The garage, the
shop, or workshop, the basement, den, or
office. Most guys need a space,
someplace special, set aside for
himself. In our case,
its the hangar. And on a
warm, sunny afternoon, a wonderful
pastime is to browse around the local or
some distant airport, and peek into the
open doors of other guys hangars.
Its sometimes surprising what
An article like this
could easily turn into a full book
describing the various treasures that can
be found in hangars. To the
non-aviator, most airports appear to be a
neat collection of tidy, aluminium
buildings containing ..... well, probably
airplanes. But as pilots, we know
better. Each one of those shiny
shrines houses a mans world, as
individual as the man himself.
And always, without
exception, theres interesting
stuff to look at, which
naturally leads to a discussion with the
That warm sunny day
you set out to go flying, inevitably
turns into one or more of these
discussions, and before you know it,
its already dinner time. And
you forgot to close your flight plan.
Worst case, its getting too
dark to fly back to your home field
without that semi-legal
twilight landing. But what an
enjoyable day, flying.
Over many years of
doing just that, Ive compiled (in
my mind) the ideal hangar, which utilizes
some of the unique ideas from many fellow
pilots. My hangar would have a
workshop, a place thats clean, tidy
and stocked with a complete set of tools,
all of which get used on each project.
There wouldnt be a tool I
didnt own. There would be a
space for a vehicle, perhaps the one I
drive or one Im working on.
My kayaks would need to fit too.
Id need a storage room for parts,
both aircraft and automotive, and for the
old parts, already used but still good
for something. A motorcycle
wouldnt take much room, but there
would have to be a little corner
someplace for it.
Naturally a bathroom
would have to fit in, with or without a
shower. Probably with. A
fridge for cool drinks, snacks and TV
dinners. A microwave would be
close by, along with a sink and small
kitchen full of dishes. Then,
because all that is available, a cot
would be nice on those warm afternoons or
the occasional overnight stay.
Speaking of warm afternoons, the picnic
table, chairs and umbrella would share
space with the gas barbeque.
All the comforts, a
home away from home as it were, would
invite stays of longer duration.
There might just as well be a computer
hook-up, a small desk, filing cabinet and
proper lighting in the office.
While Im doing that, a telephone
would be installed (if the cell phone was
unserviceable). Perhaps there
should be a TV too? A sound system
for certain. And a good magazine
Certainly there are
fellows who have much more, and more
interesting stuff in their hangars.
My list could go on, but
what Ive included seems to me to be
the absolute essentials for every guys
airplane hangar. A couple of
important considerations you need to be
aware of when youre building or
buying your new hangar, are location and
location. Obviously it must be
close to a runway to minimize the taxi
time, and it must face the runway.
After all, you and your buddies
cant sit and look out at just
another hangar door across the taxiway.
You have to enjoy a clear view of
the training, the endless touch-and-goes,
and all the landings other pilots flub so
youll have things to talk about all
Im open to
suggestions, practical ideas, on how to
make my hangar more user friendly for
women. Youve undoubtedly noticed
that wives, girlfriends or other casual
female observers dont show up much
around the hangars at an airport.
Our other half should not be excluded
intentionally. Undoubtedly there are the
ladies who share an interest in flying,
and should be made to feel welcome.
Last, but not least,
we cant overlook a space for the
aircraft. Paint the lines on the floor so
that pushing back is never a chore, and
so you dont hit anything, you might
as well attach chocks exactly where you
want the plane to be each night.
With everything else that
must be included in the hangar, your
airplane may need to be something with