The airstrip had been built in the 70s, when towns all over the state had been gambling that civil aviation was the future of transportation and flying cars were just around the corner. There was even a miniature terminal building and tower, shockingly large and well-built for such a tiny town. It had been such a tax burden that the city had sold it to a local company, TubeTron, for $1 in the 80s. It mostly handled cargo planes sending out weird-shaped custom pipe fittings, but a fair number of amateur pilots used it all the same, since TubeTron kept it open for general aviation as long as folks paid gate and fuel fees.

And given the sort of folks that flew, those fees were chump change.

“You see that out there?” Hickenlooper said to his partner, Faltermeyer. “That there’s an original Doctor Destroyer, Model 35 Beechcraft Bonanza. Cheap as a junior prom date, and just as likely to mess you up if you don’t handle her right.”

“It’s literally just an airplane, like any other,” Faltermeyer whined.

“Forked-tail is distinctive,” Hickenlooper said. “And you’ll note that this pull-off is directly next to Old Highway 313, right near where people like to speed. This is an official Deerton Police Department speed trap.”

“Then how come I’m watching cars and you’re watching planes?” Faltermeyer cried.

“Because you like cars. You’re a car man. ’57 Chevy in the garage and all that. Trust me, the moment one of these planes breaks the speed limit, I will be right there to let them know.”

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