The summary below was provided by Dick Fechter. It was compiled from Lambert Fechter's log books, conversations, and other information such as newspaper articles.
became synonymous with Northwest Iowa aviation in 1942.
In 1940 he received his private pilot’s license at Sioux City, which was then the Rickenbacker Airport. By 1941 he had earned his commercial, instructor, and secondary flight instructor ratings. During 1942 he worked at Iowa City giving flight instruction, and in 1943 he gave flight instruction at Estherville and Iowa City to future Army and Navy pilots. Then he joined the Navy and graduated top of his pilot training class.
1944 and 1945 he gave flight instruction at Norman OK, New Orleans LA, and
Dallas TX in many types of Navy aircraft including the Stearman.
In 1946 he started a flying service at Sutherland and then in 1948 he
gave flight instruction from the Spencer, Iowa airport.
In 1949 he gave up flying to become a farmer – however, this lasted
only a year and in 1950 he became a flying-farmer near Hartley, Iowa.
June of 1959 he was a flight instructor, charter pilot, FAA examiner and was
also the personal pilot to several local executives.
He inspired an extra ordinary number of people to learn to fly.
Some people say that because of him, there were more pilots per-capita in
Hartley than any other city in the nation.
He had logged close to 10,000 flying hours before being fatally injured
in an aircraft mishap. The town of Hartley named its airport in his memory and the
Fechter Military Operating Area used to overlay many of the airports he used
during his 21 year flying career.
However, the Iowa Air National Guard Headquarters changed the name from Fechter Military Operating Area to Crypt Military Operating Area. There is still a Fechter ATCAA to the north of the Military Operating Area.
ATCAA stands for Air Traffic Control Assigned Airspace. ATCAA defines vertical/lateral limits 18,000+ feet above sea level for segregating activities (such as air-to-air refueling) within the assigned airspace.
Click here --> for technical detail about other airfields.Location Lat/Long: 43-09-44.902N / 095-28-01.022W (43.1624728 / -95.4669506) Elevation: 1452 ft. / 443 m (estimated)
From city: 1 mile SE of HARTLEY, IA
Airport Services Fuel available: NONE Parking: hangars and tiedowns Airframe service: NONE Powerplant service: NONE Bottled oxygen: NONE Bulk oxygen: NONE
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