Home > Development, Flight Simulation, Flightsim > Butler Field, this time with cameras

Butler Field, this time with cameras

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006

Daryl (fellow flight simmer) and I visited Butler Field in Saanich today and completed the photography. We bumped into the owner John Howroyd. And what tales he had to tell! There is a sharp dirt cliff (falling off to to gravel pit) just at the approach end of the runway, and he showed us the groove in the edge from a nosewheel that missed the approach by just 18 inches. We could still faintly see the corkscrew grooves in the turf from the prop. The field runs uphill from that approach, with trees at the end. If you land halfway down the field, go-around ain’t an option with most aircraft, as one pilot learned. He gunned it at that point and didn’t quite clear the trees. His plane flipped and landed on its back. John saw the accident and ran to attend to the victims. They had minor injuries, and as he pulled them out, he heard the deep thwop-thwop-thwop of a rescue chopper. A USCG heli from San Juan Island had picked up the ELT signal, and arrived at the same time as the local ground emergency crews. As everyone was ok, the chopper pilot asked folks if they wanted pictures: black-and-white, or colour.

The field is a shadow of its former self when it was home to dozens of aircraft, and was 1800 feet long. There are still 8 aircraft based there,  including:

  • Piper J3-65 CF-IWO
  • Stinson 108-2 CF-NSY
  • Robinson R-22 registration unknown
  • Luscombe 8F CF-SHE
  • 2xTaylorcraft – CF-YLS and registration unknown
  • Pietenpol Aircamper CF-AOG

This last was built in February 1933, and is reputed to be the aircraft with the longest continuous registration in Canada, and has been featured on TV and in books.

Many thanks for Daryl for his help, and John for the history. Daryl has posted some pics here.

  1. Francois
    Sunday, February 26th, 2006 at 9:19 am

    Wonderful little airfield.. those are the ones I like ! 🙂

  2. pilotgothic1
    Sunday, February 26th, 2006 at 11:10 am

    Sorry Jon but you mentioned 8 aircraft. I can only count 7..?

  3. Sunday, February 26th, 2006 at 11:13 am

    I suspect the number is approximate! Most hangers were locked, so we could only go by what the owner could remember.

  4. Sunday, February 26th, 2006 at 11:15 am

    …and I hope I can come close to representing this field in FS, François! It’ll be quite a challenge to land I suspect.

  5. steven
    Saturday, September 18th, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    I was at Butler field the other day. It’s completely gone, there’s a business park there now.

    I remember going up there as a kid and getting rides in one of John’s planes. PT-19 I think (blue with yellow wings iirc). I still lust over his Aeronca chief. Shame everything is about business these days.

  6. steven
    Saturday, September 18th, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Forgot to mention landing at that field was always fantastic. It used to slope downwards towards a barn that they stored the ultralights in (relegated to the far side of the field). If you were flying in ground effect you’d fly right into the barn. Beyond that were tree’s and a good 150 foot drop off. Fun in a 172.

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