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Flying is more than a job for airport owner
Faces and Places
Steve Berg checks a map in preparing a flight plan. - photo by Photo by Alena Parker.
Name:  Steve Berg

Hobby: Berg owns and operates Berg Aerodrome, a private, 22-acre airport in Midway with one runway that is 300 feet wide and 2,400 feet long.
Berg uses orange barrels as the boundaries for the strip and will not have it paved because he said the grass is easier on tires and better for vintage airplanes.
He owns a 1946 Globe Swift and 1947 Aeronca Champion.

Details: Berg purchases gas for his planes from the Midcoast Regional Airport. His runway is open for anyone who wants to land or take off. Take-off is over the marsh out of respect for his neighbors.
“I’m a commercial pilot and have an instrument rating,” Berg said. “I’d love to have some people rent some tie-downs from me. So far, no one has paid anything.”  

How did you get into aviation? Berg’s father retired from the Air Force after World War II.
“In the 1940s, when I was little, I lived in Albuquerque, N.M., right off the end of the runway for Kirkland Air Force Berg said. “We used to make scooters out of roller skates and mine was named P-80 after the famous original Shooting Star named P-80, later the P-33.”
Berg also served in the Air Force, but started flying before then.
“You can relate it to a child learning how to walk,” Berg said. “When you’re ready, you’re ready and you get up and walk.”

Why Liberty County?
“I moved to the area in 1971 or ’72 from Augusta.”
Berg lives on the property and was grateful to have the land available to set up his airstrip.
“I’m real lucky to have it because I knew the people.” 
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

“Sometimes it turns into a job,” Berg said. “But it’s neither a job, nor a hobby. It’s a passion. I try to fly once a week, which I don’t always do.”
Berg said he considers himself an expert.

What is the least rewarding part of your job?

“Coastal Georgia is real difficult to fly around because of all the military-restricted areas. New Mexico is loaded with restricted areas, too. Georgia was actually selected during World War II because it has such favorable weather. Coastal Georgia is exceptionally beautiful from the air.”
He admitted flying in different weather conditions can also be challenging.
“You learn to read the weather, that’s part of being a pilot,” Berg said.

How would people feel flying in a vintage aircraft?

“I hope they feel elated.”
“Flying has nothing to do with height,” Berg said. “It’s something that you care about.”
“By law, we have to stay below 18,000 feet unless we have an instrument rating. And these aircraft are usually limited to 10 to 12, 14,000 feet. And oxygen is required above 10,000.”
Berg said the poem “High Flight,” by John Gillespie McGee Jr. best describes his experiences.

Is there anything Liberty County uniquely provides for your passion?
“I find it interesting stuff,” Berg said of maintaining an airport and flying. “And people who are interested in flying I would love to have an EAA chapter formed in Liberty County.”
Berg is part of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and Vintage Aircraft Association.
“For the most part, we’re recreational pilots,” Berg said. “We fly for the pleasure of it.”
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