An old-fashioned barn raising, RAF-style

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Ryan Field (2MT1) is privately owned 2,500-foot long by 65-foot wide turf oasis at 3,660 feet above mean sea level near West Glacier, Montana. Originally built by Ben and Butchie Ryan, ownership has since transitioned from the Ryans to the Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF).

Ben and Butchie couldn’t have found better stewards of their beloved property.

Recently, the RAF hosted an old-fashioned barn-raising at Ryan Field. The original idea was a simple metal shed to store the airfield’s mower and tools. But as so many conversations around a campfire go, the little metal shed became something more. Something people could gather in… as well as store the mower and tools.

“One thing led to another, and the next thing you know, we were floating this idea past a few supporters,” noted an RAF press release. “They cheered for the idea and sent funds. It seemed like everyone we reached out to cherished the idea of Ryan Field having a barn with flush toilets, hot showers, and a big space to gather.”

Fittingly, the barn is “a tribute to Ben Ryan and the sacrifices he and his wife Butchie made for the country. Ben flew a P-38 in the Pacific during World War II, and Butchie served as a nurse with the Army Nurse Corps.” 

Fast forward to the end of October 2020. More than 50 volunteers swung hammers and drove screws to make the barn a reality. Many more cheered on from a distance, no doubt.

For those who couldn’t make it to the barn raising, the RAF produced a great 10-minute video to showcase the barn, the beauty of Montana, and most importantly, the love and camaraderie the RAF has coded to its core.

Sit back and enjoy.

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This post was originally published by General Aviation News on . Please visit the original post to read the complete article.

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