Number of Fly-In Communities Nationwide Increasing Yearly

A growing number of pilots are moving to residential air parks, or fly-in communities, to be closer to their planes.

Air parks are a good investment, with property values 10 percent to 25 percent higher than comparable property, Sclair said. But it takes longer to sell air park property because only certain people want to live on an airstrip, Sclair said.

In Cornell, Wis., John ''Jack'' Bresina, 53, is developing a residential air park - Cornell Aero Works LLC - after buying a municipal airport three years ago.

He said interested buyers want to get out of the metropolitan area.

''Typically, it's an empty nester who wants to move out of the city and into the country and is also interested in aviation,'' he said.

There are very few accidents involving air parks, Sclair said. Hoskins Field in Olympia, Wash., has had at least two accidents since its 1960 start.

Lori Hoskins, 61, whose late husband started the airstrip, said one accident killed her stepdaughter and another killed her son-in-law.

She no longer lives on the strip - the yard upkeep was too much - but the accidents never forced her off.

''You have your own private entertainment all the time,'' she said.

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