The annual Woodstock, ON Chicken BBQ Fly-In
was a colourful event

Story and photos by Gord McNulty, CAHS Vice President

Aviation fans have fond memories of the Woodstock, Ontario Flying Club annual Chicken Barbecue Fly-Ins, a popular summer attraction for years. I came across a few pictures of mine from the 1973 event while converting some slides into prints recently.

The highlight that year was undoubtedly a Canadian Armed Forces CC-138 Twin Otter that made an impressive demonstration. The versatile aircraft was painted in the white search and rescue colours at the time, later replaced by yellow for greater visibility.

The fly-in invariably attracted a colourful range of dozens of commercial light aircraft, trainers and home-built planes. Harvards, led by the “Woodstock Boys” --- Bob Hewitt, Norm Beckham, Len Fallowfield --- were a mainstay every year.

The fly-in always offered something a little different or new. We would see everything from Second World War-era Avengers converted as sprayplanes by Hicks & Lawrence Ltd. in St. Thomas, ON for example, to a search and rescue demonstration by a Canadian Forces CH-135 Twin Huey helicopter.

Other notables would typically include the Ontario Provincial Police Jet Ranger helicopter and odds and sods such as a hot air balloon and a Bensen Gyrocopter.

My father, Jack, and I enjoyed the fly-in (and of course the tasty BBQ chicken!) for years. On one occasion, my dad flew in from Grand Valley with Watt Martin --- “the go-to” expert for de Havilland Moths of all kinds --- in Watt’s historic 1931 D.H.60G, CF-AAA. Aviation enthusiasts seeking variety always found it every summer at Woodstock.

de Havilland Canada CC 138 Twin Otter

de Havilland Canada CC-138 Twin Otter in early Canadian Forces colours arrives at the 1973 Annual Chicken BBQ Fly-In at Woodstock.

CC 138 Twin Otter

CC-138 Twin Otter makes a 'corny' but nifty landing next to a wall of fresh corn stalks at the Woodstock Flying Club grass strip for the 1973 Fly-In.

Twin Otter visit 1973

Fans enjoyed the Twin Otter visit to the 1973 Woodstock Chicken Barbecue Fly-In.

The Twin Otter

The Twin Otter, in a nice flypast, was a highlight of the 1973 Woodstock Flying Club Annual Chicken BBQ.

Bob Hewitt in Harvard Mk 2 CF MKA

Bob Hewitt, who later became the first president of the CHAA, in Harvard Mk 2 CF-MKA at the 1973 Woodstock Fly-In.