Following in his father's footsteps, Rob Berg, 44, the fixed base operator at the airport, took over as airport manager after approval from the Madras City Council last week.
Berg's father, Ron Berg, 73, of Madras, became the fixed base operator and airport manager in 1977, when he was also 44, and served in that capacity for five years before the Bergs moved back to Vancouver, Wash.
Before taking over as the FBO at the beginning of July, Rob Berg ran the maintenance shop for Mobley Aviation with his father for the past 13 years. Former airport manager and FBO Don Mobley left the position at the end of June, after 19 years at the Madras airport.
"He's very capable," Mayor Frank Morton commented on Berg, noting that he regularly took over for Mobley whenever he was gone. "It's a natural way to go until we hire an airport manager."
The city decided to hire Berg on a monthly contract, paying him $1,000 per month, until it determines the future roll of the airport manager, which may include managing the entire airport property and industrial site.
Currently, the airport manager controls and operates the Unicom radio to give pilots landing and traffic advisories, inspects airport grounds, represents the airport at meetings, controls fueling, and ensures that flight training is available at the airport.
As FBO, Berg provides flight instruction, aircraft rental, a full-service maintenance shop, in addition to selling aircraft parts and managing the 24-hour fuel service. His business, Berg Air LLC, is operated out of the south hangar, where they store rental planes.
His father, who was recognized for 50 years in the aviation maintenance field in May, continues to work with him in the business, and Teresa Lindgren serves as office manager at the new General Aviation Building.
Berg grew up in an aviation family in Battle Ground, Wash., working out of Pearson Airpark, and graduated from Madras High School in 1980, after his family moved to Madras in 1977.
He obtained his emergency medical technician certification through Portland Community College and worked for Jefferson County Emergency Medical Services during the early 1980s.
Although Berg had flown solo since the 1970s, he earned his pilot's license in 1994, after returning to Madras.
In 1988, he obtained his Airframe and Power Plant License in Houston, Texas, from the Federal Aviation Administration, and went to work for Buffalo Airways in Waco, Texas. Buffalo Airways is a civilian company that works with the Department of Defense and provides military air charters.
"We flew to 68 countries," said Berg, noting that he has been as far south as the Falkland Islands, and as far north as Tule, Greenland.
During the years he worked for Buffalo Airways, he was stationed in England, Hungary, Turkey and Guam, as a crew chief in charge of aircraft maintenance and cargo loading.
On April 15, 1993, he received the Civilian Desert Shield and Desert Storm Medal in recognition of outstanding achievement for his service during the first Gulf War.
He is enthusiastic about his new position. "I'm excited about the new position, and looking forward to being part of the continued expansion and improvements at the Madras airport."
First on his agenda is the upcoming Central Oregon Airshow, set for Saturday, Aug. 26. The event will feature aerobatics, displays of aircraft and antique cars, airplane rides, and skydivers.
"This year, Dan Buchanan is going to do a day and night show," said Berg. "He'll do a hang glider aerobatic act during the day, and at night, a motorized hang glider demonstration with pyrotechnics. Buchanan is also a paraplegic."
The all-day event costs $5.