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> Issue 55 > Page 75 - Bill MacRitchie and Early Flight

Page 75 - Bill MacRitchie and Early Flight

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/8/1 (186 reads)

Alcock and Brown had flown the Atlantic-- two British pilots. They were the first ones to really fly non-stop, and they land? ed in Ireland. So I followed all of this, I was following every move that was there. So, however, in 1927 I went to Boston. My fa? ther had an un? cle living in Boston. And I was there. In 1927, where the Logan Field is. It was built right on a dirt or cinder track--race? track. I went down. And I got my first air? plane ride in August of 1927. Now, Lindbergh had only flown the Atlantic in April or May. And in August I club. In Cape Breton. There were no planes here yet, at all. They were talking about getting a flying club because the federal government--basically, I think they had a war in mind. From Bricky Stevenson's Summary: In May 1931 Fred Mitchell, of Dominion, N.S., worked, up interest in a goodwill flight to Hali? fax, which j was to be the first retum flight sched? uled between Sydney and j Halifax, with l__ .. ' . the result that the two club aircraft took off for Halifax on the morning of May 9th, loaded down with copies of the Sydney Post and a loaf of bread from Eastern Bakeries. The bread was presented to Mayor Mitchell of Halifax on the steps of the City Hall on that same day. The aircraft CAY was flown by myself with Norman Dennison as passenger, and CF-CAZ was flown by Don MacPherson with Fred Mitchell as passenger. The flight was to return the same day, but due to bad weather the return flight had to be postponed until May 11th. The two aircraft spent 4:45 hours in the air on the trip to Halifax due to head winds.... Left to right: Don MacPherson, 0. B. Flying Club instructor;Bob Dodds, Dept. of Transport inspector; Bricky Stevenson, pilot; Mayor Mitchell; Jeff Harrison, presi? dent of the l-lalifax Flying Club; Norman Dennison, C. B. Flying Club engineer; Fred Mitchell of Dominion, organizer of the flight. had my first ride as a passenger. This is another tre? mendous feeling, to get in this old Curtiss Jenny plane with an O-X-5 engine in it. And it's wide open--seat was big enough for two. There was another fellow and myself--a young fellow--we went for this ride. In the bottom of the aircraft they had a rope with a knot in it. This is what you held onto. There were no straps, and--wide open. That's the way we went for a flight. That was my very first flying experience. This was in Boston. Just out around the harbour. Well, I did that (myself) years after, when I was doing barnstorming. As long as the people'd get up enough for 5 or 10 minutes, that's all they wanted. They wanted the experience, to get up there. Out west we used to fly--and in Cape Breton, too--I used to do a lot of barnstorming and flying. The wintertime-- the ice was there, see. And (flying) fields were almost non-existent. So shortly after I came home, people started talking about starting a flying They knew there was something com? ing up. Be? cause they had beaten the Germans in 1918, but they knew they didn't beat them, really.... So we got a bunch of peo? ple together and we had a meeting at the Y.M.C.A. Glace Bay had a Y.M.C.A. at that time, in 1928. We had classes, ground school, in the winter of 1928-29. And we started looking for a nucleus of World War One flyers. We had to have 10 (members) in order to qualify for two air? craft from the federal government. And then we had to find a place to fly from. And there was a place in Reserve owned by a fellow by the name of Dan MacMillan. He had a big--ideal for that area--farm. It Nightingale Nursing Services {21 24 hours; 7 days a week service iZ R.N.*s - C.N.A.'s {21 Homemakers & babysitters {21 Care provided in home or hospital {21 Bonded & insured {21 Reasonable rates FULL TIME R.N. NURSING SUPERVISION Local People 562-6274 Professionally Serving Local Needs SYDNEY SERVING ALL CAPE BRETON ISLAND V'dn'/ FOR A REAL CAPE BRETON WELCOME TO CAPE BRETON ~ OLD SYDNEY PUB Finest Food and Beverages * Nightly Dancing * Fresh Seafoods * Everything We Serve Is Homemade * * A Comfortable Atmosphere for a Meal and a Good Time * PHONE 539-3003 ' ' 581 Grand Lake Road, Sydney '"'nir'''' The Sydney • Glace Bay Highway, off Route 125
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