I acquired CF-KBQ from the Jay family in September 2008 and along with two other flyers also acquired a one third share of Cams Hangar. So far I've only flown it a few hours on both wheels and skis but I have enjoyed it immensely. This is the first aircraft I have ever owned and I am learning a lot very quickly. I look forward to many more hours of flying fun.
Thanks and Cheers,
Cameron Jay's Story (Cam passed away in April 2008)
As a teenager I fell in love with the Aeronca Champs that were being used as trainers at the Mt. Hope Airport near Hamilton, Ontario and I often dreamed of the day that I might own one. I obtained my pilot's license in 1955 at this same airport but never flew for 16 years because my education, school debts, children, mortgages, etc. put flying on the "back burner"...
In 1968 my step-father found a totally wrecked 1949 Champ behind a hangar in Peace River, AB. My wife borrowed $500 to buy this "pile of junk" for me as a 40th birthday present! It came with a good prop and a ceconite covering kit. Later, I obtained the zero time engine that belonged to it for $1300. After I had trailered this "mess" home all who looked at it agreed that there was no way it would ever fly. However, being a stubborn cuss, and a very naive one as well, I began a three year journey into rebuilding my dream plane.
At times I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of work that this rebuild entailed...but I also realized that if I did not complete this plane I would probably never fly again. Anyway, three years later and 16 years after I had obtained my pilot's license I flew this plane for the first time...it is impossible to describe my sense of accomplishment and sheer joy to be back in the air again. Of interest, is that I was checked out in my Champ at the Lyncrest Airfield in 1971! Also, little did I know at the time that many years later I would become a member of the Springfield Flying Club and build a hangar to house my Champ on this very same airfield.
Here are a few facts about this plane: It began with a hand-propped 85 hp engine but along the way someone put a 90 hp engine in it with full electrics, it then became a 7CCM. It spent several years as a spray plane in Saskatchewan. Because of my surname I have painted a large "blue jay" on the fin and the words "blue jay" appear on the cowl. It cost $2800 to completely rebuild this plane, including the zero time engine! Of interest, is that each time I purchased a part for the plane my dear wife would ask me how much that item cost and my standard answer was always: "$20 bucks!". Finally, during the third year of building, and after yet another purchase, she looked at me and said, "You know what sweetie, I think you are twenty-buckin" me to death!!!"
I love to fly this plane on skis as the air is so smooth and my whole world is just one big landing field! Very soon I shall have spent 1000 hours flying this particular plane. My dream of owning and flying a Champ did come to pass, and with it has come a great measure of joy and fun to my life.