Bits and Pieces
Book Review: History of the Lyncrest Airport
Lyncrest Airport, located just southeast of Winnipeg, within the Perimeter Highway, began in 1958, developed by funds supplied by Donald Paterson of the Paterson Grain Company. Later Donald sold the property to the city of Winnipeg, but pilots continued to use it as an airport. Several times in its history, pilots struggled to find the funds needed to save it from termination, never expecting to see their money returned. Now two authors, Jill Oakes and Rick Riewe, have written about the small prairie airfield in a delightfully researched and detailed history that belongs in every Canadian aviation library. Here’s the story of an airport that wouldn’t die.
Lyncrest Airport, located just southeast of Winnipeg, within the Perimeter Highway, began in 1958, developed by funds supplied by Donald Paterson of the Paterson Grain Company. Later Donald sold the property to the city of Winnipeg, but pilots continued to use it as an airport. Several times in its history, pilots struggled to find the funds needed to save it from termination, never expecting to see their money returned.
From History of the LyncrestAirport:
In 1975, the fledgling Springfield Flying Club [SFC] was required by the City to purchase insurance within five days of receiving notice. No one had the cash; John Masniuksaved the airport by contributing the $500, never expecting to see his money paid back.Again in 1997, members had to find enough money to buy the land, preventing the City from selling the land to other interested parties. Thanks to the interest-free loans ranging from $1,000 to $16,000 from 16 members, the sale of 110 acres to the Springfield Flying Club from the City of Winnipeg for $87,000 was finalized.
These members never expected to get their money back. Since then, the RAA [Recreational Aircraft Association] Workshop-FinalAssemblyBuilding, SFCMaintenanceBuilding, Lyncrest Flight Centre, and over 40 hangars constructed by members with over 100 aircraft are located on the airfield. In 2006, to protect the airport from urban sprawl and allow adequate clearance for departure and arrival paths, 86 acres of adjacent land was purchased from the City of Winnipeg for $800/acre, extending the property owned by the Springfield Flying Club from Murdock Rod to the Perimeter Highway.
The determination, commitment, and camaraderie shared by Lyncrest aviation enthusiasts built the foundation for Canada’s leading flying club-owned airport.
The book is organized into four sections:
1. “Ready for Flight” discusses the leases, land purchase, and airport construction.
2. “Flight Planning” summarizes the flying clubs, volunteers, finances, and services.
3. “$200 Hamburgers” includes flying-related stories and activities.
4. “Turning Final” and “Congratulations” summarize the history of Lyncrest, ending with congratulations from many businesses, organizations, and individuals.
Lyncrest in a Winnipeg winter
The book is printed on quality glossy paper with a full complement of colour photos. Throughout the read, you’re captivated by the spirit and passion of the folks, folks who found a rallying cause bigger than their own individuality and polarizing organizations. Here the RAA, Canadian Owners and Pilots Association, and EAA all have chapters and all are cooperating in their love of flight. If you haven’t flown into Lyncrest yet, put Lyncrest on your next flight itinerary that takes you near Winnipeg.
At a time when many of small recreational airports are under scrutiny and attack, this book shows what determination and effort can achieve. You’ll want to read it and get a copy for your library.
I first visited Lyncrest when my wife and I were travelling to Oshkosh in our motorhome in 2009. I had been invited to join in a hamburger barbecue to meet some of the folks who we would be involved with at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. We were later than intended, and while communicating with them by cell phone, our progress was being closely monitored by a J-3 Cub and a Pietenpol that kept circling above our motorhome as we progressed along the Perimeter Highway. Such is the spirit of the folks who would not let their airport die.
This book is available from:
Recreational Aviation Press
Treasurer, Springfield Flying Club
P.O. Box 55 Group 612 SS6
57119 Murdock Road
Winnipeg, MB R2C 2Z3
For more information, visit www.Lyncrest.org/lyncrestflyinshop.html.