Barnyard fly-in at Hawkes Field

By Gord Mahaffy



A mint condition Fairchild 24 - W45.
Photos courtesy
Gord Mahaffy

Once the weather started to clear,
the crowds came out. It was gratifying
to see many families taking an interest in the aircraft.

Hannu Halminen, owner of Hawkes Field
and host of the Barnyard Fly-In talks with COPA
President/CEO Kevin Psutka
and COPA staffer Joanne Nault.

Pilot Don Patrick gives air cadets from
the Chadburn Squadron a briefing
on the Harvard aircraft.


For a fly-in to be successful good weather and airplanes are a must. But there are other more intangible factors that keep crowds coming back year after year.

The Hawkes Field fly-in, also known as the Barnyard fly-in has found these intangible ingredients and once again a large number of people and airplanes gathered.

Hawkes Field is Hannu Halminen’s private airport just east of the Oshawa airport control zone. It sports a single 3,000 foot plus grass runway and several hangars. Everything is clean and pristine which is one of the intangible qualities that make’s this fly-in a success.

Another intangible quality is the welcoming nature of the event. A snack bar run by volunteers raised money for the community, but the corn… Ah, the corn was free.

Aircraft as divergent as a classic Fairchild 24, a Harvard, and a Lazair basic ultralight were all welcomed equally, not to mention a slew of homebuilt, light sport aircraft and fully certified factory aircraft.

COPA National was well represented on the field when President/CEO Kevin Psutka and COPA staffer Joanne Nault arrived in a C-182. Incidentally, Kevin had to file IFR to get here from Ottawa.

At 9:00 a.m. there was low cloud to the north. One aircraft radioed that he was turning back due to deteriorating weather and COPA member John Levasseur reported light rain as he made his approach from the East. But Mother Nature is sometimes fickle in a good way and by 10:30 a.m. there was clear blue skies and VFR weather. By noon, people were feeling too warm in T-shirts and shorts.

Celebrity watchers were treated to seeing Bill Lishman (Father Goose) arrive on his motorcycle. It was too windy for his amphibian trike. And true baseball fans were treated to seeing former major league player, Tim Harkness who played for the Dodgers and the New York Mets during the 1960s and early 70s.

Air cadets from the Chadburn Squadron in Oshawa assisted with parking cars and crowd control. They were treated to a full briefing on the Harvard and Ross Ferguson’s 2/3 scale Spitfire. Both the Cadet squadron and the Spitfire are dedicated to Oshawa Spitfire Ace Loyd V. Chadburn. If you look carefully you can see the initials LVC on the side of the Spitfire honouring this great fighter pilot.

In the late afternoon Robert O’Brien won the free airplane ride and was having a difficult time deciding which aircraft he wanted to fly-in, the Harvard or the Tiger Moth.

One after another aircraft departed for home on a perfect still-summer day into perfect VFR weather.