Project Underway to Preserve Piggott Airport Heritage

Thursday, October 27, 2016
Jack Parrish's Aeronica was the first airplane to land at the Piggott airport in the early 1960s.(courtesy photo)

An effort is currently underway to gather historical photos, and other items, related to the Piggott Municipal Airport. The local airport, which was completed in the early 1960s as a project of the local Jaycees, has since grown to a modern facility with enclosed hangars and a pilot lounge. The project serves to document the history of the local airport, and the planes and pilots who have occupied the local facility in the decades since it was first opened.

The effort was first proposed by Rodney Rouse, who has taken it upon himself to gather the items for future generations.

"I took on the project myself, I just decided we should try to gather and preserve as much history as we can find on the airport and aviation in the Piggott area," he explained. "I am trying to gather photos of the airplanes which were based in Piggott, those that landed in Piggott or were owned by local residents."

Local dentist Dr. Steve White, during his days as a fighter pilot for the USAF.(courtesy photo)

As part of the effort, Rouse intends to type up a brief history of each of the planes and/or pilots, and place it in a frame with the photo. Once completed, the images and information will be used to decorate the pilot's lounge of the local facility.

"My dad used to fly back in the 60s and 70s and I've heard stories about the people who used to have planes based in Piggott, but actual pictures are few and far between," he explained. "Jack Parrish was the first pilot to land at the Piggott airport in July of 1960, when he still lived in Detroit and used his plane to come for visits."

Rouse has acquired an image of the airplane from Parrish, an Aeronica 7-AC, which was also the first plane based at the local airport.

"That's the kind of history I'm looking for, but anything connected to the airport that would make the information we find more interesting is also welcome," he added.

So far some of the items he has acquired include the photo of the Aeronica from Parrish, along with a photo of a Parrish's Yankee Clipper and images of local dentist Dr. Steve White, during his days as a fighter pilot for the USAF.

"Pictures of the pilots with their planes would be even better, but I'll take whatever I can get," he added.

Rouse notes all items collected will be framed and placed on the wall of the pilot's lounge/airport office.

"If people want to mail the photos to me, I'll copy them and return the original if they choose," he added. "Or, they can text me photos at 870 598-7940."

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