______A Personal History of RHV
Page 4 of 4
Robin Reid, The Last of the Reid family, Leaves for Oregon
After Amelia's passing in 2000, son Robin assumed management of her flying school. Robin had a lot on his plate. His flying career, a growing family, along with running the flight school. After a time he decided to sell off the school portion of the business and retain rights to use the main hangar for a workshop for the restoration of his many antique aircraft and glider projects. In this agreement, the school was allowed to keep the original name, so well known in this area.
Eventually this became more than he wanted to deal with, and he purchased a home on an airport in Oregon. He also purchased a functioning FBO in order to get the hangar space for his projects.
Robin Reid, ever present around RHV and the local aviation scene, departed for Oregon in early 2010. He had 3 full hangars of stuff on the field that needed to be moved. I kept an eye on this drawn out process with a certain nostalgia and sadness. He continued to offer his considerable flying expertise to homebuilders , warbird and restored antique aircraft pilots for such duties as first flights, ferrying antique aircraft around the country, and providing proficiency training in everything from Taylorcrafts to T-28's.
Various trucks and even a 54ft semi-trailer were needed to move all his belongings. One by one, his various aircraft were flown away to Oregon.
Picture: Robin Reid (center) and friends
Finally, there was a flurry of activity involving a particular biplane which I had seen in his hangar and had been aware of for years. It’s a Kreider-Reisner Challenger
powered by a very rare small Wright Corp. radial engine. This engine had been apart for some time. I later learned Robin was forced to have the replacement parts machined from scratch, as originals simply were not available.
Robin's Kreider-Reisner Challenger, the very first aircraft to land at Reid's Hillview airport in 1939
There were ground test runs and test flights to prepare this ancient craft for the long flight. A few days before a trusted friend of Robins would actually fly this craft away for good, Robin told me that this craft was the very first aircraft to land at the new Reid's Hillview airport in 1939! Exactly 70 years ago.
I watched this beautiful old bird depart and knew it was the end of an era.
Part of the business agreement when Robin finally left for good was that the school discontinue the use of name Amelia Reid Aviation. The name was changed to Aerodynamics, something that took all of us including the control tower personnel some time to get used to.
As things turned out, it was some time before the school got around to actually installing signs with the new name. But they finally did, and on 10/09/2009 Al, the mechanic that has worked there so very long, with the assistance of airport personnel, removed the large sign with the Amelia Reid name on it from above the main hangar door. The other signs on the building facing John Montgomery Drive and Robert Fowler Way consisted of individual letters attached to the sheet metal and remained for several months more before finally being taken down.
Announcing at Reid Hillview Airport day
I’ve done some announcing at fly-ins and air shows since the early 1973 at the EAA chapter 62 Hollister events. Around 2001 or so I assisted Frank Womack in announcing at the annual Reid Hillview day. Later, in 2005 or so, I was asked to do the
Jim Meide and Saber Kitten cheerleaders at RHV airport day
announcing and commentary at Reid Hillview Airport Day when Alan Silver, who had been handling this for several years had a schedule conflict and could not make the date. I ended up doing this each year until 2009. Great fun, as you can see in the photo. Actually it was usually not this grand, but a good friend had connections to the former Arena Football team cheerleaders, the Saber Kittens. He was able to get them to attend airport day for several years as seen here. Since the demise of that team, he now brings the Raiderettes instead.
Over the years I’ve attended a number of special events in the hangars around RHV. These events have included several wakes for departed friends, a wedding, and a party for Maynard Engels 50th birthday which included a male stripper!
It looks as if this is going to be the place I retire from, which I hope to do at the end of this year. There is a certain irony to retire at this field after soloing in a Cessna 150 here long ago at age 17. To Reid Hillview and all the people I’ve known over my years of association with this field, I say thanks for the memories!