Havelock Flying Club History!
Havelock NB Airfield 39 / 92 / 15
The old adage “A picture is worth 1000 words” has proven itself once again. More so, a letter dated Aug. 3
1939 has become a treasured keepsake. Both pictures and letter were recently donated to the Havelock Flying Club /
COPA 27 by Al and Lana O’Reilly of Riverview NB. Lana is the Daughter of the late Aviation icon Don McClure. The
items recently surfaced in a well kept collection of his memorabilia.
We knew that our Airfield was built as a 1930s make-work project and emergency landing field for the Moncton
Airport. It was completed in the late 30’s and rumor was that workers were paid $ 1.00 per day and received a
package of tobacco per week for their efforts. These were the “dirty Thirties” indeed.
What we found out from Don’s collection was that our Field was frequently visited by Fox Moths, Tiger Moths
and Stinsons. We now have pictures to prove it. A 1939 Aerial Field day had been planned, supposedly to be held on a Sunday.
This prompted a letter, from the Office of the Attorney General of the Province of NB to the Manager of the Moncton Airport.
The letter voiced the displeasure of holding such an event on the Sabbath and advised that any money charged for the carriage of passengers on that day would be a violation of the Lords Day Act. Punishment would be in the form of fines if guilt was proven.
We have the letter. How times have changed.
It’s unsure if the 1939 Field Day was actually held, but we’re sure the Field was frequently used for Barnstorming.
Well…the Airfield grew up first in bushes, then, trees after our Pilots returned from the War. There’s no doubt some of those Havelock Barnstormers had flown Ansons or perhaps Lancasters during the conflict.
In the mid 1960s Delbert Alward and Ron Hicks were flying out of a Field in Lower Ridge, near Havelock. An incident, involving an Aeronca Chief resulted in their decision to look for a better strip to fly from. When I asked Ron about the “incident” he pointed to a still visible scar on his forehead and told me that Delbert “spit up blood for a week.”
These tough farm Boys weren’t giving up though and soon began resurrecting the 1939 Field, our current home. It was ready to go by the summer of 1967. The Havelock Flying Club was formed and Incorporated on August 10th that year.
In 1992 we celebrated the 25 th Anniversary of the clubs incorporation. Del and Ron were each presented with, a Plaque in honor of their many years of hard work. Another medium surfaces, this time a VHS VCR recording of the 92 Event. I never imagined that someday, I’d be referring to a VCR Tape as being antique. It seems like only a short time ago we would rent 5 or 6 Movies
and settle down with the kids for a weekends entertainment with this marvelous new video cassette recorder.
Viewing the 1992 Fly-in brought back a lot of great memories. Unfortunately many of the faces visible then are
not with us today. The Big difference in 1992…Airplanes were making noise and Flying. Flour bombing contestants
arrived over the drop zone in Champs, Jodels, Pietenpols, VP-2s, and Cessna 150s all in line. Bombs were dropped
and visiting aircraft continued to arrive. A Tiger Moth flown in by Dr. Roy Bradley of Weyman Field could be
heard chugging along to its parking spot. We did have fun that year. It’s now on DVD.
So what does one do in 2015 to attract Pilots and the general Public to our Fly-ins? Our grass field event doesn’t
bring in the big name performers so how do we cope with changing times and more stringent regulations?
The 2015 Fly-in…sorry…Open House… was a success because of a few new and unique features. Jerry Wilcox, of
Fredericton, trailered in his 2000 HP Grumman TBM Avenger engine and fired it up through out the day. The
growl of the big Wright brought back memories of when formations of TBMs graced the skies in what was New
Brunswick’s rite of spring, simply called “the budworm.”
Thank you Jerry.
Master Chef and Pilot Hary Dhillon had his fires going at 5:00 AM on Saturday in preparation for a Pig Roast.
Hary being a veteran of many roasts served a wonderful meal to our guests and closed the day off on a great not
Another new innovation. Thank you Hary.
These new attractions along with our always popular Auction and Flea Market have helped liven up our venue
since Aircraft are now simply flown in and parked.
I watched, one day recently, as our Club Aircraft Cessna 150 CF-VYX departed the field on a cross country
to the Miramichi Airport.The Pilot was 18 years old, passenger 14. They were both eager, energetic and
bulletproof. It reminded me of how those Havelock Barnstormers of 1939 likely were.
The faces of aviation may have changed throughout the years but the thrill and exhilaration of flight remain the same.
©2016 Havelock Flying Club, all rights reserved.
Founding Members Delbert Alward who passed away Aug 16/14. The pic shows Del on left receiving a plaque for 25 years of service to the Club, taken at our 1992 Fly-in. The lady is Roy Alward wife accepted award from Earle Leaman and Ron Hick in the back. The field was grown up in trees and alder bushes in 1967 when Delbert and Ron took it over. A beautiful grass strip to be proud of at our 2018 Fly-in.
1790 Route 885, Havelock
New Brunswick, Canada
Click here for COPA:
Taking a Look Back at Havelock Airfield!
KCR, 07 Aug 1941. Two Airmen Are Killed In Plane Crash At Havelock / Two members of the Royal Canadian Air Force were killed, it is believed instantly, when the plane in which they were flying crashed near Havelock flying field at about 3:45 p.m. yesterday. The plane came down on the farm of Harold Keating about 400 yards from the farm buildings, and a quarter of a mile from the airfield. Officials of the school at Summerside identified the victims as F/O Ernest E. Creed, Riverside, Ont, an instructor, and LAC Kenneth Payne Bissett, Campbellton, N. B., a student flier. F/O Creed’s next of kin is his father, F. H. Creed, and LAC Bissett’s next of kin is his mother, Mrs. Dora Ella Bissett. / Immediately following the crash the plane burst into flames and the bodies of the two airmen were burned practically beyond recognition. The machine had crashed into a stump and a tree had driven right through one of the wings of the plane - a Harvard training plane from the Summerside, PEI, air station. / Though many people in the Havelock district saw the crash from a distance the first men at the scene of the crash were Ernest Dunham and Leslie Jackson, the latter a mechanic at a Havelock garage. Jackson arrived a few minutes after Dunham. He stated last night that he was able to get near near enough to the battered plane to see through the windows and holes in the side. He stated that the men were bleeding profusely from the nose and mouth, and that the skull of one of the men appeared to be badly fractured, and that one arm appeared to be broken. The heat then forced him away from the burning plane. / Lee Ryder, Havelock, said he was watching the plane before the crash occurred and said it was flying with another Harvard monoplane. The two planes were engaged in what he called a “dogfight” high over Havelock when one plane started to lose altitude rapidly, spinning as it dropped toward the ground. The plane appeared to be out of control, but the steady roar of its motor could be heard as it approached the ground, he said. / It crashed in woods and broke into flames and the other plane circled the spot and then landed at the nearby emergency field, and its two occupants hurried to the scene of the crash. / Guards quickly came from Moncton with the help of the fire extinguishers obtained from Havelock put out the blaze sufficiently to be able to take the two bodies from the plane to the RCAF truck, in which they were taken to Moncton. / This is the second air crash to take place at Havelock in recent weeks, and was the most tragic. A passenger plane from the United States landed near a farm home and crashed through the wall of the kitchen, nobody being seriously hurt in the crash.
The Havelock Flying club held its first meeting on January 28th,1967. The first vote was on a proposal to organize a club. The vote was unanimous and thus began the foundation of todays club. The land was purchased from the department of transport as The landing strip had been used as a emergency landing strip during the war.
The same runway is being used today:
2850' NW runway 29 SE runway 11.
Havelock Unicom frequency is 123.2
It's thanks to these three men that we have our Havelock Flying Club today Delbert Alward , Roy Alward and Ron Hicks a short while late Sterling Goddard and Angus Mcknight joined and have been very instrumental in it's growth.
Many other members of the club strive to keep our runways and club facilities at their utmost. A great many changes have occurred since that faithful meeting back in 1967 extra land has been cleared to accommodate hangars.
The original club house is now a cottage used for fly in pilots that might get stranded due to weather. Our new club house, boast a large kitchen and dining area along with lots of sitting area with nice comfy sofas and rocking chairs. Its the perfect place to hold our pot luck suppers which are a great hit. The huge bathroom has a shower stall a great conveinience for the pilots working on projects.
Outside we have our Large L shape patio with a screened in area, which gives a perfect view of the runway. Pilots enjoy sitting there watching the planes come and go.