By Wayne Stockton – Regina, Sask.
Back in 1948, airplanes were still quite a novelty in small town Saskatchewan.
That summer a fellow was piloting an Aeronca from Saskatoon to Winnipeg when he decided to make a short stop at Maryfield, Sask. to visit a relative.
He landed the plane in an open field on the north side of town. This attracted a score of people who rushed out to the landing sight to get a look. Pretty soon several folks were asking the pilot if he would take them up for a ride.
The pilot agreed and the first passengers were Clayton Twigge and his daughter Jean, who was about six years old at the time.
The plane had no sooner taken off when one of the wheels fell off and was left hanging by the brake cable.
When the plane came in for a landing 20 minutes later, we were waving and pointing frantically to the pilot to let him know there was a problem.
Unfortunately, he didn’t understand our signals and in he came.
As soon as the left gear hit the ground it dug in spinning the plane and nosing it into the ground. Fortunately no one was injured but considerable damage was done to the underside of the plane.
When the pilot got out of the plane he said that if he had realized the problem he would have gone on to Brandon where repairs could have been made.
I don’t remember what they did under the circumstances. I assume the plane had to be disassembled and hauled by truck to where repairs could be made.
In any case it was an exciting event for the small town.