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Sleepy DaySleepy Day

A fox rules the kingdomA fox rules the kingdom

Lights along Runway 2/20 at Possum Kingdom Airport 75 miles west of Fort Worth, Texas, are still on at 6:35 a.m. A fox kills a rodent and eats it rare.

A Day in the Life of America's Airports

Lights along Runway 2/20 at Possum Kingdom Airport 75 miles west of Fort Worth, Texas, are still on at 6:35 a.m. A fox kills a rodent and eats it rare. Homes and trees across the two-lane dead-end country road allow only glimpses of Possum Kingdom Lake.

There's no FBO, no fuel, no phone, no cabs to call, yet there are 17 cars in the parking lot. They have been stashed there by residents who are either away on a trip or visit vacation homes on weekends and holidays. They pay $1 a day to the Brazos River Authority, which owns the airport. Those without cars call a local friend to pick them up for a day of scuba diving, water skiing, camping, and boating or jet skiing.

A small building with well-kept restrooms and aeronautical charts on the wall faces the parking lot and is located near the airport beacon. A wide paved ramp is lined by 18 privately owned hangars of differing construction. Taxiways exit both ends of the hangar complex and lead to the runway, but back-taxiing is required for takeoff.

Noon rolls by but the only activity has been a touch-and-go by a light sport plane. David Martin is helping fellow tenant Russell Madden fix an ill-fitting bubble canopy. To fix the canopy, David Martin and Madden truck it to Martin's hangar and set it atop an electric sander for what Martin calls "Texas engineering."

At 12:33 p.m. Ryan Edgmon arrives in a Cessna 172 to give rides to seven of 40 people who will later eat 100 pounds of crawfish at a private home. John Schwab arrives with a friend in a Diamond DA20 to look around. Mike Montgomery lands to visit his vacationing family but plans to return in a few hours to his home in Addison, Texas. A landscaper arrives to make measurements for a local project. Martin in a CAP 232 and Paul Donner in an Extra 300L practice over the lake for a future airshow act. At 5 p.m. a reporter from the Lake Country Sun arrives to do a story on AOPA Pilot's interest in the airport.

Runway lights click on again at 8:25 p.m. and the fox boldly trots the length of the deserted ramp, sniffing the hangar doors, perhaps looking for dinner. It's his airport, after all, and he can do anything he wants without approval of the Brazos River Authority.

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