by Herb Foreman, Founding President of SCAPA

Gary Petersen as he appeared n the 1970's
By the end of February, 2001, our Airport Manager, Gary Petersen, will be moving on to Greener Pastures, (or will that be "Greener Foothills"?) He has been hired as manager of the Nevada County Airport between Nevada City and Grass Valley. He feels it will be a wonderful opportunity for working and living in one of the most beautiful and historic areas of California.

His managing style is to bring every faction of the community together to solve problems and to move the Airport into the 21st Century. Gary has proven this style to be effective at San Carlos, as pilots, community and businesses have all been involved in decisions that have served us well. His act will be a hard one to follow.

Gary has been at the San Carlos Airport for 21 years, moving here from Southern California by way of Alaska to take a job as Airport Attendant under then Manager, Ray Burdick. In the very late 80’s, Ken Deforest took over from Ray for a short time before the County Board of Supervisors appointed Gary as Manager in December, 1991. His solution oriented style of management has been a winner.

Gary Petersen as a young ladGary is a fifth generation Californian, born in San Bernardino. He has been involved with aircraft most of his adult life. Although not a pilot he has some 2000 hours in helicopter and fixed wing aircraft while setting up aircraft to fight forest fires. (The California Division of Forestry maintains fire bombers at the N.C. Airport)

The Nevada County Airport is truly a gem. It was originally a part of the Errol McBoyle Ranch, "Loma Rica." Throughout the 30’s and early 40’s, Errol would fly his Lockheed Electra from this field. His ranch was famous for the beautiful Palomino horses he bred and for the various kinds of fruit trees, mainly cherries and apples, he raised.

Gary Petersen, with almost a full head of hair!Gary has purchased a 130-year-old house on Park Avenue in Nevada City that he plans to restore to pristine condition. He is going to love the beautiful four seasons experienced there. In the Fall, the leaves of Maple, Elm and Poplar trees turn into a Kaleidoscope of colors, occasionally, as much as 5 feet of snow falls in the Winter creating a Victorian wonderland. The population within the city is only 2500 but serves an area of many thousands. In 1849, Nevada City came within a few votes of becoming the Capitol of California.

Mark Larson, Gary’s Assistant, has become Acting Airport Manager. He has been at San Carlos since 1987 and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Aeronautical Science. A nationwide search will take place before the County Board takes further action on Gary’s final replacement.