Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 55 > Page 72 - Bill MacRitchie and Early Flight

Page 72 - Bill MacRitchie and Early Flight

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/8/1 (398 reads)

Siegel, Charles MacCuish and Bill MacKinlay of Glace Bay; Dr. Freeman O'Neil, W. A. D. Gunn, Arthur Mercer, Gordon Totten, Reg Rogers, Frank Corbin, of Sydney; Fred Cleary of North Sydney and Dan MacMillan of Re? serve. Dr. Freeman O'Neil, Sydney, was the first medical examiner in the area. Fred Mosher was the first presi? dent.... Land for the original airport was acquired from Dan MacMillan of Resen/e.... In the spring of 1929 two Avro Avian aircraft, powered with 85 H.P. Armstrong Sidley engines, were received by| the club and Charles Roy of Trenton, an ex-World War I pilot, was employed as flying instructor and Joseph E. Gould of Ottawa was employed as first aero-engineer. The aircraft bore license markings CF-CAY and CF-CAZ The first aircraft to land at the Cape Breton Flying Club Field was a Buehl Air Sedan, named Bluenose, owned by Rollie D. Archibald and flown from San Francisco by Vernon Dorell on June 6,1929. Archi? bald was formerly from North Sydney. The flight took thirty hours to complete and was the first flight from the Pacific to Atlantic coast.... A barn dance was held by the Cape Breton Flying Club on June 26, 1929, in honor of Archibald and Dorell. At that time the aircraft were moved out of the hangar and the hangar was used for the dance.... Charlie Roy had to complete a cross-country flight before starting op? erations and he and Fred Cleary of North Sydney flew to New Glas? gow, where they landed in a field and the aircraft, CF-CAZ, was bad? ly damaged and had to be shipped back to Sydney and then to Ottawa for repairs. The aircraft was returned to Sydney following re? pairs, but money was scarce at the time and the club was not permit? ted to use it until the bill was paid, and the club continued for some time with one aircraft. As cold weather approached flying hours dropped off drastically, with the result that the club closed down early in 1930 and the staff re? leased. It is believed that flying would have continued at a rate suffi? cient to keep the club operating through the winter months had it been properly handled during the summer and fall months of 1929, with more consideration being given to the large clientele of students who had originally signed up. .rtP-T. ??wim Tm The Buhl Airsedan "Bluenose" at the Cape Breton Flying Club Field after her 32-hour transcontinental flight from California, June 6,1929. Pilot, Vernon Dorell; owner, Roland Archibald. >'' Keddy's Sydney Hotel 600 King's Rd., Sydney, N.S KEDOrS 218 ROOMS Air Conditioned Colour Cable TV Licensed Dining Daily Features Restaurant Hours: 7 A.M.-2 P.M./5 P.M.-10 P.M. Coffee Shop Hours: 7 A.M.-10 P.M. Featuring Our Indoor Recreation Facility • ? Pool ? Sauna ? Whirlpool Bath The club reopened in the following spring with a new instmctor, Don MacPherson of Blackett Street, Glace Bay, Don having learned to fly at Elliot's School of Flying in Hamilton, Ontario, a few years earlier at a cost of $35.00 per hour, and following that had flown for some time with the Ontario Provincial Air Service. Norman Dennison of Ren? frew, Ontario, came to the club as engineer.... Flying had started again in the spring of 1930, but a great many of the original students failed to return for instruction, and new members did not fill the gap.... In the summer of 1933 an attempt was made to fly ship-to-shore mail with an aircraft being catapulted off a passenger liner off Newfound? land. This was a German venture and the aircraft struck foggy weath? er coming in to Cape Breton and originally landed off Glace Bay. Then the pilot found his way into Sydney harbour in the early eve? ning, departing again at approximately midnight. However, the flight crashed into the Bay of Fundy in the general area of Parrsboro. The body of the pilot was recovered but no trace was ever found of the engineer. Again the same year a further attempt was to be made to fly mail from ship to shore, and at this time a land aircraft was to be used and was to be catapulted from the ship at sea. It was to land at Sydney airport where the mail was to be picked up by two aircraft, the property of Canadian Ainways. The two aircraft involved were Steerman Mailplanes. One of these, flown by a very short pilot. Babe Wallett, landed O.K. but due to his stature he had difficulty seeing the runway ahead of him and when he saw trees coming up he apparently jumped on his brakes with the result that his aircraft turned over on its back. The aircraft was put back on its wheels by club personnel. Whale Cruises CHETICAMP Scenic 3-Hour Boat Tours * June to October 3 Times a Day in July & August Contact Capt. _ Bill Crawford, . Cheticamp Boat Tours, Box 10, Grand Etang, Nova Scotia BOE ILO (902)224-3376 BETTENS CONSTRUCTION'=?''" ENTERTAINMENT & DRNCING NIGHTLY RT lUORV'S LOUNGE For Reservations Phone 539-1140 Toll Free Reservations Phone 1-800-561-7666 General Contracting'! ' Residential & Commercial FOUNDATIONS • FLOORS REINFORCED CONCRETE SLABS Pre-Engineered Steel Buildings for Commercial, Industrial & Recreational 849-6566 849-7639 (FAX) • (PHONE) 157 MAIN STREET, GLACE BAY B1A4Z1
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