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707 Airport in Central FL?

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Nov 28, 2001
i flew over an interesting looking airfield in central FL this afternoon, NW of MCO in the Ocala area. very large runway, with unique turn-around points at either end. the captain told me that it was owned by the owner of nautilis, and that he had it built so his wife could fly her personal 707 around. he said he thought it was owned by travolta now. can anyone confirm this story, or is it an urban legend? what's the story behind this unique-looking airfield?
I thought I heard the original owner had a 747SP, could have been a 707 though. I've always wondered what the deal is with that strip myself. I think its called Leeward.

It was the maker of the popular work out equipment who had his own field and 707. Do not know current status.
The airport is Jumbolair

The story you heard about that airport is pretty accurate. The inventor of the Nautilus and his (hottie. I mean hottie like you read about.) wife used it for their personal 707. The story seems to be thatafter the divorce, the wife and her new husband are turning the airfield into some type of aviation-based community. Check out the following links, makes for some interesting reading:



"The rich are different than you and me"
I think that Travolta will be building a house there or something along those lines. They do a fly-in brunch once a month there, I believe. You can call Piedmont Hawthorne in Ocala (OCF) to get the details. I'm thinking about doing it myself soon to check it out.

The Nautilus guy and his aircraft were featured on the cover? of a Professional Pilot magazine quite a few years ago.

I believe he had 2 -707s, several business jet aircraft, and a helicopter or two?

I don't think he and his wife got divorced, as he died a while ago. I think that she was widowed.

He was something like 72-74 when they were married, and she was 16 or 17. They had been dating for two years?!!!? Her mom was one of his employees, and the Nautilus guy and her daughter were going out since she was about 14.

One of their uses for the 707s was to ferry exotic animals from Africa to Florida. I believe they ran some type of "rescue" home for animals in need?

If anyone has the Pro Pilot magazine, the article was very interesting. I think it was around 1990? when the issue appeared.

I saw the guy and his wife on Johnny Carson several years ago. everything in this thread appears to be accurate.

Old man who invented nautilus and became filthy rich. his wife was very young and was a 707 pilot for their personal 707.

they showed some video of their 707 ferrying elephants from africa to florida.
Looks pretty cool, might have to find some descent cloths (note no oil stains or dirt) and do some flying early next month.

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