South Boston - Halifax County: William M Tuck Airport - W78

Aero Club Spurs Interest In Civilian Flying

     By S. T. Strang

The Halifax County Aero Club was organized in March, 1954. The organizing was done by Frank Sadler, acting president and chief instructor, Lacy Green, acting secretary and club instructor, and S. T. Strang. In the organizational meeting Lacy Green, W M. Croes, Bernard Marks, and Everett Taylor were elected officers for the first year.

The club purchased two airplanes and proceeded to teach the members to fly. The first year had many rough spots, but also much enthusiasm. All of the active members learned to fly. It didn't take so long to learn to fly solo, but, oh how long it seemed that first time. Everyone was thrilled, but Billy Cassada was probably the most thrilled of all. He was so excited after soloing that he couldn't talk.

The idea of being alone in an airplane is hard to explain. Sometimes someone will say to himself "This is me, I can't believe it." Probably the toughest solo was Cheatham Veasey's. He not only had a solo at a strange airport, with hard-surfaced runways, which caused the plane to have different landing characteristics, but as he was about to land an airliner came in and he had to go around again. All of this plus the fact that the wind came up and shifted while he was in the air and made Cheatham feel like an ace after he finally got down. The most recent solo was made by Sam Glass. Sam soloed May 26.

The club has had advice and assistance from lots of friends, and more experienced pilots. They have helped us over some of the rough spots and have contributed time and knowledge to help us develop. About 30 persons have flown in the club planes, and we have been operating a year without a mishap. The Halifax County Aero Club is proud of the fact that it has served as a stimulus to aviation in Halifax County and vicinity. Private flying needs stimulation in the United States and the flying club is one method of having young people interested in aviation. It is the most inexpensive method of flying, and therefore makes flying available to greater numbers of persons. Before the club organized there were about four active flyers around Halifax County. Now there are about forty, with about seventeen airplanes. We think we have contributed to the stimulation of interest.

The second year of operation began with the installation of new officers. They were Cheatham Veasey, president; William Willis, vice-president; E. W Moore, treasurer; and S. T. Strange, secretary. The first thing the new administration completed was the incorporation of the club for the protection of the members. New business methods were devised and the club was put on a sound financial and administrative standard. Some memberships were ex- changed and new members added to the club. The club has made arrangements with Frank Sadler, chief instructor, for special rates to members for dual instruction.

Some of the club members have received their private pilot license, and some are ready or completing the final preparations for the test. The club is run for the benefit of most of the members, and some feel that after the majority receives the proper license, they should exchange one of the planes for a cross-country type. Cross-country flying is some of the most fun, but it is so easy to get lost. Sometime a novice on his first cross-country cannot find the airport at home when he is over top of it, but that adds to the thrill and the fun of learning.

Members of the Halifax county, but we do have members from outside.

Halifax Gazette
June 16, 1955