My father, Edward Marino, made his first solo flight from Bader Field after WWII and joined the Civil Air Patrol guarding the coast.

My first solo flight came on May 17, 1980, the day the airport reopened after the runways were realigned due to casino expansion. Flying from Bader was a challenge due to the short runway, nearly constant crosswinds and taking off over the city.

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Landing on Runway 11 meant flying low over the Ford dealership and just brushing by the roof with your landing gear. Student pilots would compete for airspace with the de Havilland “Otter” pilots of Southern Jersey Airways as they ferried passengers to Philadelphia and back.  

The constant concern for Bader pilots was the weather, the crosswind and sneaky fogs. The greatest joy was sipping root beer in the hanger and learning from the old-timers who flew in the early part of the century.

My father told me about the female ferry pilots in WWII. He said women can do anything if they believe in themselves. I learned that by flying at Bader Field.

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