Red Baron
hand propping
windsock
hangar



    

AIRPORT HISTORY

Originally established in the 1930's, Lee Bottom Airport has a colorful history all its own. From wayward barnstormers, to cropdusting operations, and aircraft salvage, this beautiful strip has seen it all. Today, a favorite destination for Antique & Classic owners, the field offers a welcome trip back to simpler times. During the 90's , Fritz Hagemann, seeing a need for such a destination, set out to make improvements that would attract visitors. Initially 1800' by 26', the runway was enlarged to 3000' by 100', restroom facilities were added, and a picnic shelter with benches was installed to make pilots more comfortable. Finally, with the arrival of a soft drink machine, Fritz's old time airport was complete.


With the great new improvements, Lee Bottom attracted many wonderful pilots and one wayward "stick."   While in search of new places to set down in Champ 65 Echo, Rich Davidson first appeared at the airport in 1996.  Shortly thereafter, a friendship developed that would last until Fritz passed away in December of 2000.   Just before his death, Fritz made Rich a deal that would ensure the future of Lee Bottom and with a simple promise between friends, the deal was sealed.   Yet, that was not to be the only change to airport management.





While visiting a friends hangar cookout the following Spring, Rich briefly met the girl that would become his registered owner.    When he asked about her he learned she had recently hiked the Appalachian Trail, rebuilt the engine in her VW Beetle, and had a great job.   When he tried to talk to her,  she snubbed him as a “typical airline pilot.”   Fortunately, Rich was able to convince her otherwise and soon after, Ginger took Rich flying in her Citabria.    It was their first date and they have been flying together ever since.   

The Davidson's have been instrumental in continuing the efforts of this old time airport. On May 14, 2004, they purchased an adjoining farm and extended the runway an additional 1000' so it is now 4080' X 100'. In June 2010, an additional piece of property was acquired which provided more river access. This eventually led to the approval of a seaplane lane in the Ohio River.

This husband and wife team endured a string of misfortunes and head on conflicts with Mother Nature: a freak snowstorm that collapsed a hangar and destroyed airplanes, an inland hurricane which caused a power outage lasting several days leading up to one of the large September events, torrential downpours washing out a recently manicured and seeded runway addition, and a tornado which destroyed every building on the property. The Davidson's moved to another home in 2012. The airport is now in the hands of General Aviation enthusiasts while the Davidson's still care for its operation.