The new manager headed KBIE — General Aviation News


After 50 years of Beatrice Municipal Airport (KBIE) in Nebraska, Airport Manager Diane Smith has retired.

She was replaced by Dennis Schmidt, an Air Force veteran who spent his entire career in aviation.

Dennis Schmidt and Diana Smith.

Schmidt grew up in Ord, Nebraska, and regularly rode his bicycle to Evelyn Sharpe Field (KODX) to see the planes. As a child, he built models out of sticks and cloth, as well as radio-controlled models. When he was old enough, he joined the Air Force, and did so early enough that his career choices included being a tail gunner on a B-52.

But Schmidt instead took up refueling aircraft while spending his military career as a POL pilot. POL stands for Petroleum, Oil, Lubricants. Their motto is “Without fuel, pilots are just pedestrians.”

“In addition to handling jet fuel, these professionals are also responsible for operating the vehicles, maintaining the equipment and storage facilities required for refueling, and ensuring that all safety regulations are followed when handling these volatile liquids,” Schmitt explained, adding that aviators also had other meanings of the abbreviation POL.

Dennis keeps this memento of his Air Force career.

After the Air Force, Schmidt was involved in line operations and customer service for KCAC Aviation at the Johnson County Executive Airport (KOJC) in Olathe, Kansas. He then moved into marketing for Pilatus Aircraft, a job with huge upside: staffing the company’s booth at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh each year.

Schmidt noted that he aims to follow in the tradition of Diane Smith KBIE a welcoming airport.

In addition to KBIE being a good fit for the aviation veteran, the new job was attractive to his family as Beatrice is his wife Shannon’s hometown.

https://generalaviationnews.com/2022/11/21/new-manager-takes-the-helm-at-kbie/ The new manager headed KBIE — General Aviation News

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