Lakeland Airport covers an area of 520 acres (210 ha) which contains two asphalt paved runways: 18/36 measuring 5,150 x 100 ft (1,570 x 30 m) and 10/28 measuring 3,602 x 75 ft (1,098 x 23 m).
For the 12-month period ending September 20, 2005, the airport had 27,190 aircraft operations, an average of 74 per day: 88% general aviation, 12% air taxi and <1% military. At that time there were 48 aircraft based at this airport: 90% single-engine and 10% multi-engine.
On May 25, 2003, at 1754 central daylight time, a Piper PA-31P, N36DR, piloted by an airline transport pilot, sustained substantial damage when it impacted trees and terrain after takeoff from runway 36 (5,150 feet by 100 feet, asphalt), at the Lakeland Airport/Noble F. Lee Memorial Field (ARV), near Woodruff, Wisconsin. The airplane was consumed by fire subsequent to the impact. The 14 CFR Part 91 flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions and an instrument rules flight plan had been filed but not activated. All four occupants of the airplane were fatally injured. The flight was originating at the time of the accident. The DuPage Airport (DPA), West Chicago, Illinois, was the intended destination. The airplane was reported to have been flown from DPA to ARV by the pilot and pilot rated passenger in order to pick up two passengers and return to DPA. The airplane impacted into level wooded terrain about 1/2 mile north of the departure end of the runway and left of the extended runway centerline. A witness who is a pilot reported seeing the airplane "hardly climbing at 60+- feet just above the [runway] 18 threshold. At this point he was making some power and no engine abnormalities or prop sounds were heard. The plane was very slow with a 5 [degree] pitch up then I saw the nose leveled and I knew he was in serious trouble. I saw the plane going straight for a few more seconds then lost sight. I listened as I ran to my truck. I then heard it hit the trees and impact." Another witness reported seeing the airplane take-off. He reported that the sound was not normal and that this is what drew his attention to the airplane. He said that the airplane sounded labored. He reported that the airplane was not gaining altitude as expected and the airplane was much lower than he was accustomed to seeing. He stated that he lost sight of the airplane due to obstructions to his view. He stated that from the time the airplane drew his attention, to the time the airplane started hitting the trees, the engine sounds did not change. NTSB ID CHI03FA13