Where are they now? How many have trained at East Hill through our long history? We are actively searching for former members! Here's a few EHFC alumni who are no longer at East Hill, but still flying just about everywhere in the world. If you have information about or photos of former members, send them in!
|December 2006 - This photo shows the original founders of EHFC in 1952, incorporated the following year. These original members were exclusively from Robinson/Mohawk Airlines on the "East Hill," which distinguished it from the "downtown" airport. Members of the community later successfully petitioned to be involved and the club grew and added aircraft accordingly. First a Stinson, then an Aeronca and finally a series of TriPacers. Photo right from Tony Bavington.|
Barry Field, wanted desperately to learn to fly in the 1950s and with others approached the original Robinson/Mohawk Club and petitioned them to accept non-airline members. This idea was accepted and East Hill Flying Club then first started welcoming members from the community. Barry first flew the club PA-11 in April 1957 (N4699M). When he joined this plane was down for repairs to the tail so he built up flight credit by applying the many required coats of dope. Two hours of doping earned one hour flight. Barry hired local instructor Al VanEtten (ex-GI WWII veteran) to do the instruction since the club had no one in that capacity. The other club plane at this time was a Stinson Voyager (N8695K). On the fall of 1957 the club acquired an Aeronca (N83924) since the PA-11 had been in a mishap and was out of service.
In 1957, Mohawk moved it's operation to Utica so the club split. The Utica contingent got the Stinson and the other planes stayed in Ithaca. Some members started flying Al Hayes' (ChartAir) Tri-Pacers. Barry spent 1958 in the Army at Ft. Dix and returned to an expanded club with many new people and a used TriPacer (N2474A). Barry last flew with East Hill Sept. 24th, 1959.
July 2007 -Barry and his son flew in for a visit the summer of 2007 on his way home after putting over 75 hours on his Cessna 170 during this recent trip. Their route was from MA to Seattle, San Francisco and back across the country to home.
The Piper PA-11 pictured on the left stayed in Ithaca when East Hill split. The Mohawk Club took the Stinson 108 to Utica (new home of Mohawk Airlines.
Thanks to Barry Field for these archival photos!
December 2006 - Tony Bavington writes:
"I was an EHFC member in 1960 and '61 while attending Cornell. I'd always wanted to learn to fly, so when I found out about the club, I got a job in the dining room of one of the girls' dorm complexes at Cornell to pay for flying lessons. I drove my bicycle to the club, even in the winter, past what were then mostly farm fields to get to my lessons. The club fleet at that time consisted of a PA-11, an Aeronca Champ and two or three Tri-Pacers. I have the N-numbers in my logbooks if you would like them. The club charged $4/hour for the PA-11 and Champ, and the Tri-Pacers were $10. Fuel was included!
"I had my first flight at the hands of Bob Press, a club instructor and fellow student, and accumulated about 25 hours that school year, my last in Ithaca. Got my ticket about a year later, and am still flying.
"I'm retired in Jacksonville, FL and have a second home in an airpark in Lake City, FL (15FL). "Attached is a picture of me and one of my airplanes, a Preceptor N-3 Pup. Flies pretty much like the PA-11."
David Heasley grew up right across the street from the airport at 572 Warren Road and remembers the county blasting to remove tree stumps and put in the parallel taxiway when they took over the airport from Cornell. David learned to fly at ChartAir with Allen Hayes and Fred Khoberger in a 75HP clip-wing Piper Cub (while working as a line boy). He earned his commercial and CFI and instructed at East Hill from 1962 until December of 1963. Together with Cecil McBride, another instructor at the time, they instituted the annual check-out rule we still have today. The planes at the time were the original PA-11 (N4699M), an Aeronca 7AC (N83603) and three PA-22 (2474A, 3520P, 7155D). "Later on we leased a C-150 which Steve Whitted and I checked each other out. I had abroken leg so I flew and on landing Steve stepped on the brakes. Either it was team work or something else. John LLoyd came after I left."
David started working for Eastern Airlines as a co-pilot in Connies, flew the CV-440, L-188 and DC-9s as a captain. He retired early and runs an airport in Northern New Hampshire where he has owned everything from a Norseman to the PA-12 (Pearle) he is pictured with here: N7900H. David has owned this plane for 38 years and totally rebuilt this plane 3 times.
David is an ATP ASMEL with many type ratings and over 20,000 hours. He is still a current CFI teaching floats and tailwheel flying in the rugged north country. He says candidly "It's been a great life, scratched the itches and hope there's a few more flights before heading west."
Bill Moore was an Engineering student at Cornell in the mid 60's. He came back to school with a HD motorcycle and when his roommate saw it he had to get a bigger faster one. That spring his roommate had a serious accident that crippled him up for a year. That summer Bill was working at Corning GW and rooming with a couple of other engineers. "Over supper one evening I said that these motorcycles were not safe but if I get rid of mine I need to replace it with something and I had thought about flying. One of the roommates said let's go back to Ithaca this weekend; my father is President of the EHFC and I will introduce you. Thus started my love of flying on July 19, 1964, in N4699M, a PA-11.Some 53 hours later in a combination of the PA-11 and the fleet of Tri-Pacers I passed my Private Pilot Flight test on May 6, 1965.
Around this time the club purchased N6960P, a Comanche 250. The club requirements for flying N6960P were 150 hours total time plus instruction from an authorized club member and check out by another. The only two members that were authorized to check you out were Prof Harry Kerr and Prof Pete Loukes. By December of 1965 I had my 150 hours and Prof Kerr gave me the instruction in the 250 and Prof Loukes gave me the check ride. Prof Loukes gave me a second check ride when I reactivated my membership that summer to fly N6960P out to California and back. In both of those check rides I learned something about aircraft operation that was burned into my brain.
I departed for California to visit my oldest brother on July 25, 1966. First stop was Lock Haven and an instrument shop that had to check and calibrate the altimeter. Another club member had made the arrangements and flew down in a Tri-Pacer to take care of the altimeter. Once that was accomplished I headed to Peoria with a refueling stop in Toledo. Out of Lock Haven I climbed up through a hole in the overcast for VFR on top. I was not instrument rated at the time. Toledo was reporting CAVU. Airborne I learned that there was a squall line south of Akron, OH moving east. I ended up having to climb to 15k ft to get around the northern edge of this line of storms. I had not planned to use my oxygen bottle until I crossed the Rockies but ended up using it before I left PA.
I visited with friends in Peoria and left Peoria on July 27. I needed a special VFR clearance until I was about 50 miles south of Peoria on my way to Kerrville, TX with a refueling stop in Tulsa OK. The next day I visited the Mooney plant before I headed west. I had to lay over in El Paso, TX because of a squall line coming across the Rockies that afternoon. The following day, July 29, I flew to Orange County, CA with a refueling stop in Phoenix, AZ. Total flying time: 18.8 hours. My return was August 4 and 5. The first day was Orange Co, CA, to Big Springs, TX, in three hops, total time . The second day was Big Springs to Ithaca in four hops because I had to refuel in Elmira, total time . When I had departed on the trip I was told that there had been some problems with the gear extension and that if I had a problem check the circuit breaker first. I had no problems with the gear on the whole trip until I was ready to land at Ithaca, tired after a long day of flying. Fortunately I remembered what I had been told and pushed the breaker in and landed without further incident.
Cloud build-ups on the way west
Comanche on the ramp in El Paso
The Mooney Plant in Kerrville, TX
The Rest of The Story...
Back in the Philadelphia area I joined a flying club based at the Northeast Philadelphia Airport that had a Mark 21 Mooney and a Beechcraft H35 Bonanza. Within a year the club was bankrupt with a gear up landing and other mechanical problems.
I went into partnership with another member on a G35 Bonanza and had great flying for a couple of years. I then bought a house and was engaged to be married. I realized that I had neither the time nor money to support an airplane, a house, and a wife. So, with much soul searching, I reluctantly give up the airplane in 1969.
In the fall of 2002, already retired, I was sitting at my desk in my home office realizing that the kids were out of college, the mortgage was paid off, and I had just made four round trips to my fishing camp in New Brunswick, Canada, 15 hours each way. I immediately took out a map and drew a 15 mile radius around my home and set out to visit all the airports within that radius and talk to their CFI's.
By February 2003 I was current and in a partnership on a 1976 Cherokee Six and planning on flying to my fishing camp. In the spring of 2007 I upgraded to a 1985 Beech A36 Bonanza which I have subsequently upgraded with the weeping wing and Tornado Alley's Turbo Normalizer.
|November 2006 - Michael Jardin was a CFI with East Hill for 3 years while attending Cornell. Mike worked dutifully through the chaos of our club remodeling and our ramp repaving/reconstruction in 1999 and 2000. He still holds the record for CFI hours (all while getting a Computer Science degree at Cornell). Mike first worked for a regional carrier flying Beech 1900s then as FO and Captain flying the Canadair Regional Jet for Air Wisconsin. Mike is currently working for Cathay PacificAirlines flying wide-body Boeings over the Pacific.|
Mike is now living in Hong flying Cathay Pacific's 777s. He flies three models: the -200, -300, and -300ER. He is currently a relief pilot doing all the long routes. Cathay currently only uses their 777s to the Middle East and NYC. Their plan is to start replacing other aircraft going to North America with the -300ERs, which means soon they'll be flying to Toronto, SFO, LAX and Vancouver.
The current flight is HYC to Hong Kong, a 16-hour flight
This is a picture of Mike with the GE90, which powers the -300ERs. This is the most powerful commercial turbine engines ever made. The circumference of the engine is
Mike's current route from HKG to JFK, is the northern Pacific routes (NOPAC), over Alaska and Canada to JFK. He flies almost on top of ITH and says he listens in on 119.6 if someone keys up and says hi!
December 2006 - Jason Ingram, a native of Penn Yan, NY, was involved in an "instant pilot factory" flight school in Florida when he called the flying club in desperation. Arriving shortly thereafter, broke and tired after driving back up north in his beat-up station wagon, Jason trained at East Hill for both his initial CFI in 1999 and subsequent Instrument Instructor certificates. Jason provided quality flight instruction for two years while building his hours, then went directly to Taughannock Aviation flying right seat in the Hawker and Westwind jets. Jason quickly became captain on both these aircraft flying charter flights all over the US and the Caribbean. He emphasizes the importance of learning flight fundamentals well and "paying your dues." Jason also passes on a bit of advice to pilots in training: "There are no shortcuts in aviation, it only temporarily appears that way."
November 2006 - Matt Cizek earned his private pilot certificate here while at Cornell University in the Air Force ROTC program. Matt is remembered as a guy with a great attitude and always a smile. Matt endured some difficult training set-backs but graduated in record time and went directly into military training. He is currently flying F-16s.
November 2006 - Francisco Garzon earned his commercial and CFI here in 1992 while working as a catering manager in Syracuse! "Paco," as he is affectionately called, drove every day from Syracuse while training and later teaching private and instrument students here at East Hill. After leaving East Hill, Francisco built time working for a freight company Air Now flying the famous Bandit (Embraer Bandeirante) through the icy upstate winters. After three introductions to Bob Thomas, Francisco became a pilot with Taughannock Aviation, type rated as captain in the Hawkers, King Air, Falcons, and Challenger. Francisco now works for a charter company in Elmira and with his wife Joyce is the proud parent of a new baby girl. Good training and discipline pays off.
November 2006 - Steve Irving, US Army all the way to his OD socks, started flying with us while stationed here at the National Guard. Known as "Roger" for his prompt replies, Steve trained for helicopters at Ft. Ruker, AL and was deployed to Iraq. Steve is currently back home at Fort Campbell, KY flying the OH-58 for the 101st Airborne Division. Steve has over 1000 hours and combat time in Iraq.
Jeff Maggard, is a wonderful person and talented pilot who taught at East Hill for three years, 2003-06, after earning his CFI (and later instrument instructor) at the club. Jeff is a graduate of Texas A&M and earned all his ratings the hard way: one at a time while working the ramp. Jeff has fueled or towed every aircraft in the southern United States and finally is flying a citation for Seneca Flight based in Penn Yan, NY (KPEO). Jeff and his wife Sonja are enjoying parenthood with their delightful daughter Ayla.