by William Eric McFadden



The Wright Brothers Memorial -- click to enlarge One member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team succeeded in activating Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park and North Country National Scenic Trail as part of the ARRL's year-long National Parks on the Air (link). Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, performed a solo activation of Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, HP11 (link) and the North Country National Scenic Trail, TR04 (link) at the Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center in Dayton, Ohio, on a windy, cool December afternoon.

Upon arriving at the Interpretive Center, Eric spoke with the rangers and stamped his Passport 2016. Upon returning to the Memorial Gate, Eric phoned the Wright-Patt security forces to notify them of his activities and then set up his station. Eric was on the air by 1757 UTC.

As at previous activations, Eric's station consisted of his Enhanced KX3 Travel Kit, his MFJ-1910 33' fiberglass telescoping mast, and a custom clipboard.

Eric operated only on 40m and his first QSO came almost immediately at 1758 UTC with W8KYD. QSOs came continuously with Eric's 22nd and final QSO coming at 1818 UTC with WX2S. All Eric's QSOs were CW made at the 5-watt level.

Somewhere in the middle of the activation, the strong winds blew Eric's mast down. Fortunately, it was blown toward Eric, who caught it and held it upright until he could resecure the stakes in the muddy soil.