Most of Dan Ford's books are available in digital editions; click
 here for more

CUB HOME > FRIENDLY

The webmaster's guide to Cub-friendly airports

The downside of driving a Piper Cub around the countryside is that few airports are equipped to play host to an airplane without electrics. One time the only person qualified to help me start the plane was a mechanic who flat-out refused to spin the prop or get into the front seat. Another time, the pilot of a jump plane agreed to handle the controls, then climbed into the Cub and ended facing the tail--not calculated to give you great confidence! (I've also had the experience of folks gathering around the Cub and laughing at it.) Following are airports where Cub drivers have been treated with dignity and a friendly hand on the prop, and where J-3 instruction can be had. Additions are welcome; send email to the webmaster. -- Dan Ford

New England

7B3 in Hampton NH is my home airport. It does all its primary training in Cubs, though most students transition to a Cessna before taking their PPL test. Taildragger transition training also. Practically everyone on the field knows how to prop a plane. There's a self-service pump for mogas and 100LL, and the nozzle is automobile-style, so you don't spill it everywhere.

I ventured to Parlin Field (2B3) in Newport NH on the 4th of July [2003]. The airport manager and his wife both came out to greet me, help me pump gas, and get me to sign the guestbook. Their daughter was playing video games inside. Later the manager volunteered to hold the Cub's tail while I propped it. The airport has a grass strip at right angles to the asphalt, though I didn't venture to try it.

IWI in Wiscassett ME is a neat airport near the outer limit of my cruising range. When I landed, I was delighted to see a Cub tied down. I got to talking with the FBO manager, a pretty woman who'd just flown her own Cub (fitted with wing tanks) back from the Lock Haven Sentimental Journey Fly-in. (I'm told that the FBO is Wicked Good Aviation, and that the manager's husband is the mechanic.) This place is definitely worth a visit, especially since (2008) there's a move afoot to close it down.

New: 5ME Brandy Pond Seaplane Base in Naples ME welcomes taildraggers (but only on floats, I assume). "I do hope you will stop in and visit. I do love a tail wheel plane!" says the owner, Mary Build. See the website.

7B2 in Northampton MA (not to be confused with 7B3 in North Hampton NH!) is likewise on the outer edge of my range. The gas jockey was delighted to see me and pleased as punch to be able to spin the prop. He looked like he knew what he was doing, too.

Spencer Airport (60M) in Spencer MA is a small gravel field with camping available, and the home of Ed Urbanowski's Urban Aviation Services, offering J-3 Cub instruction and rentals. Tel. 508.755.1989

Chris Siderwicz is manager of Marstons Mills Airport (2B1) in Marstons Mills, MA a grass field just west of Hyannis, instructs in tail wheels and welcomes Cubs and works on them. His phone is 508.428.8732 [Michael Nagle]

For years NORDO aircraft were banned from Plum Island Airport (2B3) in Newburyport MA, but the ban has been lifted by new management, the paved runway has been smoothed, and there's a gorgeous grass runway (32/14), beloved of taildraggers. I'm assured that you will always be able to get a prop from the lads hanging about the porch.

We offer Cub training on a privately owned, public grass strip in in western Connecticut at Candlelight Farms Airport, 11N. Very Cub friendly. [Tim and Peggy Preston, Preston Aviation, Inc.] (summer)

Other northeast

Bayport (23N) on Long Island is a Cub friendly place: we have 4 of them here and I fly one all the time. Check out our web sites Antique Airplane Club of Greater New York [with a video of a Cub taking off on a windy day!] and Bayport Aerodrome Society. [Stuart Bain]

Here are two Cub friendly airports in upstate New York: Argyle (1C3) and Chapin (1B8). [Tim Allen] More about Argyle: The airport is managed by Dick Bovey, owner of Argyle Aviation. Dick has a restored a number of Cubs. He is also a flight instructor with a great deal of instruction experience in a variety of tailwheel airplanes, including Cubs. [RGB]

North of Argyle is another Cub friendly airport, Granville NY (B01). The airport has been owned and operated by Neal Hulett for the previous 57 years. His specialty is restoring Cubs and repairing Cub parts. His first airplane was an E2 Cub. He is a wealth of Cub information. [RGB]

In western New York, Middlesex NY (4N2) is in the heart of the scenic finger lakes region. This airport is operated by Bob Mincer. There is always a restoration project in the shop. They have restored Cubs and have a Cub based at the airport. [RGB]

Aeroflex-Andover NJ (12N) is the home of Andover Flight Academy, which trains in a L-4 Piper Cub and does bush-pilot training in a CubCrafters Top Cub. A grass runway parallels the asphalt. This is a very pretty location (really!), with many private and public-use grass strips that Damian Delgaizo uses for bush-pilot training. Ask the locals if it's okay to fly into them.

Piper Memorial (LHV) in Lock Haven PA, is of course Cub Haven, especially during the annual Sentimental Journey fly-in.

Skyhaven Airport 76N in Tunkhannock PA has auto fuel, campground with showers (call ahead), two mechanics on field, J-3 parts in stock, tailwheel training in a J-3 and a Stinson Gullwing for rides. Many antique and homebuilts on the field. You can land on the grass either side of the asphalt runway. Car available. Town 1 mile: Wal-Mart, grocery store, diner, Burger king, Subway, icecream, gas stations adjacent to airport. Susquehanna River access. Overnight hangar avialable. Email skyhaven@epix.net or call 570-836-4800; ask for Steve or Barb Gay [Leigh Gay]

Please add Sport Aviation located at Van Sant Airport (9N1) in Erwinna, PA to your list of Cub friendly airports in the Northeast. [Samantha Beattie]

South

Massey Aerodrome MD1 has a 3000' x 100' grass strip and is located on the eastern shore of Maryland. Massey is a public airport devoted to preserving grass roots aviation, it was created in 2001 from a farm purchased by four individual partners and operated solely for the love of aviation; the Massey Aerodrome Museum is a not-for-profit (501C-3). [Bill Dougherty]

From what I understand, New London (W90) in Virginia, does [all its training in taildraggers], too. Except they use a J-4. [rec.aviation.piloting]

"I highly recommend Marion County Airport, Shiflet Field (9A9), Marion NC.... Most of the planes are tail draggers.... Grass strip 3,000x150, very easy to find visually in any direction. Thirty miles east of Asheville NC, down in the Piedmont region, you just fly to the western edge of Lake James and there we are.... If any of you are ever coming down this way, call me 828 768 4425. We'll be glad to prop start you, do some cruising together and enjoy the company." [Bill Forstchen]

Come down to KJLN in Joplin, MO. We have three runways [and] two grass strips.... This is a controlled airport, operating within Class Delta airspace. We are very helpful to pilots whose radios aren't that good.... I have 7.6 hours in a PA-11 and 2.5 hours in the J-3 and got to solo the J-3 today, it was great. [Adam Rhodes]

There is a good Cub-friendly airport here at Lincoln, Missouri, Lincoln Airport OR2, city owned& public. 2931'x125' grass North-South runway. Airport is on the edge of town with 4 great eating places within easy walking distance. Overnight camping is available. Sat. & Sunday has lots of Cubs & other Tailwheel aircraft landing for breakfast. I & my best friend own a J-4 Cub Coupe [which is flying] and also a J-3 (which is wind damaged now). My youngest son Mark & I want to soon start rebuilding the J3 this summer. Come on by and see us sometime. [Jim Bentch]

Add M11, Copiah County Airport, Hazlehurst, MS to the list. 3000' paved runway with a service oriented FBO, who also owns a Luscombe, so tail-draggers are especially welcome. [Steve See]

Well, there's one in my back yard. It's a private grass strip in Carrollton, Ky (3ky4) that's open to all. No gas, but I'll fetch some if anyone needs some. [Barry Brown]

I flew a clipped-wing J-3 out of Moontown Airport (3M5) in Huntsville, AL for some time. There are a number of people there who are more than happy to prop your Cub. Privately owned, public use, 2300 feet of grass, and about 100 aircraft (including ultralights and sailplanes) are based there. See http://fly.to/moontown. [John Robbins]

Jack Brown's Seaplane Base in Winter Haven FL offers seaplane checkouts in an 85-hp J-3 Piper Cub. See the website. Also does repair work on taildraggers.

Love's Landing (97FL) in Weirsdale FL is a private air park whose owner assures me that Cubs are welcome. See the web page at Love's Landing or call Sonny Love at 1-800-628-8066.

CubAir Flight Academy in Sebring FL prides itself on being "the first and only flight academy to specialize in training pilots of all ages to fly tail wheel aircraft." Training is done in a new Cub Crafter's Sport Cub Evidently still in planning, "CubAir Flight Academy is designed around a campus concept and will include a state-of-the-art flight training center, a lodge with full dining facilities for students and their families, and a CubCrafter Sales and Service Center."

"We offer Cub training on a privately owned, public grass strip in Eustis FL just north of Orlando at MidFlorida Airport, X55. Very Cub friendly." [Tim and Peggy Preston, Preston Aviation, Inc. (winter)

Central states

Add Poplar Grove, IL (C77)) to your list of Cub friendly places; they have a Cub for rental (working on tailwheel transition in it now) and probably at least a dozen or so more Cubs, plus countless other aircraft that require "prop spinning", also, the line crew (from the FBO) is very experienced with hand propping. poplargroveairmotive.com Love your site!" [Trace Lewis]

Bigfoot Airfield (7V3), a grass strip in southern Wisconsin about 15 min northeast of Poplar Grove (C77). 9/27 is 2915x85 ft. and 18/26 is 2108x100ft. As of now we have one Cub on the airport under restoration." [Andy Kretschmer]

"We are all cub friendly up here! My home airport is New Richmond, WI (KRNH), and my "hometown", which I still visit most weekends, Chetek, WI (Y23)." [Dave Spangler]

Add Indianapolis Terry Airport, the guy who works for the FBO there used to do airshows in a Cub, including a cartop landing, also Indianapolis, Eagle Creek, a lot of Cub friendly people there, Ind. Mount Comfort seems Cub friendly. [Chip Kell]

Lee Bottom Flying Field (641), Hanover IN. Call 812.866.3211 or go to the Lee Bottom website. Gliders on field. Handheld recommended. "All aircraft and most people welcome." [Rich Davidson]

You should add Glenndale Airport (8I3) in Indiana. We have 5 cubs based at our 2600' grass field and it is a very friendly place. The airport owner and his father and grandfather all flew (Dale still does) Cubs. There is also a clipped-wing cub based here that will be used for airshows next year. See the Glenndale website. [Greg Aldridge]

Another airport you might want to add is 5I4 (Sheridan) in Indiana, it has a grass ruway and would be very friendly to a Cub wandering in. My aerobatic practice box is located there. [Greg Aldridge]

My wife rents a cub at Pella, Iowa, municipal airport. Shane Van der Voort is the FBO owner and chief bottle washer. A great place to stop in, if you feel so inclined. [Drew]

Dan, you can also add Red Stewart Airfield (40I), Waynesville Ohio. Cubs, Champs, Stearman. [rec.aviation.piloting]

And Hartford, Wisconsin KHXF. With about 75 airplanes based at Hartford, over 90 percent are taildraggers. Last Cub count was over 20. Also include several Waco's, Stearmans, a TravelAir, an Eaglerock, several SuperCruisers, Champs, C-120s, 140s, 170s, Pitts and a bunch of other homebuilts. Basically all the popular taildraggers with a spattering of some real gems. [rec.aviation.piloting]

West

'We would love to invite you to attend our West Coast Cub Fly-in,' writes Mina Mandibles of Lompoc Airport LPC, Lompoc CA. 'Here is our web page. Anytime you are in the area, come on by, we love Cubbies!'

Moose Creek (1U1) ... is one of several [airfields] in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness of Northern Idaho and offers two grass strips and several campsites. The ranger station has drinking water and the campsites have outhouses. Doesn't that sound Cub friendly? If you find me there I'll swing your prop. [Roland Turney, Bear Creek Lodge]

If you come to Montana stop in at Roundup (RPX). The FBO has a 76 Super Cub that works for a living, so yours wont be laughed at. As far as hand propping, I have heard that a glider tow hook works well for holding everything in place until the pilot is ready to go. [Justin Bennett]

CYS - Cheyenne, Wy...... Cub friendly here..... not sure about the "line boys" but,,, I can meet ya (anyone) no prob...... love to help....... [LuckeBoy]

Pacific coast

We have a 1941 J3 Cub for rent at Sunrise Aviation. We are located at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA. [Ty Frisby]

My name is Michael Rutledge owner of Silver Wings Flying Company, and I provide dual instruction in my 1945 J-3C based at Olympia Airport, WA (KOLM).... [We] spend much of the training using several local grass airstrips to hone technique and increase exposure to different landing environments. The airplane is beautifully restored with an A-65, large 8.50 main wheels, landing gear safety cables, and 4 pt shoulder harnesses. I can also provide instruction in owner's tailwheel aircraft up to heavy warbird trainers.

I wanted to tell you about a flight school here in the Seattle area that offers Cub training. Northwest School of Aviation flies N48612 with an 85 hp Continental w/electric start out of Paine Field KPAE. I've got 3.6 hours of dual time in it so far. [Neil McNeight]

"Bob Stark's Twin Oaks airfield (7S3) is about 15 miles SW of Portland, maybe 6 miles south of a busy airport (HIO, bizjets, helo training) and is a nice place. I prefer to stay below 1,700 feet because Newburg VOR (UBG) is a point where aircraft approach Hillsboro and don't look for fun yellow flying machines. They have a J-3 and a J-5. I'd forgotten that a J-3 is just as wide as my .... ahem... shoulders. No electricty on the J-3, we bring a hand held radio and listen/ transmit on the CTAF 123.05" [Buzz]

"Another good place for fabric taildraggers and hand propping is Lenhardt's airfield, 7S9. It's about 30 miles south of Portland, nice people there too. Lauren Paine described it in one of his articles in the AOPA flyer. One caution is that there's a busy uncontrolled airfield (UAO, Aurora ) and their pattern for runway 35 can extend over into where you fly for Lenhardt's."

Arlington Airport (AWO) Arlington, WA "We have a J-3 for instruction and rental, and can bring yours inside overnight if you want to park. We have a J-3 expert on our staff for service if you need it. We'll even spin your prop when you are ready to leave. We'll pull out the yellow carpet for you." -- Dave Wheeler Northwest Aviation Center, Arlington WA (360) 435-3337

Include Gillespie Field (SEE) at El Cajon, CA as a Cub Friendly airport. We are just east of San Diego. We will let a visitor tie down free for a couple of nights at Classic Hangars (619-449-0539) on the North East corner of the field. Five J3s in these two hangar rows. The San Diego Aerospace has a annex door where rebuilds are always underway. I even have a Suburban that you can use if you can afford the fuel for the 454 engine. [Len J Buckel]

I'm writing to tell you of a Cub friendly instructor: George Kirkish. He has a Cub for rent at Boeing Field in Seattle WA, another in his hanger on Vashon Island, and teaches out of both the Cub and a Maule. Web site: www.island-air.com. Phone: 1-877-475-3247. [Tom Unger]

Britain

Sywell (UK). Come along and I'll swing your prop! [Frank Voeten]

The Glenflorsa Hotel sent me a link, without explanation, but when I clicked on the various pages I did find a photo of a Piper J-3 or L-4 coming in for a landing, so it's evidently Cub-friendly at least in part. There's a grass strip next door to the hotel, which is on the Isle of Mull in western Scotland. [Dan Ford]