The Greenwood-built private airport
Submitted by Nute Chapman
From Onaway Outlook July 25, 2014

Caption:  An advertisement for flying lessons for veterans under the GI Bill of Rights.
In July of 1946 we find records of the city toying with the idea of leasing the Onaway Airport to the Presque Isle Aviation Service to use for flight training for veterans, under the GI Bill of Rights.
At this same time Al "Bud" Greenwood was running Greenwood Sales and Service, on the southwest corner of State Street and Pine Street.
Bud was selling Plymouth and DeSoto cars and already being a pilot himself, he decided to sell the Luscombe line of airplanes.
We find in the Onaway News that Moody Larson came to Onaway and picked Bud Greenwood up and both flew to Dallas, Texas, where Greenwood purchased a new plane and flew it back. This is the Luscombe we see flying above Onaway and is tied up at the Onaway Airport.
A later bit of news states that Bud Greenwood was in Chicago and Detroit where he contracted to add airplanes to his automobile line of merchandise.
He expected to have his first demonstrator on display in the later part of October, and agreed to teach anyone to fly who purchased a plane.
Another interesting scoop was that the city commission was wrestling with the problem of leasing the airport.
They were acting cautiously because of the ncertain future. it seems to us the question should not be how many dollars the city gets from a lease as it is the development and free use of it by air-minded people.
An airport is much like a public park or a good road; they are never built for their income value but for the convenience of the public.
Apparently the lease of the Onaway Airport to the Presque Isle Aviation Service and the use of the airport for other people did work out.
We find that A.L. Greenwood had purchased 80 acres in Section 18, Township 35, from the conservation department and built a private airport on it.
The adjacent acreage was nice and level so that the location would make an ideal airport.
The airport lies just three-fourths of a mile west of what is known as the "Four Mile Corners" north of Onaway.
Mr. Greenwood was expecting to build a hangar big enough to house two planes and equipped to service such planes as need servicing. He had the agency for luscombe planes and had delivery on three units, two of which had been sold.
Some work had already been done on the runways and they would be ready for plane landings early in the spring.
The airport would be open to the public and would be large enough to enable the larges of private planes to land.
The city airport had been leased to private parties and was being used to give instruction to soldiers.
One can drive west on North Allis Highway and look at the long field on the east side of Kelner's property; this was the site of Bud's new airport.
This first runway was done enough to land a plane but the buildings were never built.
We know that Bud sold his business and moved to Cheboygan sometime in 1947.
Perhaps they had an airport open to the public and one could gas up his plane in Cheboygan.
From the Onaway Outlook, July 25, 2014, page 3.
Retyped by J. Anderson

Return to Home Page