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Peninsula Reflections

Posted: Monday, December 10, 2007

The Kasilof Boosters Club appointed George Jackinsky as manager the Kasilof Airport in 1965. At that time Kalifornsky Beach Road was not only spelled wrong (no "r"), it was routed long, traversing upstream to cross Coal Creek. In 1968 Studnek Construction won a contract (approximately $350,000) to upgrade Kalifornsky Beach Road and build a new Coal Creek crossing.

The crossing required an extensive cut on both sides of the creek and removal of 20,000 yards of sandy gravel, for which George got ideas. He asked Studnek's foreman what they planned to do with the gravel. They were simply going to pile it somewhere out of the way.

"Could you put it on the airport," George asked?

"Yes. If we had official instruction to do so," the foreman replied.

George got permission from the State Division of Aviation. A portion of the March 1968 letter from the Division of Aviation to Studnek Construction reads, "Studnek Construction Co. is hereby authorized to (put) waste fill material upon Kasilof Airport property in such a manner and in the areas specified by Mr. Jackinsky."

With this latitude George accomplished four things. He had the gravel spread in a direction slightly clockwise of the original alignment. This turned the southern approach slightly to the west and away from a hill. He lengthened the strip about 750 feet on the south end. He graveled the formerly dirt airstrip, and he had an apron built with tie-downs.

A similar opportunity arose in 1969 when crushed rock became available at North Cohoe. Working with Senators Bob Palmer and Clem Tillion, George was able to get 330 cubic yards of crushed rock to top the airport ($1 per yard before hauling and spreading).

A road to Kroski's house and other homesteaders crossed the flight path north of the runway.

To gain the proper clearance, George had that road lowered. This job was made easier by discontinued use of the old highway around Coal Creek.

After Jay Hammond became governor (1974-1982) the Division of Aviation was transferred to the Department of Transportation. They no longer used the Kasilof Boosters Club for oversight of the airport and George's role as airport manager came to an end.

A November 1972 letter in the airport records is descriptive of George's tenure. It is addressed to him from Tustumena Chamber of Commerce President Frederick Galloway and reads:

"A letter rarely expresses in any completeness the total feelings of the sender. We, as the Tustumena Chamber of Commerce, wish to take this opportunity to thank you for the many years of work and effort that has been put into overseeing, construction and care taken of the Kasilof Airport.

"As Chairman, you have extended yourself in every capacity beyond that which was expected of you. All of us will point with pride at the newly completed runway and aircraft tie-down and do hereby acknowledge the effort you have single-handedly put forth. The improvement to the airport is astounding and we all wish to express our sincere thanks."

This article was provided by Brent Johnson with the Kasilof Historical Society. Sources: Kasilof Airport records and George Jackinsky.



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