a good manager in Krist Atanisof, who built his new hanger there. It has an approach like an aircraft carrier with a wall on both ends. It is narrow and short but is a great little airstrip.

By Pete Wilberding (Peshtigopete) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 11:15 am:

Hey it looks like Houghton is finally getting a decent snowfall eh. Chek out the MTU web cams.

By Brooke (Lovethekeweenaw) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 11:19 am:

Pete, I cant see Ripley from town.

By Jeffrey P. Carlson (Dlineman) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 11:51 am:

My wife's family is from Stambaugh! After three years I still call it Stambaugh or "up the hill". Her Uncle Willard Anderson was the football coach for years at Stambaugh High, another Uncle Harold was postmaster, and yet another Uncle by marrage was the mayor. There were Andersons and Solanders all over Stambaugh. Lots of wonderful memories,

By k j (Kathiscc) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 11:52 am:

A Wykon is a three-legged mythological creature that represents West Iron County Public Schools as its mascot.


By k j (Kathiscc) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 11:54 am:

oops, will try that again

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 12:08 pm:

It looks like they are starting to make snow on Ripley now, from MTU's Ripley webcam. :-)

By Gordon Jelsma (Gjelsma) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 12:22 pm:

E. Niel,

Let's see. 2,000 foot runway, only 40' wide, 100' dropoffs at each end, North/South runways with a prevailing Westerly wind. The need for lots of crabbing or slips to land. Sounds like fun!! E. Neil - you are the man.

By E. Neil Harri (Ilmayksi) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 01:34 pm:

The surrounding hills spotted by a dozen or so towers, also add to the fun. The wind gets pretty squirrely at times.

By Snowman (Snowman) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 01:54 pm:

Interesting, I thought a Wykon was a camera. :)

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 02:45 pm:

Hmmm, 2,000 x 40' runway, 100' dropoffs at each end …
"USS Stambaugh", eh? a.k.a. Y73.

For comparison, try the "USS Sedona" (SEZ), with a 5129 x 100 ft. runway on a 500 ft. mesa.

Here's the Sedona, AZ Airport web site


"Nicknamed the U.S.S. Sedona (SEZ) because of the mesa’s resemblance of an aircraft carrier, the airport developed a reputation and an attraction. Few airports in the U.S. are like Sedona Airport – a pilot’s log book must have SEZ!"

Here's a view from a high final approach to Rwy 03 at SEZ.

Final approach to Rwy 21 is even a bit more exciting, as there is a small hill on short final (to Rwy 21) that can add some fun turbulence on short final. (You can see that little hill just beyond the dropoff at the far end of Rwy 03 in the above photo.)

Due to runway slope (1.8-1.9%) and terrain north of the airport, takeoffs to the south (Rwy 21) and landings to the north (Rwy 03) are common even when busy and winds are over 10 knots.
Mike B. Wishin I was back in the Yoop (Mikeb) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 03:25 pm:

Man, how I love seeing pics from my old stomping grounds. I grew up in C.Falls but spent many weekends in the Iron River area visitng friends I had over there.

Went to a couple dances up there on that hill. Had to step lightly whenever I visited them because the C.Falls/Iron River rivalry was pretty fierce back then. A few times I came home with a bloody nose.

By Josh Pifke (Nmuwildcat) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 03:35 pm:

Love the shot of home!

Heading there this weekend; first time since the colors started to change.

By Tim Holland (Tholland) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 05:04 pm:

I wonder if Neil Harri has ever had an engine failure over the U.P.? Now, that would be scary with all of the trees and the scarcity of airports.

By E. Neil Harri (Ilmayksi) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 05:55 pm:

Only on a simulator.I go next week for my annual
recurrency training for such unforseen things. Aircraft engines have some redundancy built in such as dual electric systems and fuel pumps. I only fly planes with good maintenance.

By Uncle Chuck @ Little Betsy (Unclechuck) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 07:06 pm:

Neil, I'd like to meet you one day and shake your hand, perhaps, buy you a muffin from down the road towards Eagle River, I'd buy the fuel if you'd take me for a ride,lol! Safe flying Neil!

By Jeff Kalember (Jeffkal) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 08:28 pm:

hey, my mom was born in Stambaugh !! Why on earth my grandfather drove the 50+ miles from Kenton to Stambaugh in the 40's with a pregnant wife in labor is beyond me !!??

By Paul Oesterle (Paulwebbtroll) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 10:01 pm:

Hey Mikeb! What time frame were you at Crystal Falls? We had a Crystal Falls principal come to our school as a Superintendent. She was a very nice lady. We were up there to interview her. I remember a very popular meat market in Crystal Falls. I think that was in the spring of 1988.

By Dan Hinch (Stambo) on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 10:17 pm:

I believe the lady superintendent was Sharon Stockero and she has gone on to a successful career with the State of Michigan. The meat market in Crystal Falls is Sommer's Sausage and he is a very busy man right now with meat on the wild side, venison. I live in the house across from the blue bus garage in right center of the picture; Mrs. Moline, third-grade teacher in the 60's at Stambaugh Elementary School in the same area of the picture, lived in my house way back when. Study hall on the third floor of the old Stambaugh High School used to be interesting when you could hear a plane landing next door as the pranksters in study hall would imitate a kamikaze attack with all of the sound effects until the teacher caught on. Ah, the good old days!

By Heikki (Heikki) on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 - 06:09 am:


Mrs. Moline was my 3rd grade teacher back in the 50's. Still have a class photo. Coach, then Supt. Malmberg lived on the corner next to your house.

By Mike B. Wishin I was back in the Yoop (Mikeb) on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 - 11:54 am:

Paul O.
I lived in Crystal Falls my whole life. Well, at least until I went away to the USMC after High School in '83.

I think I went to school with Sharon Stockero. I don't know, the memory ain't what it used to be :-)

I'll have to check my yearbook when I get home.

By Melanie Cook (Rangergirl) on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 05:53 pm:

Well Hello Stambaugh! (If you grew up in Stambaugh, you know it's always going to be Stambaugh.) Native of the area, been away for awhile. Visit as often as I can. Remember taking a plane ride as a kid - scared to death...cried the whole time from the minute that plane took off from that strip. Now, I skydive and leave the plane a different way. Hey, gas money and lunch would be on me for another chance to fly rather than jump ! Go Wykons !

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