Chickasha, OK (pronounced "chick-a-shay" by the
locals) is a home base and destination cited by Wiley
Post. He flew there to and from Tucson on November 17,
1928 and December 17, 1928. (Coincidentally, December 17,
1928 was the 25th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first
flight. I wonder if he thought about that.) On both of those
flights passing through Tucson he was flying Lockheed Vega
NC7954. This brand new Vega was the first "Winnie Mae",
c/n24, built on August 12, 1928.
Chickasha Municipal Airport is located southwest of Oklahoma
City. I have no images of the airport as it was in Post's
day during the 1920s and 30s. However, Chickasha airport
looks like this today. Images below were taken by your Webmaster
on September 11, 2002 (yes, I just had to fly on this day).
The two airborne shots are out the front, through the prop
disk over the nose of my airplane.
Left, flying crosswind for runway 35 on approach from the
Right, final approach for runway 35. Runway 17/35 is concrete.
The other two runways (4/22, 18/36) are turf and difficult
to see in these images. They are to the right (east) of the
paved runway and taxiway. It is these turf runways that Post
used, and you can still use them today.
I imagine when Wiley and his passengers landed here, the
landscape was pretty much like it is now; plowed fields and
grassland with a few trees. The runways, of course, were unpaved.
On the ground, the airport was sleepy that early fall day.
Only one FBO, and no rental cars or restaurants were on the
field (although some of each are nearby).
On the eastern apron, there were hangars from the
WWII era (below, left). On May 3, 1999
the Chickasha airport was hit by a massive F5 tornado. This
really hurt the hangers and now they are just
decaying away. But before the tornado they were still being used and
in good condition. Today, the canvas ceiling insulation
is crumbling and falling to the ground, and inhabitants
like this tarantula beginning to crawl up the wall (below,
right) made their way over and under the debris.
UPLOADED: 01/09/06 REVISED: 08/02/06