Local pilot makes record of landings
Published 4:22 pm Saturday, June 1, 2019
From Staff Reports
AMERICUS — A longtime local pilot has been recognized for landing at every public use airfield in the state of Georgia.
Rick Urash is “the first airman documented to have landed at all 105 airports in the State of Georgia, the first to successfully complete the Georgia Flight Trail.”
The award was presented to Urash recently at Jimmy Carter Regional by the President and Board member of the Georgia Airport Association, Tom Strong, who flew in from Jefferson, Ga., where he airport manager. Strong presented Urash with a handmade replica wooden propeller that reads:
GEORGIA FLIGHT TRAIL
There are 105 public use airports in the State of Georgia, ranging from the world’s busiest commercial airport, Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta, KATL, to the now closed St. Marys’, 4J6 (Urash’s first Georgia airport landing), to tiny and out of the way Homerville, KHOE, in Southeast Georgia (Urash’s 105th).
Urash began landing at and logging Georgia airports in 1988, and completed the task in 2018 after 30 years of flying. He is licensed as a commercial pilot, instrument, single engine, multi engine, and land. He earned his flight instructor certification in 1991. As of May 16, Urash has taught 99 students to fly and obtain their private pilot license. He has logged 16,000 pilot in command flight hours, and has lived in Sumter County for 30 years.
“I never had a goal of landing at every airport in Georgia,” Urash said, “but one day I realized that through the course of my everyday commercial flying and flight instructing, it was within reach. It took over 30 years, half a lifetime, to accomplish, and I’m extremely proud that I did it. And I’m so grateful for all the wonderful people I’ve met and friends I’ve made along the way.”
Strong, of the Georgia Airport Association, is a retired airline transport pilot, having achieved
5,000 pilot in charge hours and 3,500 navigator hours, U.S. Navy navigator, Command Pilot NOAA and 15 years flying NOAA Hurricane Hunters, and a graduate of Georgia Southwestern State University.
“We are so pleased to recognize Rick Urash for this extremely rare honor of landing at every airport in the State of Georgia over the course of his long and fruitful aviation career,” Strong said. “Rick has dedicated much of his adult life to aviation, teaching and flying for others and his work will have a lasting impact. We hope others are inspired as well; to learn to fly, seek a career in aviation or for existing pilots to get out and fly and exercise the privilege and freedoms we have as pilots.”
For information visit GeorgiaAirports.org