Paxton rescinds ban on skydiving
PAXTON — It looks as though skydiving will make its return to the Paxton airport.
The city council voted 5-3 this week to rescind the ordinance that prohibits skydiving there. That paves the way for skydiving operator Jef LeRette to move his school from Flatville to Paxton.
He will rent a hangar from leaseholder John Rash, who attended the meeting. Rash said he will move his plane from his hangar and essentially switch places with LeRette. Rash operated the school about a decade ago at the airport, but the council shut down the business. Rash sold the business to LeRette who has run it from the rural Champaign County location.
Aldermen Marc Amore and Rob Steiger urged the council to allow skydiving. Amore said participants signing a waiver form should protect the city from third-person lawsuits, though City Attorney Ross Sorensen disagreed.
Local pilot Rich Kingery outlined plans for the third annual fly-in at the airport, June 8 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will include breakfast and lunch sales and opportunities for youth ages 8-17 to ride in a plane through the Young Eagles program sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association.
Kingery hopes 100 kids will fly that day. The past two years a total of 150 took their first ride.