A new airway beacon was erected a few months ago at Chillicothe Municipal Airport, replacing one that dated back to 1929-30.
A new airway beacon was erected a few months ago at Chillicothe Municipal Airport, replacing one that dated back to 1929-30. It is unknown at this time where the beacon originated, but it is known that it was in place atop this approximate 70-foot tower when the municipal airport was constructed in 1946. The new beacon is similar to the original one in that its illumination extends the same distance – approximately 50 miles on a clear night – and that it rotates with green and white lights, according to Airport Manager Bill Kieffer. The main differences are that the new beacon is more energy efficient and that it is about one-fourth the size of the first beacon. It is believed that the old beacon was similar to hundreds of others that were erected nationwide during the 1920s and early 1930s to guide airmail pilots in the dark. The beacons were placed 10 miles apart. The beacons were phased out with the introduction of radio navigation. The old beacon in Chillicothe had been in operation at least since the airport was constructed more than 70 years ago. Late last year, lightning struck the beacon, rendering it inoperable.