Woolsey Airport Fly In & Breakfast

Woolsey AirportThe annual fly-in and breakfast at Woolsey Memorial Airport (four miles north of Northport on County Road 629) will be held this Saturday (Aug 21) from 8 AM – noon. You may also drive-in of course and the breakfast fee is $8 adults ($4 children). In addition to small planes, there are also Coast Guard Helicopter and military aircraft (one year there was a C-130!), antique & custom cars and demonstrations and tours of aircraft. All in all, it’s a great day!

Here’s a great article on the history of Woolsey Airport from the Traverse City Record-Eagle. It begins:

Clinton F. Woolsey, a Northport native son born in 1894, was considered one of the nation’s best pilots in the Army Air Corps in the 1920s. He died a hero when he and his co-pilot, John W. Benton, were killed in a 1927 mid-air collision near Buenos Aires during the first-ever U.S. international goodwill flight to 23 Central and South American countries. The 22,000-mile tour took two months. Buenos Aires was the halfway mark.

Woolsey probably could have parachuted to safety but apparently chose to ride his amphibian biplane down in an attempt to land because Benton was on the wing, without his chute, attempting to lower the landing gear by hand.

Photo Credit: Woolsey Airport by Geoff George

Also check out this report from 2004 on the Leland Report and also this nice collection of photos from the 2006 & 2007 Fly-in from Jim Sorbie.

11 replies
  1. hmorrison
    hmorrison says:

    In 1974, while stationed at the USCG Air Station in Traverse City my dad visited me and we went for a drive up to Northport. It was familier ground to me and I took my dad to see Woolsey Airport. The building was open and we went inside for a look around. There was a pilot’s register there and my dad said I should look for his name. I thought he was kiding, but in fact he had landed there several years before while taking a pleasure ride. What a great experience for both of us. His name was Hamilton Morrison and he passed away about thirty years ago.

  2. John Ryder
    John Ryder says:

    I have been stopping at Woolsey Airport for more than 25 years. What a wonderful and beautiful asset for Nortport, Mi. to have. We always stop by Woolsey anytime we’re in the area and always for the flyin rain or shine.
    Nice community, old cars and of course most of all the airplanes.
    Leelanau County take care and preserve this memorial.
    The woolsey flyin is a must see.

  3. Tom Mellon
    Tom Mellon says:

    Hi all,
    There is talk of some PPG pilots gathering at the Woolsey Airport this August for a fly-in. Can you give me any info about this? The wife and I fly 4-stroke powered paragliders and would love to fly that beautiful area. I have a TrikeBuggy and have been flying them for seven years. I’ve flown ultralights and a benson gyrocopter since 1969. Please let us know so we can plan our summer around it…Tom

  4. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    Hi, I don’t know if someone on this blog might be the one flying over our place here at Cathead Point (July 6,7,8,9), but if so, please be aware that your early morning flights are waking us up. The powered parachutes make a sound that carries powerfully out here, as if someone is mowing the lawn right outside our window. A few flights have occurred around 6:30 am, on a holiday weekend with lots of guests. Please be considerate when flying ‘in that beautiful area’ that the gliders from the ground feel intrusive. Thank you,

  5. Tom Mellon
    Tom Mellon says:

    Regarding Melissa’s comments;
    I don’t really know where Cathead Point is but next time our PPG getogther comes up to your beautiful area we will find the area and stay clear in the early morning.We fly at daybreak and sunset because that is when the winds are calm and our wing chutes are very suppectical to high winds and thermals. Sorry about the noise Melissa and we’ll try to be more resposible in your area…tom mellon

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