By Nick Wolochatiuk
Glenn Black, past club president, is shown presenting Nigel Field with a
At one of the Cornwall Flying Club’s monthly meetings, the dedication of one of its long-standing faithful members, Nigel Field, was officially recognized.
Field has held the position of Secretary of the club since 2003. In addition, he has been the organizer of the club’s Young Eagle rallies since 2001.
“We have been holding two YE rallies a year ever since. Our club recently hit the 500 mark of Young Eagles flown. Those 500 youngsters are part of the total of the over 1,288,500 YE's flown since the project was launched by the EAA in 1992,” Field said.
When Field was asked to name the club’s top three YE pilots, he paused reflectively, eventually explaining, “I don't know how to answer this without upsetting someone. From my point of view there is a difference between the total number of YE's flown and the number of missions flown.”
Some of our most dedicated YE pilots are Barry Franklin, Andy Le Gourrierec, Fouad Menassa, John Kivenko, Bud Hickey and Erkki Kukkonen.
How does such enthusiasm for aviation get its start? Field shared some of his early experiences that eventually led him to become the proficient pilot and aviation promoter he is today.
“I became interested in aviation when I was watching Spitfires and Hurricanes in action during the WW II Battle of Britain. Since I lived close to two of the main RAF fighter stations in the south of England I had a grandstand view. I later joined the Air Cadet Squadron at my school and eventually learned to fly with the University of London Air Squadron.
“After settling in Canada I couldn't afford to fly and also bring up a family. However, the children grew up. When one of my sons decided that he wanted to get his pilot licence, I decided that I would like to renew my long out-of-date licence. We bought a Citabria and we both got our licenses. Then I joined the Cornwall Flying Club. My sons continued to pursue careers in aviation. They are now working for Bombardier.”
Contact with aircraft by seeing them flying overhead, by visiting commercial or local airports can spark an aviation career. Taking your children to an airport’s breakfast fly-in (Cornwall’s is held every Father’s Day – this year’s is on Sunday, June 17) or to an aviation museum is bound to spark enthusiasm too.
Joining the Air Cadets is an aviation grass roots experience that opens many doors. However, there’s nothing more exciting than becoming a Young Eagle by going up for your first flight in a light aircraft.