In the back woods of Cedar Creek County Park, nestled near the water with two runways to pick from, veterans wait for just the right time to send their planes into flight. Residents of East Meadow, Mike Locozza, 73, and fellow member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics Ernie Schack, 84, always welcome new members. At the same time, they want to keep the runways from becoming overcrowded.
It's difficult to do this because the field has two runways to choose from, depending on the direction of the wind. The two members believe this to be one of the reasons Cedar Creek's aerodrome field is unique. Protected by surrounding woods, it's a secluded area with plenty of room for the experienced and inexperienced flyer to have a good time. Many of them fix their planes next to the runways or spend time with other members underneath a tent set up on the field.
I almost didn't see this area because it's hidden in the woods. After you enter the park, keep driving straight until you see the playground. Take the next right just before the Administration building on your right side. Drive all the way to the end and then take a right. Keep it at 15 MPH and you'll soon see the bright white sign welcoming you to the Aerodrome.
Dave Denenberg, Nassau County Legislator, supported the change of the name of Cedar Creek's Aerodrome as a tribute to World War I pilot Major Raoul Lufbery. The members are very proud of the commemoration and wanted more people to know about it.
If you want your model airplane to take flight, first join the Academy of Model Aeronautics, obtain a Nassau County Leisure Pass and a Novice Permit from the park's Administration building. When you have those, become familiar with the rules and regulation of the Aerodrome, learn how to fly solo by obtaining a Senior Flyers Permit and frequently attend club lecturers geared to new flyers. Experienced members will show you the rest.