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New Logan-Cache Airport manager flying high in ‘dream job’

August 2nd, 2011 Posted in Arts and Life

Story & Photos by Megan Hoth

LOGAN—Stewart Hunsaker: retired highway patrolman, 25-year member of the Air National Guard, and now Logan-Cache Airport’s new manager.

Hunsaker has always loved all things that fly. At first, he didn’t pursue an aviation career, but spent 21 years in the highway patrol while enlisted in the Air National Guard.

After 9/11, Hunsaker’s National Guard unit was deployed, and Hunsaker retired from the highway patrol and spent three years with his unit, mainly in Uzbekistan. When he returned, he went back to school in aviation mechanics, planning to get his private pilot’s license. Then Hunsaker saw an ad for manager of the Logan-Cache Airport.

“You always talk about finding something you love and being paid for it,” said Hunsaker. “Now I have that.”

Though he started the job only in June, Hunsaker already has big hopes for the airport. This summer, there are 32 Marines at the airport, testing the Boeing V-22 Osprey, a plane commonly being used in Afghanistan. And last week the airport hosted the national glider competition, which involved 15-meter, manned, unpowered aircraft.

Hunsaker said that the airport doesn’t solicit for events to come, but is grateful for the exposure that the glider competition and military testing have given the facility.

“It puts us on the map and, hopefully, other places will keep coming to us,” he said.

Hunsaker is also excited about commercial flights that have begun at the airport over the last year. He said that he thinks it will be a good draw for out-of-state teams that play at Utah State University. He said it allows for less travel time from Salt Lake and will be a big benefit when USU players travel.

Hunsaker’s biggest goal is his plan for the airport’s historic air traffic tower. It was the first building to be built on the land, but is now used only for storage by Utah Jet, the tower’s owner.

Hunsaker has been in talks with Steve Miller, part-owner of Utah Jet, and said that Miller wants to help Hunsaker transfer the tower back to the airport and get it restored. Hunsaker said the tower isn’t necessary for air traffic functions, but he would like to turn it into a citizen viewing area and mini-museum.

“It’s important for historical value,” said Hunsaker. “Without knowing who we were it’s hard to decide where we should go.”

The new job is scary and exciting at the same time, he said. It’s like standing at the door of an airplane at 11,000 ft., he said: You have a parachute on your back and you know it’s going to be exciting but you’re scared to death.

Hunsaker says he just wants to make sure everything is working right and then take the jump.

“This is like a dream job for me,” he said.

TP

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